*Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in a four-part series profiling popular music concerts at Dartmouth over the last four decades.**##
While it may be hard to imagine a noise level louder than a whisper occurring in the space that now houses the Rauner Special Collections Library, the now iconic jam band Phish performed a raucous concert full of its signature trampoline bouncing and party-like antics in the now silent Webster Hall on Jan. 21, 1990. The four-man band from Burlington, Vt. is well known for encompassing many different musical styles and improvisational jams.
C.J. Hughes ’92, a former reporter for The Dartmouth who reviewed Phish’s 1990 concert, recalled that the interest in jam bands at the time grew out of the Grateful Dead’s immense popularity.
“When the [Grateful Dead] would stop touring for a month or two, all those people were left sort of scratching their heads,” he said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “I think there was this void, this vacuum, and into the void stepped Phish.”
Phish had performed at the College two earlier times, once in November 1988 at the Tabard coeducational fraternity and again in Collis Common Ground during Green Key weekend in 1989. In comparison to the concert in 1990, however, these earlier shows were barely advertised, Hughes said.
Although two other shows were hosted at the College, Deacon Warner ’90 said he remembered the performance at Webster Hall as Phish’s “first big splash on campus.”
The show was organized by Collis Governing Board, according to Jane Demarchi ’90, the former head of CGB. DeMarchi organized the concert with Curt Fish ’90, who was close personal friends with John Paluska, the band’s manager. At the time, the group was enjoying an increase in popularity, and the packed house came as a shock to the organizers.
“The place was totally full, and we were worried that there were going to be too many people,” DeMarchi said. “People were camped out in front waiting to get in. I don’t think we had much security. My recollection was me and Curt were manning the door.”
The show which was advertised with posters that featured an overweight Kung Fu master attracted Dartmouth students of varying levels of familiarity with the band in addition to people from other places, according to Hughes, Warner and DeMarchi.
Guests in search of musical euphoria were not disappointed, as the wacky band played two sets that included Phish hits such as “Lizards,” “Run Like an Antelope,” “Weekapaug Groove” and “Reba.” Some other highlights of the set list featured an improvisational, spontaneous a cappella version of “Carolina” and the unleashing of a song written just the previous evening, “Bouncing Around the Room,” according to Hughes’ review of the concert in The Dartmouth.
The performance featured various bizarre, acrobatic acts that delighted guests in attendance.
“I know people were pretty blown away that were at the show,” Warner said. “For certain songs, they would be hopping around on trampolines in unison, and then at some point, the drummer would come out and do a vacuum cleaner solo.”
While Hughes’ review of the concert mentioned that Webster Hall’s poor acoustics detracted from the band’s energy, he recalled the space as an idyllic place to see live music as a result of the incredible architecture of the building’s interior.
“It was really a pleasant place to see a concert,” Hughes said. “If you didn’t know the band and happened to space out, you could let your eyes wander, and see the green and yellow lights projected around the room.”
A stellar afterparty followed the spectacular performance, he said. The gathering started in the Bema before relocating to an off-campus house colloquially known as the “River Ranch,” according to Fish, who was living there at the time.
“The manager came and spent the night there, as well as a couple of buddies, and maybe Fishman and Trey came over and partied with us for awhile,” Fish said. “There was a lot of tequila.”
Phish continues to perform at large venues across the country and will headline the upcoming Bonnaroo Music Festival held in Manchester, Tenn. Hughes said that the January 1990 concert sparked his longstanding affinity for Phish.
“For me, it began that night in Hanover,” Hughes said. “The show had a real inside secret kind of feel to it and scattered among those in attendance were a few lucky people who happened to be crossing the Green and heard some thudding bass riffs coming out of the door of Webster Hall.”
The Dartmouth men’s and women’s track and field teams will each send five members to compete at the NCAA Regional Meet at the University of North Florida, which will run from Thursday to Saturday. The best runners and throwers from across the East Coast will have a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9.
On the men’s side, Ethan Shaw ’12 will compete in the 10,000-meter run because of his 11th-ranked time of 29:17.89. Henry Sterling ’14 will run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after his time of 9:00.63 earned him 36th in the field. Steve Mangan ’14 will go into the 1,500-meter run with the 38th best time in the East with a time of 3:45.36.
“Personally, I think I’m feeling good,” Mangan said. “The season’s flown by, but now that we’re here, I’m pretty excited to go out and do what I’ve been looking forward to for a year now against some of the best guys in the country.”
