Oxford community comes together for A Day of Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Expression

Now in its 16th year, Oxford's Day of Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Expression featured the latest research and work from students, faculty, and staff.

Oxford is home to countless scholarly interests, passions, and goals. Together, students, faculty, and staff explore questions posed by their studies, as well as discuss and prepare for the world beyond campus.

Perhaps no single day at Oxford embodies this spirit of collaboration and inquiry more than the Day of Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Expression (CSCE). Held on Friday, April 22, the annual program is hosted by the Library and highlights the wide array of student work on campus and, this year, expanded to include research from faculty and staff. The day was brimming with showcases, presentations, and camaraderie as we came together to support the spirit of academic and creative discovery.

Oxford student reading from a notebook in a classroom

Oxford students shared their work in several showcases, presentations, and exhibitions throughout the day.

David Cannon

“CSCE was important not only to celebrate individuals, but also to celebrate and reaffirm Oxford’s values as a community—values around inquiry, evidence, and social responsibility,” said Gwendolynne Reid, Director of the Writing Program and Assistant Professor of English, who hosted one of the showcases. “The events provided an opportunity for authentic communication. To be effective, scholarship and creative expression need to be shared. This was an opportunity to share work with our community as a whole that can otherwise stay siloed in courses, divisions, or disciplines.”

The day had a host of offerings, including the Research Scholars Symposium; the Milestone Showcase; the Writing Showcase; the Research Scholars Poster Presentations; and the Faculty and Staff Showcase, which displayed recently published writings on the main floor of the Library. Each event had a supportive crowd from all corners of the Oxford community. At day’s end, faculty and staff came together for a reception with the Oxford Board of Counselors to celebrate the event and all of the academic and creative successes.

CSCE also highlighted the Library’s two current in-house exhibits: Mother Tongue: Expressions of Steffen Thomas, where Oxford students worked on translations with Daniel Walter, Assistant Professor of German and Linguistics; and The Work is Never Finished: Building an Inclusive Archives, which was put together by Oxford’s Archives and Special Collections team to highlight undertold histories of Oxford and early Emory College.

Peter McLellan, Educational Analyst, planned the Milestone Showcase, where students reflected on their two years at Oxford as part of a culminating project before Commencement. McLellan was happy to see students share with each other how they responded to new ideas throughout their time on campus.

“The Milestone Showcase gave a window into the challenges of undergraduate learning—about oneself, about new subject matter, about community—and how students navigated their circumstances,” he said. “Students presented with courage about times they felt lonely and isolated; they also celebrated triumphs with us. It was a privilege to witness these reflections.”

Students in a classroom giving presentations

The Writing Showcase: Students read their pieces and discussed their creative choices.

David Cannon

At the Writing Showcase—hosted by Reid and Leigh Elion, Director of the Writing Center— students shared work they had prepared both for and outside of class. Reid spoke about the various types of writing students produced and how they explored an equally various set of ideas, from rigorously academic to deeply personal.

“It was inspiring to see the diverse ways Oxford students are using writing to examine the ‘Big Questions’ in their lives and in our lives collectively,” Reid said. “Students shared a range of genres, media, and modes, some creative and some academic, but they were all using writing to think—to examine and explore—and to communicate—to contribute to consequential conversations and create change.”

Several students standing before a display  about a scientific experiment

As part of the Research Scholars Poster Presentations, students displayed their research and answered questions.

David Cannon

Throughout the day, Oxford’s Research Scholars shared their work in different locations around the Library: As part of a symposium, some gave ordered presentations to a room full of peers, as well as faculty and staff, and answered questions about their research; others presented research posters in the Library’s second floor common area and shared their findings with curious passersby.

Sophomore Abel Lindley participated in both the Milestone Showcase and the Research Scholars Symposium. For his Milestone presentation, he emphasized how exploring interests outside his anticipated major (neuroscience and behavioral biology)—like photography—enriched his overall experience. His research presentation was titled “The Rapid Nongenomic Estrogen Effects on Prosocial Behavior in Zebrafish.” Sharing his own project was a “thrilling and valuable learning experience,” but he also emphasized how impressed he was by the work of his fellow students.

“Oxford is a community full of diverse cultures and different backgrounds, and I enjoyed how the other research presentations reflected this aspect,” he said. “There were ecology, cancer, economics, political science, literature, and linguistics presentations—and so much more. It was amazing to see how much research is being conducted here.”

As Reid thought about the day, she summed up her Writing Showcase and the CSCE as a whole.

“Students are building on what they’re learning in the curriculum to pursue personally meaningful knowledge and issues—to ask questions, to express, and to create change.”