Students pour over the conference program between sessions during the all-campus lunch.
Students pour over the conference program between sessions during the all-campus lunch.

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Photography by Matt Banderas ’04

Whitman students became the teachers and the entire campus their classroom as the college canceled its regularly scheduled courses in favor of a full day of moderated lectures, poster presentations, musical performances and special exhibitions.

Neha Naidoo '17, a race and ethnic studies major and chemistry minor, discusses her research on "EsaI Inhibition: Suppressing Virulence of Pantoea stewartii Through Quorum Sensing" during the poster session.
More than 160 students participated in the 19th annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference yesterday, which featured work students produced in their courses, senior theses, summer internships or fellowships, faculty-student research projects and study abroad.  

Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies Krista Gulbransen (left), poses a question during the Art Theory and Critique section of Session I.

The conference, which celebrates the academic achievements of students across disciplines and provides a platform for research that many students are unable to access prior to the post-graduate level, is among the college's signature programs

An audience member takes notes during the Diseases and Cures section of Session II, as Sean Terada '17, a biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology major presents his research on HIV.

"I love seeing my friends be experts at the Undergraduate Conference," said Nina Finley '17, a biology-environmental studies major who served as a moderator for the Session II section "Secrets of the Deep" and presented her own fieldwork on sea star wasting disease.  

Terada (at the board) delves into his findings on "Associations Between the Ankle-Brachial Index and Markers of Arterial Dysfunction and Non-Classical Monocytes in HIV-Infected Individuals."

"I feel proud and inspired when I watch people I know from outside the classroom—ultimate [frisbee] teammates, trip leaders—share their passions by talking about their research or giving a musical performance," she added. "It's a side of them I wouldn't normally get to see."  

Thomas Meinzen '19 (center), an environmental humanities major and music minor, turns the pages on his composition, "Boundless: Theme and Variations for Cello, Clarinet and Piano," for the trio playing his work during Session I.

Other presentations included "The Effect of Paternal Relationships on Adolescent Girls' Self-Objectification," by psychology majors Taylor Berntson '17, Hannah Bouwman '17 and Pascale Carpentier '17; and "Eudaemonia Is Actualized by Intrinsically Motivated Work: Using Aristotle and Montessori to Develop a New Account of Eudaemonia" by philosophy major Jack Eiford '17

Physics major Aidan McCormick '17 in front of his poster on quantum state tomography, or the process of characterizing a quantum optical system.

Fore more information on the Whitman Undergraduate Conference, including coverage of previous years, click here

Eliza Wyckoff '20 contributed reporting