John Bleday ’14 will run in the 5,000-meter run with a qualifying time of 14:07.89. The Big Green will also have one thrower in the field, as Brett Gilson ’13 will compete in the javelin throw after earning a 38th-best qualifying distance.
“We try not to change much,” Shaw said. “We have faced good competition all year long, so we’re trying to go into it like we go into every race.”
Shaw is the only Big Green athlete to be returning to the regional meet from last season, advancing to the national meet in 2011. Shaw is optimistic about his prospects of returning to Iowa this July, which will require a top-12 finish at regionals.
“There’s a lot of good people here, and it’s always fun to compete against some of the best people in the country, and we have that opportunity, so I’m looking to finish in the top 12 to make it to nationals,” Shaw said. “Hopefully I can get there and do well.”
While the improvement in the Ivy League may have made for more difficult races during the season, Mangan said that these races will prove to be beneficial this weekend.
“One of the good things this year is that Ivy League track and field has gotten really strong, so for all the people here at Regionals, we’re ready for it,” he said.
One concern for the Big Green runners is the Florida weather, as the athletes will have to transition from running in high-70s weather in Hanover to the low-90s heat in Jacksonville, Fla.
“It’s going to be really hot, but my race is short, so it won’t affect me too much,” Mangan said.
Shaw’s race is quite a bit longer, but he also said that the weather will not matter a great deal.
“It could be a factor, but in the end, the best runners will move on, so if I have my day, I think I’ll be alright,” he said.
The women’s team will have Abbey D’Agostino ’14 competing in the 5,000-meter run with a qualifying time of 15:23.35, the top mark among her competitors and the second-fastest 5K time in the country. Alexi Pappas ’12 has the third-best time in the East in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, posting a Dartmouth record of 9:58.07 earlier this year.
Christina Supino ’12 and Arianna Vailas ’14 both had good enough times to earn spots in the 1,500-meter race. Rounding out the field for the women is Cathy Liebowitz ’15, who will be one of the 48 throwers in the hammer throw, thanks to a top throw of 55.73 meters.
The Big Green women will have experience on their side when they attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet, as four out of the five East Regional participants were present at Regionals last year, with only Liebowitz competing for the first time.
Coming off its third consecutive last-place finish in the Ivy League during the 2011-2012 season, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team received a much-needed boost to the program when head coach Paul Cormier announced the incoming fall recruiting class. The seven new members of the Big Green will have the tall task of replacing three productive graduating seniors and turning around a program that has compiled a 3-39 league record over the past three seasons.
Dartmouth will bring in forward Connor Boehm ’16, forward Tommy Carpenter ’16, shooting guard Kevin Crescenzi ’16, point guard Malik Gill ’16, power forward Brandon McDonnell ’16, guard Alex Mitola ’16 and forward Matt Rennie ’16.
“The freshmen are another step in building the program,” center Matt LaBove ’13 said. “We are bringing in more quality players and a lot of them will play significant minutes next year.”
Similar to last season, in which Jvonte Brooks ’15, Gabas Maldunas ’15 and John Golden ’15 all played significant starting roles for the Big Green, the team expects major contributions from its underclassmen. Brooks, the team’s Player of the Year, led the team in scoring, averaging 9.4 points per game. Maldunas was close behind at 9.1 points per game while leading the team in rebounding with 7.2 boards per contest. Golden produced 7.3 points per game and shot a team-high 38.3 percent from three-point range.
In the backcourt, the Big Green added Gill, Crescenzi and Mitola. Gill, a 5’9″, 185-pound point guard from New Rochelle, N.Y., is stronger than most players his size. Gill led his Mount Saint Michael Academy high school team to a 21-8 record and helped send the squad to the Catholic High School Athletic Association semifinals.
Crescenzi hails from New Hampshire’s Tilton School, one of the most prestigious preparatory schools in the country. His team compiled a 27-6 record last year and sent three players to the University of Kentucky, the University of Missouri and the Iowa State University. Because of the team’s impressive talent, Crescenzi was primarily a role player, but the Big Green seeks to utilize him immediately. The lean 6’3″, 190-pound guard is a big threat from the three-point line and specializes in defending the best perimeter players on opposing teams.
Mitola comes to Dartmouth after completing one of the most successful high school basketball careers in New Jersey history. The 5’11”, 165-pound combo-guard started all four years at Gill St. Bernard’s School, a team ranked in USA Today’s Top 25 for most of last year and third overall in New Jersey. In his senior season, Mitola led the state in three-pointers with 119, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 18.2 points and 4.5 assists per game. The Florham Park, N.J. native finished his career with 1,978 points.
