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Dissecting the Liberal Arts Symposium

(Posted March 10, 2014)

Heather Bumbarger, Megan Brenneman, and Gerald Kruse Photography by Kelly Russo, '14

Each year Juniata presents the Liberal Arts Symposium. This is an event that is a snapshot of what research Juniata students have been working on throughout the year. I spoke to the organizers, Heather Bumbarger, educational services assistant, Megan Brenneman, theatre arts assistant, and Gerald Kruse, professor of math and computer science and assistant provost, to learn more about the annual event.

Q: What is the Liberal Arts Symposium?

A: The Liberal Arts Symposium is on April 16. Classes are canceled and students present things that they have been working on. These projects are mainly research projects, but art work, music, and theater performances also are part of the symposium. During the Liberal Arts Symposium, there is also a multicultural story festival, where students from other countries dress in their traditional cultural garb and tell stories from their countries. This year we are also introducing the Labyrinth. This will be held outside of the library and will be hosted by campus ministry.

Q: What is the purpose of the Liberal Arts Symposium?

A: This is a chance for the students to present their work and receive feedback. It is also a celebration of all of the amazing and unique things Juniata students are doing.

Q: Who has to participate in it?

A: No one is forced to participate in the Liberal Arts Symposium, other than those who have received a scholarship from the fellowship committee.

Q: Who does participate in this event?

A: Mainly, the participants are upperclassmen. We do have some sophomores and freshmen, however, who participate. The Liberal Arts Symposium is open to any Juniata student.

Q: What type of subjects are discussed?

A: This is a liberal arts college, so we have a broad range of POEs. The projects are also very individualized to the student or the groups of students. The Liberal Arts Symposium is a day where students and faculty can see just how interesting Juniata students are in regards to what they are studying.

Q: How are projects presented?

A: The projects are mainly oral presentations with power points and posters. Each person will have 12 minutes to speak, and they will receive feedback. It is good practice.

Q: How many students will attend?

A: In 2013, there were 80 poster presentations and over 100 presentations. Since there can be group presentations, we had about 400 students participate last year.

Q: How to you register to participate in this event?

A: You need to complete the Notice of Intent form by the given deadline, Feb. 26, which has passed for this year. With this, you just have to say that you are considering participating in the event. You will also need a faculty sponsor. This sponsor does not have to be in your discipline of study.

Q: Where can we find a list of the presentations for this year's Liberal Arts Symposium?

A: Each student will be emailed a schedule of the events that are to be held that day. This schedule will include the names of all speakers. There will also be print out copies of the schedule available on April 16.

Marlene Matula '17, Juniata Online Journalist

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