From May 14-18, the Pennoni Honors College of Drexel University will host the Week of Undergraduate Excellence, a celebration of the accomplishments of undergraduate students from all disciplines across the university.
The Week of Undergraduate Excellence replaced the one-day event called Drexel Research Day, which transformed into a showcase of all undergraduate achievement, ranging from research presentations to performing arts demonstrations two years ago.
“The primary goal [of the week] is two-fold. The first is to showcase the amazing achievements of our undergraduate students. [Second] is to create a time and space for students to celebrate their own achievements and talk to like-minded students to create a community of excellence,” Jaya Mohan, the associate director for the Office of Undergraduate Research, said.
The week will consist of over 30 events, focusing on different disciplines throughout the university.
For example, a series of events hosted by the Pennoni Honors College will focus on developing information literacy during an era of “fake news.” This series includes events such as “Two Truths & One Lie: A Libraries Competition to Decipher Authoritative Information,” which is a student competition hosted by Drexel University Libraries based on information literacy, as well as a “Dean’s Tea” hosted by the Pennoni Honors College dean, Paula Marantz Cohen, where students will be able to have a discussion on the topic of fixing fake news.
Other events include an open house by the Drexel Smart House group, and a performing arts showcase hosted by the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Finally, the week will be capped off May 18 with a closing celebration to honor those that contributed to the events during the week.
“People have been so enthusiastic throughout the university. Partners have stepped up in terms of the vision they have had for their own events. We have increased both the quality and quantity of events we are hosting,” Mohan said.
Last year was the first year something of this size was attempted at Drexel. Organizers collaborated across many departments and disciplines throughout the university to make the week possible.
“[Last year], we realized we had the capacity to host an overarching week of events, and it was motivating to know that many people around the university found value in that,” Mohan said, reflecting on the successes of last year’s events.
This year, organizers are hoping to increase attendance from last year through various means. They have pushed the event back to prevent midterms from interfering with people’s ability to attend.
They have also implemented a more active way for participants to engage with events. Participants can pick up a Bingo card at the beginning of the week containing various events. Participants are then able to fill out the card as they attend events throughout the week. They can then turn in their cards during the closing ceremony for a prize.
The Week of Undergraduate Excellence will kick off at the Mario Statue May 14 at 11:30 a.m. This first event will be a chance for students to meet Undergraduate Research Leaders, as well as the first opportunity for participants to grab a Bingo card. Events will run all throughout the week, ending with the closing ceremony in the Main Building Grand Hall May 18. The full schedule of events can be found at http://drexel.edu/pennoni/news-events/week-undergraduate-excellence/.