CERCA Returns for its Weeklong Celebration

The event features student-staff research and creative work happening throughout campus.

Anna Smith

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CVTC presentations are scheduled to take place from 4-6 p.m., on April 27, in the Ojibwe Ballroom of the Davies Student Center.

The Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, or CERCA, will return this week, displaying different student-faculty and student-staff collaborative research conducted throughout this past semester.

The event is designed to highlight these student accomplishments and contribute to the academic community and Eau Claire community, according to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UW-Eau Claire.

This is also CERCA’s 30th annual celebration and will be held in-person for the first time since 2019. The event had previously been hosted in an online format, due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Catherine Chan, the executive director for the office of research and sponsored programs at UW-Eau Claire broke down the week’s schedule for interested students.

“CERCA is student-created scholarly work and creative research put on display for the week to highlight those accomplishments and to call attention to those particular research facets on campus,” Chan said.

Chan also noted what students can expect if they plan on attending the event and also mentioned the CERCA homepage for further details in specific areas of study.

“Attendees can interact with the presenters by engaging in questions-and-answers as well as discussions,” Chan said.

Each student presenter is also able to explore different formats when presenting their own research, such as a live performance, artistic displays or oral presentations, according to Chan.

Apart from the staff support of the Office of Research of Sponsored Programs, there are also more organizations working in partnership with CERCA this year, as opposed to previous years.

“This year, we are very excited to partner with the University’s Student Senate to organize a panel for the students on undergraduate research opportunities,” Chan said.

Other mentioned organizations that will be featured this year include the honors program, the mathematics department, the creative and performing arts faculty as well as the immersion and study abroad departments.

Chan said last year, more than 200 student projects were presented, despite the event being hosted virtually. The CERCA website shows that this year, 248 projects are slated to be presented from a variety of research areas, ranging from communications to biology.

“The impact that their work has on the campus community and beyond is so imperative to us,” Chan said.

A newer addition to CERCA, as of 2021, is Chippewa Valley Technical College research student submissions and presentations. According to Chan, a total of 21 students submitted work last year as opposed to simply attending the event. 

“This is a good opportunity for us to test this collaboration and provide a forum for CVTC students,” Chan said.

CVTC presentations are scheduled to take place from 4-6 p.m., on April 27, in the Ojibwe Ballroom of the Davies Student Center.

As CERCA continues to expand and evolve each year, students can expect a variety of scholarly and creative work, conducted on campus.

“CERCA is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the great assortment of research that is happening all around the university,” Chan said. 

The events will take place on the third floor of the Davies Student Center as well as various other locations throughout the week of April 25-29. More information can be found on the UW-Eau Claire CERCA homepage.

Smith can be reached at [email protected].