Richard J Cook – Teresa M Lahti Scholars Symposium

2022 Schedule of Events

Join us as we gather to celebrate student research, scholarship, and creative activities on campus. Please note that because of changes to the 2021-2022 academic calendar, the 2022 Scholars Symposium will be held on Saturday May 14th this year! All Allegheny students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the following events, which are planned to be held in-person. Please note: Vaccinated family members and guests attending these events must remain masked while inside College buildings. Unvaccinated guests should wear masks at all times while on campus.

This website will be updated as we add, revise, and finalize details… so please be sure to check back frequently.

For more information, please contact Dr. Matthew Venesky (mvenesky@allegheny.edu), Director of URSCA.

Monday May 9th-Tuesday May 10th

Biology Department Senior Project Symposium. 1:10PM-4:30PM, various rooms in Steffee Hall of Life Sciences

The Department of Biology is pleased to host its 25th Annual Senior Project Symposium to celebrate the biological research accomplishments of the Class of 2022. All members of the college community are invited and welcome to attend. Juniors, sophomores, and freshmen who are majoring or intending to major in Biology are especially encouraged to attend and participate. Follow this link for the full schedule of Biology Senior Presentations.

Friday May 13th

A Campus Address by David Epstein. 4:30 PM, Vukovich Center for Communication Arts

Join us in welcoming New York Times best-selling author and science writer David Epstein to campus for a discussion on the topic of interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. In his newest #1 New York Times bestseller (RANGE: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World), Mr. Epstein brings bold new insights to business, education, technological innovation, healthcare and other industries on the best approach to career development, hiring and retention amid rapid technological change. His conclusion is that in most fields, generalists (not specialists) are primed to excel, and only organizations that cultivate them will survive. This event will be open to students, faculty, staff, and campus community members. This event is sponsored by Dusty Elias Kirk ’75. Please see this post on MyAllegheny with information about registering to attend this event.

Saturday May 14th

Mentor Breakfast (RSVP Required). 10:00AM-11:00AM, Campus Center Lobby

Are you a first or second year student interested in opportunities to engage in research, internships, civic engagement, or other Allegheny opportunities like these? Would you like to talk with students, faculty, or staff who have participated in such opportunities in the past? If so, please complete this Google Form (will be live in April) to RSVP for the Scholars Symposium Mentor Breakfast. The Mentor Breakfast is a casual, catered breakfast where first year and second year students can mingle and talk with graduating seniors, professors, and representatives from the Maytum Center for Student Success about how to get involved in these opportunities at Allegheny.

Student Spotlight Session. 11:00AM-12:30PM, Campus Center

During this session, students from across all years and disciplines will present research projects and creative activities that they have completed during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Session 1. Student Posters (Campus Center Lobby). Students from Business and Economics, Philosophy, English, Environmental Science and Sustainability, and Biology will present posters associated with the scholarship that they’ve conducted during the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition, students that are part of Professor Carter’s Oil and Gas Geology course will present the work that they’ve completed as part of a class project as well as students that are part of the Bonner Program.

Session 2. Empowering Women – Community-Based Visions for Change, Global Citizen Scholars (2nd Floor of Campus Center). Students from Professor Ishita Sinha Roy and Professor Caryl Waggett’s Global Citizen Scholars (GCS) class of 2024 cohort will present their capstone experience from their engagement with the GCS program.  They will provide an overview of the program theme, a brief showcase of their domestic service-learning projects with Women’s Services locally, and will highlight case studies of efforts to empower women through access to health, access to education, and wealth generation (women’s cooperatives and other examples of income creation).  These case studies were derived from programming with partner community-based organizations in Ghana, India, and Costa Rica and contextualized with background research on the specific topic and region.  Students will reflect on the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in effecting change in women’s lives both domestically and in communities around the globe. 

Commencement Recital. 12:00PM-1:00PM, Ford Chapel

The Music Department hosts an annual recital to showcase work by members of the graduating class.  Join senior class singers and instrumentalists as they perform solo and collaborative selections from their performance studies.

