UW-Madison: Undergraduate Symposium showcases UW students’ exceptional accomplishments

Contact: Laurie Mayberry, (608) 262-5246, [email protected]

MADISON – The 14th annual Undergraduate Symposium, an event that showcases the achievements, creativity and research of numerous UW-Madison students, will be held Wednesday, April 18.

The Undergraduate Symposium is one event featured in the campus’s spring “Ideas to Excellence” celebration of student creativity and scholarship.

The event will now be in Union South, rather than the Memorial Union as it has since its inception in 1999. Along with a new location, the Undergraduate Symposium is adding a reception and performance workshop in the evening. The workshop will allow students to perform and discuss the creative process of their work.

All areas of study at UW-Madison will be highlighted at the event. Students will display, perform or discuss their work in a professional setting for friends, family, members of UW-Madison and the surrounding community.

“These original works showcase the vast range of talent and creativity within the University’s undergraduate population,” says Assistant Vice Provost Laurie Mayberry.

More than 500 students will take part, and more than 400 projects will be shown this year. Eight students will perform during the evening’s performance workshop.

Jed Becker, a fifth-year senior majoring in agronomy, will be one of the many students presenting this year. He and three other students from a Folklore 100 class created a project entitled, “Introduction to UW-Madison Student Athletic Events.” This work is a folkloric sampling of athletic activities students at UW-Madison are involved in. It looks at the traditions, identities and context of programs such as Hoofers, the UW Marching Band and UW Recreational Sports.

“Our project was targeted at both the student body and people visiting the campus who are interested in athletic activities that students are involved in,” says Becker. “We also wanted to provide somewhere the student body could go to experience and learn about a new activity before actually doing it.”

Senior Cynthia Malone, a zoology and anthropology double major, is presenting on her senior thesis. Malone will discuss orangutan’s nesting preferences in Indonesia. Her presentation at the Undergraduate Symposium also explores how habitat disturbances affect orangutan density.

“Orangutans have been a passion of mine from a young age, and I hope to eventually dedicate my career towards their conservation and achieving sustainable forestry practices in Indonesia,” Malone says.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the performance workshop will conclude at 10 p.m. The symposium itself begins at noon, at which time Provost Paul M. DeLuca, Jr. will give a welcome speech. The rest of the day will include awards, project displays and the reception.

The symposium is part of Ideas to Excellence, a series of events showcasing the academic and creative work of UW-Madison’s undergraduate students. Multiple venues will house events – including exhibitions, poster sessions, presentations and performances – that celebrate excellence in student work.

The Undergraduate Symposium is sponsored by Brittingham Trust and the Office of the Provost, through the stewardship of the General Library System, Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, Center for Biology Education, the Morgridge Center for Public Service, the Writing Center and the Wisconsin Union. The Undergraduate Symposium is free and open to the public.