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Presenting Research: Juniata Liberal Arts Symposium Celebrates Knowledge

(Posted April 9, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Following in the historical legacy of Mountain Day, a traditional free day for recreation in the fall semester at Juniata College that goes back to the early 1900s, Juniata students will soon get a day free from class schedules to stretch their minds. The Juniata Liberal Arts Symposium, known jokingly on campus as \"Mountain Day for the Mind,\" brings together students from almost all academic disciplines to present their research projects to panels of judges. The oral and poster presentations will run from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 18 in buildings across the campus, including Brumbaugh Academic Center (including Dale Hall), Ellis Hall, Good Hall and the von Liebig Center for Science. \"Juniata students do a wide range of scholarly activities, from lab-bench research to creative performances in the arts,\" says Paula Martin, assistant provost and professor of environmental science at the college. \"This makes visible the diversity of academic life at Juniata -- which is important for the first year student thinking about what they want to do later in their Juniata career, and important for the graduating senior, to see examples of the depth and breadth of their liberal arts education.\" Juniata has always staged research symposiums, but this expanded event builds on the inaugural symposium last year, which is now open to many more academic departments. According to Martin, who organized the event, almost 200 students from more than 20 different academic programs will be presenting research. This year, in addition to student presenters from all the sciences, plus humanities, information technology, business and behavioral sciences, the symposium will expand the program to include world languages and visual and performing arts. The cancellation of regular classes allows all rooms to be available for presentations and frees the entire faculty to act as judges. Students whose presentations are judged to be the best will receive monetary awards at the college\'s spring convocation, May 5. The information technology department will hold its research presentations from 1 to 4 p.m. in rooms in the second floor of Brumbaugh Academic Center (Dale Hall). Exhibitions by students in the visual arts and performing arts are included in the symposium this year. There will be a selective exhibition of fine art projects on display in the lobby of the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts from 3 to 3:30 p.m., followed by performances of student theatre projects, collectively titled \"Solo.\" \"Solo\" will run from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the von Liebig Theatre. The \"Solo\" program also will be performed April 18-19 and April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre. \"It\'s expensive for students to conduct scholarly activities -- costly in terms of faculty time, equipment and supplies. Yet it is a priority for Juniata because it\'s clear: student scholarship creates better outcomes for our students -- whether the outcomes are entry into graduate school, successful completion of a doctorate or success in the business world,\" says Martin.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.