Students present at Celebration of Student Achievement

Julie Krasutsky

     Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) will be held on April 19. According to the Ursinus website, on that day attendees can expect “talks, poster presentations, and performances from hundreds of students from every discipline, from first-year students to seniors.” The work students present will reflect the culmination of knowledge and experience that they have gathered over the course of the past year.

      Dr. Kelly Sorensen, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, explained why CoSA is so important to this school and its faculty and students.

     Said Sorensen, “Presentation skills are crucial for almost anything you end up doing with your life. CoSA offers good practice for that. That’s how CoSA got started years ago.”

    He added that “410 students presented something at CoSA last year- some more than once. That’s an incredibly high number. Other colleges can only dream of 25% of all students presenting research and creative work on the same day!”

     Sorensen noted that they will be doing some new things at this year’s CoSA. According to Sorensen, this will be the first year that the “field hockey skills demo” will be happening “where you can learn how to drive a [field hockey] ball.”

     He also added that “this will be the second year . . .  we’ll be holding all the poster sessions in the fieldhouse” instead of scattering them across the different academic buildings. He explained that the field house is a better location for the students to present all of their poster presentations in the same place. He also noted that they are trying to get Bearly Funny, “the college’s improve comedy group” to perform during CoSA.

     One student who will be presenting at CoSA this year is senior Hannah Engber, who will be speaking on “the role of women in terrorist groups.” She explained that her presentation will be about research she conducted over the last two to two and a half years on counter-terrorism. Her presentation will discuss “how women leaders combat terrorist organizations and how they are perceived, how the media plays a role in public perceptions of terrorism, and, [her] largest section of research, how nations change their counter-terrorism policy after terrorist incidents.”

    Said Engber, “I’m hoping to share my knowledge of terrorism and counter-terrorism [to] help people understand that terrorism and counter-terrorism are incredibly multifaceted.”

    You can expect “more types of presentations than ever this year” according to Sorensen.  CoSA will also feature “a reading of a student-authored play, civic engagement reports, student podcasters, and a special UCDC performance.” The Common Intellectual Experience essay contest and winners of the Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics will also be presenting.

    Courtney Cortese, who is a

junior, will be presenting at CoSA for the second year in a row. Last year she presented on her research about the “relationship between a transport protein and how it affects muscle regeneration post-injury.” This year she will be presenting on research about “Endothelial permeability differences in mice.”

     Cortese is “hoping [her presentation] shines light on the bigger picture [of] inflammatory cell regulation of regeneration following skeletal muscle injury.”

    She added, “It’s fun to show the Ursinus Community the research that I have been conducting.”

    “You know your friends are smart- but you may not fully realize how smart they are until you see their poster data analysis or hear a reading of the play they’ve been writing,” Sorensen added.

     Sorensen encourages all students and faculty to attend CoSA. Said Sorensen, “Attending the posters and talks gives all of us a chance to learn new things.”