ASPIRE Seeking Submissions for April Showcase

Bridgewater College Makes Arrangements for Upcoming ASPIRE Event

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Photo by Marcellina Hamilton

Bridgewater College hosts its annual ASPIRE event in celebration of participants’ semester-long projects. This year’s event will accommodate those doing virtual learning through Zoom.

Cassidy Wagoner, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College hosts its annual ASPIRE event for students and staff to showcase their research. The event is held in the spring and gives participants the opportunity to create a year-long project to present. ASPIRE showcases work from various departments at the college. 

ASPIRE is an acronym that stands for Arts, Scholarship, Performance, Innovation and Research Excellence. The event has been held every year since 2015, but, due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, the college was not able to hold the event in 2020. 

“Last year we planned ASPIRE, collected information and went ahead with ASPIRE 2020, then COVID-19 happened,” said Associate Professor of Economics and Business Marcellina Hamilton. “In March we decided not to open the platform, but we did go ahead and create a brochure of what we were going to do even though it didn’t happen.”

This year, the event will be hosted in a virtual and hyflex format. ASPIRE will accommodate those who are doing virtual learning. 

The event will take place during the dates of April 12-16, which will allow enough time for everyone to present their projects while still following the COVID-19 guidelines. 

“This year we decided we were going to have ASPIRE regardless, if possible we cannot meet face to face, we have people presenting online and in classrooms,” said Hamilton. “We have some students who have opted out of coming on campus, we don’t want to leave those people out.”

Students who are interested in participating in ASPIRE can submit their project proposals on MyBC. The submissions opened on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and will close on Monday, March 1. ASPIRE usually gets about 50 participants a year for the event. 

“We are looking for ways where more people will participate in ASPIRE,” said Hamilton. “If we were able to make people more aware, we might be able to have more participation.”

ASPIRE is a great way for students to design a research project that may create opportunities in the future. The event consists of poster presentation sessions, student research oral presentation sessions, student panel discussion sessions and faculty research oral presentation sessions. Participants can choose which one they want to participate in and submit their projects for that specific category. 

“It is an annual celebration to share your work with the campus community,” said Hamilton. “A platform to showcase yearly endeavors, honor colleagues’ achievements, collaborate across disciplines and classrooms and engender interest and encourage dialogue in our scholarship.”

Besides the incredible opportunity that participating in ASPIRE gives you, the winning team will receive a cash prize. This creates an incentive for those participating and also creates more competition across the event.

“ASPIRE showcases academic excellence of BC,” said Associate Professor of History and Political Science Yuka Kishida. “I love watching students build confidence through this opportunity.”

Those wanting to participate can find all the information needed on MyBC. Once submissions are in, more information regarding what day will host what, will be announced.