Belknap Academic Building from the east entrance

Top student researchers from ACC schools will discuss their projects and get a taste of Louisville this weekend at the annual ACC Meeting of the Minds.

The annual conference showcases undergraduate research and scholarship at the 15 ACC member schools and represents the power and synergy that can exist between athletics and academics. The event has become an opportunity for universities in the ACC to highlight the diversity of research being conducted by undergraduates and for students to share their work with peers across the ACC.

About 100 students and faculty advisors are expected to attend the event. The students will present their research throughout the day Saturday and again Sunday morning at the Belknap Academic Building.

Activities kick off Friday night with a banquet and reception at the Muhammad Ali Center. Saturday’s program includes a luncheon presentation on “The Environment, Health and Well Being” by Aruni Bhatnager, director of UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute. Provost Beth Boehm and Charlie Leonard, executive director of the UofL Grawemeyer Awards, also will speak. Attendees will choose between a campus tour and a tour of the J.B. Speed Art Museum.

UofL students Maria Shields, Caleb Bridgwater, Noela Botaka, Alisha Deshmukh, Kennedy Walls and Lloyd Bartley will be among the presenters.

The Meeting of the Minds “is another example of the tremendous benefit UofL gets from being among the outstanding institutions of the ACC,” Leonard said. “This conference presents a great opportunity for the university to show off our students, our campus and the community. It also enables us to share and learn from our faculty and student colleagues throughout the ACC.”

The Meeting of the Minds is the first of two major ACC academic conferences within the next 10 days. Faculty from ACC schools will present leading-edge research projects at the ACCelerate Festival next weekend at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.


John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.