Bill Stafford | Staff Writer | 4-12-2012
Wednesday marked a thrilling day of one hundred and sixty five presentations and performances put on by students showcasing their hard work and talents at the 13th annual Student Scholarship and Creative Achievement Conference on the Bemidji State campus.
Over two-hundred students participated in this year’s event which doubled last year’s total. Even more ground breaking was this year’s theme, “Crossing Great Divides in Education,” which was highlighted by keynote speaker Hattie Kaufman, public speaker, journalist and CBS News correspondent who was the first Native American journalist to give a report on an evening network news broadcast.
The day started with a drumming circle by the Kingbird singers which lead into the day’s opening ceremonies and Kaufman’s keynote address where she discussed her experiences as a female Native American in journalism as well as her drive to stay connected to her culture as a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho. Kaufman also addressed Crossing Great Divides in Education as she encouraged all youth to stay in school and follow their educational dreams.
‘Club Mud,’ held their ceramics and exhibition sale all afternoon as student presentations got underway. Student shows in the Touché gallery and Gallery X were open all day to students as visitors and the Indian Studies department displayed Ojibwa Arts and Crafts demonstrations into the early afternoon. The arts were also represented by a creative dance performance in the Lower Hobson Union followed by a shift of gears to BSU’s Pre-Law Society Mock Trial performance.
Student presentations continued through the second half of the afternoon with topics ranging from Jay Bauer’s presentation on odor influencing word recall to Marissa Stitt’s concerning Ivan Pavlov and his contributions to psychology.
Kaufman was back in the spotlight for an open mic and Q&A session in the American Indian Resource Center that drew a crowd armed with questions for the globally traveled journalist. She described some of the biggest challenges in her career which included being under the pressures of time that comes with journalism and the blanketing feeling of the news, “always having to be right.”
With Will Ferrell announcing a sequel to the famous Anchor Man movie, it was appropriate that Kaufman commented on the real life Ron Burgundys of the media world by outlining a story about a lead desk man who refused to have his seat sit lower than hers at the news desk. “It’s a competitive world and the air I have on television is the air I breathe,” she said.
After the conclusion of Hattie’s Q&A, the day ended with refreshments and another performance during the closing ceremonies by the Kingbird singers.