“I’m looking forward to getting to play for and learn from coach Cormier and the rest of the staff,” Mitola said. “I am excited to play and work with the team.”
Mitola, who visited campus three times before deciding to commit, said he chose Dartmouth because of the many opportunities he saw in the school.
“Dartmouth provides me the opportunity to have an unbelievable education and great athletic career,” he said. “I feel that after my four years at Dartmouth, I will be in the best position I could be in to pursue a career in business, basketball or anything else that I may be interested in.”
Dartmouth also added four forwards to the program in Boehm, McDonnell, Carpenter and Rennie. Boehm comes in with a skill set similar to that of Maldunas a forward with soft hands, a strong physical presence and the ability to shoot from far out. The 6’7″, 235-pound Pioneer Press North Shore Player of the Year led his New Trier High School team to a 23-6 record after averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds for the year.
McDonnell brings a strong offensive package to Dartmouth. The 6’8″, 210-pound point forward from Jackson, N.J. shined in his senior season at Jackson Memorial High School, averaging 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. A proven leader, McDonnell took his team to the Central Jersey Group 4 finals after a successful 25-4 season.
Carpenter is a familiar face to current Big Green players Brooks and Golden, as the three played together at Northfield Mount Hermon School in 2010-11. Unfortunately, that was the last full season Carpenter played, as the 6’7″, 200-pound Greensboro, N.C. native separated his shoulder and missed his entire senior season. Carpenter is beginning to play with contact again and is expected to be back at 100 percent in the fall.
Rennie offers another physical presence for the Big Green. Weighing in at 220 pounds, the 6’8″ forward from North Brunswick, N.J. helped lead his high school team at Rutgers Preparatory School to an 18-5 record and a NJSIAA Prep B Championship. Rennie finished his senior season with 11.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. After having two separate surgeries on his right knee in the past eight months, Rennie said he is excited for the opportunity to play at the college level at Dartmouth.
“I’m excited about being a part of a college athletic program and being pushed by the great players around me, and also learning at one of the best schools in the country,” Rennie said.
Rennie’s first visit to campus was in April, and he said he loved the school from the start.
“The campus is beautiful, and I really got the sense that Dartmouth was a tightly knit community during my visit,” he said. “Also, the team and coaches couldn’t have been more welcoming.”
In our day and age, empirical evidence from scientific study is held in high regard. Perhaps as a result, supposedly “scientific” data are often used in political debates to show how one political position is “better” than another. One psychology study purported to show that as people become drunker, they become more politically conservative. Another claimed to show that conservatives better understand liberals’ opinions than vice versa. However, when one uses empirical studies to justify these kinds of claims, one must make implicit assumptions that can often be very wrong. Especially in the social sciences, there are several problems that can arise when empirical papers are reported in popular media and then used as fodder in political debates.
First, problems can arise due to the nature of the academic publication process. Statistical inference is, by nature, probabilistic. Even if academic researchers make no mistakes, there is always the possibility that in any given empirical paper, a true hypothesis will be rejected as false or that a false hypothesis will not be rejected as false. Given the sheer volume of academic research being produced today, there will be many papers that come to false conclusions. Thus, as George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok put it, “Every crackpot theory will have at least one scientific study that it can cite in its support.”
Given the 5 percent significance levels that are common in social science, it is tempting to conclude that only one in every 20 published empirical papers has erroneous conclusions. This conclusion, however, would probably be incorrect. In fact, as economists Bradford DeLong and Kevin Lang argued in a paper provocatively titled, “Are All Economic Hypotheses False?,” this conclusion is most certainly incorrect with regards to published papers that fail to reject their “null” hypothesis. DeLong and Lang showed that it is highly probable that more than two out of three of these kinds of papers come to erroneous conclusions.
Second, especially when laboratory experiments are used in social science, experimental flaws can sometimes be significant. Consider a famous psychology study titled, “Automaticity of Social Behavior.” In this study, the experimenters had the treatment group read words associated with old people and then timed how long it took the study participants to walk down the hall. The experimenters determined that the subjects who read words associated with old people took longer to walk down the hall than the control group. However, several psychologists recently failed to replicate these findings using experimenters who were unaware of the expected result. The real twist, however, is that when these psychologists told the experimenters the results they were expecting, they were able to replicate the original results. Thus, it appears that laboratory-based evidence in social science can sometimes produce results that occur solely because the experimenter is expecting them to occur, not because the results are actually valid.
