Symposium returns to de Witt Hall

By Rebecca Osowski & Rayana PetroneFeatures Editor & Digital Editor

Flyers are plastered around campus in anticipation of Symposium’s return. Photo by Rebecca Osowski

On December 7, the Fall Career Readiness Symposium will return to de Witt Hall and will have a more traditional format after a year of going remote.

Symposium is “the cumulative academic discovery and knowledge of the semester,” said Administrative Assistant and Project Manager of Symposium Lee Means. Its name was changed last year, from the Fall Connected Learning Symposium to the Fall Career Readiness Symposium, thanks to the Davis Educational Foundation grant. The grant’s goal was to bring career readiness into focus through courses, programming, and academic and student affairs and allow students to see exactly how their education is impacting their future.

According to Means, many of the presentations will be on campus, however an online component will also be available for those who are not able to attend the event. 

Means and Denny Frey, Associate Dean of Curricular Integration, made it clear classes are not cancelled, rather the meeting times are suspended and students are expected to meet at Symposium.

Despite COVID-19 regulations lessening on campus, the planning of this semester’s symposium was more difficult than last year. “Last year, we knew everything had to be online, we were not allowed to have large gatherings, no food, and physical distancing,” said Frey. After the implementation of Canvas was a success last year, the program will be used again for a hybrid version of Symposium this year. 

 “We have tried to make Symposium more interactive for the audience and because we are housing it in some ways in an online platform we can have folks virtually coming into symposium, adding to it, even beforehand, during the day of and after. So the online platform gives it a life beyond just the one day of the semester,” said Frey.

With Symposium back in full swing, students can expect a variety of presentations from undergraduate students, graduate students, professors and the Symposium planning committee. 

Events will include Dean of Social Sciences Lori Rosenthal’s psychology museum, a mock trial performed by  LS101: Foundations of the American Legal System class, Professors Diana Priestman and Sarah Giasullo’s sports walk-in clinic, career readiness alumni panels, and a fall film series sponsored by faculty Cyntoya Simmons and Professors Halliday Piel and Stephanie Athey.

 Adjunct Instructor of Athletic Training Diana Priestman is one of two professors in charge of the sports walk-in clinic. Athletic training students will have the opportunity to evaluate injuries and conditions that members of the community may have. They will then create exercises for these community members to do at home to help alleviate pain and symptoms. 

Priestman thinks this is a great opportunity for students to “showcase their knowledge of orthopedic injury and conditions through their history and evaluation skills as well as through their ability to build comprehensive rehabilitation programs for the patient to carry out at home.”

Means and the Symposium planning committee have their own presentation, titled Three “Simple” Questions. The project is open to all members of the community, including students and their families, alumni, Lasell villagers, and faculty.

 The presentation is to provide advice about managing careers and passions and the keys to a successful life. 

Means and the Committee try to show the questions are simple however, “there is no one simple answer, that is the important thing when students think about their careers and everything they are told in school [and] by their families,” said Means. 

Senior Creative Director of POLISHED Magazine and fashion communication and promotion major Emma Ingenohl will be present at Symposium, running a booth to showcase POLISHED’s Fall/Winter issue. “It means so much to be able to be part of Symposium in person this year and show everyone what my team and I have been working on… seeing my vision come to life has been such a dream,” Ingenohl said. 

According to Priestman, Symposium allows students to give back to their community while showcasing their knowledge.

“Being a part of the symposium can give the students pride in their knowledge base and the work they have put in while gaining confidence that comes with presenting to peers and other members of the university,” Priestman said. “Attending the symposium gives individuals the chance to widen their own knowledge base and is a great way to support fellow students and connect with others across the university.”

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