4/21/2014 8:10:11 AM

First-Year Students Present Research

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

By Elise Fernandez '13

As the spring semester drew to a close, first-year students shared the results of their research with members of the Siena College community. The annual First-Year Seminar Student Research Conference allowed more than 60 students from a variety of majors to share their research on topics covered in their First-Year Seminar classes, including popular culture, war, history, women’s issues, leadership, crossing borders, public policy, human impacts on the environment, voice, justice, democracy, beauty and the American dream.

“It’s important that we give our students opportunities to present their work publicly. In this way, we all benefit,” said Professor of English and Director of the First-Year Seminar Meg Woolbright, D.A. “It’s also important for faculty to hear the topics that the freshmen are working on, so we can continue to encourage research past the freshman year.”

Katherine Considine ’16 said, “My freshman seminar class was ‘On the Beautiful’ taught by Dr. (Paul) Santilli (Professor of Philosophy).” During class, students questioned the definition and meaning of beauty and discussed personal and societal views in different cultures and during different time periods. “In this class, students explored a topic that they were interested in and became experts on the subject and how it relates to beauty,” Considine said.

“I think the students work harder on both their research and their presentation skills when they know they have to address an audience,” said Woolbright. “I think doing this greatly increases their confidence in themselves and makes them feel like contributors to a body of knowledge. They start to take themselves seriously as scholars.”

Siena College’s First-Year Seminar introduces incoming students to college work and encourages them to consider new perspectives. “I personally loved freshman seminar,” said Considine. “The class challenged me to think of the ideals and beliefs of different people and societies from around the world.”

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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