Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Student Research and Creativity on Display

  • More than 100 student research and creative works projects will be on display April 15.
    More than 100 student research and creative works projects will be on display April 15.

Annual Student Works Symposium to be held April 15

More than 100 students from Southwestern University will showcase their talents on Wednesday, April 15, as the university hosts its 10th annual Student Works Symposium titled “From Every Voice.”

The event begins at 5 p.m. in the Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center and the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center. The symposium is an opportunity for students to present research and creative work in a professional atmosphere. It is free and open to the public. 

“The Student Works Symposium is an opportunity for the public to discover the many interests of Southwestern students,” said Jenny Howell, a senior psychology major who is program chair for this year’s symposium.

Howell said 21 disciplines will be represented at this year’s symposium, ranging from fine arts to natural sciences. Students will present their work through a combination of poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibitions and panel discussions.

“The Student Works Symposium is important because it is the only event to reveal the diversity of interests at Southwestern and the success of our students in each of their areas of study,” Howell said. “The symposium is a direct outcome of the breadth and depth of the education students receive at Southwestern.”

The symposium schedule is as follows: 

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.       

Oral Presentations in the McCombs Campus Center: McCombs Ballrooms, Margaret Shilling Room and Merzbach Room

Panel Presentations in the Dan Rather Room of the McCombs Campus Center       

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.       

Welcome and Refreshments in the Bishops Lounge of the McCombs Campus Center

Creative Works and Exhibitions in the Gallery of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts

Poster Presentations in the Bishops Lounge of the McCombs Campus Center 

7 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Continuation of Oral Presentations in the McCombs Campus Center: McCombs Ballrooms, Margaret Shilling Room and Merzbach Room

Howell said the symposium allows students to gain valuable experience presenting their research and creative works in a professional environment without having to travel to conferences or other such venues. It also prepares them to present at conferences in the future.

“The symposium allows undergraduates to present in a forum that is sometimes reserved only for graduate students at other schools,” Howell said. 

Student projects this year will address topics such as the literary works of Jane Austen, childhood obesity, the consequential decisions made by political leaders, and the habits of an applesnail. The creative works will include senior art exhibitions, which are a culmination of four years worth of work. 

For the first time this year, the symposium will include panel discussions. The two panel discussions will be presented by students who did internships funded by the Verizon Foundation last summer. Seven students will speak about their personal experiences working in non-profit organizations that help victims of domestic, family and sexual violence. 

Samantha Belicek, Jessica Domino, Cordelia Stough, and Hailey Ormand will present a panel discussion titled “Not So Secret Confessions of an Overlooked Reality: Four Students’ Experiences at Local Abuse Agencies.” Sarah Fritz, Travis Norton and Mariah Arspe will present a panel discussion titled “Insights into Domestic Violence and the Non-Profit Sector: Students’ Experiences Interning with Local Domestic Violence Agencies.” 

“We decided to do a panel presentation so that students, faculty and other people could ask us questions about our experiences,” Fritz said. “We thought it would provide a better learning experience since domestic violence isn’t talked about often within our society. We all had very unique and eye-opening experiences involving family crises, domestic violence, substance and alcohol abuse, etc. and believe it is important to share it with anyone who wants to listen.”

For more information on the symposium, visit