Third, media reports sometimes overstate the conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from an academic paper. Consider a recent research paper titled, “Exporting Obesity,” which was recently mentioned in The Dartmouth (“NAFTA enables export of obesity, report finds,” May 3). The research paper noted three facts: First, the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 1994. Second, American food exports to and investment in Mexico have increased since 1994. Third, obesity rates in Mexico have increased since 1994. You don’t need to take an advanced class in statistics or econometrics to see that one cannot reasonably conclude anything from these three facts alone. Nonetheless, reports of this paper in popular media made it seem as if research had shown that NAFTA caused an increase in Mexican obesity rates, a conclusion that cannot be drawn from the evidence in this paper alone.
In short, no single academic paper can reasonably be used to settle a political debate. Instead, it would be wise to remember two things. First, understanding an individual paper’s methodology is often just as important as understanding its results. Second, looking at the broader literature on a topic can often give a more accurate view of that topic than looking at a single paper in isolation.
In 2006, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a concurring opinion on the death penalty case Kansas v. Marsh that there has not been “a single case not one in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops.”
In a recently published exhaustive, book-length study, however, Columbia Law School professor James Liebman and a team of his students make a strong case for the innocence of Carlos DeLuna, a man who was executed in Texas by lethal injection after being convicted of murdering a woman named Wanda Lopez in 1983. In light of this report, the time has come to not only shout from rooftops, but also to abolish the death penalty itself.
When the police found DeLuna hiding under a truck a few blocks from where Lopez was stabbed to death, he immediately insisted that he could help them find the killer. However, the police ignored his pleas, drove him to where the murder took place, walked two witnesses of the murder to the squad car and shone a flashlight on DeLuna’s face. The two witnesses affirmed that DeLuna was the killer.
Apart from the incriminating, unorthodox identification measures, there were other problems with the witness testimony. One of the witnesses said she had only seen someone running in the area. The other witness, who saw the actual murder, described a Hispanic male with a moustache. DeLuna didn’t have a moustache. The killer was also described as wearing a gray sweatshirt, but DeLuna was wearing a white dress shirt. During the pre-trial hearing, the second witness was unable to identify DeLuna in the courtroom. The witness to the murder later expressed doubts as to DeLuna’s identity. However, the witness testimony would be the linchpin in securing DeLuna’s conviction.
Lopez and the attacker were alone in the store during the crime, and a shoe print not belonging to Lopez was found at the crime scene. No blood was found on DeLuna’s shoes or any of his clothing, a fact that strains credulity given that the attacker had violently struggled with Lopez.
No samples of blood were taken from the convenience store. Store workers were allowed to clean the site in order to reopen the next morning. DeLuna claimed that he ran from police because he had been intoxicated, which would have violated his parole. After five months, and overcoming his fear of retribution, DeLuna told authorities that the actual killer was Carlos Hernandez, an adolescent acquaintance with whom he had been drinking. At the trial, the lead prosecutor claimed that Hernandez didn’t exist. However, that claim was false. Hernandez did exist and was known among authorities knew for his violent past and his penchant for using knives.
The full Columbia study casts even more doubt on the DeLuna case, although some may still maintain DeLuna’s guilt. However, the death penalty tightly seals a case, forever stamping its permanence. Further chances of exonerating the accused are lost. Not only are the friends and family of the accused robbed of a loved one, but the victim’s family is deprived of justice.
Since 1973, 140 people have been released from death row based on evidence of their innocence. Since 1989, 17 individuals on death row have been exonerated through DNA testing. The DeLuna case and other high-profile executions including Troy Davis, who was executed in Georgia in 2011, and Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in Texas in 2004, have drawn attention to the fact that we may be sentencing innocent people to death.
There are two oft-cited reasons for keeping the death penalty. The first is that the death penalty acts as a deterrent. However, this point is highly disputed. No country that has abolished the death penalty has reported higher rates of murder. Furthermore, the majority of murders are not premeditated, mitigating the deterrence factor.
The second reason given is that the families deserve justice and the killers deserve death. While I can understand this sentiment, what justice is there in sending the wrong person to death? Proponents of the death penalty have to confront the fact that keeping the death penalty results in innocent people being killed. The purported benefits of the death penalty are not worth even one innocent person’s life.
