Celebrating the scholarly achievements of Winona State’s students and faculty


Mercedes Johnson

Attendee reads Brighttusk, a student made graphic novel. Find the comic from brighttusk.the-comic.org/ or find more on Instagram, username: Brighttusk.

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

As the school year draws to a close, so do the various research projects of the hardworking students and faculty members of Winona State University.

On Wednesday, April 19, Winona State held its annual Ramaley Research Celebration for the 17th year in a row. This event was originally created to give students and faculty in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) field a chance to share their research with the larger community. Also, part of this day was the university’s Research and Creative Achievement (RAC) Day, which ran for its second year and was created to give students and faculty outside of STEM, such as those in the arts, a chance to present their scholarly activities as well. The research celebration ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and many classes before 3 p.m. were cancelled that day to allow attendance at the event.

This year, the event hosted 165 presenters from 15 different departments. This included about 70 poster presentations and 43 faculty members. According to Dr. Amanda Brouwer, who has been a professor in Winona State’s psychology department for about 11 years, these numbers show growth from last year’s RCA day.

Brouwer was both on the planning committee for the event and was a mentor of two research presentations given at the event. One presentation was from her research lab and one from independent study students who she mentored.

The purpose of this event, as Brouwer stated, was to “give students a chance to present that work as part of the full experience of doing research.”

Brouwer continued, “Asking research questions, developing research studies, and doing that work is an arduous and tedious process but the end product of that process is to share that work with others.”

Sharing the findings of research is important for any scientific field in order to advance interest and progress in that discipline.

The event was also an opportunity for the different departments of Winona State to come together and celebrate the work that each other had been doing. As a professor in psychology, Brouwer stated that the event allowed her to see the work of other departments that she was not involved in, such as chemistry or composite material engineering.

“It gave me as a faculty member an opportunity to really understand the work that they’re doing in a way that I had not known before,” Brouwer said.

Brouwer also mentioned some things that made this year’s event different from previous years.

The event introduced round table discussions, creating an engagement opportunity for both presenters and attendees. More faculty members were involved this year. There was also a presentation group from the early years mentoring and research program.

All work shown at the event was created either independently or in conjunction between students and faculty mentors.

Brouwer explained that the early years mentoring program is meant to match first-year students with faculty mentors in their fields as an opportunity to participate in research projects, develop their skills and build relationships with faculty members. The primary contact for this program has been Brett Ayers.

Brouwer is also a mentor for her research lab, which she said lets her students “contribute to this existing line of research and really develop and hone their skills as researchers.”

“On behalf of the committee, we are very grateful for those who took part in the event and participated and encouraged their students to present,” Brouwer said.

Brouwer concluded by stating that she and other faculty members are proud of their students and that she hopes the event will continue to grow in the years to come.

The Ramaley Research Celebration, and the larger RCA Day, is open to all Winona State students and faculty to present the work that they have done here. With more communication about the event, it can continue to grow and offer more students this opportunity