From how magic works to the way immigration affects lives, student research was the focus at the annual Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) Projects Fair.
The IGE program, through the College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS), offers a unique approach to completing general education requirements. IGE students are exposed to different ways of thinking and complete their general education requirements in courses that emphasize group projects and creativity. Students in their final year of the program complete a capstone project demonstrating what they’ve learned throughout their coursework.
Professor Dennis Quinn, chair of the IGE department, said the projects fair, held at Bronco Student Center on March 6, began nearly 20 years ago.
“Students really enjoy this part of the program because they get to show the connections between the visual and their final paper. I’m always amazed by all of the different projects, and I really enjoy seeing the parents and families come out and support their students,” he said.
Kevin Li, an international business major, shared the difference between visual magic and meaningful magic for his capstone project.
“Visual magic is what appeals to you in three to five seconds and hooks you,” he said. “Meaningful magic has a story or message behind it. I personally like meaningful magic because people can relate to it and find some type of message; however, in this day and age you really have to lean towards visual magic on social media in order to capture a greater audience due to the average attention span.”
Li said being a student in the IGE program has provided many opportunities to network and improve his communication skills. Outside of school, Li is also a professional magician who has appeared on the CW’s Penn and Teller: Fool Us.
Natalie Escobedo’s research explored immigration and intercultural identity. Her project included a display board of Loteria cards. Loteria, which means lottery in Spanish, is a game of chance.
“For my project, I wanted to talk about immigration, so I did the game of Loteria,” said Escobedo. “Loteria is a Mexican board game and each card represents a different aspect of my life.”
Following the projects fair, students were awarded certificates of recognition for completing the program, which required eight courses.
CEIS Dean Jeff Passe said he was very thrilled to see so many creative and thoughtful projects.
“The students demonstrated how IGE promotes deep thinking,” he said.
Founded in 1983, IGE will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year. For more information about the program, contact Sheena Huang at 909-869-3347.