Daemen College is celebrating its 16 year of the annual Academic Festival. The Festival centers on student presentations to campus and community, providing a showcase for academic excellence and achievement through student and faculty presentations and exhibitions. These presentations may reflect work done in a single discipline or interdisciplinary in nature, and include posters, papers, panel discussions, exhibits, videos, musical or theatrical performances or students’ final capstone projects and/or research.
“The goal of the festival, is in a single day, Daemen students showcase what they have done while here at Daemen College. The range of things that the students have done here at Daemen and presented is amazing,” said Margene Weiss, the Festival Committee Chairperson and Director of the Conference and Events Office on campus.
Initiated in 2000 under the direction of Dr. Edwin Clausen, then the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the idea for a premier student showcase event was conceived.
“Dr. Clausen had done similar events at several other universities. He believed that we needed to show off our students’ work here,” according to Weiss.
The first Academic Festival was held on Friday, April 20, 2001. There were 78 proposals submitted. 201 students were involved in giving presentations under the sponsorship of 32 faculty members. These presentations included 38 posters, 11 individual presentations, 18 group presentations, five performances and four exhibits. It had an estimated attendance of 701.
The Festival has gotten bigger and bigger every year. Last year’s Academic Festival included 218 submitted proposals where 448 students were involved in giving presentations under the sponsorship of 66 faculty members. These presentations included 131 posters, 56 individual presentation, 18 group presentations, seven performances and two exhibits. It had an estimated attendance of 3925.
“The Festival has grown due to the involvement of students and faculty. This year should be even bigger with 140 posters submitted for the poster event alone. What makes Daemen’s Academic Festival special is that it is not just posters and presentations. It’s art exhibits and performances in all disciplines showcasing our unique artists. This year there will be a Shakespeare Diner Banquet, a Model U.N. Simulation, a Mock Trial Simulation, a Faculty Music Showcase, and much more,” said Weiss.
Everything involved with Daemen’s Academic Festival showcases Daemen’s students including the creations of the Festival’s program, poster, and t-shirt. This year’s program student staff includes Daniel Gertis (student editor program book), Summer Phillipson (Student Proposal Logistic Review) and the team of Mike Morgan, Joyce Strobel, and Elise Wright (Publications Design for Program Book and Poster). The front cover showcases an acrylic art piece, Pieces, by Rebecca Haley (visual arts education student), the back cover showcases an oil on canvas art piece, Wrath, by Xiao Yang (illustration student), and the t-shirt design showcases a digital collage art piece, Untitled, by Kale Johnson (illustration student).
“All students should go to the Festival to support their fellow student. Many seniors are required to present. There are no classes that day. Students should take advantage of this opportunity to check out what other students have done in their majors,” said Weiss.
This year’s Daemen College Academic Festival is on April 20 and will start with a welcome by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Michael Brogan at 9:30 a.m.
“Once the Festival is over all students involved should feel really successful and like a million bucks for all the hard work they have done,” said Weiss.