Middlebury

First annual Spring Student Symposium to showcase undergraduate research April 13

March 30, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Friday, April 13, from 12:30 - 7:30 p.m., more than 56 Middlebury College students will showcase the results of their recent research efforts as part of the first annual Middlebury College Spring Student Symposium. The symposium will highlight student work through a mix of lectures, performances, posters, artwork and readings. The presentations will take place in the Great Hall and various classrooms of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). All events are free and open to the public.

The event, organized by the Middlebury College Undergraduate Research Office, is designed to integrate undergraduates more fully into research activities both on and off campus. Professor of Geology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research Patricia Manley and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Karen Guttentag oversee the office and work closely with students and colleagues to help identify, develop and carry out research opportunities.

At 12:15 p.m. in the Great Hall, Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz will offer introductory remarks, followed by speaker Erich Osterberg, a 1999 Middlebury College graduate, who will discuss his career path in research.

At Middlebury, Osterberg majored in geology and spent his junior year abroad studying at the University of Otago in New Zealand and James Cook University in Australia. During his senior year, he investigated the circulation system of Lake Champlain for his thesis. After graduating, he returned to New Zealand as a Fulbright Scholar to earn a master of science in geology at the University of Otago. Osterberg will complete his doctoral degree this spring at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute and begin post-doctoral research through the University of Maine and Dartmouth College.

Highlights of this year's symposium include the following student presentations:

. Lee Corbett, whose study of "Vermont Terroir: Investigating the Relationship Between Maple Syrup Chemistry and Bedrock Lithology" analyzed how the terroir, or place of origin, of different varieties can affect their tastes. She will provide taste-testing samples relating to her research.
1:30 p.m., Great Hall, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

. Alison Brown, whose research is titled "A Study of Solar Power in Vermont," explored solar energy as a viable alternative energy option. According to Brown, the goal of the study was to maximize the amount of energy generated from solar panels during a Vermont winter through various modifications.
1:30 p.m., Room 220, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

. Amanda Kleinman's "The Popularizers in the Urban Folk Revival" explores the late 1940s to 1960s, when folk music underwent fundamental changes from its traditionally rural and Southern heritage to a style that exploded in the urban northeast. Known as the Urban Folk Revival, this era produced artists such as the Weavers and Bob Dylan. Kleinman's research examines the original songs and their more modern versions to help explain the success of 1960s folk artists.
1:45 p.m., Room 104, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

. Noah Webb Walker and Rebecca Waters worked together on their study of "Social Entrepreneurship," which is the development of innovative solutions to society's most pressing issues without assistance from government or business sectors. Walker and Waters will discuss how social entrepreneurship fits into today's global society and provide examples of social entrepreneurs.
2 p.m., Room 216, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

. Karina Arrue's "Contemplation on Religious Life at Middlebury" examines the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of Middlebury students. Through interviews and other sources, Arrue explores religious background and the role of faith in academics.
2:45 p.m., Room 216, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

. Katherine Belon's presentation is titled "What do college kids worry about? Examining Gender and Parent-child relationships." According to Belon, worrying is a pervasive phenomenon among college students, but most research overlooks everyday worrying to focus on pathological worrying. She surveyed 200 Middlebury College students over two semesters to gather her data.
2:45 p.m., Room 219, McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Following the presentations, from 6 - 7:30 p.m., all are invited to attend a closing reception, also in the Great Hall.

For more information, contact Professor of Geology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research Patricia Manley at manley@middlebury.edu or 802-443-5430, or Associate Dean of Student Affairs Karen Guttentag at kguttent@middlebury.edu or 802-443-2024.