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A Message from Dr. Nunez

nunez.jpgIn normal times, I would be speaking with you in person, welcoming parents to campus and extending my congratulations to the hundreds of students participating in this annual on-campus celebration of student research and creative activity. These are not normal times; COVID-19 has forced us to close all our campus events this spring, including CREATE. 

Despite these extraordinary conditions, Eastern students have risen to the occasion to present their work this year in a virtual format. These web pages showcase an outstanding set of posters, oral presentations, visual art, performances, and much more. ...

This CREATE website reminds us that technology can span time and distance to provide us with a rigorous intellectual experience, albeit in a virtual world. I urge you to take the time to fully explore the scholarship and creativity of Eastern students found on these pages. 

CREATE stands for “Celebrate Research Excellence and Artistic Talent” and this is our 20th year—well done to everyone involved! For our students, CREATE is a wonderful opportunity to showcase their hard work and scholarship. Sharing their research with other students, faculty and administrators, family, and members of the public, is a validation of their hard work. Some projects represent three or four years of problem-solving, testing, and intellectual activity. 

So to those undergraduate scholars — congratulations! To the dozens of faculty mentors who helped their students translate their work to this online platform this year — thank you! I know you are proud of your students, and I want to recognize the extra effort you have put into this year’s virtual conference to showcase their talents.

Finally, I would like to thank this year’s faculty committee for their hard work in ensuring that CREATE has continued, despite the fact we are not on campus at this time. I especially want to thank Professors Brendan Cunningham and Bryan Oakley for leading the committee. As always, it is our faculty leaders who create these memorable opportunities for Eastern students. 

While CREATE is our on-campus showcase for student research and creativity, Eastern students routinely present their work at regional and national conferences. Several have even presented at international research conferences—highly competitive, invitation-only events that reaffirm the quality of an Eastern education. It is not hyperbole for me to say that Eastern is a leader in Connecticut when it comes to undergraduate research. 

For the parents in this virtual “room,” I want to say that we share your pride in your son or daughter. The work being showcased here is not only of high academic quality, but it is rare among undergraduate circles. In large research universities — “flagship” universities such as UCONN — or national universities like Yale, the type of research you will see is usually only available to graduate students. 

We look forward to April 2021 when we will welcome everyone to campus for our 21st CREATE conference. In the meantime, to our student scholars and their faculty mentors — congratulations. To our guests, thank you for visiting.

Elsa M. Núñez