Undergraduate Symposium features variety

Julie Weber represented the art department at the Undergraduate Symposium with her presentation titled, “Altered Books: Revealing Hidden Lines.” The symposium featured more than 300 students presenting research from disciplines throughout the university.

Eastern Michigan University’s 30th annual Undergraduate Symposium was held Friday, putting the spotlight on students showcasing their academic research and activities. 

Faculty sponsors stood by while undergraduate students performed or presented the projects they have been working on for most of the year. Many of the students have dedicated a lot of their time to these presentations, with the symposium being the culmination of their work.

Early in the morning, Adrienne Clark, from the department of music and dance, performed a beautiful version of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 27 in, “A Contest between the Head and Heart: Piano Sonata No. 27.” Clark said she had been working on this piece since October, and enjoys performing for an audience.

“I took lessons as a kid, and I hated it, but ever since high school I have been taking it seriously,” she said. She admitted being nervous but performed well despite the fact.

The Undergraduate Symposium at EMU is one of the longest running programs in the country. Hundreds were in attendance at this year’s event. The wide variety of disciplines covered ensured anyone attending would be interested.

Danielle Swidan, from the department of history and philosophy, displayed an interesting project explaining the historical reasons for rhinoplasty and the early techniques used. Swidan said rhinoplasty was started in India, as a way to repair the wounds done to people punished for adultery.

Swidan said, “I have always been interested in medicine, but I don’t want to be a doctor.” She plans on being a teacher, and wants to create a “blood and guts” class on the history of medicine. She expects it to be a big hit among high school students.

Ryan Fox, Dalia Gutierrez and Matthew Kolehmainen, from the School of Engineering Technology, presented a prototype for a rehabilitation assistance walker developed for the Veterans Affairs hospital.

Professor Harvey Lyons sponsored this project. He likes to send his students to the VA Hospital so they can see the real world implications. He said they like to do anything they can for the disabled.

“The students are delighted,” Lyons said. “They want to display all their hard work over the last year.” He added it’s always nice to get a chance to promote the program.

William Fennel attended this year’s event as he had done for the last 25 years. He is a former faculty member of the biology department and winner of the EMU Alumni Association’s highest honor – the Doctor John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award.

He said the best presentation he saw was about the globalization of the National Basketball Association, done by Li Li, a College of Business student. He said Li Li did a great job delivering an oral presentation.

A luncheon for the students and faculty ended the event with Dave Coverly, EMU alumnus and nationally syndicated cartoonist, as the keynote speaker.


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