Symposium Provides Forum for Students to Provide Work With Campus

Southwestern University will hold the “Student Works Symposium, From Every Voice” the evening of Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. in the Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center. This is the tenth year of the Student Works Symposium, which features Southwestern students’ undergraduate presentations. The presentations can be speeches about a paper, power-point presentations or posters. It is sponsored by all the university departments and considered one of the highest achievements of the liberal arts education at Southwestern University.

“Truly, the symposium is a direct outcome of the breadth and depth of the education students receive at Southwestern,” senior Jenny Howell, director of the Symposium, said. “We have 21 disciplines (and 119 students) represented at the Symposium ranging everywhere from fine arts to natural sciences. This kind of venue is not only rare for most schools, but it is a remarkable testament to the diversity of interests at Southwestern and the success of our students in each of their areas of study.”

The Symposium is a grand opportunity for students here at Southwestern to display their technical research. But it does even more than that.

“The symposium lets students learn presentation skills and get some experience under their belt before they pursue other venues for presentations (e.g., national conferences),” Howell commented. “Additionally, because there are no graduate-level students at Southwestern, the symposium allows undergraduates to present in a forum that is sometimes reserved only for graduate students at other schools.”

Lili McEntry, a sophomore, commented that the Symposium “is a great opportunity for people to show off what they have been working on and for other people to find out what other students are working on.”

The Symposium adds a lot for non-Southwestern students, also, because it allows the community to see the effort students at Southwestern are making in their respective academic fields.

Howell said that being in charge of this year’s symposium has been a fun experience.

“My sophomore year I was a volunteer time-keeper at an oral presentation, my junior year I presented two posters, and now I am a senior in charge of the whole shindig,” Howell said. “It’s actually really eye opening to be in charge of something like this. Because I am a psychology student (going on to get my PhD), I have been and will be involved in academic conferences for the rest of my life.”

First-year Carissa Nash agreed with all the aforementioned thoughts on the Symposium. “I think it’s an excellent opportunity for students to show what they’ve done,” Nash said. “As a student at Southwestern, I want to see this—I want to see what how my fellow classmates have succeeded in academics. This isn’t just something for the public; I want to be able to view the academic progress that is (or is not) occurring in academic departments other than my own.

“On a final note,” Howell added, “this Symposium is a huge event for our campus. Indeed, faculty, staff, and students from every area of southwestern are a part of this event. I am really excited to be the chair, but when it comes down to it, the credit goes to the students, the volunteers and the professors. They are really the ones that make the symposium happen. Without them caring about making this event successful, we’d be sunk.”

Please come and show your support for Southwestern at the 10th annual Student Works Symposium, being held in the McCombs Center April 15th, at 5:00 PM.

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