The College held a virtual Independent Study (I.S.) Symposium on Friday, April 16, where around 200 students from the class of 2021 presented their senior research projects. Although the symposium was virtual this year, the College had set up various ways for the campus community to engage with the presenters. Furthermore, the virtual format of the event allowed people from across the world to participate, ultimately drawing in about 7,000 attendees from 96 countries.
In order to make the event as interactive as possible, the presenters were signed up for two-hour blocks to answer any questions that attendees might have. In addition to the live session, each students’ webpage also included an interactive comment section where attendees could ask questions and provide feedback to the presenter.
Although this year’s Symposium had a similar format to last year’s event, the participation and engagement was significantly higher this year, and even made records. Last year, around 67 graduating seniors had presented; this year, the number was closer to 200.
On Saturday, April 17, Dean for Faculty Development Christa Craven announced that there were 6,704 unique visitors to the Symposium website and 60,037 total pageviews, out of which 33,538 were unique. A total of 7,910 comments were made on the presentations.
“We hit some pretty impressive new records — more than doubling the unique pageviews we had last year, as well as the number of comments left on student webpages!” Craven shared in the email that was sent the next day. The 2020 I.S. Symposium had 4,186 visitors to the website, 17,218 unique pageviews and 3,382 comments.
When asked about her experience as a presenter this year, Gracie Bouker ’21 remarked, “I thought the I.S. Symposium was great! On the one hand, it was kind of disappointing to see that it went exactly as it had last spring, despite having a year to prepare. But given the fact that campus was on a yellow level, it’s understandable. More than anything, I’m just glad family and friends from home and all over were able to share in that special moment with me! That’s one thing that wouldn’t have been possible in a normal year, so I’m focusing on the small blessings.”
Several students from the class of 2021 from different departments were also presented awards for their presentations. The list of winners is presented below:
Zhen Guo: Most Timely; Zoe Bills: Most Socially and Emotionally Connected; Tiago Garcia Ferrer: Most Joyful; Rachel Greer: Most Engaging Poster; Indigo Adobea Abena Joy
Quashie: Most Creative Video; Sophia Peller: Most Creative Slideshow; Bryce Knopp: Most Creative Slideshow (Honorable Mention); Morgan P. Fields: Most Applicable in Current Moment; Brittany Leyda: Dr. Melissa M. Schultz Sustainability and the Environment; Claire Davidson: Dr. Melissa M. Schultz Sustainability and the Environment; An Hoai Tran: Dr. Melissa M. Schultz Sustainability and the Environment; Camryn Roseinstein: Dr. Melissa M. Schultz Sustainability and the Environment (Honorable Mention); Stephanie Pokras: Dr. Josephine Wright Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Angela Danso Gyane: Dr. Josephine Wright Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Maresa Tate: Dr. Josephine Wright Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Devon Matson: Critical Digital Engagement; Alayt Issak: Critical Digital Engagement; Delaney Zuver: Critical Digital Engagement; Holly Engel: Best Use of Genre; Yuki (Amanda) Han: Best Creative Exploration; Abigail Fisk: Best Animation.
The campus community still has access to the presentations, which can be found following the link: https://news.wooster.edu/symposium-2021/.