Posted on Apr 30, 2008

Steinmetz dance 2008

Each spring, Union hundreds of students showcase their intellectual insights, creativity and scholarly accomplishments at the Steinmetz Symposium. The campus-wide event, a highlight of the Union experience, takes place Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3, with a full spectrum of presentations, performances, exhibits and more.

Most sessions will be held Friday, with classes cancelled to allow the entire campus community to attend.

Students are delving into topics ranging from Mayan mathematics (Valencia Starr ’08) and media portrayals of autism (Kimberly Tureck ’10) to the “truth” about fair trade coffee (John Traver ’08).

They have analyzed how the personalities of U.S. Supreme Court Justices O’Connor and Frankfurter affect their decisions on the bench (Jessica Goldberg ’08) and how carbon emissions impact Schenectady (Sarah Conner ’10).  

Steinmetz Symposium

Mechanical Engineering major Andrew Salemo ’08 will present his design of a hockey puck for the visually impaired, while another ME major, Guo Hong Ho ’08, will unveil his solar-powered thermoelectric ice maker in a session devoted to renewable energy.

In their sociological analyses of “Media, Muslims and Medicine,” students have researched traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine (Mary Abraham ’08), how South Asians are depicted in Western television and film (Geraldine Emmanuel ’08) and the psychosocial impact of 9/11 on young American Muslims (Naazia Husain’08).

Music major Richard Moccia ’08 will give an ethnographic overview of ska music and the current third wave ska scene in the United States, and Biology major Jesse Mango ’08 will explain the photosynthetic rate of mosses.  

Charlotte Keenan worked alongside SAFER volunteers and Union students at her New Orleans house. Before Hurricane Katrina hit, Keenan evacuated to Tunica, Mississippi. When she and her husband returned in October 2005, they were only able to salvage about

Alex Handin ’10, a Physics and History major, will present “Southern Louisiana Hurricane Recovery,” a photojournalistic account of his community service mini-term in New Orleans. He shares “individual stories of survival and reconstruction often lost in the media frenzy surrounding the storms.”

On a peripatetic note, about 70 students will take part in the Steinmetz dance concert at the Nott Memorial Friday, 12:20-1:30 p.m.

Student art in all media will be on view in the Burns Arts Atrium Gallery in the Visual Arts Building.

The Union College Choir and the Union College and Community Orchestra concert, with Victor Klimash conducting, is set for Friday, 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

The College’s annual Prize Day ceremonies will be held Saturday, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. Students are honored for achievement in academics, research, service, governance and athletics.

Also on Saturday, the Union College Jazz Ensemble will perform 1–2 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium in the Taylor Music Center in a concert featuring jazz and popular styles, from the Dixieland classic “Basin Street Blues” to Santana’s “Black Magic Woman.”

Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923), chief consulting engineer for the General Electric Company, was widely regarded as America’s leading electrical engineer. He taught Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at Union from 1902 until his death.

For more information and the full symposium program, visit: