This article by Kelly Moreland originally appeared in the March 22 edition of The Gannon Knight.

Gannon University students, faculty and staff will gather at the university’s inaugural presentation of “Celebrate Gannon” Friday in the Waldron Campus Center.

The event, a showcase of the work students and faculty have accomplished, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday throughout the second floor of Waldron. It is a chance for students and faculty to highlight their achievements in creativity, research, scholarship and engagement.

Celebrate Gannon is a combination of two events that were held separately in the past: the Graduate Research Conference and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Celebration.

Elisa Konieczko, associate professor in Gannon’s biology department, is the coordinator for undergraduate research for Celebrate Gannon. She said the event will include more than 65 undergraduate and graduate participants.

Konieczko said she has worked on this event since the two prior events were combined in 2007. Before that, she worked with the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Celebration for 10 years.

“I really enjoy seeing what our students do, and what students and faculty do together,” she said.

At Celebrate Gannon, students and faculty have a chance to showcase their achievements in four different categories: undergraduate research and scholarship; graduate research; creativity; and engagement. Each category holds its own competitions, and awards are given for the best projects and presentations.

Matt Sturdivant, a junior sport and exercise science and pre-medicine major, will be present research he completed with Steven Ropski, professor in Gannon’s biology department, and classmate Morgan Pratt. Their project reflects research done with Gannon’s bat census and the effects of white nose syndrome on the bat population.

Sturdivant said he likes the idea of Celebrate Gannon because he enjoys presenting his work. He also said he likes that a lot of the presentations are tied to the Erie community as well as Gannon.

The projects will be showcased in the form of posters, display boards, talks and platform presentations. The wide variety of work includes research projects, photos, visual art, theatrical productions and more.

One first-time presenter, senior history major Maria Caulfield, said she looks forward to the event.

“It’s a good way to get your project out there,” she said.

Caulfield will give a first-person interpretation in the form of a creative monologue. Her interpretation is of Annie Strong, whose old house is what Gannon affiliates now refer to as Old Main.

Another presenter, Murtada B. Tunis, a final-year graduate student in public administration, said he is glad to have taken the opportunity to participate in Celebrate Gannon. He said he would encourage Gannon faculty, students and staff to stop by in order to applaud their peers’ work and dedication.

“These are the people who actually are Gannon,” he said.

Senior sport and exercise science major Lisa Ripper will give an engagement presentation on her alternative spring break service trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. She said she looks forward to Celebrate Gannon because she will be reunited with seven other people who went with her on the trip.

“We have a lot of creative, intelligent people here at Gannon,” she said, “and this is a chance for students and faculty to show off what we’ve been doing.”

This article by Kelly Moreland originally appeared in the March 22 edition of The Gannon Knight.