Scholars Symposium 2019

The Richard J. Cook — Teresa M. Lahti Scholars Symposium


All Allegheny students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the following events. In addition, we welcome family members as well as members of the Meadville community. Please share this schedule with anyone who would be interested in joining us.

For more information, please contact Aimee Knupsky, Director of URSCA, at

MONDAY, APRIL 22nd and TUESDAY, APRIL 23rd, 2019

Biology Senior Project Symposium

1:10 PM – 4:30 PM, Steffee Hall of Life Sciences, Rooms 208, 212, and 306

The Department of Biology is pleased to host its Twenty-Second Annual Senior Project Symposium to celebrate the biological research accomplishments of the Class of 2019. 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. The full schedule is available on the Biology Department senior projects page.

TUESDAY APRIL 23rd, 2019

Senior Projects Art Show

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, The Bowman~Penelec~Megahan Art Galleries

Opening Reception and Celebration. Every Allegheny College student completes a Senior Project in his or her major field–a significant piece of original research or creative work. Studio Art and Art & Technology majors create bodies of artwork around a central idea or theme and then present their works professionally in the galleries at the end of the semester. All participating students will talk about their works at the gallery reception on April 23rd.

MONDAY APRIL 29th, 2019

Global Health Studies Senior Project Poster Celebration

4:30 to 6:00 PM in Carr Hall, rooms 238 and 239

Presentations of all of the senior comprehensive projects completed by Global Health Studies students.


Mentor Breakfast–RSVP REQUIRED

10:00 AM – 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 apply to attend the Scholars Symposium Mentor Breakfast on Tuesday, April 30th. The Mentor Breakfast is a casual, catered breakfast where first year and second year students can mingle and talk with seniors, professors, and Gateway representatives about how to get involved in these opportunities at Allegheny. Because breakfast will be provided and we want to have a sufficient number of mentors available, this is an RSVP event. If you are interested in participation, please fill out the Google Form no later than Monday, April 22nd by 5 pm.

Student Spotlight Session

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, various locations (see below for details)

During this session, students from across all years and disciplines will present projects and activities that they completed over the past academic year. The three specific events for this year’s Student Spotlight session include the following:

Project Poster Session, Campus Center Lobby
Students from Biology, Communication Arts, Education Studies, Environmental Science, Geology, Physics, Psychology, and WGSS (among others) will present posters about projects they have completed this year as part of a class, independent study research project, or internship. Topics include legal issues in public education, critical perspectives in global women’s health, examinations of the PA oil and gas industry, proposals to use sheep in lieu of gas-powered mowers, how reading may impact socio-cognitive skills, whether Megalodon could jump, and other fascinating questions that reflect community based research, interdisciplinary research, as well as undergraduate research in the humanities.

Clay, Climate, and Conversation: The Age of Us, Campus Center 301/302
Students in FS102 Art, Life and Activism in the Anthropocene, will facilitate a story circle focused on gratitude for nature. Please join us for a hands-on art-based activity in which we will use clay to shape stories and share thoughts about the natural world.

Oral History Projects, Pelletier Library Collaboratory
Students from Professor Brian Miller’s Introduction to International Studies course will share the oral history projects they completed as a part of the course. These oral history projects examine various aspects of the Syrian refugee crisis including women’s issues, water concerns, the impact on children and families, health and disease, exploitation, the impact on European economies, and the role of compassion and fear. Students will present videos of these projects and engage those who attend in conversation about their work.



At this session, Professor Ivelitza Garcia from the Chemistry department will start us off with her reflections upon what undergraduate research has meant to her and her students. Then, three seniors will give eight minute presentations describing their senior project experiences. These students were nominated by their respective departments or programs. Titles and abstracts for these three talks are provided below. We would also like to celebrate that Elisia Wright (Computer Science and Environmental Studies double major) was accepted to present her work at the 23rd annual Posters on the Hill event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Her project, conducted with Professor Janyl Jumadinova, was entitled An Intelligent Underwater Robotic Sensing System for Water Quality Testing. Only 60 students from over 350 submissions were selected to present their work. Finally, the 2018-2019 Library Research Award recipients will be recognized.

