31st annual Steinmetz Symposium set for May 21-22

Publication Date

The Steinmetz Symposium, Union’s celebration of undergraduate research and creativity in all disciplines, debuts this year on Friday, May 21.

Due to the pandemic, the 31st annual symposium will be largely virtual for the second straight spring.

The symposium will feature nearly 250 students across disciplines highlighting their research with electronic posters and recorded videos of individual and group presentations.

In order to capture some of the energy and excitement of the in-person Steinmetz, there also will be two student research panels on May 22 presented as live, synchronous Zoom webinars.

A Union student working on physics research with a professor

One will focus on the theme of race, power and privilege.

A second will focus on the nanosciences, in honor of Michael E. Hagerman, professor of chemistry. It will feature testimonials from current students and alumni. Well known for his passion in the classroom and his friendly and wide-ranging collaboration in the research lab, Hagerman passed away in December after a long battle with melanoma. He was 50.

In addition, the Theater and Dance Department will offer an exciting virtual performance with works by senior dance minors, the Dance Team, African Dance, Bhangra, Hip-Hop, In-Unison Step, K-Pop and the LatinX Club.

Performances by campus musical groups will be partly live and partly recorded. This includes the Jazz Ensemble, the Early Music Ensemble, vocal and instrumental selections from the Union College Chorale, the Union College Orchestra, the Music Technology program and Zakuro-Daiko (the Japanese Drumming and Global Fusion Band).

“While this year has been challenging in any number of ways, it has been incredibly impressive to see the dedication and resilience of our student researchers, who have found ways to persevere through the pandemic,” said Chad Orzel, the R. Gordon Gould Associate Professor of Physics and director of undergraduate research.

“This is also a testament to the commitment and flexibility of their faculty mentors, who have helped find ways to take research projects remote and supported students through these incredibly difficult circumstances. As much as we would like to be gathering in person to celebrate the passion and dedication of our students and faculty, in some ways the fact that they have managed to carry on doing research that will be reported in virtual form is a wonderful demonstration of how exceptional our community is.”

For more information on the presentations and how to register, visit the Steinmetz website.

Hands-on, faculty-mentored undergraduate research is a staple of the Union experience.

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.