Discussing the non-prescription misuse of Adderall, Wednesday’s “Forum on Study Drugs” aimed to provide an informative forum to allow communication between administrators, faculty and students, according to organizer Natalie Colaneri ’12. Held in Collis Common Ground, the panel featured Associate Dean of Campus Life April Thompson, biology professor Lee Witters, psychiatrist Ben Nordstrom and Francine A’Ness, an assistant dean of undergraduate students. A’Ness also served as moderator and began the forum by asking questions taken in part from information provided by a independent study on perceptions of student study drug use conducted by Colaneri. With approximately 100 attendees, the forum considered issues including health, legal and ethical problems attached to the use of study drugs such as Adderall. The forum also addressed possible reasons and pressures that drive students to take study drugs and viable ways to alleviate these pressures. Colaneri is a member of The Dartmouth Staff.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology exhibited unusual speed in replacing President Susan Hockfield when the MIT Corporation announced Provost L. Rafael Reif as the next president after only three months, Inside Higher Education reported. Most searches for presidents at major research universities require between six months and a year, involving multiple meetings among administrators, campus groups and potential presidents. Despite the speed, MIT Corporation Chairman John Reed said that the search was conducted with as much rigor as previous, longer searches, according to Inside Higher Ed. Search consultants have noted an increased demand for faster searches for both presidents and provosts at many universities in order to facilitate the transition of a leadership board, Inside Higher Ed reported.
Stony Brook University anthropology professor Richard Leakey spoke at Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in Manhattan this week about the future of climate change, The New York Times reported. Leakey, who conducts research in Africa, has uncovered hundreds of bones and fragments in eastern Kenya that have revealed new information about the ancestry of humans. He said he believes that fossil evidence shows the link between the past and the future and can provide insight into a climate that is becoming increasingly warm and wet, according to The Times. He emphasized the importance of five previous mass extinctions and the potential for an upcoming sixth. Leakey has recently been involved with fundraising for further exploration of the region and has raised about $2 million in New York in collaboration with musician Paul Simon and IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond, The Times reported.
While exercise has long been linked to physical health, research conducted by psychology professor David Bucci and his team found that it may also benefit mental health. Routine exercise, even in low doses, can improve cognitive function and individuals’ general mood, researchers found.
Results of the study, titled “Differential Effects of Acute and Regular Physical Exercise on Cognition and Affect,” demonstrated that exercise improved cognitive function in those who exercised regularly, but especially in those who also exercised on the day of testing, according to researcher Michelle Van Tieghem ’12. Some individuals also possess genetic dispositions that influence their response to exercise, the research found.
“It’s a really interesting result because it shows that some people might be more inclined to exercise to improve their cognitive abilities, and for others it doesn’t affect them as much,” Van Tieghem said.
In collaboration with psychology professor Paul Whalen, Bucci asked sedentary Dartmouth students to exercise regularly for four weeks and then fill out a series of cognitive and anxiety surveys.
For mood and anxiety issues, research indicates the regularity, rather than the intensity, of exercise is the key factor in improving mood and anxiety, and that it may take some time for the benefits to manifest themselves, according to student researcher and co-author Michael Hopkins GR ’11.
The research, published in the journal Neuroscience, found that guidelines to improve cardiovascular health may be much more demanding than those required to improve mental function, according to Hopkins.
Walking for a total of only 30 minutes every other day for four months was sufficient to produce a measurable improvement in cognition and mood, he said.
“I thought that was really good news for people because I think a lot of times, the idea of going to the gym and becoming a regular exerciser is very daunting,” Hopkins said.
Results showed that only exercising on the day of testing, however, was not sufficient, according to Bucci.
“Probably some aerobic physical activity each day is the way to go,” he said.
Whalen said he was surprised to find that exercising the day of testing was also vital for enhanced performance.
“You would think if you’ve exercised for four weeks whether you exercise that day or not shouldn’t determine whether you see a benefit, so that’s the stuff we’ll follow up on,” Whalen said.
Thus far, research is not extensive enough to establish a systematic or structured exercise program based on the results, Bucci said. It remains unclear how much, for how long and at what time exercise is best carried out.
The study is one of the first to use exercise as a manipulated variable instead of as a constant factor taken into consideration at the end of research, Bucci said.
“Ours is one of the first to look at exercise in a prospective fashion, not just retrospective, and to head-to-head compare the effects of regular exercise to just an acute single bout,” he said.
Hopkins said he hopes more specific exercise parameters will be determined in the future, which will allow the findings to have a tangible impact, particularly for students.
“Everybody knows exercise is healthy, but it turns out that what we’re learning is that exercising can actually help you do better on tests, so that’s something to think about when you’re weighing your decisions over the course of the day and week,” Hopkins said. “You cannot only do yourself a favor physically by going to the gym, but you can also be helping your GPA.”
