Published: March 2009
At the University’s third annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, held on February 6 in Gasson Hall, 49 students presented their investigative work and findings. Projects were grouped thematically into 11 panels (themes included “Human Rights,” “Music in its Many Forms,” and “Health and Science Issues”), with a faculty member presiding over each panel session. In the rotunda, Gasson 100, the Honors Library, and classrooms on the second floor, students described their work to audiences of faculty, students, staff, and friends.
Donald Hafner, vice provost for undergraduate studies, selected the symposium participants from recipients of advanced study grants; contributors to the undergraduate scholarly journals Elements, Ethos, and Dialogue; and on the basis of faculty recommendations. “I never stop being impressed by the range and excellence of these projects,” says Hafner. “The symposium affirms that undergraduates are capable of exceptional research and that there is an audience interested in their work.”
At afternoon’s end, the faculty moderators chose one student from each panel to receive an award for best presentation. “Excellence in any field needs to be coupled with an ability to explain it in an accurate and engaging manner,” says Hafner. @BC presents four of the award winners—(from left) Elizabeth Ryan ’09, Patrick Gardner ’09, Maria Rivas ’10, and Leon Ratz ’11—selected to illustrate the diversity of symposium topics, commenting on what they learned about their research topics and about themselves.