IdeaFest Celebrates 35 Years of Success
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IdeaFest Celebrates 35 Years of Success

USD hosted its annual Ideafest from April 5-6. For these two days, the university was filled with educational presentations and speakers at the research symposium. 

IdeaFest is an opportunity for students to showcase their academic achievements to other students, faculty and community members. Lindsay Hayes, the IdeaFest coordinator, said IdeaFest is a valuable event. 

“It is a time where students from all areas of campus come together to present their research, creative scholarship and academic engagement,” Hayes said. 

IdeaFest gives students a space to show others what they devote their time to besides classes.

“We get to celebrate student achievement by participating in a variety of educational sessions highlighting these successes,” Hayes said. 

IdeaFest has grown in the number of participants and success of the event compared to its previous years. This year, at their 35th event, they had 375 students presenting over the course of two days. 

“All students are welcome to present as part of a class, special programming, traditional research or service learning projects,” Hayes said. 

There are many benefits to students who participate. Students gain skills in presenting, talking and collaborating with others. Rachel Spinks, an IdeaFest presenter, said she is thankful for the experience. 

“Becoming dedicated to a topic and developing it into something that I was knowledgeable about to teach others was really beneficial,” Spinks said. “I think the skill set of learning how to be dedicated to our research topics is what a lot of other presenters would also agree is where the payoff comes.”

IdeaFest is also an opportunity for students to connect with future employers. Some students’ presentations are specifically related to their field while others use IdeaFest to get the experience of building their confidence. 

“IdeaFest is a way that I take my academic development further than the classroom by creating an event that I will be able to speak on with future employers,” Spinks said. “Specifically within my topic of AI use within academics, I can take this knowledge gained and apply it to my future career.”

All students are welcome to present in IdeaFest. If interested, students will need to work with an advisor to submit an abstract and indicate what type of presentation they will create. Once it’s approved by the committee, they will officially be a participant. 

If anyone has questions or concerns contact [email protected].