Posted on Apr 30, 2008

Steinmetz Symposium

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 as vast and fascinating as Mayan mathematics (Valencia Starr ’08), media portrayals of autism (Kimberly Tureck ’10) and the “truth” about fair trade coffee (John Traver ’08).

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

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).

Alex Handin '10

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.”

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 ’08 will explain the photosynthetic rate of mosses.  

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

Another Brick in the Wall, student dance concert, Steinmetz, Carly Aimi

Student art in all media are 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 achievements that reflect their superior academics, research, service, governance, athletics and character.

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: