Steinmetz Symposium spotlights scholarship, research and the arts

Publication Date

Nearly 400 students will show off their research, scholarship and creative pursuits Friday, May 10, as part of the 34th annual Steinmetz Symposium.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., 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.

A student points to a poster during a presentation at the Steinmetz Symposium.

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.

"I love Steinmetz Day because it is such a wonderful demonstration of the huge diversity of talent and skills our students have developed during their time at Union,” said Heather Watson, director of undergraduate research and associate professor of physics and astronomy.

“It is a great day to celebrate our students, their hard work and their incredible achievements in research and artistry. I also really appreciate the opportunity to connect with faculty and students from all over campus as we come together to share ideas and learn from each other.”

As part of this year’s event, the Templeton Institute will host “The Great AI Debate,” a lively discussion among faculty and student experts about the impact of artificial intelligence on higher education. It will take place 11:30 a.m. in Olin 115 Auditorium.

Eighty student performers will present 15 works in an array of dance styles at the Lothridge Festival of Dance in the Nott Memorial. The hour-long show is set for 4 p.m., with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. Attendance is first come, first served.

Student and faculty choreographies are featured, and eight student clubs are represented, including Bhangra, Dance Team, JAIVE Afrovibes, Hip Hop, K-Pop, Latinx Dance Club, Natyashastra and Tap Club.

Also, the Steinmetz Symposium Student Art Exhibition in the Crowell and West galleries in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts features works by 94 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.

Steinmetz Dance 2016

The day wraps up with the spring concert, “Bon Voyage,” featuring the Union College Chamber Singers, Union College Choir and Union College and Community Orchestra at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

On Saturday, a concert featuring the Union College Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor Tim Olsen, takes place at 11 a.m. in Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center.

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.

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.