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Highlights from Boise State’s 2024 Research and Creative Activity Month

two dozen people mill in digital exhibit space
SPARC Energy Mixer, Photo provided by Luminary staff

As the academic year wound down and commencement approached, the Boise State community actively recognized the dedication of students and faculty to academic achievement and scholarly success by celebrating the 2024 Research and Creative Activity Month in April.

In 30 events, the community engaged in workshops, seminars, showcases, readings of creative writings, art and research exhibits, tutorials and more. Event attendance and participation saw a boost across many events, in some cases even breaking records, like the Graduate Research Showcase.

“The curiosity of our researchers all across campus has resulted in the blossoming of new knowledge exhibited across so many events. It has been a truly amazing month,” said Nancy Glenn, vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development.

April 2024 Highlights

Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Project Presentations

April 4, 2024

group of 8 women stand in group photo
Spring 2024’s eight Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates.

Eight Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates presented posters of their scholarly projects in Albertsons Library. Representing the culmination of their doctoral studies, their work explored evidence-based practices that they assessed and implemented in specific clinical environments.

“The most rewarding parts of my scholarly project were forming and working with the multidisciplinary committee and observing the effects of its work. The education module we produced was very well received, led to robust discussions, and directly impacted provider knowledge,” said Sara Weelborg, a nurse practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice candidate.

Weelborg received the Presidential Scholars Award in the Graduate Student Showcase. Her project was about “Promoting Awareness and Knowledge of Nutrition as an Adjunctive Treatment Option for Chronic Insomnia.”


April 5, 2024

5 people view exhibits on energy flow through a circuit
SPARC Energy Mixer, photo provided by Luminary Staff

About 100 campus community members enjoyed an ‘electric’ evening of interdisciplinary research and creative scholarship around the theme of ‘Energy.’

A person plays a flute in front of a video screen
Jacob Scott, Photo provided by Luminary staff

The event was hosted at the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary, and participants were able to engage in hands-on discovery of research and creative projects, as well as enjoying an original flute music composition and performance by Boise State undergraduate Jacob Scott.

Featured research projects spanned disciplines such as electrical and computer engineering, world languages, early and special education, mechanical and biomedical engineering, theatre, film and creative writing, and instructional design studies.

Discovery Walk

April 9, 2024

people walk past Micron engineering building where students are constructing some sort of structure
Discovery Walk 2024, photo by Sean Evans

In a completely new event, a group of 88 donors, community members and members of the Idaho legislature were invited to participate in a Discovery Walk. On this walk, attendees stopped at seven distinct locations on campus and learned about leading areas of research and creativity at Boise State. They then attended a special Unbridled Campaign mixer event held in the Stueckle Sky Center.

woman in center of lab speaks to group of about 20 people
Cynnie Curl (center) shares her research with Discovery Walk audience, photo by Sean Evans

“I genuinely enjoyed having the donors come through, meet with me, and see our lab space,” said Cynnie Curl, an associate professor of public and population health and co-director of the Center for Excellence in Environmental Health and Safety. “Several of them were so engaged and wanted to stay longer!”

In addition to Curl, the following faculty presented during the Discovery Walk:

  • Sydney Boutros, assistant professor of psychological science, and behavioral neuroscientist
  • Michele Carney, professor of mathematics education
  • Joe Champion, professor of mathematics and mathematics education specialist
  • Jenee Cyran, assistant professor of materials and physical chemistry and director of the Cyran lab
  • Lisa Hunt, interim director of the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary
  • Eric Jankowski, assistant professor of materials science and engineering
  • Casey Kennington, assistant professor of computer science
  • Michal Kopera, associate professor of computational and applied mathematics
  • Owen McDougal, professor of chemistry and director of the Food and Dairy Innovation Center
  • Konrad Meister, assistant professor of biochemistry and physical chemistry
  • Troy Rohn, professor of biology and director of the Rohn Lab
  • Moji Sadegh, assistant professor of civil engineering and director of the Hydroclimate Lab
  • Shawn Simonson, professor and director of the Human Performance Lab

Graduate Research Showcase

April 10, 2024

panaroma of the Jordan Ballroom showing hundreds of students and posters boards
Graduate Research Showcase, photo by Mark VanderSys

The virtual and in-person Graduate Research Showcase broke prior records in the number of student exhibitors and faculty judge attendance, with 230 in-person and virtual showcases of research and creative activity.

“This year, we had 11 student artists showcase their pieces and three creative writing readings, and it was our highest arts participation,” Professor Lisa Bostaph said.

