04/16/08

SCHOLARSHIP DAY BRINGS RESEARCH, FILM, MUSIC

On Scholarship Day, Moravians stand by their work.

How can mathematics predict the impact of the minimum wage? What does forgetting have to do with remembering? How did J.S. Bach use symbolism in his work? Answers to these questions and many more will be on display Thursday as Moravian celebrates the third annual Student Scholarship and Creative Endeavors Day. The event spotlights the work of 52 students representing 14 different majors, covering a fascinating variety of topics in science, art, music, history, literature and other subjects. The day begins at 9:00 am with an opening address by Dean Weil in Prosser auditorium. Student presentations will take place in Prosser as well as in Peter Hall. Poster sessions, with the student authors present to discuss their projects, will be held in the HUB. (Schedule available here. Abstracts and other details here.)

Though it takes extra effort to turn a project they’ve done for class into an oral presentation or a poster, Moravian's students relish the opportunity, says Diane Husic, professor of biology, who organizes Scholarship Day along with Michelle Schmidt, associate professor of psychology. "They’re very excited about a chance to talk about their work with people outside of their major or department," professor Husic says. Scholarship Day is the only forum for students who've, say, mapped the genes of a fruit fly or investigated the emotional effects of 18th-century spa treatments to share their findings with the Moravian community. "They’re proud of what they accomplished," professor Husic adds. The day is also a chance for the College community to gain some appreciate for the breadth of scholarly and artistic work being done by our students. "With these projects, we're taking students from being passive learners to creators of something new," notes professor Husic. She encourages everyone to find some time in their busy day to come and enjoy the event--it's OK to sit in on a presentation or two and then leaving to get to a class or meeting.

This year's itinerary features two changes from previous years. First, poster sessions will be held in the HUB rather than the PPHAC atrium. The move is intended to make it easier for College trustees, who are meeting on campus this week, to see the posters and talk with the students. Second, the schedule features a closing session that includes two student-made documentary films and a music performance (3:14-4:10 p.m., Prosser). Beverly, created by Marina Moser '09, Grace Teodosio '10, and Jessica Kerchner '08, follows the story of a transgender woman in a society that does not accept or understand gender change. "We were able to raise critical questions about gender and society and incorporate them into a documentary," says Jessica. "We would not have been able to do so without Beverly, who I'm sure everyone will begin to love after seeing our film," she adds. BethWorks Casino, by Kate Shelley '09, Amanda Conner '09, Peter Scheneman '08, and Brett Guss '09, explores opposing views of the impact the coming casino may have on the community of Bethlehem. "Our topic is one that we feel is extremely relevant and has undoubtedly caused a lot of controversy," says Peter. "Almost everybody we talked to had a strong opinion regarding the casino." Following the screenings will be a performance by Helen Smith '09, on clarinet with piano accompaniment. The concerto she’ll perform, Concertino for Clarinet, Op. 26 by Carl Maria von Weber, earned the composer a commission from the king of Bavaria in 1811.

After Scholarship Day, join the campus community for a statement about compassion and understanding at Moravian's Rally for a Hate-Free America. Details here.