Elizabeth Helmkamp–Staff Writer
Presentations ranging from horse slaughtering to gender roles in families will be showcased at this year’s Ideafest.
Ideafest will be held on April 26. It is an opportunity for students and people within the community to see what students are doing in the classroom.
Paul Fessler, a history professor, says that while there are many community events that Dordt departments are involved in, he especially likes how Ideafest gives research, papers and other more individual activities time in the spotlight.
“Ideafest is an opportunity to really celebrate that what we really are supposed to be doing at Dordt,” Fessler said. “Far too often we’re all in our own little silos, and all we see are our students.”
Idea fest is a way for the different departments to interact with each other in a community setting.
“It’s just a very fun chance to really hear all sorts of presentations from every discipline across campus,” said Cindy Nederhoff, Assistant to the Director for Research and Scholarship. “It’s nice to see like, some of our science students going to a humanities presentation, and the art students going to a science presentation, getting to hear things that they don’t hear maybe on their own classes that their taking.”
Ideafest started back in 2004, and has grown since then. During the first year of Ideafest, there were 20 papers, six posters, and a total of 34 students that participated. This year there are 73 classroom presentations, 27 posters, and a total of 165 students.
This year, Ideafest is on track for the same number of people as last year.
“I think we’ve almost reached the max for the classroom presentations that we can do,” Fessler said.
Fessler always looks forward to Ideafest every year.
“It’s the excitement of seeing fellow students come out to see other students,” he said. “This is what an institution of higher education should be about. And it gets me excited about Dordt College.”
There are often difficulties with organizing the event. The organizers have to rely on busy college students to put on the event.
“Ideafest all needs to get pulled together at the very last minute. Trying to make sure that the schedules actually work for the students is very difficult,” Nederhoff said.