Engineering and Liberal Education Symposium

The first Engineering and Liberal Education (ELE) Symposium was held at Union College in 2008 and was made possible by a Presidential Discretionary Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Over the years, this symposium initiated a conversation on the role of engineering at a liberal arts college and liberal arts in an engineering education.

Based on the uncertainty of what the safety and health conditions might be in a few weeks, we have decided to conduct the 2021 E&LE Symposium as a virtual event. We have an exciting Keynote panel and several engaging sessions from a diverse set of speakers. We missed our 2020 event, and we hope that the 2021 virtual E&LE program will be a bridge to a bright and exciting future in 2022 and beyond. PLEASE CANCEL ANY HOTEL RESERVATIONS BY 09/27/21.

We will be sharing more details about our 2021 event in the coming days. Please feel free to reach out to use with any questions.

Call for Abstracts & 2021 E&LE Symposium Information

After a year's hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to announce the Union College 2021 Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education (E&LE) and invite you to join us for this year's symposium. We are planning a VIRTUAL event in Schenectady, New York on October 1 and October 2, 2021.

Creating a Culture of Collaboration: Preparing the Next Generation of E&LE Scholars and Practitioners.

Please note the following important symposium dates:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 30 July 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: 6 August 2021
  • Symposium registration deadline: 30 August 2021
  • Symposium lodging rate/reservation deadline: PLEASE CANCEL HOTEL RESERVATIONS BY 09/27/21

Please see details on abstract submission, registration, and health & safety information below. We thank you for your interest in this year's symposium.

  • Abstract Submission

    Abstract submission deadline: 30 July 2021

    Notification of acceptance: 6 August 2021

    After almost 18 months of disruptions and changes to our personal, work, and societal relationships, now, more than ever, it's important to explore the role of liberal arts and engineering education in our society, both local and global. While we will accept general abstracts on the subjects of engineering and liberal education integration, we ask that you consider the following theme for our 2021 symposium as you prepare your submission:

    Creating a Culture of Collaboration: Preparing the Next Generation of E&LE Scholars and Practitioners.

    How do we broaden our conversations across disciplinary boundaries to prepare our students for the critical needs of our ever-changing world? We are interested in topics such as:

    • Developing a deeper understanding of sustainability
    • Contemplating a posthuman future
    • Exploring interdisciplinary approaches to artistic and creative expression
    • Reflecting on the ethical considerations of designing and implementing change
    • Addressing truth and the implications of social media
    • Achieving racial, economic, ethnic, and cultural access, inclusion, equity, and justice.

    We welcome your ideas and proposals for organizing sessions or workshops for this year’s symposium.

    Abstract submission deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest.

  • Registration

    The symposium reception, keynote panel discussion will be held virtually on Friday October 1, 2021. There is no registration fee.

    We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Laurence W. Levine ’52 and Barry Traub ’53 Endowed Lecture Fund on the Liberal Arts and Engineering.

    Thank you for your interest in the E&LE Symposium. Please contact us at if you have any questions.

  • Lodging

    PLEASE CANCEL YOUR RESERVATIONS. THE SYMPOSIUM WILL BE A VIRTUAL EVENT THIS YEAR. Hampton Inn, 450 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. Please call (518) 377-4500.

    Union College is located in the city of Schenectady in New York’s Capital District 25 minutes west of Albany. It is 10 miles and 20 minutes from the Albany Airport and is easily accessible from the Amtrak train station in Schenectady. If you are driving, click here to view maps and directions.

  • Safety & Health

    All Union community members are strongly encouraged to wear masks when in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Union community members who are not yet vaccinated are required to wear masks while indoors. Additionally, all visitors to campus, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks while indoors on campus.