IdeaFest, Graduate Forum highlight USD student achievements

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will host the 2008 IdeaFest and Graduate Forum Joint Celebration, April 1-2, in various locations on campus, including I.D. Weeks Library, Delzell Education Building and the Al Neuharth Media Center.

Initiated in 1992 as a celebration of academic and cultural diversity, IdeaFest has become a USD tradition and an important part of The U’s Undergraduate Research Program. The Graduate Forum, another popular campus program, serves as an opportunity for USD graduate students to present their research and creative scholarship to the community. Both events join forces this year for a two-day celebration that showcases student research, creative activity and academic engagement at The U.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for students, both undergraduate and graduate, to display their unique projects as well as showcase the collaborations that make research a success at USD," said event co-chair Karen Olmstead, associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School.

The 2008 IdeaFest and Graduate Forum Joint Celebration will feature student presentations such as research papers and posters, live performances, readings and a creative works exhibition. The Graduate Forum will include an address by Dr. Barbara Gerbert, director of the Center for Health Improvement and Prevention Studies at UC-San Francisco. The lecture, which is sponsored by Sigma Xi, the Graduate School and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, follows a luncheon for graduate student participants.

IdeaFest events include an evening banquet for undergraduate student participants, and an evening keynote address by Kevin Sites. Sites is an independent war correspondent chronicling “a world of conflict” through his Hotzone Web site on Yahoo!, and his visit is sponsored by a grant from the Bush Foundation and the Office of Academic Affairs at USD.

"IdeaFest and the Graduate Forum allow the campus community to celebrate student achievements and our commitment to educational excellence," added event co-chair Karen Koster, professor of biology and chairperson of the Undergraduate Research Council.

For more information about the 2008 IdeaFest and Graduate Forum Joint Celebration, please visit http://www.usd.edu/engage/ideafest-gradforum/ for a complete schedule as well as information about keynote speakers, individual and panel presentations, and poster and exhibit sessions.