IdeaFest, April 10-11, is an annual event that highlights accomplishments in graduate and undergraduate research, creative scholarship and academic engagement. This year’s two-day program features 219 presentations involving more than 520 students, including student poster sessions, oral presentations and art exhibitions. IdeaFest also features prominent guest lecturers Capt. Mark Kelly, astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain, and David Sweatt, Ph.D., chairperson of neurobiology at the University of Alabama Medical School.

Kelly’s keynote address, “Endeavour to Succeed,” is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 in Slagle Hall’s Aalfs Auditorium; while Sweatt will present “Neurobiology of Creativity” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the Muenster University Center Ballroom. “Endeavour to Succeed” is presented in partnership with the Beacom School of Business Opportunity Fund and the Arthur Volk Symposium. “Neurobiology of Creativity” is presented in partnership with the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Sanford School of Medicine, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Center for Academic Engagement. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Established in 1992 as a celebration of academic and cultural diversity at USD, IdeaFest is hosted by the Center for Academic Engagement, Council for Undergraduate Research and Sponsored Activity, USD Graduate School, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the USD Office of Academic Affairs. For more information about IdeaFest, go to:

Photos of Kelly and Sweatt are available for download at and at

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