More than 200 Washington State University students will present their work at the eighth annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) this afternoon in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom.

SURCA opens its doors to the public from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at no charge. Judging by faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts wraps up at 3:45 p.m. Presenters in eight categories will be at their posters—in person or virtually—to explain their research, scholarship, and creative activity that they have conducted with a mentor.

The SURCA Awards Ceremony follows at 5:00 p.m. in the CUB Auditorium.

“We’re always surprised and delighted by the posters and the presenters, and we expect to have the best SURCA event since it began eight years ago,” said Shelley Pressley, Office of Undergraduate Research director. “With just about as many judges as presenters, the ballroom is full of positive energy. SURCA’s definitely claimed its place as a popular annual event and significant part of WSU Showcase Week. It also reinforces the student accomplishments that contribute to WSU’s Drive to 25 initiative to be among top research universities.”

SURCA STEM, Humanities, Social Science presentations

The SURCA website features the 2019 abstract book with short summaries of students’ projects.  Topics this year range from bovine‑avian interactions at dairies to a missing Purple Heart; from a social media app for scientists and engineers to an “intelligent” brassiere for breastfeeding; from off‑planet manufacturing to FOMO (fear of missing out) isn’t just for millennials; and dozens more.

SURCA process

SURCA presenters must be participants in research with a mentor. In their SURCA application, they must choose to present in one of eight categories that cover all disciplines at WSU. In‑person and virtual presentations will be evaluated by volunteering faculty, postdoctoral students, and guest experts from the community using a rubric judging form. Based on scores, up to four types of awards may be given in each category: Crimson (highest), Gray (second highest), Early Career (freshmen and sophomores), and Novice Researcher (students with two or less semesters invested in research).

SURCA sponsors

Sponsors for SURCA 2019 include: Alturas Analytics, Inc.; 1977 engineering and honors alumnus Robert H. and Mary L. Rieck, from Richland; the Undergraduate Research Club; and the WSU Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Personal, academic growth opportunity

“For participants, SURCA is a large part of a transformative educational experience at WSU,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, assistant vice provost. “Presenters must refine and organize knowledge they gained from months or years of work with a research mentor. They must prepare detailed posters and deliver concise speeches to audiences—both lay and from their fields—about their work and results.” At the event itself, participants can also learn from others about topics that are new to them.

“Participants from years past tell us that their understanding of the scope of their work, as well as their commitment to research, was deepened by their SURCA experience.”

WSU Showcase event

SURCA is the first event in this year’s WSU Showcase Week. Read more about this event for undergraduates at the SURCA website.