Displays of research and creativity dominated the Eastern Connecticut State University campus on April 12 for the annual CREATE conference. CREATE stands for "Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern," and is the university's premier undergraduate conference.
Among the conference participants was Maxime Parent '20 of South Yarmouth who majors in Biology. Parent presented "Next Generation Sequencing Reveals the Scorpion Telson and Tail Microbiomes."
The day-long showcase featured more than 250 students from all majors who led oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, music and dance performances, art and photography exhibitions, new-media demonstrations and more.
Research questions probed the effects of "fake news" on the economy, the influence of climate change on Northeastern coastlines, the use of virtual reality gaming compared to traditional exercise, and much more. Artistic attractions included a dance "inform-ance" in homage to African migration, operatic duets, a gallery of student artwork and more.
Eastern President Elsa Nunez says CREATE is one of her favorite days of the academic year. "Some of these projects represent three of four years of work," she said. "Being able to recognize their work is not only a source of pride, but a validation of Eastern's mission."
"CREATE really shows the breadth and depth of what's happening on this campus in terms of research and artistic endeavors," added Environmental Earth Science Professor Bryan Oakley, conference co-chair. "This is the culmination of many hours in and outside of the classroom."