Annual Whalen Symposium to Showcase Ithaca College Student Research

By Dan Verderosa, April 11, 2016

Annual Whalen Symposium to Showcase Ithaca College Student Research

Some of Ithaca College’s brightest and most creative students will present their impressive research at the 19th Annual James J. Whalen Academic Symposium on Thursday, April 14.

Four hundred and twenty students representing 49 departments will participate by giving oral presentations or displaying posters and other creative works. There will be 326 presentations in total.

Presentations will be grouped by the theme areas of IC’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 will be given to 16 presentations in seven different categories at the conclusion of the symposium. Student presenters hoping to win an award had to submit project abstracts for consideration. From that pool, 60 finalists were chosen by a faculty panel.

“I’m really excited about the Whalen Symposium this year,” said Yvonne Rogalski, chair of the steering committee and assistant professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. “We had over 140 students enter in the first round for an award, making this the most competitive symposium to date.”

Rogalski is particularly excited about this year’s keynote address, which will be given by Professor of physics and astronomy Luke Keller and senior Madison Mangano.

“We’ve never had a keynote address quite like this and I think that it’s meaningful for the students to see a fellow student sharing her research,” said Rogalski. “It’s very inspiring.”

Keller and Mangano will present Mangano’s senior thesis, entitled “Listening to the Atoms and Molecules of Distant Solar Systems.” Her research focuses on the use of sonification – the transformation of light signals into audio signals – to analyze complex spectral data sets.

“It’s really exciting to have a chance to talk about the thesis research that I’ve been doing for over a year now,” said Mangano. “There’s a chance to get people more interested in astronomy and astrophysics and help them understand it in a way that’s more accessible.

“It’s really important to me that people realize that it’s not just old guys in offices who understand what’s going on in the universe – everyone can,” she added.

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 3:50 p.m. A full schedule can be found on the Whalen Symposium website.