Holy Cross Academic Conference to Showcase Student Work

300 students, including Fenwick Scholar, will present results of research, independent projects

As the academic year concludes, the College of the Holy Cross will host its annual Academic Conference from April 27 through April 30. The four-day conference provides students with an opportunity to present the results of their independent work and for the entire community to celebrate the relationship between Holy Cross’ liberal arts curriculum and the learning taking place in varied environments — from Study Abroad to the Worcester community; from research labs and art studios to libraries with original source material.

The programs, projects, poster sessions, and performances presented by students at the conference were developed with the guidance of faculty members. The conference showcases the independence, creativity, and intellectual discipline of students, as well as the role faculty have played as mentors and model teacher-scholars.

Approximately 300 Holy Cross students from all classes are involved in the conference this year. Academic Conference 2011 is free and open to the public.

The conference includes works from the arts, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Students will present an array of topics including:

  • “The Richest People in the World: An Ethnography of Poverty in America,” Dominick Abbate ’11
  • “Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Cameroon through Music,” Chelsey Andrea ’11
  • “Synthesis of New Metallopolymer Precursors to be Used as Polyelectrochromic Materials,” Patrick Burns 12
  • “From Hymns to Hip-Hop: The Evolution of African-American Self-Expression Through Music,” Deirdre Foley ’11
  • “The Process and Constraints of Making Art: A Case Study of a Pakistani Woman Artist,” Katie Hunter ’12
  • “Political Accountability: How Can We Keep Our Government Officials Accountable and Our People Engaged?,” Eleanor Miller ’11
  • “Exploration of the HIV Crisis in Spain,” Andrew Mainini ’11
  • “Nonviolence as a Sustainable Option,” Matthew Tyksinski ’11

The conference will open with a lecture by this year’s Fenwick Scholar, Meredyth Winter ’11. The Fenwick Scholar Award is one of the College’s oldest and most prestigious academic distinctions. Departmental nominees design, with several advisors, a program of study leading to a significant research or creative project that will be an entire senior-year curriculum.

Winter has spent the academic year working with Mika Natif, visiting assistant professor in visual arts, and Susan Rodgers, professor and chair of anthropology. Her lecture, “InConspicuous Consumption: Understanding the Role of Indian Chintz In Shaping British Fabric Design” will be presented at 4 p.m. in the Rehm Library on April 27.

A reception, open to the entire Holy Cross community, will follow the lecture at 5 p.m. in Moran Lounge, on the fourth floor of Smith Hall.

Other highlights of the conference include:

  • On April 28, 12 studio art majors will participate in “Major: Works From the Senior Concentration Seminar” at the Cantor Art Gallery. The opening exhibition and reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Preceding the opening will be presentations by the students from 12 to 1 p.m. The exhibition will be open to the public through May 27.
  • On April 27 at 7 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall, the Chamber Orchestra will play all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, which will feature one student from each class year.
  • On April 28 at 4 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall, the Chamber Music Festival will feature eight student and three faculty performers.

The conference is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the College.

Academic Conference Program 2011 [PDF].