Scholars Week Celebrates Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

Published on March 31, 2022

Sharing, recognizing and celebrating scholarly achievements is the purpose of Eastern Kentucky University’s Scholars Week, to be held April 4 - 22. The annual event features a variety of events and activities that showcases faculty and student academic collaborations that promote knowledge and innovation.

Scholars Week events include a variety of student and faculty research presentations, the Cultural Scholarship Showcase, panel discussions, speakers, honors society inductions, and award recognitions. The full schedule is available at

“Engaging in scholarship and creative activities is one way we promote knowledge and innovation at Eastern Kentucky University,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “The rich culture of faculty and student collaborative scholarship allows us to continue to grow from these discoveries. Our scholarly and creative activities lead to life-changing transformations.” 

This year’s Alumni Spotlight speaker is Dr. Jason Gulley, associate professor of geology at the University of South Florida. Gulley will speak Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Gulley, a 2006 graduate of EKU, is a National Geographic explorer, technical diving instructor, writer and photojournalist who has been involved in dozens of expeditions to remote corners of the world. He has explored and mapped high-altitude glacier caves around Mt. Everest, as well as glacier caves on glaciers in Alaska’s Chugach Mountains. 

The second annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition occurs Thursday, April 7 from 11 a.m. until Noon over Zoom. The competition challenges graduate students to describe their research in three minutes to a general audience. Students compete for cash prizes in the competition. 

The annual University Presentation Showcase features almost 100 posters describing research projects students and faculty members have collaborated on over the past year or more. Art and music slideshows will also be featured throughout the event, which will occur Wednesday, April 13 from 2:30-4:15 p.m. in Keen Johnson Ballroom. Awards will be given to five undergraduate student projects and two graduate projects. 

Scholars Tank is an entrepreneurial-themed addition to Scholars Week, where students and faculty can present  – in 120 seconds – an idea to improve an aspect of campus to a group of “sharks,” who will decide what ideas will be funded. Winners receive $5,000 to help fund the concept. The event takes place Thursday, April 14 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning in the Crabbe Library. 

This year’s Scholars Week Keynote address will be provided by Dr. Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals since 2019. Previous to this role, Thorp served as provost at Washington University in St. Louis. He currently serves as the Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor and holds appointments in both chemistry and medicine. An extensive researcher, he studied electron-transfer reactions of nucleic acids, developed technology for electronic DNA chips and co-founded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which developed oteseconazole, now held by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals, which is preparing to become a new drug application. 

Follow @EKUScholarsWeek and #EKUSW22 for the most up-to-date information and Zoom links to virtual presentations. The Encompass digital archive at makes the scholarship, creativity and history of EKU globally accessible.