Academic Excellence Takes Center Stage at Showcase 2010

May 17, 2010

For nine hours on Friday, May 14, Oyaron Hill hummed with even more scholarly exceptionalism than usual, as Hartwick College students from every discipline put the best of their work on display for the Third Annual Student Scholar Showcase. Their peers, teachers, family, and community members gathered in classrooms, lecture halls, and performance spaces across campus to take in the breadth and depth of the liberal arts experience.

The subject matter ran the gamut, from the Pythagorean Theorem to Partisan Comedy; from "Gerontological Jeopardy!" to choreography; from wastewater analysis to French rap. All involved agreed that the day was a smashing success.

"Showcase is great," said Jeremy Gerin '10, who presented "Le Rap Francais: Bienvenue aux Cites D'Or!" "It has an unexpected euphoric atmosphere to it due to the passion and excitement that the presenting students have for their areas of study."

"I believe [Showcase] is important for two reasons," agreed Christopher DiDonna '10, who presented "Religion and the Obama Administration." "Showcase provides students the opportunity to hone their communications skills and to work with their professors and peers outside of the classroom on topics that interest both groups."

Following lunch in The Commons, the Jazz Wick Trio presented selections from their repertoire in Stack Lounge, and a ceremony to honor 2009-10 Freedman Prize Winners was held at the conclusion of their performance. The Freedman Prize, established by Allen and Judy Freedman in 2002, recognizes superior student-faculty collaborative work that prepares for the senior project required of all Hartwick students. Because this work can begin as early as the student's first year on campus, the competition is open to students in all four classes. The prizes also are open to all majors.

"As a long-time champion of creative research, scholarship, and academic activity, I couldn't be more pleased to see 274 students participating in the Student Scholar Showcase," said Michael Tannenbaum, Hartwick's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "Undergraduate research and scholarly and creative activity are perhaps the most effective way for teachers to teach and learner to learn."

"There is no substitute for the intellectual activity that is the result of deep academic inquiry," Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich agreed. "All of these projects effect change--in our environment, in our understanding, in our learning, and sometimes in the lives of the people around us."

The process of preparing and presenting for Showcase has many benefits, Gerin explained.

"After my presentation, I was congratulated by my friends and felt like I had accomplished my goals of teaching, or 'showcasing,' an area of study that I was passionate about," he said. "I loved Showcase before being a part of it, and my opinion hasn't changed that it is a fun and unique event."

"For me, the day is simply fun. I enjoy being able to further develop projects from my classes and speaking in front of audiences," DiDonna agreed. "One of the best aspects of Hartwick is the fact that professors and students can get to know each other better through these events, which enrich both of their experiences at Hartwick."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030