IdeaFest is an annual event at USD that highlights accomplishments in graduate and undergraduate research, creative scholarship and academic engagement. This year’s two-day program features more than 200 presentations from more than 500 students, including student poster sessions, oral presentations and art exhibitions. The IdeaFest speaker series also features prominent guest lecturers Richard Sayre, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Consortium, and Ellen Gustafson, sustainable food system activist, innovator and co-founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank – an organization dedicated to highlighting ideas in agriculture and food systems.

Sayre, who was once selected by Nature magazine as one of the “five crop researchers who could change the world,” will deliver his lecture “Making Next Generation Biofuel Systems Work” at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8 in the Muenster University Center Ballroom. Gustafson will present her address, “Leading Change and Innovation” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9 at Aalfs Auditorium inside Slagle Hall. The IdeaFest speaker series is sponsored by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Center for Academic and Global Engagement, in addition to various campus partners.

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 2014, including extended biographies of the guest speakers, please go to

A photo of Sayre is available for download at A photo of Gustafson is available for download at

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