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Liberal Arts Symposium Showcases Student Research

(Posted April 12, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College will cancel classes on April 21, but it's less a holiday for the student body than a way to expand their knowledge. Instead, Juniata students will be free to see what kind of research and projects their classmates have been working on.

The Juniata Liberal Arts Symposium 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 21 in buildings across the campus, including Brumbaugh Academic Center, the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, Founders Hall and the von Liebig Center for Science.

One unique presentation will beam through to the Juniata campus via Skype, the online videoconferencing tool. Noah Denton, a senior from Hanover, N.H. studying informatics and storytelling, will present his research on developing an online computer game from the Catholic University of Lille in France.

The college also will feature a speaker, Josef Michl, professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado, who will speak on "A Possible Route to Cheaper Solar Electricity" at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 21 in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Academic Center. Michl's research, in part, has looked at novel ideas for solar energy conversion.

Juniata's Liberal Arts symposium, now in its fourth year, is open to many more academic departments. According to Dennis Johnson, assistant provost and professor of environmental science, who organized the event, more than 181 students from 20 different academic departments will be presenting research.

Throughout the day there will be 75 poster presentations and 106 oral presentations. The distribution of research throughout categories counts 40 projects in the humanities, 49 projects in the social sciences and 92 projects in natural sciences.

One unique presentation will beam through to the Juniata campus via Skype, the online videoconferencing tool. Noah Denton, a senior from Hanover, N.H. studying informatics and storytelling, will present his research on developing an online computer game from the Catholic University of Lille in France. Denton also has been attending every week (via Skype) the Juniata-based information technology course for which he developed his research.

The cancellation of regular classes allows all rooms to be available for presentations and frees volunteer students and faculty to act as judges.

Exhibitions by students in the visual arts and performing arts are planning programs as well. 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 during the day. In addition, students studying the visual arts may be painting in the science building periodically during the day. The artwork of four students majoring in the visual arts, "Senior Capstone Project," also will be on display at the Juniata Museum of Art.

In the evening Juniata theatre students will present a collective presentations of love scenes from famous plays and musicals, collectively titled "Delicious/Vicious." The various productions will be created, performed and directed collaboratively by members of The Gravity Project and Juniata students. "Delicious/Vicious" will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 21 through Saturday, April 24 in the von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center.

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