Presentations and Performances at Apeiron

Matthew L. Self

It is an exciting time at Washburn this spring, especially as the semester nears its conclusion and the annual Aperion forum draws near. Apeiron is a great opportunity for students to showcase their academic research, scholarship, creative activities, and community engagement in a professional setting similar to the ones they will encounter in their future academic and professional careers.

The forum offers students the chance to gain experience and confidence while presenting their research, performing artistically and reporting on their community engagement in a public venue. Apeiron will be featuring 102 students who will be performing or presenting on the day of the event, creating a space where a wide variety of different skill sets and research findings will be on display for much of the day.

Apeiron is set to occur on April 19 at Washburn University. The events will begin in the A & B room in the Memorial Union at 10 a.m. where student registration and poster setup for later events will occur. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be Fine Arts presentations at the Mulvane Art Museum and the Rita Blitt Gallery. Lasting from 12:35 p.m. to 3 p.m there will be oral presentations at the Henderson Learning Center in rooms 118, 203, 205 and 217.

At 3 p.m., Bruce Mechtly will welcome in the remaining speakers. Mechtly is a professor at Washburn and he is also the Chair of Computer Information Sciences. He has helped to plan Apeiron for the past 17 years and is filling in for Courtney Sullivan, who usually handles much of the planning, this year. He spoke of the meaning of Apeiron in its relation to a forum focused on presenting student research.

“The Apeiron is an ancient term offered by Anaximander of Miletus in the 6th century B.C. that embraces the spirit of this forum. As with the Apeiron, which is infinite and boundless, all inclusive, eternal, and unaging, this forum is designed to be inclusive with respect to student research, scholarship, creative activities, and community engagement,” said Mechtly.

Mechtly went on to emphasize the magnitude of this event and the difficulty he and others face every year when they try to set it up.

“I want people to recognize that this event doesn’t just happen. We work on it for a year. Several sub-committees are involved with each department that organize the students who will be presenting. It is very much a group effort,” said Mechtly.

From 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., after Mechtly speaks, there will be a variety of events such as the recognition of student designers Paritosha Joshy and Christina Noland followed by the introduction of the Last Lecture which will be handled by Garry Cushinberry. The Last Lecture itself shall be handled by John Hunter, the professor of Emeritus of Theatre.

Finally, from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m., Apeiron will begin to wind down with poster presentations and a reception in the Memorial Union room A.

Sullivan, who is currently on sabbatical, normally handles much of the Apeiron project every year. She spoke about how enjoyable Apeiron can be.

“I know that as a faculty member, I’m thrilled to watch my mentoring efforts pay off while watching my students perform and present. It’s also fun to meet their friends, relatives, and parents at the reception at the end of the day. They are so proud of the students and the food is always delicious,” said Sullivan.

Apeiron takes place on Friday, April 15 and events will begin at 10 a.m. We hope to see you there!