For the first time since 2019, the Steinmetz Symposium, Union’s annual celebration of students’ scholarly and artistic pursuits, returns as an in-person gathering this year.
Nearly 400 students will participate in the 32nd symposium, which begins at 8:40 a.m. Friday, May 13. The all-day event features a diverse lineup of oral presentations, poster sessions and exhibits highlighting student research as well as dance and musical performances, an art exhibit and other activities.
Hands-on, faculty-mentored undergraduate research is a staple of the Union experience. Classes are canceled to allow parents, faculty, staff and students to support projects from every discipline.
The pandemic forced the symposium to be held virtually in 2020 and 2021.
"After two years of hosting the Steinmetz Symposium remotely, we are very happy to be bringing the event back to an in-person experience,” said Heather Watson, director of Undergraduate Research and the John D. MacArthur Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy.
“It is amazing to hear the wide diversity of academic topics being presented by students across campus, and also to experience the talent and passion of our student performers in dance and music, and the beautiful and thought-provoking visual arts exhibition. For many, this will be their first time experiencing the great energy and excitement that comes along with a live and interactive Steinmetz Symposium, and we are delighted to be sharing the day with them.”
Visitors can shuffle between numerous academic buildings to sample presentations.
Sixty-two student performers will display their impressive skills and love of dance on a stage constructed at the Viniar Athletic Center in the annual Lothridge Festival of Dance, now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The roughly 50-minute show, which begins at 4 p.m., will include an array of dance styles.
Featured are choreographies from the Winter Dance Concert by Dance Program Director Miryam Moutillet and Assistant Director of Dance Laurie Zabele Cawley. Student choreographers include include Adenike Hickson ’22, Mary Melo ’22, Michela Michielli ’22, Dharshini Suresh ’22 and Zoe Watson ’23.
In addition, the African Dance, Bhangra Union and Hip-Hop clubs and the Union College Dance Team will perform.
The Steinmetz Symposium Student Art Exhibition fills the Crowell and West galleries in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts with 137 works by 79 students from a wide variety of majors and all class years. They were selected by Visual Arts faculty as the most accomplished student work of the academic year.
Mediums include digital art, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. There will be an artists’ reception from 4:30-6 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
The day wraps up with a concert featuring the Union College Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor Tim Olsen, at 8 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center.
The symposium coincides with Prize Day, which begins at 1 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Chapel. Students are honored for achievement in academics and leadership.
Among the top awards given are the Josephine Daggett Prize to the senior for conduct and character and the Frank Bailey (1885) Prize to the senior who has rendered the greatest service to the College in any field.