Over 150 students will deliver poster presentations at the first annual President’s Research Symposium today. In the past, there has only been a forum for science research, but President Clayton Rose opted to expand the symposium to include research across all disciplines this year. 

“The president’s interest is in all students and it seemed like such a wonderful opportunity for science students to showcase the work that they do over the summer, but we have students in the humanities and the arts and the social sciences,” said Interim Dean of Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon.

Michael Amano ’17 is presenting posters in both the neuroscience and East Asian studies departments, after presenting neuroscience research at the symposium last year. 

“I’ve been able to present on my neuroscience research at the symposium because I was here doing research for that  [last year], but I think it will be exciting to tell people I did this research [this summer], especially for the Hiroshima project.”

Amano split his summer between Brunswick and Japan. On campus, he spent four weeks studying crickets for a neuroscience project. He spent the rest of his summer tracking down survivors of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing. 

Amano and his project partner Ginny Crow ’18 are curating an exhibition based on drawing made by Hiroshima schoolchildren, which will open at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in the spring.

“We found four of them, and I interviewed them and learned about their drawings. And then in addition to that the question kind of developed into ‘what does it mean to grow up in a city devastated by a nuclear weapon?’” Amano said. 

“It was an incredible experience to be able to fit both of those projects that I really think are representative of my interests into one summer,” he added. 

Hyungyu Lee ’19 spent the summer in a chemistry lab, trying to synthesize Phenylphosphabenzene, an ingredient used in household items such as soap. 

“I’m excited about [the upcoming presentation]” he said. “I’m presenting about my favorite things, chemistry and just can’t wait to see other people presenting about their science.”

Evan Baughman ’17, a recipient of a Community Matters in Maine fellowship through the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, will also be presenting at the symposium. He worked with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland over the summer. 

“I think that there couldn’t have been a better time to work with an immigrant legal aid clinic that serves low-income residents than this summer,” he said. “It has definitely made me far more informed about such a divisive and important issue in our current political situation.”

Baughman recognizes that his presentation topic is different from the majority of students’ topics at the symposium.

“It’s good that there’s a forum where students that were on campus doing work can display their achievements,” he said. “However, I think that it should be renamed if there’s going to be the Community Matters Program participating because there [are] a lot of fellowships that aren’t research.”

Unlike in past years, the President’s Research Symposium also coincides with Family Weekend, so some students will have the opportunity to share their summer research with their relatives. 

“We got to thinking how wonderful it would be for parents of first-year students to be here for Family weekend, to walk through that event and to see ‘wow, these are the kinds of things that Bowdoin students do as they get a little bit further in their work,’” Scanlon said.