Students to Present Scholarly and Creative Work at Annual Research Conference
April 7, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University’s annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference will take place April 18. More than 140 students will present research and other
creative activity through posters, oral presentations, original music compositions,
The conference begins at 9 a.m. with poster sessions in the Center for Natural Science
Learning and Research (CNS) and State Farm Hall. Oral presentations begin at 10 a.m.
Keynote speaker Kim Potowski, associate professor of Hispanic linguistics at the University
of Illinois at Chicago, will deliver the luncheon address entitled “How I Became a
Language Activist.” Potowski’s research focuses on describing and promoting Spanish
use in the United States. She has authored, co-authored, and edited works including
El español de los Estados Unidos (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Heritage language teaching: Research and practice (McGraw-Hill, 2014), Language and identity in a dual immersion school (Multilingual Matters, 2007), Bilingual youth: Spanish in English-speaking societies (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011), and Language diversity in the USA (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is executive editor of the journal Spanish in Context and co-director of the Language in Context Research Group at the University of Illinois
The luncheon will be held in the Memorial Center’s Young Main Lounge, and will also
feature performances of original compositions by two students.
Senior art students will discuss their work at 2 p.m. in the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries
of the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art building.
Founded in 1990, the Student Research Conference provides an opportunity for students
who are pursuing individual research projects to present those projects in a public
forum. Research projects pursued by students at any level – first year through senior
- and in any academic program throughout the university, are eligible to participate.
The conference is named for explorer and geologist John Wesley Powell, a Civil War
veteran and a founder of the National Geographic Society. Powell joined Illinois Wesleyan’s
faculty in 1865 and was a pioneer in using fieldwork to teach science, taking IWU
students to Colorado in 1867 in an expedition believed to be among the first of its
kind involving students in American higher education. Later, Powell was the first
director of the Bureau of American Ethnology, now part of the Smithsonian Office of