Students, faculty participate in Science, Society and the Arts

Members of W&L community present research and creative work in two-day conference

Xiaoxia Yin

Photo by Xiaoxia Yin, ‘19.
The Science, Society and the Arts Conference.
Photo by Xiaoxia Yin, ‘19.
The Science, Society and the Arts Conference.
Photo by Xiaoxia Yin, ‘19.
The Science, Society and the Arts Conference.

Washington and Lee hosted its Science, Society, and the Arts Conference (SSA) on Thursday and Friday.

SSA is a multi-disciplinary conference at which students present original work to an audience of their peers, faculty and staff. The event included sessions of performing arts, visual arts and colloquia, as well as panels and poster sessions for various subjects.

A keynote luncheon on Friday featured keynote speaker Marlon West, Head of Effects Animation at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Student conductor, soloist and member of University Singers Jordan Goldstein, ‘18, who performed in a concert for SSA, said the event is a great opportunity for the rest of the student body to see the “crazy stuff” the Music Department does.

“SSA is really cool in that it opens up our hearts to the rest of the community,” Goldstein said. “Especially for me, I got to show multiple sides, including the technical sides of being able to lead a group conducting and the emotional side of being able to sing my heart aloud at the piece I love.”

Professor Shane Lynch, the director of Choral Activities, agreed.

“It’s really good to get the art on the main campus,” Lynch said. “Sometimes we kind of getting stuck over at the Lenfest Center, which is off main campus, and forget to come to the main campus.”

Lynch said he likes that SSA tries to combine science and the arts “in different spaces and different places that we normally aren’t.”

For science students like Morgan Trimas, ‘18, SSA is also a great opportunity to demonstrate their academic work to the community.

Trimas said SSA provides a chance for her to listen to the keynote speaker, view performing arts and present her scientific study on whether a kind of crafish species is native or introduced to Virginia’s James River Basin.

“The luncheon is awesome and the concert is really cool too,” said Trimas. “But the most exciting thing is I can present the result of my summer research last year, which we will continue working on this summer.”

Maren Lundgren, ‘18, also did research in the summer. She said SSA helps her follow up on her study.

“We did the research on refugees in Greece,” Lundgren said. “SSA helps us coming out of the buildings of our major to present our study to our friends in different fields, as well as extending our study done in the summer. ”

Darby Lundquist, ‘17, presented her research on “The effect of superhero studies on the way preschoolers play with female and male action figures.” She said SSA was a good opportunity for students to share their learning experiences.

“It helps people from different majors to understand what other people are working on,” Lundquist said. “It’s really cool because we’re all here presenting either science posters or looking at concerts of the Music Department. We’re supporting each other in this way.”