First-Years Present Seminar Research at CAFE Symposium
By Taylor-Jo Russo, Staff Writer
The annual CAFÉ Symposium was held Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the CUB Ballroom. The symposium is an annual event held for faculty-nominated First-Year students to showcase their research from their participation in their respective First-Year Seminars.
Students are instructed to take their research and turn it into a poster display for the event to use as a talking piece. As the event is open to everyone, students have the opportunity to passionately explain and detail the work they completed during the fall semester.
CAFÉ Symposium has proven to be a great experience full of opportunity for students. Electa Willander ’22, who presented her research on grief in children and adolescents believes, “the café symposium was a great opportunity to see the culmination of months full of hard work from a variety of first-years and a time to feel a sense of pride and validation of our own hard work.”
Furthermore, CAFÉ Symposium provides students with a great opportunity to grow their presentation skills. Abby Reitz, who presented her research on the significance of Near-Death experiences says, “CAFÉ provided first-year students with an inspiring introduction to the research process that likely translates into future research endeavors.”
Assistant Provost and Dean of Student Scholarly Engagement Maureen Forrestal, who is responsible for the Office of Scholarly Engagement said, “The original idea behind initiating CAFÉ was for first-year students to put their toes in the water, a first step, with regard to conducting and sharing their research with others. In other words, I hope an event like CAFÉ makes research seem less intimidating and more accessible to first-years who might like to explore a topic and share what they’ve learn[ed] with others in a meaningful way. I also thought it would help each successive class develop its own “Class of 20__ identity” built on something academic in nature like the first-year seminar or Phage course.”
Overall, CAFÉ Symposium is designed to celebrate students hard work all the while helping to foster and develop research presentation skills for students as they continue their academic career at Gettysburg. The symposium is a great experience for young students and an intellectually stimulating event for all visitors.