Camila Gomez ’19 (International Studies major; Communication Arts and Spanish minor)
“No Me Gustan Los Moros”: Racism and Xenophobia in Spain
This research seeks to understand the complexity and urgency of racist and xenophobic sentiment in Spain, which is unlike elsewhere in Europe. By interrogating its origins, assessing its evolution, and articulating the potential consequences of its proliferation, this research reveals how Spain conceptualizes race and migration in particular ways and has reacted to global political events as a result. Spanish history and political circumstances have made it an exceptional case for studying these issues, while its geographical positioning on the European Union’s external border with Africa emphasizes the direct relationship between Spain’s political climate and the well-being of the continent. At a time when we are witnessing the rise of ultra-right, xenophobic, nationalist parties across the EU, not only Spain, I hope to draw attention to these issues and offer a first step toward addressing them.

Katharine Hubert ’19 (Biology and Music double major; Psychology minor)
Muspeak: American Music Language
The nature of music makes a convincing argument for its stance as a language. However, esteemed philosophers have countered this notion for centuries, mainly because music cannot make direct assertions. I have used musical conventions to adapt music and make it a language. The end product, Muspeak, is a translational tool used to convert English to American Music Language. With this, music can now convey direct meaning and function, on its own, as a language.

Griffin Sullivan ’19 (Economics major; Communication Arts minor)
The Effect of a Female CEO on Firm Profitability of Fortune 500 Companies
In the United States, gender discrimination is a persistent issue within the corporate workforce. Specifically, women have been hindered in terms of high-level positions such as Chief Executive Officer. By analyzing female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, the effects on firm profitability were measured. In CEO positions, there is no legitimate reason as to why women cannot perform to the same standard as men. There is a possibility, as well as a high likelihood, that the predominance of men in CEO positions has led to an inefficiency within the market. This inefficiency, therefore, passes over qualified women as CEO candidates. As a result, firms that hire female CEOs have the possibility to see improved performance as a result of these decisions. This study uses different financial indicators such as revenue, gross profit, and earnings per share to conduct regression analysis. Over a five-year period using cross-sectional data from Fortune 500 companies, females have varying effects based on the financial indicator. This study finds that women are typically put in positions to take over firms that generate less revenue. In addition, the results show that women perform no better or worse than men after controlling for the firms both genders manage.

Senior Project Poster Session


For the past 14 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 representing the humanities, the natural and social sciences, interdisciplinary pursuits, and Gateway endeavors such as internships, civic engagement projects, and international experiences. Approximately 60 students will present their work.

Also at the Poster Session, we will host the annual senior project book fair. Department of English seniors have selected favorite books related to their comprehensive projects. Copies from this curated list of books will be available for purchase at heavily discounted rates, courtesy of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

Finally–you can only grab your commemorative Cook – Lahti Scholars Symposium computer decal at this session–so make sure to look for yours when you come!

Honors Convocation

4:00 PM – 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 2018 graduating class will speak and the teaching awards will be announced.

Scholars Symposium Reception


Following the Honors Convocation, we invite everyone to join us at the Scholars Symposium reception on the main floor of the Pelletier Library.

Snacks and drinks will be provided and this will be the last chance to explore the senior posters on exhibit!

Dance and Movement Studies Performance

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Montgomery Performance Space

It’s not over yet! After the Scholars Symposium reception, please join us as the minors for the Dance and Movement studies program showcase their work in a special performance. There will be a facilitated conversation after the performance. All are welcome!

Communication Senior Project Film Screening

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM, Vukovich Center, Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre

But wait, there’s still more! The Communication Arts department is proud to host a screening of senior project films by seniors Emily Evans, Brian Hill, Rosa Orduno, Connor Riley, Brandon Sellers, Olivia Spinelli, and Dion Stephenson. We can smell the popcorn now…

14th Annual Student-Athlete Awards Celebration


The Allegheny College community is invited to attend the 2019 Senior Student-Athlete Awards Celebration. The Department of Athletics encourages all faculty, staff, administrators and friends of the department to join us as we look back at the outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes this past year, in addition to celebrating the four-year careers of the senior class. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Bill Ross at (814) 332-2316.