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Research Week 2012 Features One-of-a-Kind Crossroads Performance for Public

Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012

Research Week

USU's Research Week is April 2-6.

Utah State University’s eighth annual Research Week is Apr. 2-6 and will feature longstanding popular events, as well as new additions. Research Week recognizes USU’s best faculty, graduate and undergraduate researchers, scholars and artists with themed days focusing on different aspects of research.

“For hundreds of USU students and faculty, Research Week is the culmination of months — and sometimes years — of tireless work to create new knowledge and new discoveries,” said Mark McLellan, vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Utah State. “Because we’re a research institution, these pinnacle events are a very big deal.”

Research Week will be bookended by two new events, a Research Gala on Monday and a presentation of Crossroads at the USU Performance Hall on Friday.

“These two events will anchor Research Week in a way we haven’t done before,” said McLellan. “The by-invitation gala gives us a chance to focus our recognition and shine a brighter spotlight on our best researchers and Crossroads reaches out to everyone — faculty, staff, students and community — to share the power of inquiry and creativity in a one-of-a-kind, quality performance.”

The Research Gala will be held Monday, April 2, at the Riverwoods Conference Center, in Logan, as part of Faculty Research Day. The event will recognize college researchers of the year, large grant recipients, USU’s Graduate Mentor of the Year and the D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award recipient.

“We’ve really elevated this event to provide a tangible demonstration of the value we place on our best researchers,” said McLellan.

At the gala, a new series of videos, featuring the college researchers of the year, will be previewed. The videos will be released to the public throughout the summer.

Research Week will conclude on Friday with its largest event ever, a presentation of Crossroads. The performance is free of charge to all who wish to attend and will take place at the USU Performance Hall from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Crossroads will focus on the sustainability of human society through a multi-formatted concert of music, speech and photography.

“This is a unique opportunity for Utah State, in the sense that we get a chance to open a unique viewing opportunity to such a large audience,” said McLellan. “I can’t think of a better way to thank our hundreds of Research Week participants than sponsoring this creative performance. It is a great example of how USU researchers combine art and science into impactful pieces.”

In addition to these anchor events, many other lectures, workshops, receptions and symposia will be held throughout Research Week.

April 2’s events will also reach out to new faculty researchers. USU faculty hired in 2011 are invited to a luncheon to provide feedback on their first year at Utah State and to get direction on their upcoming projects.

The main event of Undergraduate Research Day, April 3, is the longstanding USU Student Showcase. Held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center, the event will feature 150 student posters and presentations given throughout the day, as well as an undergraduate research awards ceremony at noon.

“It’s a trend this year that we’ve had more undergraduate participants in our events and programs than ever before, and Student Showcase is no exception,” said Scott Bates, associate vice president for graduate and undergraduate research at Utah State. “I personally view Student Showcase as a home-court celebration, just as much as a high-quality symposium.”

Scholarship and Innovation Day will be Wednesday, April 4, with two events. The 2012 D. Wynne Thorne Lecture will be held in the new Agricultural Sciences building at 11:30 a.m. David Lancy, 2011 D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award recipient and professor of anthropology, will offer the lecture. He will discuss his provocative work on the anthropology of childhood and how it is changing our understanding of what is and isn’t “natural” in children’s life histories.

“This is the first year we’ve decoupled our D. Wynne Thorne lecture from our research awards activities, which will give the opportunity for many more people to attend,” said McLellan. “And that’s a good thing, as Dr. Lancy’s work has attracted global attention, far beyond the research community.”

That afternoon, a Faculty Book Celebration will be held in the Merrill-Cazier Library. The event, co-sponsored with the library, will begin with the recognition of 2011 USU faculty book authors in Library 101, and a reception will follow in the New Books Lounge on the second floor. During this time, the new Richard Schockmel Faculty Book Room will be dedicated.

“During the event, we’ll get to hear from three of those faculty authors: Richard Krannich, Joseph Tainter and Nathan Straight ,” said Jennifer Duncan, head of collection development at the library. “We’re also excited about the new Richard Schockmel room, which will house books by USU faculty members and the USU Press, reading and meeting space and some new technology, such as iPads, to provide another platform for viewing USU books.”

Thursday, April 5, is Graduate Student Research Day, with the Intermountain Graduate Research Symposium, a two-day conference of research posters, presentations, lectures, panels and workshops by and for graduate students. Mary Cleave, USU alum and astronaut, will give the keynote address at a banquet that evening.

“The Intermountain Graduate Research Symposium is Utah’s largest student-run gathering of graduate student researchers, and we’re happy to welcome so many Aggies, as well as participants from several other institutions,” said Kimberlee Taylor, vice president for research of USU’s Graduate Student Senate.

Researcher Development Day will be held Friday, April 6, with a series of research-related workshops. In the morning, select faculty will attend a three-hour session on research opportunities with the National Science Foundation, and graduate students will convene in the afternoon with a Research Scholars Forum on publication and authorship and an informational session on the NSF Graduate Fellowship.

For more information on any Research Week event, visit (   

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