The 20th annual James J. Whalen Academic Symposium will take place on Thursday, April 13. The event celebrates the tradition of student and faculty collaboration in research at Ithaca College while also providing students an opportunity to showcase their work.
Over 420 students will represent 36 departments by giving oral presentations or displaying posters and other creative works. There will be 221 presentations in total.
“The 20th Whalen Symposium should be one of the best yet,” said Rumit Singh Kakar, assistant professor of physical therapy and Whalen Symposium steering committee co-chair. “With over 400 students and 100 faculty members involved, this year’s presentations truly reflect the enormous amount of student-faculty collaboration on research that occurs at Ithaca College on a daily basis.”
Presentations will be grouped by the theme areas of the college’s Integrative Core Curriculum: Identities; Inquiries, Imagination and Innovation; Mind, Body, Spirit; Power and Justice; The Quest for a Sustainable Future; and A World of Systems.
Awards for the best presentations will be presented at the conclusion of the event.
This year’s keynote presentation will be given by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Kathleen Mulligan and her former student Sarah Hebert-Johnson ’13. In 2015, Mulligan and Hebert-Johnson worked with a theater group in India to produce “Voices of Partition,” a theatrical production based on the narratives of survivors of the violent 1947 partition of Pakistan and India. The two will discuss their work and experience in a presentation titled: “Walking Through Open Doors: A Journey Through the Subcontinent.”
Mulligan says that she’d like to inspire students to take new opportunities.
“When people ask me, ‘How did you ever end up doing an original piece of theater in Pakistan? Did you ever think that you would be doing something like that?’ My answer is always that doors opened and I walked through them,” said Mulligan. “I really encourage students to do that. I encourage everyone in the world to do that. If you say yes to opportunities that are given to you, you never know where they’re going to lead you.”
Hebert-Johnson is looking forward to the celebration of faculty and student collaboration.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to be able to share their projects and get feedback and encouragement,” said Hebert-Johnson. “So overall, I’m looking forward to being a part of this great event and just taking it all in.”
The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the opening ceremony and keynote address in Emerson A, followed by oral and poster presentations running concurrently throughout the Campus Center until the closing ceremony begins at 3:45 p.m. A full schedule can be found on the Whalen Symposium website.