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Pima Honors grad, an acclaimed writer, poet and activist, is keynote for May 8 symposium

Tucson, AZ – Pima’s 11th Annual Arizona Undergraduate Research Symposium has several new features this year, including the forum being held virtually.

The deadline for presentation submissions has passed, but students may submit for the new Lived Experience section until May 1. There are two new categories:

• Creativity During Corona: Recreate a famous work of art using articles around your house! Get inspired by the Getty Art Museum Challenge.
• Note to Self: 20/20 Vision in 2020: Suggestions: How has your perspective of the world changed in 2020? If you could go back two months in time, what would you tell yourself (20/20 hindsight)? What are you now more mindful of in the world around you? Who/what gives you strength? What words of encouragement do you want to share with others? What do you look forward to, as you see the world with new 20/20 vision, in 2020?

Submissions may be sent to Dianna Repp, Ph.D., [email protected].

This year’s keynote speaker is Pima Honors graduate, international award-winning writer, poet and activist Primrose Dzenga. Dzenga, an Arizona State University honors student majoring in Global Studies and Creative Writing, will discuss her Machikichori Citrus Reforestation Project, a citrus orchard she established in her native Zimbabwe. Her ongoing study of community agriculture and this project are partially funded through a Barrett Global Explorers Grant. She also presented at Pima’s 2018 symposium.

“At Pima, Primrose was articulate, professional and passionate, and her presentation is still referenced by faculty as a stellar example of undergraduate research,” says Pima faculty member and symposium organizer Dianna Repp, Ph.D. “When Primrose and I worked on a video for her orchard project, everyone we talked to about the project was drawn in, and participated with enthusiasm! She inspires those around her – including me.”

Dzenga is a poet (“Destiny in My Hands” is her first published collection), and fiction and nonfiction writer, whose works include “Auxillia Chimusoro: The Unsung Heroine” for which she received a literary award in Zimbabwe’s National Arts Merit Award. She also was selected for the Clinton Global Initiative University, Commitment to Action, 2020; and received a Soroptimist Live Your Dream award.

The symposium’s proceedings, including recorded video presentations, slide presentation and papers, will be available online starting May 8.

Among the featured presenters are:
• Pima student Gabriel Ruskin, discussing “Ultramodern Beliefs of the Druze.” According to, the Druze are a small Middle Eastern religious sect characterized by an eclectic system of doctrines.
• Former Pima instructor Gregory I. Redhouse, Ph.D. (Navajo), who will share about his experience in "Corn-Teen 2020," while he is "home between the Four Sacred Mountains" with his children.

The symposium, sponsored by Pima Student Life, is a noncompetitive event that allows undergraduate students from Arizona to present original research. It is the only one of its kind in the state. Repp says it is designed to encourage and support students’ research and continued academic success.


Libby Howell, APR, Executive Director

Media, Government and Community Relations

(520) 206-4778, [email protected]
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