Academic Symposium returns as in-person event on March 30

After two years of virtual events brought on by the pandemic, the 12th annual Wiggins Memorial Library Academic Symposium will return to an in-person format.

Students will return to Wiggins Memorial Library for oral presentations of their research on March 30, and poster presentations will be moved to the ballroom on the second floor of the Oscar N. Harris Student Union. Also returning are the music performances in D. Rich and the keynote address, presented this year by Dr. Evan Reynolds, assistant professor of chemistry, and students Callen Toscano and Skylar Rynor. 

The past two symposiums drew good participation as virtual events, but according to references and electronic resources librarian Steve Bahnaman, students benefit from the “full experience” with an in-person event (the last one was held in 2019). 

“Presenting in front of a group of your peers is a very different experience than making a video and submitting it online,” he said. “We’re still allowing online presentations, but we think the real ‘quality’ of the event is getting to see each other’s work and take part in scholarly engagement. At no point in planning this year did we ever ask, ‘Should we have it in person again?’ Instead, we’ve been asking, ‘Will we be able to have it in person?’”

If organizers learned anything from the virtual symposiums, it’s that online submissions don’t necessarily have to be separate from other oral presentations. 

Topics over the past two years, unsurprisingly, have been heavy on COVID-19 and social issues. Bahnaman said social issues remain a popular subject, but there will be fewer health science-focused presentations, as several Campbell University graduate schools have launched their own research symposiums.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oral Presentations
Wiggins Memorial Library
3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Posters Session
Oscar N. Harris Student Union
4:10 p.m.-5 p.m. Music Performances
D. Rich
5 p.m.-6 p.m. Keynote Address and Awards Ceremony
D. Rich
Virtual Symposium Presentations will be accessible beginning on March 30th.