Beacuse LIS is such a large and multi-faceted organization, we are not always aware of what various parts of the organizaton do. I thought it might be useful to describe LIS’s critical role in supporting the Spring Student Symposium on April 14-15. As a member of the planning committee, I would like to thank the many LIS staff and student workers who made the event run so smoothly. If I’ve neglected to mention someone who participated, my apologies.
Over the last few years, the symposium has grown from a small number of science students presenting posters of their research to a College-wide event celebrating the academic research that permeates the entire curriculum. This spring, for the first time, the symposium included evening events celebrating the arts and humanities. Also, this year, the Spring Preview program for accepted students and their parents, run by Admissions, coincided with the Symposium enabling these students and their families to attend Symposium events. In short, this was a very high profile event both within and beyond the College. Making the technology run smoothly was a challenge that LIS met most successfully.Prior to the start of the symposium, Mack Roark conducted workshops on creating and printing posters. The digital media tutors, Ben Meader, Ansally Kuria, Catherine Kemboi, Alexander Russo, Ewen Bazirake, James Maru, Kevin Thorsen, Laurel Taylor, Maria Lloyd, Alhaji Jalloh, Laxman Timilsina, Christian Woolson, Erik Fendik and Xuefeng (Quincy) Liao worked in the Media Lab to help students with their posters and presentations and staffed the rooms in Bicentennial Hall Monday through Wednesday evenings so that students could rehearse.
On Thursday evening, June 14th, the symposium began with President Liebowitz introducing the keynote speaker, Brad Corrigan ’96 in the Concert Hall. Media Services provided the necessary expertise to project the audio and video of the keynote address to overflow venues. In particular, Scott Witt and his student assistants, Adeeb Choudhury, Preethi Mangar, Redwan Rokon and Savant Shrestha, insured that the proceedings went smoothly, without a hitch. Following the keynote, there were two 45 minute sessions including open dance (Dance Theatre) and theater rehearsals (Seeler Studio), classical and jazz performed by students in the concert hall, a student film presentation in the Rehearsal Room and costume design in the Upper Lobby. A last minute concert by Brad Corrigan was added to the schedule, beginning at 10:30. This further increased the support load on Media Services who handled it with great skill and aplomb.
Friday’s events featured poster presentations (about 40) in the Great Hall and oral presentations in 8 classrooms in McCardell Bicentennial Hall (MBH). Additional events were held in the lobby, gallery and pit of the Johnson Building. The oral presentations ran concurrently with a new presentation every 15 minutes. Some of the presentation sites had built in podia and computer. Because the students used both Mac and PC’s platorms, we setup both in each presentation space. Thanks to Petar Mitrevski and Bryan Foley for configuring these machines to meet the specific needs of the students, enabling the smooth downloading of the presentations from middfiles to the local machines. And thanks to Media Services for checking all projectors, expected bulb life and running extra controls for rooms without computers.
Each presentation room was staffed during the day by an LIS staff person to troubleshoot any problems. Thanks to: Joe Antonioli, Bryan Carson, Alex Chapin, Dave Guertin, Brian Foley, Matt La France and Ian McBride for staffing these rooms. Some of Joe’s digital media tutors (listed above) were also on hand to help students with their presentations and avoid problems.
Every session was run by a moderator. This is a honor typically reserved for faculty. However, this year, for the first time, several of the LIS liaisons acted as moderators: Brenda Elis moderated the “Do the Right Thing” session, Carol Peddie for the “Technology Influence & Communication” session while Andy Wentink moderated the “American Travel Writing Projects: Missionary Journals from the 1800’s” and “American Travel Writing Projects: Travel Journals from 1818-1918” sessions. Joy Pile moderated “Rereading/Rewriting: What We Learn from Translation and Adaptation” and Carrie Macfarlane moderated “Boats, Bees, Cows, and Trees: Local Initiatives. Thanks to Andy, Brenda, Carol, Carrie, and Joy for a job well done.
While the presentations were going on, Ian McBride with the help of Laxman Timilsina, and Kevin Thorsen recorded video of some of the sessions so that the goings on could be included in the MiddLabs section of the web site. Thanks to Ian and students.
Following the day of poster and oral presentations, there was a reception in the Great Hall complete with a ‘surprise’ mob flash dance. The sound setup for this and the requisite sound check were again handled smoothly by the Media Services group, Charlie Conway, Scott Witt and Stuart Lane in particular. On Friday evening, the symposium ended with more events at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, much to the delight of a tired but satisfied LIS crew.
All things considered, the symposium was a major success, there was a real buzz and sense of energy throughout Thursday evening and all day Friday. For the LIS participants, it was a great opportunity to see the end result of a lot of our efforts supporting teaching, learning and research, and the excitement and joy such research generates among our faculty and students. As you can see, these services are invaluable and integrally tied to the mission of the College.