Because many Dartmouth students live an active lifestyle, the research reaffirms that students’ activities are aiding their schoolwork, Van Tieghem said.
Bucci said he undertook the study following his recent work on the link between exercise and memory in subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. After considering the effects of regular exercise in rats, Bucci said that researchers decided to apply this study to Dartmouth undergraduate students.
Hannah Iaccarino ’12, a researcher in Bucci’s lab, described the professor as a model scientist and mentor.
“He’s hands on and will come down to the lab and help us when we need it, but he lets us take on our own projects and really take on ownership of the science we’re doing,” Iaccarino said.
A forecast for fall 2012 fashion and a study of the genetic structure of brook trout were among the senior thesis projects showcased at Wednesday’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held in Alumni Hall.
Sponsored by the President’s Office, the symposium featured 34 students who conducted research in over 20 departments, according to President’s Intern Jason Goodman ’12.
Participants assembled informal poster presentations to explain the results of their research, enabling the symposium to display a variety of theses in a small group setting, according to Nariah Broadus, director of outreach and project development in the President’s Office. The format also facilitated discussion between presenters and attendees.
The original format for showcasing student research work a formal presentation program known as the Academic Gala was less effective because it did not attract underclassmen attendees, nor did it allow participants to fully display the results of their theses, Broadus said. This year’s symposium takes the place of the gala, an event that last occurred before College President Jim Yong Kim took office.
“[The symposium] allows for every student to really talk in a personal way about their work and to not feel constrained as much by the format,” Broadus said.
Goodman, who proposed the plan for the symposium last spring and has been working on it since, said that the event aimed to honor Dartmouth students’ research in an accessible way.
“It’s great for the President’s Office to acknowledge the fantastic caliber of research that we have at Dartmouth,” he said. “It’s one of Dartmouth’s greatest strengths.”
The symposium also afforded seniors the opportunity to practice their presentation skills and become more comfortable sharing information, Goodman said. Not every program or department offers students the opportunity to present to a wide audience, and the symposium was able to serve that function, he said.
Underclassmen who attended the symposium could benefit from the flexibility of its format and exposure to samples of different research types, permitting them to focus on projects aligning with their areas of interest, Goodman said. The informal presentation structure also encouraged students to ask questions and learn from those who have completed a thesis in a particular field, he said.
“I’m excited to have the diverse representation,” Goodman said. “It’s really rare to have all of that at the same time in the same room.”
The symposium also attempted to raise awareness about research opportunities at the College, given that students are often uninformed, according to Assistant Dean of Faculty for Undergraduate Research Margaret Funnell, who was involved in the symposium’s creation.
“It’s something that Dartmouth does really well, and we don’t promote it as much as we should,” she said. “It’s great to get the word out.”
Seniors who took part in the symposium said they appreciated the chance to share their work with a wider audience.
Psychology major and education minor Rebecca Gotlieb ’12 whose thesis explored the effects of identity-related stigmas on performance in math and working memory tasks said that presenting to other students and fielding questions allowed her to attain an outside perspective on her project.
“You can get so wrapped up in your research and so committed to thinking in that way that it can be helpful to hear the questions of people who haven’t had their heads buried so deeply in it,” she said.
Sanela Muharemovic ’12 an economics and government double major whose thesis examined the impact of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on reconciliation efforts between Bosnia and Herzegovina said that the symposium was an opportunity to engage with other students and encourage them to pursue their academic interests.
“I hope they will learn something new and something interesting,” she said. “I also hope people will come forward with questions about how to work on a thesis or on such a major project in general and I hope that I can give them good advice.”
Muharemovic said she thinks the symposium should be held again in the future, as it allows students to inspire others and learn from each other.
“We are great resources for each other,” she said. “We can have great opportunities to put our talents to work and discover something that is meaningful and that can be used.”
Scott O’Brien ’12, a classical languages and literatures major whose thesis discussed the function of moral agency in the tragedy genre, said he took part in the symposium to showcase a department with research opportunities that are less-known among students.
Although he said the poster format could “use a little adjustment” because it is not particularly conducive to displaying humanities projects, O’Brien noted that the symposium succeeds in bringing together students from across campus and honors their achievements.
“I think it’s a great thing because we work really hard on these things,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to be something that really shows everybody on campus what it’s like, and it’s a good thing for undergraduates to see.”
The Undergraduate Research Symposium is part of Undergraduate Research Week, which also includes the Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Symposium on May 24 and the Arts at Dartmouth Awards Ceremony on May 29.