More than 300 undergraduate and graduate students will use live performances, readings, exhibits and displays to present their projects at the two-day event, which was initiated in 1992 as a celebration of academic and cultural diversity at USD. Now an annual event each spring, IdeaFest showcases the academic success of USD students and also features nationally recognized keynote speakers.

“IdeaFest is a fantastic opportunity for students to present their academic projects to the USD campus and Vermillion community,” said Jacquie Lonning, coordinator in the Center for Academic Engagement at USD. “It’s the ideal venue to see how research and other academic activities enhance the education of graduate and undergraduate students at the university.”

Oral presentations begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7 and will be followed by a graduate student luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Following a keynote address by David Frayer, a professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Kansas, a poster session and additional oral presentations conclude the first day of IdeaFest.

Thursday’s schedule starts with oral presentations at 9 a.m. followed by a second poster session at noon. At 1:30 p.m., the final session of oral presentations is slated to begin. A banquet for undergraduate student presenters is at 6 p.m. while IdeaFest 2010 closes with a 7:30 p.m. keynote address from Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Blank and Jensen are actors, writers and directors. The married couple is most widely known for writing and directing, “The Exonerated,” a play based on interviews they conducted with over 40 wrongfully convicted death row inmates across the United States.

Hosted by the USD Center for Academic Engagement, Council for Undergraduate Research and Sponsored Activity, USD Graduate School, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Sigma Xi, USD Office of Academic Affairs and the College of Fine Arts, more information about IdeaFest 2010 is available by contacting or by calling (605) 677-6338.

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