Engaged Learning Showcase highlights student success


As the spring semester comes to a close, students prepare to share their engaged learning experiences during the Engaged Learning Showcase.

The Engaged Learning Showcase is made of various events held across campus and online. It encompasses a wide array of student engaged learning, including capstone courses, civic engagement, creative activities, global learning, internships and professional work, leadership, project-based learning, and undergraduate research.

Two events, Student Research and Creative Activities Day and the Internship Showcase, will take place this Friday, April 22, giving students the opportunity to share their accomplishments and hard work with others.

Those attending the Student Research and Creative Activities Day have the opportunity to attend presentations on research and creative projects of students from several programs, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Diversity Scholars Research Program (DSRP), Diversity Scholars Intensive Research Experience (DSIRE), and the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI).

Caleb McConahay of UROP will present a research project related to his career path in physical therapy. This will be his second year in a row participating in the Engaged Learning Showcase. Reflecting on his favorite part of his research project for 2022, McConahay said, “My favorite part has been working closely with the faculty involved with my project. Building a relationship and learning from them has made the internship even more worthwhile.”

Also among this year’s research participants is Julie Pugh of MURI. Pugh explained her research project saying, “The project includes investigating ‘Bone Marrow Derived Endothelial Progenitor Cells for Bone Healing in Mice.’ The majority of my part in the internship consists of observing and assisting surgical procedures, X-raying, and analyzing scans to produce data for the project.”

In regard to the showcase, Pugh expressed her excitement to present her group’s work and findings.

“I am most excited to share the promising results of the project with my group members. We have prepared a poster presentation full of figures and charts to best explain the data,” Pugh said.

Later in the afternoon this Friday, Internship Showcase attendees have the opportunity to talk to and learn about the work of over 100 interns from the Life–Health Sciences Internship Program (LHSI), Sophomore Internship Program (SIP), Hire Achievers, and the On-Campus Internship Program.

One participant, student Dru Wilkerson, shared with us a little bit about her LHSI internship and what she has prepared for the showcase. At her internship, she works with Dr. Alexander Obukhov and studies TRP channels and the impacts that they have on the cardiovascular system.

"When I first decided to join the LHSI program, I really just wanted to see if I could work in a laboratory setting (and I do not mean the mandatory lab courses that I need for my degree),” Wilkerson said. “My dream career is to work in a lab one day, so I want to make sure that this is the right option. Dr. Obukhov did not hesitate to put me to work, and I love it!"

Wilkerson is excited to share her internship at the showcase with her friends, family, and future interns.

“I am also excited to share my experience with other future interns, hoping that maybe I can inspire just one person to grow just as much as I have,” Wilkerson said.

Meanwhile, another Internship Showcase participant, Natalie Starks of the On-Campus Internship Program, spoke of her plans for the showcase in sharing her experience as a graphic design intern in the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications.

“I have a PowerPoint presentation that includes designs I've created during my internship, as well as paintings inspired by graphic design. Graphic design has become an integral part of my creative process, and I'm excited to share my process with everyone,” Starks said.

In reflecting on what she has learned during her internship experience, Starks explained, “This internship has taught me a lot of things such as how to be a more organized individual, how to be a more competent entrepreneur, and it has even taught me how to be a more well-rounded artist!”

One participant of the Community Engagement Associates Program (CEA) shared his experiences as an urban garden assistant for IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability. “I work closely with two other garden interns to maintain IUPUI's two campus gardens that supply some organically grown produce and herbs to Chartwells, our campus dining provider,” Nathan Bolin said.

Bolin shared that he has created a CourseNetworking e-portfolio that includes a short video presentation and a collection of written reflections that document different aspects of his internship.

“I hope my e-portfolio shows how I have grown as a person, student, community member, and future professional through my experiences in the Office of Sustainability as a CEA,” Bolin said.

Both abovementioned events will take place on April 22 in the Campus Center, starting with Research and Creative Activities Day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and ending with the Internship Showcase from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Participants from the Internship Showcase and Research and Creative Activities Day, along with hundreds of other Engaged Learning Showcase participants, will be posted online for the Online Engaged Learning Showcase beginning on April 25. 

For more information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications at duecomm@iupui.edu.