James J. Whalen Academic Symposium

20th Annual James J. Whalen Academic Symposium 

        April 13, 2017

The James J. Whalen Academic Symposium celebrates the tradition of student and faculty collaboration in research and creative activity at Ithaca College and providesstudents the opportunity to present thesis projects and independent research, or original creative work in the arts, including music, theater, film, and two- and three-dimensional. Attended by students, faculty, and the larger community, the Symposium is a high point in the academic year.


James J. Whalen Academic Symposium Keynote Speakers


Kathleen Mulligan is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech in the Department of Theatre Arts. In 2010 she was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to Kerala, India with her project “Finding Women’s Voices”, focusing on the empowerment of women through voice. This work in India inspired Mulligan and her husband David Studwell to create the charitable organization Wheels for Women, which provides driver training and licensing to victims of domestic abuse and the sex trade in Kerala.

Kathleen spent the spring of 2015 in Pakistan as a Fulbright Specialist collaborating on her project “Voices of Partition” with husband David Studwell, Ithaca College alumna Sarah Hebert-Johnson, and members of Islamabad’s Theatre Wallay. The resulting piece Dagh Dagh Ujala (This Stained Dawn), based on interviews with survivors of the Partition of 1947, toured to Ithaca College, Boston, and Washington, D.C. in October 2015. The project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the Fulbright Organization.

In September 2016 Kathleen, partners David Studwell, Linda Alper, and Theatre Wallay were awarded a second grant from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad for their project "On Common Ground", which will explore the effects of violence on public space and community. The resulting original theatre piece will tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2017 before touring Pakistan in the spring of 2018.

Kathleen Mulligan and her former student, Sarah Hebert-Johnson, will be talking about their work and experience with her presentation titled: “Walking Through Open Doors: A Journey Through the Subcontinent”. Her current student, senior Jordan Pesci-Smith, will also be performing an original monologue.


Student Accessibility for the Whalen Symposium - pre-events and day of 

  • The Whalen Symposium Steering Committee encourages students who have qualifying disabilities to contact Rumit Singh Kakar or Kimberly Wilkinson, Co-Chairs of the Committee at whalen@ithaca.edu at least one week in advance of any Information Session or other pre-Whalen event to ensure timely arrangements can be made for any necessary accommodations.
  • For accommodations at the Symposium itself, please make contact at least two weeks in advance to ensure necessary accommodations can be made.

Have more questions? Go to our FAQs page for additional information.