Strike a Spark April 24

Apr 22, 2019

Chancellor Dan Greenstein will give remarks at the annual student research conference before addressing the campus community at 1 p.m.

dan greenstein

Chancellor Dan Greenstein will be at Cal U on April 24.


5th Annual Strike a Spark Conference
9 a.m.-3:15 p.m. April 24
Convocation Center
Keynote address: Chancellor Daniel Greenstein, 11 a.m., south wing
Live stream, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.:


For the fifth year, the Strike a Spark Conference will highlight the research, scholarship and creativity of undergraduate students.

This year’s event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 24 in the Convocation Center. The campus community and the public are welcome to attend the conference, which is organized by Cal U’s Center for Undergraduate Research.

Dr. Dan Greenstein, chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, will deliver the keynote address, “Public Higher Education Re-imagined: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a Sharing System,” at 11 a.m. in the south wing.

At 1 p.m., Greenstein will hold a public forum in the Performance Center, inside the Natali Student Center. After a short presentation about the State System’s redesign, the chancellor will take questions from the audience. Cal U plans to show the presentation live on Facebook.

The Strike a Spark Conference’s morning session will run from 9-10:40 a.m. with posters and creative works in the lobby, oral sessions in the north wing rooms, and digital storytelling presentations in the Hospitality Room, located near the south wing. An afternoon session following the same format will be from 1-2:40 p.m.

Preceding the chancellor’s keynote address in the south wing will be a theater performance, “On the EDGES: An Exploration of Anxiety, Co-Dependence, and the Importance of Connection.” Cal U students performing include: E.J. Christopher, Jeromy Mackey, Daniel Nuttall, Marissa Sorenson, Erin Stump, and Alexandra Wilson.

Following the keynote, Cal U student poets Monica Flickinger, Kaitlyn Furlong and Ciera Jones will perform “We Did Not Ask for This: A Poetic Exploration of Mental Illness.”

Before a buffet lunch on the concourse, the winners of the Serene Leadership Essay Contest will be announced, and the Cal U Dance Ensemble will present about connecting dance, research and advocacy for suicide prevention.

Six ensemble members — Holly Grainger, Jessica Kroll, Juliann Marraccini, Rachel Wells, Alexandra Wilson and Amanda Woodburn — will perform “You Matter,” an 8-minute dance movement exploring the process of what a potential suicide victim might be experiencing. 

Nearly 40 students from Jeannette High School are expected to attend the morning and featured sessions before meeting with admissions counselors. 

Dr. Gregg Gould, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, said this year’s conference is shaping up to be the best yet.

“Obviously, we are thrilled to have the chancellor attending and speaking,” Gould said. “Our planning committee has worked diligently to expand the activities, and I believe everyone will be impressed with the depth and breadth of the research, scholarship and creativity on display.  

“There’s always a great deal of energy throughout the Convocation Center during the entire conference, and I expect we will build in that momentum.”