Undergraduate Conference
The poster session at the 2011 Undergraduate Conference. Click here for a slideshow of images from the day.

The diverse interests and creativity of Whitman students was evident on Tuesday, April 12 at the 13th annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference. The entire day, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., was set aside for student presentations and topics ranged from every area of campus, from science to humanities and mathematics to art. Although subjects may have differed, all presentations had one thing in common: they reflected the academic excellence and collaboration that are hallmarks of the Whitman experience.

“It was both humbling and motivating to see the vast breadth and depth of work my peers had completed throughout the year, through study abroad programs or summer internships,” said Troy Cameron ’14 about attending the conference. “It was rewarding to see my peers in action and to see the ways in which Whitman students work toward improving our world's collective future.”

Students, faculty and staff, parents and community members spent the day traveling from venue to venue trying to attend as many presentations as possible. The day was broken up into four sessions which included 34 concurrent panels of discussion. Poster presentations also took place from 1-2 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

More than 250 students presented original work they have produced in their courses, senior theses, summer internships and study abroad. Presentation methods included talks, poster presentations, musical performances and artistic exhibitions.

“The Undergraduate Conference is a special day for everyone on campus. Students become teachers, and faculty and staff get be students again,” said Keith Raether, director of fellowships and grants. “I also think the conference setting and format give all of our student presenters a keener sense of the value of their work. In that knowledge, I think they gain a certain seriousness of purpose as emerging scholars. They start to see, or see better, what their research and critical thinking means in the larger frame.”

Topics included the effects of sleep deprivation, special needs education in Japan, support systems for minority students at Whitman, a modern dance by physical chemistry students, the relationship between NGOs and government organizations, diagnosing retinal diseases, the underlying purpose of God’s plagues and untouchability and Christianity in India.

For more information, visit the Whitman Undergraduate Conference website.

Undergraduate Conference
"Physical Chemistry" students present a modern dance illustrating the principles of physical chemistry as the 2011 Whitman Undergraduate Conference.