A student gives his poster presentation during the Week of Undergraduate Excellence in 2017.
The second annual Week of Undergraduate Excellence at Drexel University aims to apply the concept of “stop and smell the roses” to undergraduate academics.
“A lot of it is just taking some time out of your daily schedule to be inspired by the work your fellow students are doing,” said Jaya Mohan, associate director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, on why students should participate in or attend events throughout the week.
Running from May 14–18, this year’s Week of Undergraduate Excellence will include poster sessions, oral presentations, performances and exhibitions aimed to celebrate student work and how it bolsters the University’s reputation.
Following 2017’s inaugural event, Mohan said that several University departments reached out to be a part of this year’s events. Both the Drexel University Libraries information literacy competition called “Two Truths & One Lie: A Libraries Competition to Decipher Authoritative Information,” and this month’s Pennoni Panel from the Pennoni Honors College — titled “A Matter of Facts: Do You Trust the News?” — were arranged to coincide with the Week of Undergraduate Excellence. The College of Arts and Sciences will also host its Sociology Undergraduate Research Symposium during the week.
“We’re really excited about the external events other departments on campus are pitching in to host to identify amazing things students are doing,” Mohan said.
Student organizations have also reached out to take part in the fun. Mohan said that students from Drexel Smart House (DSH) came to her to arrange their quarterly update as part of the Week of Undergraduate Excellence programming, in which DSH project groups will present on the new, influential technologies they’re working on developing.
“That’s definitely something we want to focus on, getting more student organizations involved,” Mohan said.
A backbone of the week’s programming since the beginning has been student panel and poster presentations, and this year there will be one poster session and three oral sessions to support the 44 submissions from disciplines across the University. Poster presentations will take place from 4–6 p.m. on May 17 in Bossone Atrium. Oral sessions will take place at both 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on May 17 in Hagerty Library, Room L33, as well as at 10 a.m. on May 18 in Hagerty Library, Room L33. If you stop by one of these presentation events, you’ll see topics ranging from “The Promotion of Seasonal Produce and Cooking Skills Through Video Tutorials” to “Cultivating the Presence of Women in Technology.”
Mohan said the main goal in providing students an outlet to present their research is to cultivate a community where students are both recognized and are able to recognize the excellence of their peers.
“We have so many students doing interesting and amazing things across the University, but they don’t always necessarily have the opportunity to speak to each other,” she added.
The week will culminate on May 18 with a closing celebration from 3–5 p.m. in the Great Court of the Main Building. All students who participated in or attended the week’s events are invited to join the festivities. Those students who participate in WUE Bingo by attending multiple events throughout the week can also exchange their cards for a special prize at that time.
Mohan said an invitation to join the event will also go out to all first-year students who make the dean’s list, in order to recognize them and provide a venue for them to interact with upperclassmen.
To find out more about all Week of Undergraduate Excellence programming, visit the Pennoni Honors College website.