Symposium puts students talent on display

By Eleni Antipas
March 25, 2011

Dr. Marie Angelella George and Dr. Mary Laver view alumni Tracy Hyatt’s poster on women during the civil war at last year’s symposium. The symposium highlights work submitted by students.

This year marks the fifth Cabrini Arts, Research and Scholarship Symposium. On Thursday, April 28, Cabrini students, faculty and staff will gather on campus to take part in this annual event.

Although no classes will be held on this day, the symposium gives the Cabrini community a chance to share and explore knowledge in a unique way. Breaking away from the normal structure of the classroom, the symposium is a forum that allows undergraduate students to choose a topic and lead the discussion.

“Participating in the symposium is a wonderful opportunity for a student to experience how it feels to work as a scholar,” Dr. Janice Xu, assistant professor of communication, said. “Probably for the first time in your life, you are not producing a paper for a grade, but producing knowledge and research data to share with a real audience.”

Beginning in March, undergraduate students who are interested in presenting their best work of the year submit applications for the symposium to a faculty member for approval. Students then transform their work into one of the three available formats that best suits their work and talents. For example, students can create a poster, prepare an oral presentation or give performances.

Dr. John Cordes, assistant professor of communication, explained that the symposium helps students focus in on something that they are really interested in and each student can share their work with other people that are genuinely interested in the research that the students have done.

“Some students can co-author research studies with faculty mentors, which are published in significant academic journals,” Cordes said.

Cordes is a co-chair of the symposium. Each year, Cordes evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the symposium.

“I became a co-chair because I love research and over the past 20 years I found it really worthwhile and satisfying to see the excellent work Cabrini students showcase at the symposium,” Cordes said.

In fact, Cordes’ entire research for communication class will be participating in the poster session of the symposium. His students have been conducting individual research projects throughout the semester. Their research includes topics such as homelessness, politics, social media and higher education.

A complete program of the presentations will be available once all of the applications are reviewed.

“Kathy McCrea and faculty support have done superb work with the program book,”Cordes said.

This symposium will include approximately 100 posters that will be displayed in the Dixon Center between 8:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Oral presentations will take place in Founder’s Hall from 10:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Finally, one-act plays written and preformed by English majors will begin at 5 p.m. in the theater located in Grace Hall.

“It really helped build my confidence with public speaking and it improved my resume,” Shea Boland, senior communication major, said.



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Eleni Antipas

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