Whether one has been preparing for Apeiron all year, or one is still trying to figure out how to pronounce it (hint: app-ur-on), this educational forum is a cornerstone of Ichabod history.
Students from all disciplines have come together once every spring for the past 14 years to share what the very brightest Ichabods have been learning. They have the opportunity to showcase their scholarly research, creative activities and community engagement initiatives.
Presentations come in a variety of forms. Students choose to present in a keynote address, a poster presentation, a performing arts session or anything else the student comes up with.
Over 150 students will share what they have learned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 all around campus. Whether it is something they learned in a research lab, a concert hall or in a foreign country, Ichabods have been scouring the globe for the knowledge that will be shared at Apeiron.
Communications coordinator and assistant to the dean, Grace Hildenbrand, serves on the Apeiron committee this year. She has been working to plan and promote the event.
“Students who attend can see what types of things they can do,” Hildenbrand said. “You can travel internationally, you can do internships, you can volunteer and engage in different art or theater projects.”
Hildenbrand said that a diverse audience allows students to connect with people on campus that share their interests and want to learn from each other.
“What the students have to say is really worth hearing,” Hildenbrand said.
Grace Foiles, junior theater major, went to London this spring along with other students to learn about the arts and theater in another country.
Foiles is one of many students who took advantage of the unique Washburn Transformational Experience. This program allows students to make their dreams a reality by deferring some of the costs of educational endeavors and experiences. In exchange, the students present what they have learned and how they have grown from the transformational experience to the Washburn and Topeka community.
“We attended performances at some of the most prominent theaters in London,” Foiles said. “I was able to see professionals in my field doing incredible and inspiring work.”
Foiles, along with two others from her trip, will share their experiences of art and theater in London in Henderson 107 at 1:25 p.m.
For students like Kara Decker, senior kinesiology major with an emphasis in physical therapy assistance, Apeiron is a chance to share a life changing experience she had while at an orphanage in Haiti.
“When people tell me how awesome it was that I was able to go and impact the lives of children by providing medical care, my response is that the children impacted my life more than I impacted theirs,” Decker said.
A medical mission trip with Haiti Lifeline Ministries allowed Decker and other Washburn students to put their kinesiology skills to use. Before going, Decker researched the health care systems of Haiti and said it was eye-opening to learn about the disparities comparing health care in third world countries to health care in the United States.
“Every single kiddo was happy with what they had, which wasn’t much,” Decker said. “It was truly a humbling experience.”
Presenting research and sharing experiences at Apeiron is excellent practical experience for seniors like Decker who are entering a graduate program next year. She will be presenting with three others from the trip in Henderson 107 at 1 p.m.
One does not have to travel outside the country to present at Apeiron though, as one can even just step right outside to the nearest “Pokéstop” and do your research there.
Nicole Spencer, communications studies student, will be presenting a poster on Pokemon Go!, a mobile game that took the world by storm with its nostalgic appeal to millennials and others. Her research shows that the augmented reality game proved to impact relationship building.
Spencer along with over 90 others will be presenting their research through poster presentations from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Washburn A/B Room. Posters will feature topics from every discipline on campus.
Visitors interested in learning about social topics from women in politics all the way to African American Educators’ Resistance to Desegregating schools should go to Henderson 103 between 1:25 p.m. and 3 p.m.
For those with an interest in the fine arts performances, stop by Carole Chapel at 10:30 a.m. and Henderson 217 at noon.
Theater student Andrew Fletcher’s biblical apocalypse themed play will be performed at 11:10 a.m. in Carole Chapel. This performance will share a story of discontentment, the desire for escape and the inefficacy of love, with the modern twist of an angel falling on the main character’s car.
The “Last Lecture” is the exception to the student-focused theme that Apeiron maintains. This tradition features notable faculty members who impart wisdom in a final lecture before retiring. This year, the honor goes to Gordon McQuere, professor of music, and former dean of the college of arts and sciences.
Apeiron only comes around once a year, so stop by April 28 to see the incredible things Ichabods are doing, and get some ideas about a new educational adventure.