By Marilyn Reed, University Marketing and Communications

A steady hum of conversation fills the Compton Union Building Ballroom, where rows upon rows of scholars eagerly share their work. Posters tacked carefully onto display boards form a field that stretches from the entrance to the vast room’s farthest corner.

Stationed in front of each poster, a scholar guides visitors’ eyes across text and illustrations that detail an original research process or creative endeavor. At week’s end, many of those same scholars will join one another at an awards banquet, where Washington State University will recognize the outstanding work of faculty and staff.

This is Showcase, an annual weeklong event honoring scholarly achievement at WSU. Scholars who hope to participate in this year’s poster sessions must apply online by the Jan. 16 deadline.

“Sharing research findings and creative ideas is vitally important — not only for academia, but for society as a whole,” said Rebecca Van de Vord, Ph.D., chair of the Showcase Steering Committee. “Only by exchanging knowledge can we solve problems that affect us all.”

Showcase serves up a full schedule of events: poster sessions, competitions, speeches and a celebratory awards banquet. The events all aim to honor achievement and foster sharing of knowledge.

Poster sessions for WSU’s entire academic community

A poster session known as Academic Showcase attracts faculty, staff, and graduate/professional students from all disciplines, campuses, and Extension offices statewide. It offers a forum for presenting research, scholarship, or creative work to WSU colleagues.

Topics exhibited vary widely. A sampling of those explored at last year’s event includes agricultural techniques, biorefinery concepts, consumer behaviors, and music composition.

Running concurrently is the Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA) Research Exposition, a poster session and scholarship competition for WSU Pullman graduate and professional students. Participants vie for $9,600 in awards.

Both events will be held Thursday, March 28, at WSU Pullman.

“The January 16 deadline to apply for these events is right around the corner,” Van de Vord said. “I urge all who are interested in participating to apply now.”

Each would‑be participant must submit an abstract of their research or creative activity by the deadline. Abstracts are to be brief: just 250 words or less.

Undergraduate poster session and competition

A separate poster session is dedicated to faculty-mentored undergraduate research. At Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA), freshmen through seniors from all majors, grades, and campuses compete for awards by sharing original contributions to their fields.

Competition for doctoral students

When sharing research highlights with an audience outside one’s field, investigators must articulate ideas simply, without jargon, so that listeners can understand. That communication challenge is the crux of another Showcase competition: Three‑Minute Thesis (3MT®).

3MT asks doctoral students to present a concise version of their ideas and research discoveries to a lay audience. Contestants have just three minutes to deliver a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance.

Recognition of excellence

Additional events throughout Showcase week honor WSU’s top performers.

Crimson Reads recognizes faculty, students, staff, alumni, and retirees who have authored, co‑authored, or edited a book within the past year.

The Distinguished Faculty Address honors a faculty member who has risen to the front ranks of his or her discipline through achievements in research, scholarship, and teaching. The entire University community is invited to attend.

Culminating the week is the Celebrating Excellence Banquet, where the University bestows a slate of awards to honor outstanding faculty and staff.

For more information, see the Showcase website or contact event organizers at, 509‑335‑6674.