Celebrating Learning That Never Endsby Riley Floyd • January 28, 2012
- Trustee Jay Allen '79 looks through a make-shift lens Drew Casey '12 used for his photography presentation at the 12th Annual Celebration of Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work.
- Trustee Allan Anderson '65 talks with Ziyun Chen '13 about his poster on Cycles of Wage Difference. Trustees had a break in meetings while on campus that allowed them to attend the Celebration.
- Trustee Willyerd Collier '75 listens to and watches a program by Joe Reese '12 on Lamidi Olonade Fakeye.
- Chris White listens as freshman Jingwei Song displays his poster on Liberation Theology and its Impact on Global Health.
- Logan Rice '13 and Stephen Batchelder '15 discuss the research on a poster at the 12th Annual Celebration.
- Trustee Kelly Pfledderer '96 talks with Political Science Professor David Hadley.
- Matt Schenkel '12 shares his research with a group of students and administrators.
- Collin McKinney listens intently as Mike Lu '12 and Joe Granger '13 discuss their poster.
- Casey Wright '12 and Emeritus Trustee Mitsuya Goto '55 are engaged in a conversation.
- Psychology Professor Karen Gunther learns about measurement of cosmic ray muon flux from Derek Fritz '13.
- Jeffrey Bohorquez '13 talks with Modern Languages Professor Ivette Wilson on his recent immersion learning experience in Paris.
- Jordon Plohr '12 presents his work on Contemporary Theatre Architecture.
- Students gather to formally learn from one another at the Celebration of Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work.
- History Professor Steve Morillo learns about the Chaotic Double Pendulum from Ben Foster '12.
- Jingwei Song '15 shares his poster.
- Kyle Bender '12 discusses Trends within Presidential Inaugural Addresses - the topic of his senior paper.
- Art Professor Elizabeth Morton and her husband Barry with Anh
- Jimmy LaRowe '14 presents music and illustrations of the Mbira of the Shona People.
- Casey Wright '12 discusses his poster with Trustee Fred Ruebeck ’61 at the 12th Annual Celebration of Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work.
Undergraduate students rarely, if ever, get to teach their professors, alumni, and friends in a single semi-formal academic setting. But that’s exactly what happened Friday at the Celebration of Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work, now in its 12th year at the College.
“To me, the Celebration always looks like an open house at one of the nation's finest graduate research institutions, except that there isn't a graduate student in sight,” said National Association of Wabash Men (NAWM) President Greg Castanias ’87. “It’s a visual testament to the fact that Wabash College doesn't just give a ‘good enough’ education, but an education that transcends what most other colleges expect of young men and women.
“I think it's also a fine testament to how Wabash and its faculty see that our students are capable of even more than they themselves may believe they are capable of.”
Friday’s presentations ranged from plans for local business ventures to an analysis of the fall of a Libyan dictator to research in chemistry, biology, and physics. This year’s Celebration also offered original photography, poetry, and a student film that has been screened across the country and around the world. Eighty students with interests as diverse as the 17 academic departments they represented taught on Friday. Their common denominator: the individual work ethic and close collaboration with faculty members that characterizes Wabash academics.
“To me, the level of intensity of the projects is always a rise. . . It’s not just a science fair. And it’s not just an art fair,” said Associate Professor of Chemistry Lon Porter, who chaired this year’s event.
Juniors William Costakis and Jonathan Wong presented a poster entitled “Attenuation Lengths of MoNA and LISA Detectors.” The pair used a spatial light modulator machine to control the way light is rendered to the eye. Eventually, technology like this will allow television sets and screen monitors to render real 3-D images without the need for glasses. As for the pedagogy involved, Costakis appreciated the opportunity to explain his research to others.
“It was nice figuring out different ways to relate our research in simpler terms,” Costakis said.
For Porter, the Celebration also says something about the College’s commitment to its own students: “It’s important that we come inward and appreciate the core of the liberal arts and share with each other as opposed to going off campus and sharing with others.”
The College’s trustees and members of the NAWM also attend the Celebration, most of them graduates from before the College offered this event—the only afternoon of the year that classes are cancelled.
“There was nothing this dramatic when I was a student here,” said Castanias. “I would have remembered if I had had to defend my English literature or philosophy research in front of a bunch of guests, including successful alumni from all around the world.”
For Castanias, new traditions—like the Celebration—add to the life of the College.
“Alumni need to get back more often to remind themselves that not all the traditions of our days are still around, that new traditions have replaced the old—but even so, Wabash is still, at its essence, the same Wabash committed to a superior liberal arts education and the making of better men.”
Said Ian Grant ’13, who read his poetry for Friday’s Celebration: “It’s a learning process that never really ends.”
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Celebration of Student Research 2012 - 1