KU to Host Annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference April 22

Student presenter.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Kutztown University, in collaboration with the Higher Education Council of Berks County, will host the annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference Saturday, April 22. The yearly event gives students the opportunity to share their research and creativity with the broader community.

The conference is open to any undergraduate student seeking an opportunity to share their hard work and expertise with other scholars in a plethora of fields and disciplines. Students looking to register for the conference must do so by 4 p.m., Monday, March 13, and include an abstract for their presentation. To register, please visit https://mykucrm.kutztown.edu/register/?id=eaa106f7-4c30-43cd-8877-c3141fddd657.

Reverend Matthew J. Kuna, priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown and proud graduate of Kutztown University, will be the keynote speaker. His presentation entitled, “Because of Wonder: Our (Underrated) Premise and Task,” will explore the meaning and value of authentic wonder and provide guidance on how to cultivate it. Authentic wonder is not limited to philosophers or children. Father Kuna invites everyone to discover new interests, ask good questions and explore the unknown. As an essential intellectual virtue, this wonder can be cultivated by researchers, practitioners and students to promote new discoveries and learning interests.

Father Kuna received a Bachelor of Science in education from KU with a concentration in Spanish and English as a Second Language in 2016. During his academic endeavors at the university, he was a member of the KU Honors Program and participated in various undergraduate research initiatives and conferences. Once graduated, he began studies in the priestly formation program at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in systematic theology. In 2021, he was selected as part of the inaugural cohort of the Church Communications Ecology Program at the University of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life. This research opportunity allowed him to study digital culture and ecclesial communications, and to present his findings at the university. In June of 2022, Father Kuna was ordained to the Priesthood at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown. Currently, he serves as Parochial Vicar of Saint Catharine of Siena Parish in Reading and as Chaplain of Berks Catholic High School.

Students who participate in the conference benefit by having the opportunity to enhance resumes for employment and/or graduate school, showcase scholarly and creative work, work closely with faculty mentors, connect with other professionals in their fields of interest, observe and learn from other participants, refine presentation skills and learn from the keynote speaker.

Presentations can be in the form of a paper presentation, poster, artwork, film or performance. For more information on presentation guidelines and format, please visit https://www.kutztown.edu/hecbc.

Learn more about the Higher Education Council of Berks County and the 2023 Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference by contacting Heather Arbuckle at 484-646-4167 or arbuckle@kutztown.edu.