Annual symposium provides forum for students to share work

The poster portion of the symposium allows students to present their work one-on-one to members of the campus community.

The poster portion of the symposium allows students to present their work one-on-one to members of the campus community.

All too often as students we do work that just seems to be pointless and not go past the grading pen of  the instructor or the trash can. The  hours of work and research that go into some of students’ assignments deserve more than just a grade. The annual Student Works Symposium gives students an opportunity to share their collaborations

“The Symposium serves as a vehicle  for SU students to present their results  of their research or creative works,” said Provost senior secretary Christine Vasquez.  “The Symposium also gives SU students a chance to present their work in  a collegial conference setting.

The Student Works Symposium–From Every Voice will take place Wed., April 14 at  5 p.m. in the McCombs Campus Center.  It will be open and free to both students and the public.

“I would go through it again,”  junior theater major Becca Plunkett said.  “It is an excellent time to share  the work you have done with other  people.

All students were welcome to enter the Symposium. In order to do so, they had to submit a brief abstract summarizing their presentation by March 4.  The presentation could be in the form  of a poster, an oral presentation, an exhibit, a panel or a performance.

“I think that the idea behind the student symposium is really great and offers students a fairly stress-free way  to showcase their work,” junior theater major Tyler King said.

King, along with Plunkett and Kinsey Keck, are one of the groups presenting their work. After a Christmas break spent in Macedonia working on a production of “Angels in America,” they came home with  plenty to present to the public.

“We will talk about the difficulties of adapting an iconic American text for a Macedonian audience,” Plunkett said.  “We will cover the problems we encountered with translation and cultural references, our  role as students and how working on this production furthered our education in theatre.”

King explains that each student served as an intern of sorts for the production and that their experience was something that should definitely be shared with  SU.

“It is a rare opportunity to be part of a premiere production of such  an iconic play, especially when the play is being translated far from its original American setting,” King said.

The process of creating this project was not without difficulty and complication.

“Reducing all of the information into a 10 minute presentation was definitely  tough,” King said “We spent a month collaborating in Macedonia, and it  can be hard to decide what parts to keep in the presentation and what parts to let go.”

On top of working on their presentation, like most theater majors, they are stuck in rehearsals most nights of the week as well.

“Tyler, Kinsey, and I are all involved  in rehearsals for Escape from Happiness right now, so it is difficult to find a time to meet to prepare,” Plunkett said.

Senior Molly Rice is another student involved with the Symposium. Also a theater major, she and her group will be presenting about their summer trip to Bulgaria with a project entitled “The  Exploration of Eshu the Trickster God in Theatrical Collaboration in Bulgaria.”

“We started research on Eshu the Trickster God in the fall of 2008,” Rice said. “The research was used  as part of the Rhodopi International Theatre  Laboratory (RITL) in Smolyan, Bulgaria that several students and professors from Southwestern attended this past summer.”

With help from Professor Jared J. Stein, the theater faculty has been able to make the  program accessible to students, and Rice is hoping to depict the incredible aspects of this program.

“In presenting on the research done for the laboratory and our experiences within the program, we hope to encourage other students’ interest in RITL,” Rice  said.

Many students seem to be having the same issue picking and choosing what parts of their research to present because of a plethora of information.

“The hardest part of preparing for the symposium has been trying to gather research that was started over a year  ago,” Rice said. “Also, trying to get students together this time of year  always proves hectic, especially when working with theatre majors.”

The Symposium is a student run event, and this year the Student Program Chair is junior religion major Chrissy Vasquez.

“Chrissy has had the responsibility  to choose the event design and decide on how the event should be advertised to students,” Christine Vasquez said.

The symposium will showcase 99 presentations featuring the works of 116 students from 24 disciplines.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to learn not only what you are accomplishing, but also new insights into a diverse range of topics,” Christine Vasquez said.