SURCA Mar. 28 showcases record number of WSU undergraduate researchers, celebrates its fifth anniversary

MEDIA: Shelley Pressley, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-0014,

Michael Benedict, WSU Office of Undergraduate Research Assistant, 509-335-0014,

Beverly Makhani, Communications Director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-6679,

PULLMAN, Wash.—Wearable technology, the migration of zooplankton, and mechanical pruning of apple trees are but three of more than 200 topics to be presented by students today, Monday, March 28, at the fifth annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) at Washington State University. Doors to the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom open at 3:30 p.m., and the public is welcome to attend at no cost.

“This will be an especially exciting poster event because there are more students discussing more subjects than ever before,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, event host and part of WSU Undergraduate Education. “Two-hundred-forty-five students will be describing to more than 200 judges plus guests their research, scholarship, and creative activities in disciplines that span the university.”

Of the eight SURCA categories, more than 100 of the presenters are divided about equally between Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology (with 54) and Social Sciences (with 52). Remaining categories include Engineering and Physical Sciences; Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology; Humanities; Applied Sciences; Arts and Design; and Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information Sciences.

“Since the first SURCA in 2012, it has been pretty rewarding to see the steady growth of this popular event. It says to me that more students and their mentors are aware of SURCA, and, I would say that arguably more students are taking the opportunity to engage in research. It’s a highly impactful learning experience at college, one that gives them the chance to work in a hands-on way with top researchers,” said Pressley.

Thanks to generous supporters, awards will once again be made to top presenters across the categories. Sponsors this year include (in alphabetical order) Alturas Analytics, Inc.; The Boeing Company; Decagon Devices; Washington State Opportunity Scholarship; and the WSU Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. The awards ceremony starts at 4:45 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom.

For more information on the event, and to access the book of abstracts submitted by each presenter, visit the website at