SURCA 2018 set for April 2 features 250 undergraduate researchers; SURCA, Emeritus Society awards bound for top presenters

More than 250 Washington State University students will participate in the seventh annual Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on April 2 in the CUB M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom, announced Shelley Pressley, director of the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research.

Undergraduate research impact on WSU, fields

“SURCA 2018 will be packed with amazing presentations on research, scholarship, and creative activities that students have conducted with mentors from fields all across WSU,” said Pressley. “Around 250 faculty members and postdocs, as well as experts from outside the university, are needed to judge the presentations using a rubric. And, thanks to generous donors, prizes will be awarded once again to the best presenters from eight categories of entries.

“Most judging will be complete when the doors open to the public at 3:30 p.m. that Monday. We welcome everyone at WSU and from the community to come to talk to the student researchers and learn about the important contributions they are making to research at WSU and in their disciplines.”

Students from all levels and campuses submitted abstracts about their work and results earlier this month. A SURCA committee, made up of faculty and staff, evaluated every abstract to determine who would be invited to present.

Personal, academic growth opportunity

“SURCA gives students tremendous opportunities to grow personally and academically,” said Mary Sánchez Lanier, assistant vice provost. “Every presenter must refine and organize knowledge gleaned from months and even years of work with a research mentor. Students must prepare detailed posters and deliver concise speeches to tell audiences—both lay and from their fields—about their work and results. At the event itself, participants can also learn about a myriad of subjects being investigated by their peers.

“Participants from years past tell us that their understanding of the scope of their work as well as their commitment to research was deepened by their SURCA experience.”

Emeritus Society award applications due March 19

In addition to thousands of dollars in awards presented by SURCA at the conclusion of the day’s events, participants can also apply by March 19 to be considered for four $500 Undergraduate Research Awards from the WSU Emeritus Society, whose members are retired faculty.

Judge’s signup, information online

For details about categories, an event overview, and the link to register to judge, visit A draft of a book containing participant abstracts will be posted online the week of March 19, about two weeks ahead of the event.

SURCA is one of several events associated with the WSU Showcase Week. This year, it is the concluding event.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Shelley Pressley, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, 509-335-5443,

WSU Emeritus Society, 509-335-8090,