College “Celebrates” 10 years of Presenting Undergraduate Research
By Gauri Mangala, Co-Features Editor
Gettysburg College will be hosting its 10th annual Celebration from April 30 to May 5 of this year. Celebration, or the Colloquium on Undergraduate Research, Creative Activity, and Community Engagement, gives Gettysburg students the opportunity to present their research to the campus community in a wide variety of presentations styles: from posters, to panels, to films, to theatre.
As described by the college website, Celebration is “indeed, a celebration – bringing together a wide range of engaged and energized students as they showcase their great work in thesis research, independent study, coursework, study abroad, community and public service, and visual, performing, and studio arts.”
Jared Richardson ’18, a German Studies and Cinema & Media Studies major, will be presenting his German Studies capstone at Celebration. “I knew that I wanted to work with film to some extent, particularly the movies I really liked from Germany. In the course of the lecture, I learned about the idea of the “Clean Wehrmacht,” something that was believed for years by some groups post-WW2. . .basically the idea was that the war crimes of World War 2 were mostly blamed on the SS and Nazi officials. The German army, the Wehrmacht, were (wrongly) considered innocent by many, just soldiers doing their job,” explained Richardson.
He went on, saying, “My research attempts to explain how the Wehrmacht was shown in films in the immediate post-war period, but after this exhibition broke the myth of the Clean Wehrmacht. Basically, it involved a lot of historical context.”
When asked about the significance of his research, Richardson said, “I think it’s still important to talk about World War 2, especially from the German perspective. My time studying abroad in Berlin showed me how tricky it is to look at the war there … I think what’s even more interesting though is that this debate happened at the turn of the millennium for Germany, but Italy is still looking at their role and finding it hard to believe they had a part in the Holocaust, 70 years after the fact.”
Brittany Bondi ’19, an Environmental Studies major, will be presenting research surrounding “a glacial landform called a cirque within Iceland, specifically on the Peninsula of Flateyjarskagi,” explained Bondi. She spent the summer utilizing the software of ArcGIS and Google Earth to identify these cirques, or “bowl-shaped depressions in bedrock that were created by past glaciation of an area.”
Bondi also traveled to Iceland, along with Marion McKenzie ’19 and her mentor, Dr. Sarah Principato, and got to see these cirques from afar while on a ferry to Grimsey, an island north of the mainland.
“I was particularly interested in this research because I find glaciers fascinating. Glaciers are very visible indicators of climate change, and so it was amazing to study what they do to the actual bedrock. It is also fascinating to see how much information can be derived from a single “hole” in the earth,” Bondi commented. “Studying cirques helps us understand past climate patterns in the region of study.By analyzing cirques and then comparing my results to other cirques globally and regionally, I was able to determine some of the factors that allowed the cirques to develop.”
Richardson and Bondi will be joined by many other students of Gettysburg College to contribute to the distribution, acquisition, and celebration of scholarship among students, faculty and friends of the institution.