Skip to main content
Western Colorado's Selective University
Student Showcase
The fourth annual Student Showcase enables students to share their work in a field of with peers, faculty and the community. Each project is sponsored by a faculty advisor who reviews the presentation’s abstract, which is published in a professional-quality booklet


Student Showcase

If you’ve ever been lost on campus and wished there was an easier way to find classrooms, CMU computer science students have a solution.

Jared Christensen, Christina Reed, Eric Signeros and Orin Syanger will present JECO Map, an interactive campus map they’ve developed, at the Student Showcase on April 26. Theirs is one of 199 presentations, exhibitions, readings and demonstrations by current Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) students taking place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the main campus.

The fourth annual Student Showcase enables students to share their work in a field of with peers, faculty and the community. Each project is sponsored by a faculty advisor who reviews the presentation’s abstract, which is published in a professional-quality booklet. The showcase culminates in a program announcing the winners. Ideally, participation will establish new collaborations and boost resumes or graduate school applications for the students involved.

While some students are participating independently, others will receive class credit for their involvement. Finance student Nicholas Powell is working with two other students to condense a presentation from his capstone course into a project for the showcase. Presenting to a general audience means they’ve had to tweak the project somewhat.

“We’re trying to tailor it to the audience so that people who haven’t been studying finance for four years can get something out of it. Our class presentation was 20 to 30 minutes and this is only 10 minutes, so it will be quick,” Powell said. “I’ll just have to use my nervous energy.”

English professor Julie Bruch, PhD, has been a member of the showcase’s planning committee since its inception and has seen it grow into the large-scale event it is today.

“Before we started the showcase, we had something on campus called the Student Scholar Symposium. It was quite a bit smaller and it didn’t cover as many different disciplines. I think one of the main goals [for the showcase] was to involve as many different disciplines as possible, to open it up completely to the whole campus and also to get a larger number of students involved,” Bruch said.

There are more than 470 participants in the showcase this year, all of them learning to develop effective presentation skills to demonstrate their work to family, friends and the community.

The group behind JECO Map isn’t the only one to base their project on campus. A team of construction management students designed a proposal to construct sustainable pedestrian walkways on 12th Street to reduce accidents. Another group of students assessed the viability of a student-run coffee house. Both groups will present their plans and detailed feasibility analyses at the showcase.

Other projects look beyond Grand Junction, and in some cases, planet Earth. Business students Jaimie Abert and Amanda Bowen partnered with Jeffrey Sederlin, an exercise science student, to conceptualize, research and design an underwater resort casino in Australia. Physical and environmental science students Marisa Boraas, Keegan DePriest and Thomas Spain developed diagnostic criteria for comparing shale in a geologic formation in western Colorado to a similarly-composed crater on Mars.

The presentations cover a wide range of subjects, from statistically analyzing pop culture icons (“Is Kobe Bryant a One-Man Team?”), to exploring women’s roles in Latin American wars (five presentations examine this– in Spanish), to developments in nursing techniques (“Art Therapy in the Hospitalized Pediatric Oncology Patient”). The methods of presentation are equally as varied, Bruch said.

“The amazing thing to me is that it involves students from all the sciences, all the humanities, all the fine and performing arts, from the technical fields, from culinary arts. The breadth of this whole endeavor is remarkable. People will be thrilled with the sheer variety of topics covered. You can watch a robot, taste gourmet foods, or watch demonstrations, dance performances, musical performances, art exhibits, highly-academic discussions of great literature or live interpretations of literary works,” she said.

Ultimately, the Student Showcase is all about highlighting this breadth of work, bringing the creativity, discovery and innovation of CMU and WCCC students out of the classroom and into the limelight.

“I’m from the humanities and I love to go and see what the geology students are doing, for example, or the music students. It gives you an idea of the far-reaching educational endeavors that are occurring on campus that you really don’t suspect when you’re sitting in your own little branch of the university. It makes you feel really proud of what we’re doing as a campus collectively,” said Bruch.

Find out more information about the Student Showcase at

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)