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Psychology

Psychology Aims to Impress at CWU’s SOURCE 20th Anniversary

Washington State’s longest running event of its kind reaches a significant milestone this year. The 20th Symposium Of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) takes place at Central Washington University on Thursday, May 21.

The emerald-anniversary event will feature free, public oral, poster, and performance presentations, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., in the Student Union and Recreation Center on the Ellensburg campus. For 2015, SOURCE will feature more than 350 presentations from 34 different academic departments.

“The continued growth of student interest and participation in SOURCE has been remarkable and gratifying,” says Kara Gabriel, SOURCE director and CWU psychology professor. “That’s also a testimony to the university faculty and staff, who have embraced SOURCE and helped it to become one of the state’s premier event.”

Originally known as the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the first conference featured 23 presentations in 1996. Two years later, it was renamed the “Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression,” to emphasize the broad nature of undergraduate scholarship at Central. Then, in 2002, a companion event for graduate students and faculty, the Conference on Graduate Student and Faculty Scholarship, was initiated.

Ten years ago, the two events merged as a way to foster overall awareness of and appreciation for CWU scholarship, regardless of discipline or academic level. SOURCE provides an opportunity for university undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, or employees who engage in scholarly activity to share the results of their work. This year, area elementary, middle, high school and Running Start students will also participate.

“Being able to offer chances for high-level scholarship beyond Central students alone is another way that SOURCE is unique from other research symposia,” Gabriel points out. “It’s proven to be beneficial to our faculty, fun for the staff, and an excellent learning experience for non-college students. We hope that some of them will enroll at Central and continue their research or creative endeavors here, and continue to be part of SOURCE.”

In addition, the annual CWU Student Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the CWU College of Business’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, with the continued financial support of the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, will be held in conjunction with SOURCE. As in the past, oral presentations will be made by the finalists. A total of $10,000 in award money will be presented to the plans judged to be the top three overall.

A companion symposium at CWU-Des Moines, on the Highline Community College campus, will be held Tuesday, May 19 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.

“Having a second SOURCE in western Washington ensures that students at our campuses there also have opportunities to present and have their research judged without having to come to Ellensburg,” Gabriel acknowledges. “This type of competitive evaluation really helps them in their scholarly work, and we’re happy to be able to provide that opportunity to them.”

The campus SOURCE awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, May 27, at noon, in the SURC Pit. Outstanding student presentations will be honored at that event, along with those receiving “Faculty Mentor” awards for their significant contributions to CWU research.

A SOURCE 2015 Awards Ceremony and Celebration is also planned for Seattle, in Fisher Pavilion, on Wednesday, June 3. This year’s SOURCE award winners, along with those from past events, are invited to participate in that ceremony.

“The last couple of years, we held our celebration at the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center,” Gabriel says. “But, because of its popularity and the attendance at the event, we quickly outgrew that space and had to move to a bigger venue. It’s a nice problem to have!”

Based on the success and continued growth of the symposium overall, SOURCE will also expand, becoming a two-day event on the Ellensburg campus starting next year.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, loweryr@cwu.edu
April 29, 2015

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