Second Annual Senior Symposium – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Second Annual Senior Symposium

In anticipation of the Second Annual Senior Symposium on Friday, April 9, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is hosting a series of workshops to help seniors prepare.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, Assistant Professor of English Sarah Russo and Writing & Teaching/Learning Specialist Susan Hess will hold a General Abstract Writing Session and Editing Clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Learn Lab on the first floor of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

On Friday, Feb. 12, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee and Writing & Teaching/Learning Specialist Susan Hess will hold a session titled Writing Science Abstracts for an Interdisciplinary Audience from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Learn Lab.

On Monday, Feb. 15, CTL Graduate Intern Caitlin Caron and the CTL Writing Colleagues will hold an Abstract Editing Clinic from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Learn Lab.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Writing & Teaching/Learning Specialist Susan Hess and the CTL Writing Colleagues will hold a second Abstract Editing Clinic from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Learn Lab.

The format of the workshops will be similar to Teaching Fellow sessions; students are welcome to walk in with questions.  For more information, contact Ruth Shields at (315) 781-3959 or at

Shields, the assistant director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, notes that the workshops this year have been revamped.

“CTL is really trying to focus on helping seniors edit their abstracts and presentations so as to bring each project into the interdisciplinary realm,” says Shields, who hopes that participating seniors will take full advantage of the writing, editing and presentation workshops, as well as seek support from faculty and discuss possible presentation ideas with professors.  “The idea is to present something that you have already accomplished, whether it is from this year or years past.” 

Susan Pliner, the Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, hopes the event will  give seniors “an opportunity to share their intellectual passions, present research findings, discuss theory, display and discuss creative works or present other significant scholarly activities, it is also giving individual academic passions a broad audience and exchanging ideas among diverse HWS communities.

In keeping with the interdisciplinary and communal idea exchange nature of the Senior Symposium, students are welcome to work on presentations in pairs or small groups.  Projects are not limited by presenters’ majors or minors; they only must focus something the presenters studied at HWS. 

As Emma Daley ’10 notes, “I saw presentations last year on all sorts of internships and research problems ranging from water pollutants to literacy to college friendships, on single class projects from Star Wars to male sexuality in art.  We’ve all done big things within the context of our own journeys, and those deserve to be celebrated.  My experience as a William Smith student has been as wonderful as it has because I’ve been allowed and encouraged to be who I am and do what I’m interested in.” 

The deadline for Senior Symposium registration and application is Wednesday, Feb. 17.  The event will take place Friday, April 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Vandervort and Creedon Rooms on the second floor of the Scandling Campus Center.