Students Excited to Present Work, Projects at Annual WPU Showcase

Apr 4, 2024

 The big day on campus is almost here.

The 19th annual Student Showcase will be held on campus April 23. The Showcase is a day for students to present their work, projects, and talents from throughout the year to their peers, faculty, and staff.

Classes are canceled for the day and the Showcase event kicks off at 9 a.m. with three sessions of presentations. That will be followed by a community lunch on the lawn for students, faculty, staff, and guests. There will be two more sessions in the afternoon, an hour set aside for students to present what they did for their various internships, and an academic awards ceremony. 

The day will wrap up with a reception. 

Eliza Laskowski, chair of the Showcase speakers and events committee, wants to stress the importance of the event to the underclassmen, giving them a chance to witness “the amazing things you will be doing when you get to be a junior or senior at WPU.

“I want the underclassmen to come so they can see the various majors, where their interests are, what they could be doing when they get to be juniors and seniors,” Laskowski said. “Just to spark their imagination and their intellectual curiosity.”

WPU students present to faculty, staff, and peers at the annual Showcase in 2023.

The Showcase will feature hands-on projects worked on by WPU students, research projects, and a performance from the theater group. The Prism, the school’s literary magazine, will come out that day and students will have a reading from it. 

Julianna Moreland, a senior from New Bern, presented last year on behalf of The Prism and will represent the magazine again this year at The Showcase.

“I got to design that and help manage the submissions and I’m doing that again this year,” Moreland said. “I think it’s a lot of fun because you get to see the students over the semester grow and get to help them show what it was about to people who weren’t along for the ride.”

Moreland, an English major, will also be presenting her senior research project, a psychoanalytic reading of the novel ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and how childhood trauma can affect self-development.

Senior Keslee Hylton from Dry Fork, Va., presented at the Showcase as a junior and will be returning this season. A double major in criminal justice and psychology with a minor in political science, Hylton assisted one of her professors with a change blindness study a year ago. Along with her professor and two other students, Hylton collected data and ran it through SPSS, a statistical software for data management and analytics, analyzed it, and wrote up the results for the Showcase. 

“My first-year advisor, she came and watched and a couple of my friends,” Hylton said. “It made me feel special and loved that they came and saw the stuff that I was working on that semester.”

This year she will present her independent research study looking at the effects of phone use on athletes’ perception of their performances. Hylton made a survey and had athletes on campus complete it. Hylton and Moreland’s projects both got accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) where they will be heading next month. 

Hylton, a three-sport student-athlete at WPU, feels like Showcase is an excellent time to show off the fruits of her labor in the classroom.

“Now that I’ve started researching and putting all this work into it, I’m excited to show everyone the results,” Hylton said. “This is all the stuff I’ve been working on for this whole year.”

This year there will be close to 200 students participating. The faculty at WPU proposes students from their departments to present at the event. 

“Many faculty and staff and administrators say that Showcase is their favorite day of the year,” Laskowski said. “It really is a time for the community to come together and celebrate the accomplishments of our students and let them show off and be proud of themselves.”



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