Senior Symposium Showcases Student Research

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 4:15pm
Tatum Lindsay '14 is one of more than 100 students who will present independent research results at this year’s Senior Symposium.

One hundred and twenty-two Mount Holyoke seniors will present the results of their independent studies at the annual Senior Symposium Friday, April 11. During this daylong event, students from the arts, humanities, languages, social sciences, and natural sciences will share their research and work on an array of topics.

"Senior Symposium showcases the wide-ranging intellectual passions of our graduating seniors,” says Becky Wai-Ling Packard, professor of psychology and education and director of the Weissman Center for Leadership. “Their presentations address global concerns and reflect the highest level of scholarship.”

This year’s topics range from “YouTube as a Gendered Space: Where Are the Women?” to “Individual and Communal Medicine during the Black Death of 1347-1351” to “Curtain Call: A Study of Dance Performance, Circumstance, and Authenticity.” Other presentations address solving the education crisis in Zimbabwe, the global contexts of the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict, and the effectiveness of reading comprehension strategies used by college students.

Once again, the event will include a number of science presentations. Eleanor Maynard, a biochemistry major, will discuss her research on the lizard’s self-defense mechanism of tail removal in a presentation titled “My Tail Costs an Arm and a Leg: The Effects of Caudal Autotomy on the Kinematics of Anolis carolinensis Running on an Arboreal-like Substrate.”  Maynard, whose research was advised by Gary Gillis, professor of biological sciences and chair of neuroscience and behavior, regards Senior Symposium as one of her favorite days of the academic year.

“My first year, I remember watching a friend present her dense science research and thinking, ‘I can't wait until I can speak this language.’ It's pretty special having my time at MHC bookended by that memory and my presentation on Friday.”

All members of the Five College community are invited to attend the presentations, which are scheduled in sessions starting at 9:30 and 10:45 am and at 12:45, 2:15, and 3:30 pm in Cleveland, Dwight, Kendade, and Reese Halls and the Art Building.

—By Michelle Ducharme