Academic excellence was on special display during the month of April at SUNY Oneonta, thanks to three student-organized conferences and a symposium that spotlighted students, faculty and alumni from the college’s School of Liberal Arts and Business (SLAB).
SUNY Oneonta's 26th annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, held April 1-2 in Morris Hall, drew philosophy student scholars from colleges and universities across the country. Renowned philosopher, author, activist, journalist, and advocate for free speech and academic freedom Dr. Alice Dreger delivered the keynote address, titled “Courage and the Value of Disloyalty.”
Mathematics major Aliyah Abdelsalam, of Sunnyside, NY, represented SUNY Oneonta, presenting a paper titled “The Philosophy of Technology: Metaverse and Possible Worlds.”
Women’s & Gender Studies
The Women’s & Gender Studies Student Symposium, held April 13 and 15 at Hunt Union, featured presentations by eight students, each of whom picked one feminist-activist scholar to research. Treviny Cox, a senior from Cohoes, NY, presented on “Bell Hooks’ work on Black feminism and theory as a healing practice.”
“The WGS symposium was an inspiring experience,” Cox said. “Being able to present the work we do is so important. Feminist and activist spaces that these conversations create are great pushes for change."
The English Department’s 11th annual New Critics Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference was held April 23 at the Morris Conference Center. The conference was split into four sessions, with 17 students presenting. Students from other colleges are normally invited to attend, but advisors decided to keep the event small this year and limit to only SUNY Oneonta students due to COVID. Closing out the conference was keynote speaker M.T Anderson, a well-known sci-fi author who presented the talk "The End of All Our Exploring: Writing in A Strange Land."
Sophomore English major Haleigh Eustis, of Schuylerville, NY, helped organize the event and presented during the Percy Jackson/Rick Riordan panel. Eustis discussed sexuality (or lack thereof) in the authors’ novels, and how this could affect young readers who don’t see much LGBTQIA+ representation in youth novels. Speaking publicly is not her strong suit, she said, but it was a great experience overall.
“Seeing people interested in what I had to say was just so exciting!” Eustis said. “The conversation between everyone was magnetic, and the entire event made me very proud of the work that Parnassus (the English club) had done for months in advance.”
The 13th annual Undergraduate Political Science Conference, hosted by the Political Science Club, was held April 29 at the Hunt Union. The conference featured research presentations by six students, one from SUNY Oneonta and others from colleges across the state. There was also a networking hour and an alumni panel where recent Oneonta graduates – one of whom is a policy analyst for the New York State Senate – discussed life after graduation. Professor of International Relations and retired regular U.S. Army Lt. Col Dr. Edward J. Erickson gave the keynote address on "Hydropolitics and International Affairs."
August Heminway, a junior Criminal Justice and Political Science major from Ridgefield, Conn., gave the presentation “Justice in an Unjust World: A Study of Post Conflict Justice in an Ineffective System.”
“It was a good first experience with public speaking where I was able to present research on a topic I feel passionate about,” Heminway said. “Being part of this professional event, which highlighted the best up-and-coming ideas and goals in the sociopolitical world, by allowing us to hear from students across other schools was a great opportunity."