EMU’s Academic and Creative Excellence Festival

As a University devoted to academic rigor, the creation of new knowledge, creative expression through the arts, the application of knowledge to solve problems, and the praxis of our Anabaptist values, we devote the Academic and Creative Excellence Festival to the celebration of the very best of these practices. EMU students are invited to submit their work for review to be included in this day of events. Faculty are invited to showcase their recently published works.

What Will Happen at the ACE Festival?

This festival will occur annually, late in the spring semester. Students will present their work either orally or via posters. Faculty will share recent scholarly publications at a reception. Many sessions will be interdisciplinary in nature, with presentations grouped around themes that reflect EMU’s mission. Possible themes include: sustainability, peace and justice, identity formation and vocation, diversity, faith and ethics, health and wellness, leadership, community or international development, cross-cultural experience, systems analysis, gender.

The creative arts will be featured via gallery openings and special music or theater events. Some departments may host additional events, or set up competitions or workshops that might be typical at their professional conferences. A keynote presentation the evening before the festival will launch the event.

What Do We Hope to Accomplish?

Our Festival Goals

  • Improve overall scholarship in every discipline
  • Recognize excellent scholarship and creative praxis
  • Consolidate scholarship events into one period to encourage greater attendance and visibility
  • Provide a low-cost quality academic conference experience for all students

Our Rationale – Why This Festival?

Academic conferences are valuable ways in which new knowledge and creativity are honored, as well as events in which we learn professionalism and make connections across barriers. As such, it is a valuable learning experience for all students to observe and practice this professionalism. However, conference attendance can be costly, student work sometimes falls short of our intent for it, and so most EMU students have not experienced the invigoration of a good academic conference. In the STEM fields, it has been found that modeling professional scholarship and providing clear rubrics by which students can assess their own and peer’s work raises the level of student engagement as well as strengthens the quality of their work. While much of this work has long been happening in many departments at EMU, introductory students have often not seen this level of work, or imagined that they too could achieve it. By providing an experience like this generalized across campus, our efforts will be infused with new life and available to a broader range of students.