Undergraduate Symposium

Student presenting at the Undergraduate Symposium

2021 Virtual Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works

The 2021 Virtual Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works is taking place on Thursday, April 22! Students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, family and friends are invited to attend virtual panels throughout the day and drop by our video exhibit to watch presentations by undergraduates across all disciplines. Senior capstones, independent research projects, theses, virtual internships, and creative endeavors are all featured.

The Symposium consists of two parts:

  • A series of live student presentations.
  • A video exhibit featuring undergraduate student research and creative works.

The live presentation schedule is listed below.  Join us on Thursday, April 22 to celebrate the works of our accomplished presenters! For more information, email [email protected]

Global Virtual Internships: Sustainable Design, Public Health, and the COVID-19 Response

9:00 - 9:45 AM ET 

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From sustainable design to healthcare, many organizations continued to collaborate on projects and offer internships to undergraduate students across the globe. This panel features presentations by Simmons students who participated in global virtual internships with organizations based in China, India, and Kenya during the fall and spring semesters.

  • Samantha Margolin ‘22, Internship in Sustainable Design with The Innovative Urban Green in Shanghai, China.
  • Beyza Erdem ‘21, Internship in Public Health, Community Action, and Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in India.
  • Gillian Unger-Mochrie ‘21, Internship in Public Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya.

Computer and Data Science: They’re Not What You Think!

Presented by Rachel Beaulieu '22, Lila Crum ‘21, Nicole Rasmussen ‘21, and Lauren Wagner ‘21. Moderated by Professor Nanette Veilleux.

11:00 - 11:55 AM ET

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The world of technology has many different faces. This panel will highlight different parts of the industry and demonstrate the wide world of technical development. Our research covers topics in technology ranging from the applications of augmented reality to data visualization and automatic speech recognition for low resource languages. In addition, we investigate indie game development culture and the motivators of paths-to-technology professions. This panel showcases the range of possible applications for data and computer science while also exhibiting our own individual areas of expertise. From gaming to linguistics, we will discuss how such disparate topics are encapsulated within the same field.

It's Wrong Not to Test: The Case for Universal, Frequent Rapid COVID-19 Testing

Presented by Brianna Desharnais '22 and Emily Costanza '23. Moderated by Professor Cherie Ramirez.

12:30 - 1:00 PM ET

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One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid tests are still unavailable to most of the public. These rapid tests have been proven effective in home and community settings for identifying people who are most likely to be contagious—even in the absence of symptoms—and to empower them to isolate before unknowingly infecting others. Although there is evidence from around the world demonstrating the utility of rapid tests, many well-intentioned academic discussions about the potential risks of false positives, false negatives, and data reporting issues continue to overshadow a devastating fact. The ongoing failure to widely deploy rapid tests can be measured in the real consequence of mounting infections, economic and social costs, morbidity, and deaths worldwide. Additionally, even those who do test positive for COVID-19 may be unable to self-isolate because of the monetary barrier in staying home from work or other factors. This presentation will focus on the utility of adding frequent rapid testing to other infection prevention strategies, a comparison with other COVID-19 tests on the market, the need for universal access to low-cost rapid tests and isolation support, and the effectiveness of self-testing.

3D Awards: Design Across Diverse Disciplines

1:00 - 1:40 PM ET

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The 3D award acknowledges exemplary student work in Design Across Diverse Disciplines (3D), which enables students to create, design and propose a cluster of three courses that may assist them in better understanding and addressing a problem or issue from various disciplinary perspectives. 

Presentations will be given by the recipients of the 2021 3D award:

  • Lena Solomon ‘23, The Mistreatment of African-Americans and Minorities in Healthcare
  • Erin Buck ‘21, Food Justice and Social Impact: A Holistic Exploration of Modern Hunger
  • Max Cook ‘22, Politics and Self-Expression in American Music and Media
  • Catherine Cox ‘23, Women and War

The 3D award panel will be moderated by Shauntina Powell ‘21.

Senior Keynote Speaker Panel

1:45 - 3:00 PM ET

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The Keynote speaker award is presented to four graduating seniors with outstanding projects in their discipline. Keynote speakers are selected based on the following criteria: i) project includes a compelling thesis, hypothesis, or idea/message; ii) demonstrates scholarly and imaginative engagement in the subject; iii) topic is of interest to a wider audience; iv) demonstrates a new contribution to a discipline. 

Presentations will be given by the recipients of the 2021 Keynote Speaker award:

  • Celine Breton ‘21, Forever Chemicals: Understanding their Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • Cara Mackenzie ‘21, The Trauma of Irish Womanhood: An Examination of the Masculine Nation State in Literature and History
  • Julia Hart ‘21, Engineering a Bi-functional Heterostructure for Enhanced and Selective CO2 Adsorption/Reduction Under Visible Light Irradiation
  • Sander Hackey ‘21, Tracks to Gentrification: An Analysis of Modes of Public Transit and Socioeconomic Change in the City of Boston

The Keynote Speaker panel will be moderated by Dr. Catherine Paden, Deputy Provost.

Sexual Identity, Gender Roles, and Motherhood in Spanish Film and Mexican Literature (Presented in Spanish)

3:05 - 3:55 PM ET

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Students will present individual projects exploring themes of sexual identity, gender roles within the family, and the gradual change in the roles of the mother-daughter relationship represented in the Spanish movies La ley del deseo (1986), Solas (1999), A mi madre le gustan las mujeres (2002) and Volver (2006). This panel also explores themes of motherhood, artistic independence and the role of home women as creators depicted in Elena Poniatowska’s novel, Querido Diego, te abraza Quiela (1978). Please note that this panel will be presented in Spanish.

  • Chloe Crelia ‘22, Transformación en independencia a través del arte (Transformation in Independence Through Art)
  • Kiernan Flanigan '23, Identidad Sexual y Roles de Género en la Sociedad Española (Sexual Identity and Gender Roles in Spanish Society)
  • Sarah DeFanti '22, La complejidad de las relaciones madre-hija (The Complexity of Mother-Daughter Relationships)

The panel will be moderated by Julia Wilen '24.

Representations of Paris in 19th-Century French Literature (Presented in French)

4:00 - 4:55 PM ET

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Representations of Paris in 19th-century French literature are examined through three realist novels: Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac, L'Oeuvre and Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola. Presenters will explore the themes of sexual identity, the rise of consumer society, and Impressionism. Please note that this panel will be presented in French.

  • Lindsay MacIntyre '21, The Representation of Paris in Emile Zola's “L'Oeuvre”
  • Georgia Harper '22, An Analysis of Space in “Au Bonheur des Dames”
  • Charlie Sinotte '21, The Representation of the “Homosexual” during 19th century France through the texts “Sarrasine” and “Le Pere Goriot"

The panel will be moderated by Professor Eduardo Febles.

Learn About Past Presenters:

Students at Undergraduate Sympsoium

2019-2020 Highlights in Undergraduate Research and Creativity

See a collection of featured student presentations in the arts, media, humanities, social sciences, policy and practice, and the natural, behavioral, health, and data sciences.

Watch the Presentations