Students and Faculty Celebrate Annual Collaborations
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 19:04
Last Saturday, the annual conference “Celebrating Collaborations: Students and Faculty Working Together” took place in various places around campus. Students presented the results of their honors theses, special studies, and seminar projects through posters, oral presentations, panels and performances.
“Collaborations among students and faculty at Smith... occur in the classrooms, labs, and studio,” said Danielle Carr Ramdath, associate dean of the faculty. “This event is an opportunity to share and showcase these collaborations and to inspire others to pursue these opportunities to further develop their intellectual and creative abilities.”
“For this year’s event, we have 372 student participants and a record number of faculty participants,” said Ramdath.
Jinghui Zhang ’12, a psychology major, presented her thesis on intergroup behaviors during the morning session at the Campus Center.
“I think the audience was really amazed to know how much Smith has provided for an undergraduate to achieve in the field of scientific research,” said Zhang, who worked extensively with faculty from the psychology department.
“The awesome mentorships that Smith and the psychology department have given to me are far beyond my imagination when I first walked into this campus three years ago. They have shaped who I am now, and will continue to influence who I am going to be,” she said.
Projects from the Archives Concentration were presented after the science session. All projects were derived from classwork with Susan Van Dyne, professor of the study of women and gender.
Following the conclusion of the morning session, a campus-wide lunch was held on Chapin Lawn along with a performance by the Smith College Jazz Ensemble.
Several concurrent sessions were held in the afternoon at Seelye. Students taking classes with Jessica Nicoll, director and chief curator of the Smith College Museum of Art, presented their classwork to the audience at the same time.
Celebrating Collaborations ended with a final recital at Sage Hall. Selected music students and faculty formed a small ensemble and played pieces by Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Claude Debussy and others.
Celebrating Collaborations is also a time for students who worked for the Smithsonian during the fall semester to present their experiences in Washington, D.C. Four Smith students talked about their respective projects, followed by a panel discussion moderated by the director of the Smithsonian program.
“The room was packed,” said Charlotte Helmer ’13, an architecture major and economics minor, who gave a 10-minute presentation on the past and future of Smithsonian architecture.
“For us, it was really nice to celebrate something we spent a lot of time on in the past, and dust them off and look back on them,” said Helmer. “One of the great things of Collaborations is that it bridges the differences between people who have done these projects in the past and who would probably do them in the future.”
“Most Collaborations projects involve not only multiple students and faculty members, but also multiple fields – biology and geology, Russian studies and comparative literature, engineering and computer science, economics and sociology, architecture and environmental policy,” said Kara Noble, project publicity administrator for the Kahn Institute.
“The combinations of disciplines reflected in the projects are wide ranging and really reflect how Smith encourages students to think across fields, to look for many types of connections in scholarship,” she said.