Richard J Cook – Teresa M Lahti Scholars Symposium

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 — Schedule of Events

At the conclusion of each spring semester, all Allegheny Community members are invited to gather to celebrate student research, scholarship, and creative activities on campus. The Cook-Lahti Scholars Symposium will take place in various locations throughout the day. However, there are a number of Affiliated Scholars Symposium events that are taking place in the days leading up to the main event. Please view the schedule of events below and keep in mind that 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 (, Director of URSCA.

Affiliated Events — April 22–29

Monday & Tuesday, April 22-23, 1:10–4:30 PM
Biology Department Senior Project Symposium,
various rooms in Steffee Hall of Life Sciences
The Department of Biology is pleased to host its 26th Annual Senior Project Symposium to celebrate the biological research accomplishments of the Class of 2024. 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.

Monday, April 29, 4:30–6:00 PM
Global Health Studies Senior Poster Celebration, Carr Hall Lobby, 238, and 239
Please join The Department of Global Health Studies and members of the 2024 graduating class during their annual Senior Project Symposium to celebrate the research accomplishments of the Class of 2024. All members of the college community are invited and welcome to attend.

Scholars Symposium — Tuesday, April 30

Mentor Breakfast (RSVP Required)
10:00–11:00 AM, 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 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
11:00 AM–Noon, Campus Center & Allegheny Art Galleries

Session 1: Academic Posters. During this session, students from across all years and disciplines will present research projects and creative activities that they have completed during the 2023-2024 academic year. Stop by the Campus Center lobby to view the outcomes of these projects and chat with our student scholars.

Session 2: During this session, Senior comp students majoring in the Art Department will be in the Allegheny Art Galleries along with representative pieces. Please pop by and view their work during this morning session.

Campus Celebration and Lunch
Noon–1:15 PM, Brooks Walk

A celebration for the Allegheny Community will take place on Brooks Walk from noon to 1:15. There will be a ceremony near Reis Hall at noon. Speakers will include President Cole, Provost Haddad and VP for Advancement Matt Stinson. They will be sharing news about exciting projects that will be taking place at Allegheny in the coming months.

Lunch will be provided free of charge. There will be food trucks on Brooks Walk and tables and chairs in Brooks Circle. In the event of inclement weather, the food trucks will be on the walkway near Carnegie Hall and seating will be in Schultz Dining Hall.

Keynote Session
1:30–2:20 PM, Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center

Dr. Ishita Sinha-Roy, Professor (Department of Communication, Media, and Performance)
Professor Sinha-Roy will deliver the Faculty Keynote Address, titled “iWonder” in which Professor Sinha-Roy will provide a brief reflection on how dead people, photobombing in India, Grounds for Change (GFC), and (un)zipping, have produced great research. Following Professor Sinha-Roy’s remarks, the following three seniors, nominated by their respective programs, will give brief presentations describing highlights from their senior projects.

India McCruter
Major: Political Science
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Columbus, OH

Title: “The Care of Justice”

Abstract: The goal of The Care of Justice is to theorize what role, if any, compassion has in how Americans approach achieving racial justice to support the health and viability of the United States democracy. The project utilizes the Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision as a founding ideal and principle of achieving racial justice in the educational structure. Through further analysis, the degree of racial education disparities suggests that the intentions of the Brown v Board of Education decision have in the long term failed due to the political interests that led to the decision. The work of Care of Justice proposes that to ultimately achieve racial justice compassion must be a part of the political approach of citizens who want a healthy and sustainable democracy.

Ankitha Pamula
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Athens, PA

Title: “Sleep Quality & Cell Phone Use: A Survey Performed In Allegheny College Students”

Abstract: Sleep is increasingly important for the brain and mental and physical well being. Unfortunately, there are many variables which contribute to worsening sleep quality. My research focused on determining if problematic cell phone use has any correlation to sleep quality. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Problematic Use of Mobile Phone (PUMP) scales were paired together in a survey and distributed to Allegheny College students. Data collected from 68 students was analyzed statistically and found to have a statistically significant moderately positive correlation between the PSQI and PUMP scores. This moderate positive correlation indicates some influence of phone use on sleep quality, but not as the sole factor. Other factors that may influence sleep quality are stress, socioeconomic status, academic achievement, physical activity, and smoking.

Lirona Wainer-Yaffe
Major: English (Literature)
Minors: Political science and psychology
Hometown: Rehovot, Israel

Title: “How Maxwell Perkins’s Relationships Inform Contemporary Approaches to Cultivating Successful Author-Editor Relationships in U.S Book Publishing”

Abstract: In order to answer my research question, “What is a successful author-editor relationship?” I examined the author-editor relationships of Maxwell Perkins and three of his authors – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings – by analyzing and closely reading their correspondences, as shared in Editor to Author: The letters of Maxwell Perkins (Wheelock 1950), and Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (Berg 1978). It was imperative that I investigate more than one relationship, since each author-editor relationship is unique. It is impossible to glean what constitutes a good editor, or what informs a successful author-editor relationship, from one single example. Not only do different editors take different approaches, but the same editor may also take varying approaches to each distinct author-editor relationship they are part of. My exploration of Perkins’s relationships with Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and Rawlings individually illuminated the differences, and the consistencies, in Perkins’s navigation of author-editor relationships, thereby revealing when his conduct formed patterns, standards, and methodologies that could be adapted so that they are useful to today’s editors in cultivating successful author-editor relationships

Senior Project Poster Session
2:30–3:45PM, Main Floor of the Pelletier Library

For the past 18 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. Light refreshments will be provided.

Honors Convocation
4:00–5:00 PM, 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 2024 graduating class will speak.

Final Poster Viewing
5:00–6:00 PM, 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 2023-2024 academic year. Light refreshments will be provided.

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

Please join us in the theatre for a screening of senior project films conceived and produced by students across several academic programs:

Kyle Chandler: “Rescue II” (Narrative)
Emmalee Brammer: “(re)collection” (Experimental)
Sasha Holguin: “Felt the Power” (Educational)
Willie Knight: “YES” (Documentary)
Trevon Worship: “Allegiance” (Narrative)