CLEMSON – Clemson University’s Creative Inquiry program is gearing up for Clemson’s first-ever all-digital poster session, the 2017 CI Summer Showcase, from 10 a.m. until noon Friday, Sept. 29, in the atrium of the Watt Family Innovation Center.

The showcase will include approximately 40 student presentations focusing on the research and innovation of Creative Inquiry projects that engaged nearly 90 undergraduate students this summer. Interns with Creative Inquiry’s student magazine, Decipher, will release new digital content during the showcase.

“CI students and mentors are stepping outside of their typical communication toolbox and incorporating creative means to disseminate their research for this showcase,” said Cora Allard-Keese, associate director for Creative Inquiry. “We cannot wait to see the presentations.”

Associate professor of civil engineering Jennifer Ogle is leading a series of projects that will be part of this year’s showcase — ENGAGE (Educating a New Generation to Advance Global Engagement) Dominica. These ongoing projects focus on a number of issues facing the island of Dominica, including water analysis and sanitation; stimulating economic and community development; and creating vocational education paths for children.

All of the projects on display will be just as unique, and the showcase itself will be a milestone for the university. Instead of utilizing traditional paper posters, all participants will present their work in interactive, digital formats on 17 screens stationed throughout the Watt Center atrium. This will be the first all-digital poster session for Clemson University.

“Digital is a new platform for communication for a lot of students,” said Tullen Burns, the Watt Center’s events coordinator. “We’re hoping that an experience like this will impart skills that they can use in their undergraduate and professional careers.”

“One huge benefit to work like this is that because it’s digital, it transfers easily and can be taken with students further in life. For job or internship interviews, all they have to do is send this file as an example of what they can produce.”

Clemson’s partnership with Adobe gives everyone at the university free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud, which Allard-Keese and Burns said has been a key component for bringing the showcase to life. Relatively new mobile apps, like Adobe Spark tools, are introducing traditional non-users to Adobe software and changing the way individuals communicate.

Barbara Speziale, director of the Creative Inquiry program and associate director of academics for the Watt Center, continues to be an important contributor to the university’s partnership with Adobe. Since the beginning of the partnership, Speziale has promoted the use of Adobe Creative Cloud to students and faculty, beginning with the CI Adobe Scholar program in summer 2015 and continuing through faculty workshops in 2017.

“The partnership with Adobe has opened up new avenues for presenting Clemson research in innovative ways,” Speziale said. “We have been especially impressed by the number of faculty members and students in scientific and technical fields that have embraced this new way of communicating their work. This all-digital poster session fulfills an intent we’ve had since moving to the Watt Center – it is the only facility on the Clemson campus that can accommodate these presentations.”

With the Watt Center’s technology-friendly design and focus on digital advancement and cross-disciplinary research, the Watt staff is excited to be hosting the first all-digital poster session for the university.

Concurrent with the showcase, the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) is making a presentation focusing on entrepreneurship and intellectual property patents. The presentation is open to all students and interested individuals can RSVP online.


Creative Inquiry
Creative Inquiry is a unique program that gives Clemson University undergraduate students the opportunity to work on research projects that span disciplines and multiple semesters. Students work in teams with faculty mentors, take ownership of their projects and take the risks necessary to solve problems and get answers. Creative Inquiry participants develop critical thinking skills, learn to solve problems and hone their communication and presentation skills. For more information, go to