Keynote Session. 1:00PM-2:00PM, Schultz Banquet Hall

At this session, Professor Ben Slote, Professor of English at Allegheny College, will start off this special session with some reflections on what undergraduate research has meant to him. Following Professor Slote’s opening remarks, three seniors (nominated by their respective departments/programs), will give eight minute presentations describing their senior project experiences. The 2022 Student Keynote Speakers are:

Tianna A. Clay (Double Major in ESS and Community & Justice Studies), who will present “Global BIPOC Climate Activism vs. Mainstream Environmentalism.” Abstract: This project draws attention to the shortcomings of mainstream environmental movements. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) youth climate activists throughout the globe, especially those coming from majority-world countries, are all too often ignored and discredited for their contributions to environmentalism by mainstream environmental movements, along with elite media and academic institutions that partake in environmental discourse. The fact that many of these BIPOC climate activists are also experiencing the climate crisis more quickly and severely than those from relatively white, wealthy, and Western countries shows the risk(s) and violence that can be tied to erasure, oppression, and marginalization. As a result of various forms of globalized systemic oppression, white activists (particularly those from wealthier, industrialized countries), receive more attention, credit, and coverage relative to the climate work they are doing compared to other climate activists that are working out of majority-world countries and small-island communities. White voices from wealthy countries are given precedence over those of global BIPOC climate activists, and so are their contributions and concerns relative to climate change discourse and decision making. These omissions result in the deliberate erasure of environmentalists who do not readily conform to mainstream ideas surrounding environmentalism that are rooted in globalized forms of white supremacy. This project employs a case-study approach to examine the implications of these shortcomings, paired with an analysis of the strategies being utilized by climate activists and groups in various parts of the world to combat these oppressive systems today. These case studies can be used by climate activists across the globe who are working to uphold climate justice within their own communities in their battle against oppressive institutions and corporations.

Aubrey Hall (Political Science Major, Communication & Cultural Studies Minor), who will present “The Workplace as a Site for Political Sensemaking: Toward a Reimagined Civic Competence.” Abstract: Studies of political sensemaking have neglected the workplace as a site of experiencing and understanding the political world. Based on a series of semi-structured interviews and participant observation at a small family-owned restaurant in Colorado, I examine how sensemaking takes place among coworkers. I find that workers carve out time and space for political talk even when it’s difficult, and that political talk serves a function in the social context of the restaurant. I also find that they use shared work experiences to make political conclusions and understand their coworkers’ perspectives, and that in doing so they exhibit a kind of civic expertise which is not being captured, let alone measured, by the mainstream public opinion canon. My findings indicate that the perspectives of working people could stand to greatly enhance the portrait of the ideal democratic citizen.

Ariana Suggs (English major, Psychology minor), who will present “This Body is Glory”. Abstract: The title of my senior project is “There is a Well.” The well is a meaningful landmark in my memories from childhood. It symbolizes a container for those memories, but also refers to the act of welling. The welling is synonymous with my culminating realization of who I am through exploring my ancestry, childhood, faith, body, and mental health. I did research on Black theology which gave me a vantage point from which to assess how I view my body and how generational trauma factors into that. My minor is psychology, so I also included elements on how trauma and memories can leave lasting impacts on our bodies. Moreover, I close read other poets who inspired the style and some subjects of my poems and preface. There are so many elements of who we are—who I am. And I tend to box myself into one facet of my identity, which overlooks all the other facets that make up who I am. Why should I reduce who I am to one dimension when one dimension is not a complete portrait of me? In many ways the work of this senior project has placed me on the path to step into my full self—to reconcile this body back to glory.

Senior Project Poster Session. 2:15PM-3:45PM, Main Floor of the Pelletier Library

For the past 16 years, Allegheny College has held a Senior Project Poster Symposium to highlight work from nominated students across all departments and programs. At this session, you can learn about research and scholarly activities from graduating seniors in the humanities, natural and social sciences, interdisciplinary pursuits, as well as seniors that have participated in internships, civic engagement projects, and international experiences. More information about this event will be provided in April.

Honors Convocation. 4:00PM-5:00PM, Ford Chapel

At this special ceremony, student prizes are announced and awarded by representatives of all the departments and programs at Allegheny College. In addition, the valedictorian of the 2022 graduating class will speak.

Scholars Symposium Reception. 5:00PM-6:00PM, Main Floor of the Pelletier Library

We invite you back to the Main floor of the Pelletier Library after the Honors Convocation for one last chance to mingle, look at posters, chat with colleagues, and to celebrate student success and scholarship during the 2021-2022 academic year. Light refreshments will be provided.

Senior Project Film Screening. 7:00PM-8:30PM, Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center

Olivia P. Mailliard
DREAMS
Double Major in FDS and ASI

Jacob Opie
The Case DePomme with Stubblefield and Greenhow
Communication Arts Major
Double Minor in Writing and WGSS

Hirotaka Doi
Allegheny College Esports Team
Communication Arts & Integrative Informatics double major

Shyler Kreitz
Animation Changed My Life
FDS Major and Education Minor

Jordan Pierce
Circle of Obsidian
Communication Arts Major and Political Science Minor

Madison Sherman
Women in Streams
Environmental Science Major and Communication Arts Minor