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Research and Creative Works Symposium to be Held April 8

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    Senior Joey Kyle has helped organize this year's Research and Creative Works Symposium. Kyle himself will present a poster on the geodesic dome greenhouse he is building near the SU Garden.

Annual symposium is now a day-long event

For the past 14 years, Southwestern has held an annual symposium to showcase research and creative work done by students.

But one evening was just not enough time to schedule all the work that students wanted to present.

So for 2014, the symposium has been redesigned as a full-day event. And it won’t just feature the work of students. Several faculty and staff members will be participating in addition to more than 300 students.

In all, the symposium will feature more than 200 posters, presentations and creative works from 33 different disciplines or departments. Classes have been cancelled for the day to allow members of the campus community an opportunity to see the wide variety of works that will be presented.

Additions to the symposium this year include an hour-long panel discussion on undergraduate research at Southwestern and presentations by faculty from all three of the current Paideia clusters. Faculty members involved with the cluster on Representing Gender will give a presentation about propaganda posters during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, faculty involved with the cluster on Mediterranean Mingling will give a presentation on Jewish migration in the Mediterranean world and faculty members from the cluster on Global Health will give a presentation designed to expand participants’ understanding of global health. These presentations will take place throughout the day in the McCombs Ballrooms and are designed to show how Paideia connects faculty members from different disciplines. Readings that go with the presentations are being posted on the symposium website.

Also new to the symposium this year are the presentation of PechaKuchas, in which people talk while 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. Students in Christina Bowers’ biology course on Microbial Pathogenesis will be presenting PechaKuchas beginning at 1:15 p.m. in the Cove.

Bowers said she learned about PechaKuchas from her husband, who works in an engineering company where PechaKucha talks are given during brown bag lunch seminars. 

“The talks allow colleagues to briefly inform one another of the work they are doing, new information or emerging topics in their field, availability of in-house expertise, and so on,” Bowers said. “The format is time-efficient, fun, and allows for a little creativity.”

Bowers said she encouraged her students to develop PechaKucha talks that were based on articles they wrote for class about newsworthy, course-relevant topics such as antibiotic resistance and tuberculosis. 

“The topics chosen were pretty interesting and I wanted them to share what they learned with one another. The PechaKucha format seemed ideal,” Bowers said.   

Twenty-five creative works and exhibits will be on display in the Fine Arts Center from 11 a.m. to noon, including masks made by 10 students in Desi Roybal’s Scenic Elements and Stage Properties class.

After lunch, there will be three hours of oral presentations in the Olin Building. Many of these will be on timely topics such as voter identification laws, Medicaid, gun control, and the minimum wage.

Nearly 60 posters about research projects will be on display in the Bishops’ Lounge from 4-6 p.m. At the end of the poster presentations, awards will be given for the best poster, oral presentation and creative work.

The symposium will also include several performances. At 10 a.m. students in Kathleen Juhl’s Theatre and Social Change class will present the play about bullying that they developed with students from Tippet Middle School in the Caldwell-Carvey Foyer.

The symposium will conclude with a performance by the SU Chorale at 6:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The Chorale will perform “The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace” by Welch composer Karl Jenkins. Since its premier in 2000, the piece has become one of the most performed choral works by a living composer.

Joey Kyle, a senior environmental studies major, has been working with the Provost’s office to plan the symposium.

“I read all the abstracts and the breadth of topics, as well as the caliber of the presentations is really remarkable,” Kyle said. “There is something to satisfy every potential interest here.”

Kyle himself will be displaying a geodesic dome greenhouse that he did for a King Creativity Project along with Kelsey Abel. The greenhouse will be built down by the SU garden, and will stay there after the symposium.

The complete schedule for the symposium is available at  http://www.southwestern.edu/academics/studentworks/

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