Students Speak about Senior Symposium

On April 15, more than 130 students presented their research at the 2011 Senior Symposium. With topics ranging from mercury contamination in the Savannah River, to an examination of Afghan health policy, to Gone with the Wind's place in American history, audience members were treated to a daylong, multidisciplinary exhibition.

The research projects have also served as a launching pad to post-MHC work for some of the student presenters featured in the corresponding video:

Lauren Wooten Smith ’11 just found out that her research on mercury contamination in Georgia’s Savannah River helped her win a Fulbright scholarship to study neonatal nutrition in Bangladesh next year.

The College community also had the chance to hear about Nagina Khudaynar ‘11’s amazing experience at an Afghan maternity hospital over winter break—a story that Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen recently shared with readers worldwide.

Surabhi Gupta ’11, who explored how the brain conducts spatial reasoning, will be doing related work—and getting paid for it—after landing a coveted internship with the California company Numenta. She said her preparation for the Senior Symposium helped her shine in a series of interviews for the job.

“I was able to present my project at different levels of technical detail to five different interviewers,” Surabhi said. “When you’re researching, it’s like you’re in a bubble. You don’t think about how people who have no idea about your project are going to understand it. So knowing how to present your work is an important skill to develop.”

Smith, Khudaynazar and Gupta’s projects all made for great presentations—but they’re just a small sample of the fascinating research that was conducted by Senior Symposium participants. You can view a complete list of presentations on the Weissman Center for Leadership’s website, or view a photo slideshow on the News and Events Flickr gallery.