The Sound of Music Performance

April 12-14, 2024

group of people on stage singing in Sound of Music
The Sound of Music dress rehearsal at The Morrison Center, photo by Priscilla Grover

Students and faculty from the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing collaborated to deliver a complete production of the Sound of Music.

Students auditioned for the main roles and members of the Symphony Orchestra contributed the accompaniment for the performance held at the Morrison Center.

Ticketed viewers and Idaho students attendees equalled nearly 4,000, and one anonymous audience member said they were “Blown away with the shared expertise, passion and talent in pulling off such a great performance.”

NetZero Mixer

April 16, 2024

The Division of Research and Economic Development, the School of the Environment and the Andrus Center for Public Policy hosted an evening reception focused on Net Zero projects across campus.

The event included presentations by Nancy Glenn, vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development and Jhansi Kandasamy, the executive director of Idaho National Laboratory’s Net-Zero program.

Undergraduate Research Showcase

April 19, 2024

group of students
College of Arts and Sciences Dean Leslie Durham (left) and students, photo by Jenny Gilman

The Undergraduate Research Showcase celebrated its first in-person session since the COVID-19 pandemic. With 145 presenters and 15 lightning talk students, the event featured research and creative activity presentation from every college.

The array of showcases by college and school was as follows:

  • College of Arts and Sciences, 85 showcases
  • College of Engineering, 35 showcases
  • College of Health Sciences, 24 showcases
  • School of Public Service, nine showcases
  • College of Business and Economics, four showcases
  • College of Innovation and Design, two showcases
  • College of Education, two showcases
group of students
College of Engineering Dean JoAnn Lighty (left) and student showcase participants, photo by Jenny Gilman

Environmental Studies 300 Project Exhibition in the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary

April 22, 2024

“Environmental Studies 300: Management and Analysis” partnered with the Golden Eagle Audubon’s Boise ReWild Project to complete a hands-on service-learning project related to riparian restoration of the Boise River ecosystem.

large group photo outside

Over the past two semesters, this class has restored two half-acre plots of land along the Boise River in the Barber Pools area. Tasks included planting over 400 native plants; blocking off social trails; removal of invasive species; caging trees to protect them from beaver activity; monitoring plant survival rates; and mulching, watering, and caging new plants to increase survival rates over the winter.

The students shared their work and reflections on the project in the Keith and Catherine Stein Luminary on April 22.

“Being able to leave the classroom and gain hands-on experience at the river site has shown me how important it is to take action. Every member of our community has a chance to make a difference!” said undergraduate student Camy Holden.

BASH Art Science Showcase

April 25

This event, hosted in the Luminary, brought art and science together to showcase work from members of the ArtSci community. The show featured hands-on activities, interactive installations, multimedia experiences and student-generated art that blended artistic expression with scientific concepts.

Eryn Pierce, assistant professor in the Department of Art, Design and Visual Studies, said, “The ArtSci Spring 2024 Showcase was a bite-sized, three-hour experience that captured the cross-disciplinary magic we’ve developed over this past school year. From crafting alternative courses and programming to generating multiple pathways for collaboration, the ArtSci Community is truly a hub for innovation.”

The ArtSci initiative is funded by an Innovation Lab grant from the College of Arts and Sciences

School of Public Service Capstone Student Research Showcase

April 26, 2024

Students from across the School of Public Service’s academic programs gathered to share their research in a showcase. The students’ research covered a wide variety of important topics, such as climate change and post-incarceration rehabilitation efforts. The students worked collaboratively with faculty to put these research projects together and share them amongst the campus and broader communities. The showcase saw over a hundred staff, faculty and students attending to view the projects and talk with the students.

“These students impressed me with their passion and dedication to the important research projects they worked on. It’s truly inspiring to see how the School of Public Service empowers students to search for answers regarding some of our world’s most pressing current issues,” said Lainey Rehkemper, School of Public Service staff member.

Lightning Talk: AI in Research

April 29, 2024

a screenshot showing a zoom call with 32 chorale musicians
Richard Hutton’s presentation about chorale music and AI applications. Hutton is conducting in center block with arms raised. Screenshot by Brianne Phillips.

In a fascinating showcase of creativity and innovation, five faculty members shared their uses of artificial intelligence in their research projects to more than 35 audience members in a virtual lightning talk hosted by the Center for Research and Creative Activity.

A recording of the lightning talk session will be made available to campus community prior to the end of the semester.

Featured faculty speakers include:

  • Jenny Alderden, associate professor in the School of Nursing
  • Andy Hung, professor of educational technology
  • Richard Hutton, assistant professor of choral music education
  • Casey Kennington, assistant professor of computer science
  • Michael Perlmutter, assistant professor in data science
  • Brian Stone, associate professor of psychological sciences