Liberal Arts Symposium, or LAS, is often called the Mountain Day of the Mind, and is a day where classes are cancelled so that students can present their academic projects that they have been working on over the academic year. Students are free to listen in on any presentation or to browse the posters that their peers have made. It’s a wonderful day to absorb exciting information and to appreciate all of the work that Juniata students have accomplished over the academic year!
I’m a junior, and I was unfortunately unable to go to LAS my freshman year. However, during my sophomore year, I was able to present one of my research papers for a class called The Metaverse, under the communications department. While this was an incredible experience, this year I was even more excited because it was the first year that I was able to fully enjoy listening in on some of the presentations.
Due to the pandemic, students had to watch presentations on Zoom instead of being able to travel to different rooms. It was a little bit sad to not be able to see the presentations in person, but Juniata still found a way to make the day work! In some ways, listening to presentations of Zoom was actually pretty nice, as I was able to listen to some of the earliest presentations at nine in the morning without living my dorm, curled up with a cup and tea.
My POE is Professional Writing, and I was fortunate enough to watch some of the English POEs present their Capstones, including Rachel Desfosses, who combined the IMA and Marketing departments to analyze the way Juniata students were depicted in the College advertisements. I also watched Sam Carvalho, who spent her senior year working on writing an adult high fantasy novel, and she described the way she went about this. It was extremely cool to see how diverse both of their topics were, and it got me excited thinking about the kind of presentation I would am going to do for my Capstone, which is only a year away!
One of my favorite presentations was Ashley Purvis, who described how she has been working on writing and illustrating a children’s book, which is now available to purchase on Amazon. It was an incredible display of what Juniata students are capable of.
In the afternoon, I walked over to the Museum, where students’ artwork from various classes in the Art and IMA departments were showcased, from paintings and photographs, to sculptures and more Capstone projects. I was blown away by the talent that was displayed. After a morning of attending Zoom meetings, it was a nice change of pace to see a few things in person.
Even though LAS looked a bit different this year, it was no less special, and it proved to be another wonderful day that showcased the hard work of Juniatatians, making me a proud member of the community.