From art to branding to custom-fit genes, ‘Festival of Excellence’ to feature over 400 projects

Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The public is invited to join Southern Utah University students, staff and faculty as they showcase research, projects and ideas at the annual “Festival of Excellence” on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the SUU campus.

The Festival of Excellence is open for all community members and is a chance to learn firsthand about SUU and the work the university engages in, as well as join in on conversations within the academic world. The event is free and open to all community members.

“The Festival of Excellence represents our university’s inquisitive spirit. It is a place for students, faculty, staff, and the community to come together, share knowledge, tell stories, and engage our curiosity,” Scott Knowles, director of the festival, said in a press release from SUU. “What I love about the festival is the ability to come and learn about almost any topic you could imagine, from engineering to business leadership to dance, theatre, and music.”

With over 400 presentations happening during the festival, the press release for the event included a few previews from both students and professors. For a complete schedule of presentations, click here.

Dr. Krystal McCoy, assistant professor of music at SUU, will be sharing her research project titled “Music Acquisition in the Womb.” This study focused specifically on the human voice and song from 26 weeks gestational age to 12 weeks of infancy. Findings from this research indicated that the fostering of musical development could begin prior to birth.

File photo of previous “Festival of Excellence,” Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

In one of the many art presentations, Dr. James Aton, professor of English at SUU, will be showcasing a project called “Painting ‘My Odyssey’: Jimmie Jones at the Grand Canyon.”

“My presentation will focus on Jones’ winter of 1977-78 when he learned how to paint the Grand Canyon,” Aton said in the press release. “Then I will take the audience through a brief tour of his maturation as a painter of what Clarence E. Dutton called ‘the most sublime and awe-inspiring spectacle in the world.’”

SUU students Billy Clouse and Brinn Fullmer will be presenting community projects they worked on during their senior year.

For Clouse, he and three other graphic design students in his branding class worked with the owner of Pisco Peruvian Cuisine in Cedar City to make the restaurant’s brand identity match its high-quality food. The process included creating four unique visual identities, conducting a photo shoot of nine dishes, designing new menus, updating the interior and exterior signage, and building a contemporary website.

Fullmer teamed up with the American Red Cross for her senior capstone project, working closely with community volunteers to make a difference in the lives of others, something she wants to do after graduation.

Through this experience and opportunity, I learned to turn compassion into action with the American Red Cross, how to assist within the community and aid in changing and saving lives,” Fullmer said.

The 2019 Festival of Excellence will take place at multiple locations across SUU campus on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A complete schedule of all projects, presentations and research can be found online.

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