At age 12, Mount David Summit is better than ever

Travis Brown '11 of East Greenwich, R.I., explains his chemistry poster, "The Synthesis of Exocyclic Enol Ethers Using Sonogashira Couling," at the 2011 Mount David Summit. Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

Travis Brown ’11 of East Greenwich, R.I., explains his chemistry poster, “The Synthesis of Exocyclic Enol Ethers Using Sonogashira Couling,” at the 2011 Mount David Summit. Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

The 12th Mount David Summit, Bates College’s annual celebration of student academic achievement, begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, in Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Summit attractions include poster presentations in all manner of disciplines; theme-driven panel discussions; films, readings and a short play; and an off-campus study photography exhibition.

The Mount David Summit is free and open to the public. For more information see the website or contact Kerry O’Brien ( or 753-6952).

Performances by the Bates College Choir (8 p.m., Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.; free) and the Bates Dance Company (7:30 p.m., Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.; $6 / $3) extend the excitement into the evening.

“The goal of a Bates education is for each student to develop as a scholar,” said Dean of the Faculty Pamela J. Baker. “The Mount David Summit has become a wonderful public arena in which students can share their research discoveries and their artistic work.”

Launched in 2002, the summit has become a premier occasion in the Bates calendar. That first summit featured the work of 50 students and more 400 will participate in this year’s summit.

In Pettengill Hall, during concurrent sessions throughout the afternoon, students will present research posters, short talks, panel discussions, a photography exhibition, a play, a literary reading and several film screenings. Here’s a sampling of the presentations:

  • Students will present more than 100 research posters in African studies, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, economics, English, French, geology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, politics, psychology and sociology. Topics range from alewife migration in Maine to the adoption of African children, and from the reliability of eyewitness testimony to the neurobiology of Buddhist meditation;
  • Eleven psychology and neuroscience students will describe their senior thesis research, which ranges from understanding olfactory systems to effective community programs for autistic children and adolescents;
  • Creative-writing thesis students will read poetry and fiction; dance majors will discuss how they develop choreography; and Spanish students will show their short films inspired by Argentine filmmaker Fernando Birri;
  • Classics students will screen their video performance of a play in ancient Greek, and present a live performance of a Roman play in Latin, providing their own translations;
  • English students dressed as medieval Londoners and portraying historical and imagined characters will mingle with summit guests, sharing stories of life in London 600 years ago;
  • Students who took a May 2012 course in Saudi Arabia will discuss often-misunderstood aspects of Saudi society and culture. Other students will discuss contemporary politics in the Near and Middle East and Africa, and art and politics in China;
  • Research conducted for the public good will be discussed by students working in the local community through the Harward Center for Community Partnerships;
  • Two panels will explore the study-abroad experience: one is on research conducted abroad, and the other on getting involved in a community while studying abroad;
  • Students who have held museum internships at the Bates Museum of Art and other museums will discuss their work.

The Bates Dance Company concert features the work of student choreographers in collaboration with student lighting designers. The College Choir program comprises two masterworks, Fauré’s Requiem and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna.

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