Wartburg dedicates one day of the year to recognize students and faculty for their achievements. This day is called RICE (Research, Internship, and Creative Endeavor) Day, and it will be held Tuesday, April 11.
“I think it’s really easy to only look at the academic area you’re in. The sharing of projects during RICE Day adds the diversity and interdisciplinary aspect of the whole affair,” Dr. Shawn Ellerbroek, RICE Day committee chair, said.
Academic departments, including Capstone classes, get to show case their work for parents, students, and faculty. There are no classes held on RICE Day, which allows all students to enjoy the day. Lindsay Tufts is a student who will be participating in Opera Workshop on RICE Day. She explained the preparation process.
“Preparation includes song rehearsals with our accompanist on Fridays along with stage rehearsals on Sundays to work on movements with the full cast and the accompanist. Music has to be memorized, so we have to work on our own time to have the music fully memorized,” Tufts said.
Faculty are also involved in the preparation process. Dr. Amy Nolan is a creative writing professor who has been helping her students, along with the entire English department, prepare for this day.
“I love seeing how happy it makes my students. Even though they’re nervous initially, it’s like a celebration of all the work that they’ve done. It makes me happy for them and their parents to see how much they’ve learned and grown,” Nolan said.
Along with the excitement of the day, there are nerves that come with it.
“I’m worried that I might mess up the words. The piece is kind of fast and has a bunch of tongue twisters in it. I plan to practice a lot on making sure I can spit the words out correctly,” Tufts said.
Since Ellerbroek plays a main role for RICE Day, he will be busy in the days to come and on the day of the events. As the Director of Undergraduate Research on campus, one of tasks is to chair the RICE Day committee.
“We collect information from different areas of the college on who wants to host a session to figure out when they want to go, what accommodations they need and which students are presenting. We also cover the costs of posters and contact parents of the students presenting. Everything you might think of behind the scenes, that’s what we do,” Ellerbroek said.
Ellerbroek also mentioned Janeen Stewart and Jean Buckingham play important roles, as well.
“Both of those two really, through their roles at the college, are indispensable. They make sure the accommodations are made,” Ellerbroek said.
For students and faculty, the preparation isn’t all about mastering and perfecting their projects. Much of the preparation is to combat nerves and anxieties the students may have.
“I have nine students on the panel this year. I tell them to read something that they’re really proud of and practice. I encourage them to just take deep breaths and enjoy themselves. With my Capstone students, I tell them, ‘This is your time to really show case what you’ve done for your projects,’” Nolan said.
To view the complete schedule for this year’s RICE Day, visit www.wartburg.edu/rice/.