The “Minds at Work” student research symposium on Friday, May 4, was a day of presentations, readings, posters, and exhibitions—all opportunities for the campus community to learn about the remarkable work New Paltz students completed in the 2011-12 academic year.
Ninety-six students from 15 departments presented 66 posters. “Optimism, Community Service, and Happiness” by Kaitlyn Andersen ’12 (Psychology) and Jessica Gross ’12 (Psychology), “Sustainable Development in China and Taiwan” by Meredith Henshaw ’12 (Economics) and “An Agent-Based Simulation for a Credit Card Market” by Haifeng Zhang ’12 (Computer Science) are just a few examples of the topics that were presented. Students worked with faculty mentors throughout the year on these projects.
A “Celebration of Writing” took place in the Atrium, with students reciting poetry and short stories that they had written throughout the year. Two papers were read in French, making this the first year that non-English entries were accepted. Sixty students presented, and awards of distinction were presented to 14 students whose outstanding work ranged from memoir/nonfiction to academic research papers.
In the Honors Center, honors students made their thesis presentations from 1-3 p.m. Topics ranged from a discussion of human behavior and costume design by Laura Johnsen ’12 (Psychology, Theatre Arts) to an analysis of Kafka’s letters and poetry by Marc Perrin ’12 (Creative Writing). From 4-6 p.m., students from the Art Foundation displayed their work in the Smiley Art Building and the rotunda of the Fine Arts Building.
Each of these showcase events helped students gain experience presenting their research and creativity, and also introduced their work to fellow students, New Paltz alumni, faculty from other departments, and residents from the surrounding area. By presenting their work, students also participated in a professional, collaborative environment similar to what many will encounter as they begin their careers.