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It’s showtime for Mount David Summit 2017 and a cast of hundreds

Three hundred and eighty Bates students — about a quarter of the entire Bates student body — are poised to showcase their academic prowess at the 16th Mount David Summit on March 31.

“After a long winter, the Mount David Summit is kind of a tropical oasis for the mind and soul,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Matt Auer.

“You can’t come away from the presentations, posters, and performances without feeling completely inspired. It’s my favorite day of the year at Bates.”


Here’s a 40-second walkthrough of the 2016 Mount David Summit:

With its home base in Pettengill Hall, the college’s annual celebration of student academic achievement begins at 1:30 p.m. with a welcome featuring the seven-member Bates Brass Ensemble performing “Swingtime” and remarks from Auer and President Clayton Spencer.

Presentations follow at 1:45 featuring all manner of knowledge-sharing: research poster presentations; short talks, panel discussions, and video screenings; plus literary readings, demonstrations, and performances.

Also on view in Pettengill Hall is the annual Barlow Off-Campus Study Photography Exhibition, featuring images and brief texts by students who have returned from study-abroad programs.

A summit roster of 380 students, or 22 percent of the college’s 1,700 enrollment, are scheduled to participate in this year’s summit. Scholarly and worldly, the summit is also a fan friendly event that typically draws an audience of several hundred, including fellow students, faculty, and staff, as well as visitors, including alumni, parents, and newly admitted students of the Class of 2021.

Jeremy Glover ’17 of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, takes part in a panel discussion on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales during the 2016 Mount David Summit. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

All told, the summit is expected to draw up to 1,000 presenters and guests.

Students will present more than 100 research posters in three afternoon sessions in Pettengill’s Perry Atrium, addressing issues like Korea–Japan relations, the impact of families on jury decisions, and links between periodontal disease and diabetes.

Academic fields represented are biochemistry, biology, chemistry, economics, education, geology, German, history, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, politics, psychology, religious studies, sociology, Spanish, and theater.

Elsewhere in Pettengill, students will give brief talks on topics including the comparative politics of climate change; the rhetoric of the recent presidential campaign; the value of living with families while studying abroad; women’s literature in England, Japan, and Latin America; and senior thesis research in anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

The strength of the Bates academic community is a theme of the Mount David Summit. Here, senior religious studies majors Emilie Muller, Esperanza Gilbert, Wendy Goldman, Melissa Carp, and Alex Tritell pose for a photo before their presentation at the 2016 summit. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Classics students will demonstrate how new digital technologies enhance understanding of the ancient Roman world, and the college’s Community-Engaged Research Fellows will share research conducted with Lewiston-Auburn community partners.

Also reflecting the college’s robust engagement with the community, students in French and francophone studies will present findings from an oral-history project involving Lewiston’s francophone community, from French Canadians to Franco Africans.

Arts-flavored offerings include original fiction and poetry readings and presentations by dancers and ceramic artists on their creative methods.

Ian Ramsey ’16, a mathematics and biochemistry double major, laughs with Assistant Professor of Neurocience Jason Castro at the 2016 Mount David Summit. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates)

Nearby in the Benjamin Mays Center, students and staff present a series of short plays, My America Too, beginning at 4:45 p.m.

In the evening, the Bates Dance Company presents the first of four performances of its spring concert at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Theatre (and again on April 1 at 5 p.m.), and the college choir and orchestra perform the second and third parts of Handel’s Messiah starting at 8 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center.