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Westminster College to Showcase Student Research and Creative Accomplishments, Honor Academic Excellence

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning will host the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration Wednesday, April 24.  The day-long celebration includes the annual Honors Convocation at 3:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.  All events are free to the public.

This showcase for student creative and research efforts will feature the work of more than 270 Westminster students, who will present posters, oral presentations, documentaries, art projects, and performances.

"Undergraduate research and creative expression are integral to fulfilling the mission of Westminster College," said Dr. Peter Smith, Westminster associate professor of chemistry and director of undergraduate research. "Students can present their good work to their peers, the faculty, the administration, and the community. This is a very important part of being a professional, which is one of the goals of the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration - demonstrating professionalism."

Westminster President Dr. Richard Dorman will open the celebration with a brief welcome at 8:45 a.m. in Carlson Atrium.
Oral presentations and poster sessions will be in the Witherspoon Rooms of McKelvey Campus Center, Wallace Memorial Chapel and Patterson Hall from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

There will be an alumni recognition luncheon at noon in Berlin Lounge.

Alumnus Jeffrey McCandless `80, managing partner at Stone Harbour Partners, will present the Distinguished Alumni Lecture at 2:45 p.m. in Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center. He will share "The Application of Research and Creativity in the World of Business - Westminster Style" and will then meet with students to share advice and experience.

McCandless has held the role of COO or CFO at four different companies and prides himself in being able to understand the goals and aspirations of entrepreneurs and knows how they define success. He has been an integral component at two companies recognized as part of Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year program.

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  Visit to learn more about the Drinko Center.

Contact the Drinko Center at (724) 946-6097 or visit for additional information and a detailed/searchable schedule. 

The Honors Convocation program will include music by Kathryn Davison Miller, College organist; invocation and benediction by the Rev. James Mohr, College chaplain; and a welcome from President Dorman.  Faculty marshals are Dorita Bolger, professor and librarian, Dr. Jamie McMinn, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Richard Sprow, professor of English and Honors Program coordinator.

Dr. Jesse Mann, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, will recognize Dean's List scholars and scholarship recipients.  Mann will assist Sprow in recognizing students who have completed the All-College Honors program.

Kirsten Edmondson, a senior early childhood/special education major from Hatboro and president of Pi Sigma Pi, will lead the tapping ceremony for induction of new members into the honor society.  Members of the honor societies Lambda Sigma, Mortar Board, and Omicron Delta Kappa will be recognized for their accomplishments.

Department chairs will award scholarships in their various disciplines.  Dr. Neal Edman, vice president for student affairs, will present the McQuiston Outstanding Service Awards, given to rising senior men and women for unselfish service to the Westminster community during their college careers, and the Allen P. Splete Leadership and Service Award, given to a student who has provided sound leadership and selfless volunteerism to the curricular and co-curricular life on the Westminster campus.

Dr. Darwin Huey, professor of education and faculty athletics representative, will recognize those who have earned scholar-athlete awards.

Dr. Ross Wastvedt, associate professor of English and First-Year Program coordinator, will present first-year student research prizes.

Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor of education and Drinko Center director, will recognize the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration award winners.

Elise Heater, a senior music performance major from Creswell, Ore., will lead the singing of the Alma Mater. 

Contact Gabriella Budai, executive assistant to the dean, at (724) 946-7122 or email for more information about Honors Convocation. 

Click below for hometown information.
Jeffrey McCandless `80
2012 Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration