Students in Professor Megan Cifarelli’s Castle Scholars Spring Service class are currently organizing the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Fair. The Castle Scholars Program, which is Manhattanville’s honors program, has been hosting the event for the past several years. “It all started when the students that participate in the Castle Scholars Senior Retreat wanted a form in which they could present their research from that event. It all kinda grew from there,” said Cifarelli, who is currently the director of the Castle Scholars Program.
Work ranging from traditional academic research to poetry, fine arts, and multimedia design can be presented at the event in various formats, including oral presentations and posters. While the event is essentially a place where students can share their work with the Manhattanville community, important changes have been made for this year’s fair. “The biggest thing that we are trying to do differently this year is have students, particularly Castle Scholars, have more ownership over the event and more involvement in the work that goes on. We want students to have more control over it rather than having a faculty member be in charge of it,” said Cifarelli.
This transfer of power is one of the reasons why Professor Cifarelli wanted to offer a class in which Castle Scholars could plan and prepare for the event. However, the class also fulfills the Castle Scholars service requirement, which all members of the program must complete. “We wanted to broaden the definition of service at the college and make it clear that serving the college is also service, but I also want Castle Scholars to feel like this is their event, and I think that this group does feel that way,” said Cifarelli.
When asked why she thought it was important for students to present their research to the Manhattanville community, Cifarelli highlighted that it was a good way for students to connect. “I think it’s a way of creating a reciprocal relationship between the students in a community that values students and what students can accomplish.”
The Castle Scholars Program will be accepting submissions for the event until tomorrow, Friday March 7th. The Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement fair will take place on April 2nd in the Castle. Attendees will receive 1 Duchesne hour.