There may be no classes at Texas Wesleyan on April 16, but it’s still a day of learning.
University College Day is the annual event for students to present original research and expand their education beyond the classroom, said Ilka Araújo, chair of UCD 2015.
UCD has been a spring semester tradition at Wesleyan for approximately 20 years, and this year more than 200 faculty, staff, and students will be participating in the events
Araújo said the event gives students an opportunity to share scholarship and research.
“Most of the time when you are a student you are worried about passing classes, when actually the learning process is much broader then just getting a diploma,” Araújo said. “[UCD] is an opportunity for students to learn about other disciplines and about what their colleagues are doing.”
UCD starts at 8:30 a.m. and student presentations will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and then again from 4 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. Presentations are in several locations around campus, including the West Library, Martin Hall, and the Schollmaier Science and Technology Center, among others.
The Ram Jam Music Festival/International Food Festival will be held from noon to 2:15 p.m. on the mall. The Wesleyan Chamber Singers will perform at 2:20 p.m. in Martin Hall.
There will also be an art exhibit, “Memories and Moments in Time” by Dr. Aileen Curtin, from 10 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Thad Smotherman Theatre Lobby.
The keynote speaker for this year is Roger Nierenberg, conductor and creator of The Music Paradigm. His speech, which will be in Martin Hall at 2:30 p.m., incorporates leadership topics for organizational behavior from what he has learned from participating and leading symphony orchestras. He is doing a book signing after the speech.
Araújo said she discovered Nierenberg when reading an article in The New York Times that had discussed one of the presentations he had done.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” Araújo said. “This guy using an orchestra and the society within an orchestra to demonstrate to us in a metaphoric way how any dynamic organization should actually work.”
Nierenberg tries to discover the problem within an organization and offer a solution, Araújo said. She is not sure what he will offer to Wesleyan in his speech, but thinks that he will discuss the dynamic relationships of students, professors and administrators.
“He is kind of a problem solver,” Araújo said.
Jasmine Tuya, coordinator of Student Activities and Leadership, said Nierenberg is going to be a great speaker for the event.
“[He] is fantastic,” Tuya said. “I like how he uses music to teach leadership.”
Tuya said students will enjoy his presentation because his knowledge is interesting and helpful.
“His approach to understanding leadership is unique and informative,” Tuya said.
Nierenberg’s speech is going to be expanded to Wesleyan athletes on April 17 in Martin Hall. He wants the athletes to attend the first speech on Thursday to get a background of how he is going to tie in the speech to what athletes do, Araújo said.
Student Life is gathering cuisine and music from different cultures internationally to give the students a cultivated experience during Ram Jam, Araújo said.
“Ram Jam is a very cool thing that the leadership group promotes,” Araújo said. “It is a time of interaction and to break away from the formality of the classroom.”