Campus Creativity on Display
Southwestern is known for the numerous opportunities for research and creative projects afforded to its students. The University community recently celebrated the imagination and vision of the students who have taken advantage of those opportunities.
Projects funded through King Creativity grants were displayed in Bishop’s Lounge on April 13. The King Creativity Fund was established in 2000 by Joey King ’93. As a Southwestern student, King had a lot of ideas that never came to pass due to lack of funds. He established the King Creativity Fund to foster the pursuit of these dreams. Since then, the Fund has allowed dozens of inspired students to take risks and dream big with new ideas and creative vision.
“I try to come and support the projects every year. It’s always fun to see first hand. It never gets old because none of the projects are ever the same,” said King at this year’s event.
This year the Fund supported a range of projects, including the “Laminar Flow Water Fountain,” a project that students Keeley Coburn, Mary Rouhiainen and Victoria Gore designed and arranged in a triangle in order to create a continuously flowing fountain. Another featured project was “Kinetic Kicks” by Eric Oden, Angelyn Convertino and Francis MacInnis, which was designed to charge a smartphone using electrical energy every time a person takes a step. Other students whose projects were funded include: Amir Hessabi, Brenna Nelson, Kenedi Delgado, Taylor Hutchison, Isabella Ferranti, Kelsey Abel and Ilka Vega.
“This is my third year doing a (King Creativity) project. It’s a great way to do something that interests me that I don’t get to do it class. It gives me a chance to truly be creative,” said Hessabi about his 3D LED lamp display.
Delgado and Nelson shared their own experience on their design with a Click theater project. “The project in itself was more challenging than what we had initially expected,” they said. “Overall, our project was successful but the road to success was a bumpy one. We wouldn’t have learned as much as we have without all the failures though!”
The campus celebration of creativity and innovation continued on April 14 with “From Every Voice,” the University’s annual Research and Creative Works Symposium. The Symposium exhibited works by students, faculty and staff, and included poster presentations, art exhibits, a solo dance performance, panel discussions and research presentations. The diversity of presentations provided an opportunity for everyone to engage in conversations on thought-provoking topics, to question our own perspectives, and to see the world from a multi-faceted view.
“It was a great experience to hear about the research students have done across so many disciplines, especially since a lot of the projects were semester-long efforts. The thoroughness of the projects really made it enjoyable,” said junior Omeed Azmoudeh. “My project involved assessing the effects of policies of international institutions. …I found that those policies severely hampered portions of their economy that could have potentially become international powerhouses,” he said of his own research project.
Both events successfully showcased and celebrated the efforts and outcomes of student, faculty and staff research and creative and innovative works.
Story by Daniella A. Barrera