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Orange Student Presents at First Annual CREATE Conference

CREATE (Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern), the premier undergraduate research and art conference at Eastern Connecticut State University, held its inaugural event at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. By providing exemplary students of all majors an on-campus venue to present their research and creative work, CREATE was the culmination of the academic year, as well as the beginning of a new era.

Dana Blydenburg ’16, a Psychology major from Orange, presented at CREATE. Mentored by Psychology Professor James Diller, Blydenburg’s poster presentation was titled “Don’t be Lazy, Take the Stairs: Decreasing Elevator Use by Way of Positive and Negative Messages”. The two-day event showcased approximately 170 student projects, including oral and poster presentations, art and photography exhibits, video and documentary viewings, and live music and dance performances.

“Why is CREATE important?” asked Professor Dickson Cunningham, co-chair of CREATE, during the opening remarks. In addition to contributing to the intellectual richness of campus and raising external perceptions of Eastern, he pointed out that for some students, CREATE is “the culmination of their undergraduate career,” and that they should “feel a sense of pride and accomplishment”. “Hopefully this will inspire other students to present and to develop mentor relationships with faculty,” said Cunningham.

The CREATE conference marked the merging of Eastern’s two previous end-of-year academic conferences: the Excellence Expo and the Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition. “The merging of these two separate conferences took a lot vision, time and work,” said Provost Rhona Free, pointing out the campus-wide efforts that led to the creation of CREATE, and the hard work of the conference’s organizational committee. “It takes a very strong and dedicated student to produce this quality of work, and it’s important for other students to see this output,” said Free.

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,300 students each year on its Willimantic campus and at satellite locations. A predominantly residential campus, Eastern offers more than 30 majors and 50 minors while emphasizing a strong liberal arts foundation grounded in applied learning experiences. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

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