The first Steinmetz Symposium on April 12, 1991, featured presentations from 130 students, all squeezed into three-and-a-half hours in one afternoon. A list of presenters and their projects fit onto a two-page ad in the Concordiensis.
That couldn't happen today.
As the 23rd annual symposium approaches May 10, the number of students involved in the all-day event has swelled to nearly 450 – including 215 oral presentations and 45 poster presentations. Nearly 200 additional students are involved in a dance performance, two musical concerts, an art exhibit and other activities.
The growing popularity of the symposium reflects the type of hands-on, faculty-mentored undergraduate research that is a staple of the Union experience. Classes are canceled to allow parents, faculty, staff and students to sample projects from every discipline.
"Once again, Union students have produced a wonderful variety of work as a result of senior theses and projects in addition to in-class work," said Kristin Fox, associate professor of chemistry and director of undergraduate research.
Visitors can begin their morning with presentations ranging from "Political Realities: The Truth about Ghanaian Women in Politics" with Helena-Jasmine Sowah '13 to "The Sweet Side of Chemistry: A Study of the Nano Topology of Sugars and Chocolate" with Sally Chamberland '13. They can also check out the Mechanical Engineering teams who have built a Baja car, an airplane and a human-powered vehicle.
At 12:20 p.m. in Olin 115, students in the Film Studies program will present their works: BENZO by Emma Freter '13 and Jeffrey Moreno '13 and Home Front by Andrew McLain '13.
At 4 p.m. in the Nott Memorial, 60 students will perform excerpts from "Circling Beginnings," this year's Winter Dance Concert. Also, an original piece, "Sleep," a collaboration with Choral Director John Cox, will feature members of Miryam Moutillet’s class, Dance Experience, embodying the act of sleeping being serenaded by the Camerata singers.
In addition, there will be performances by Jenna Langhans ’13 and Dance Instructor Marcus Rogers as well as by Union Bhangra, the Ballroom Club and the Dance Team. Singers Connor Barrett ’14 and Meaghan Melley ’16 will be accompanied by guest artists Harry Pellegrin and Andy Iorio on classical guitar and piano.
The 2013 Edward Villella Fellowship in dance will be announced at the end of the show.
The annual Visual Arts Student Art Exhibit, on view through May 11 in the Burns Art Atrium Gallery, features 129 pieces by more than 100 students.
Curated by faculty members, the exhibit includes works from classes taught by Martin Benjamin (photography), Chris Duncan (sculpture), Walter Hatke (painting and drawing), Fernando Orellana (digital art and video) and Sandy Wimer (drawing, printmaking, etching and design).
The Steinmetz Symposium Banquet, for presenters, their parents, guests and faculty sponsors, takes place in Upper Class Dining Hall at 6 p.m. Registration is required.
A concert by the Union College and Community Orchestra and the Union College and Community Chorale, under the direction of John Cox, director of performance and lecturer in choral and orchestral music, is set for 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.
Steinmetz Symposium coincides with Prize Day, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday in Memorial Chapel, followed by a reception on the Reamer Campus Center patio at 12:30 p.m. Students are honored for achievement in academics, research, service and governance.
Also, the Union College Jazz Ensemble, with Professor Tim Olsen conducting a program of vocal and instrumental jazz, will perform at 2 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium.
For a complete schedule, including a list of presentations, visit the Steinmetz website.
The Steinmetz Symposium is named for Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923), who taught electrical engineering and applied physics at Union. Also chief consulting engineer for the General Electric Company, he was widely regarded as America’s leading electrical engineer.