Student work celebrated during Wednesday Symposium


FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington will celebrate a universitywide day of student academic and creative achievement with the sixth annual Michael D. Wilson Symposium.

This year’s symposium is an opportunity to spotlight the original research and scholarly work of UMF students and share it with the campus and local community. Presentations will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at venues on campus. They are free and open to the public.

A tradition first started in 1999, UMF’s symposium brings the campus to life with the results of engaged learning, academic rigor, student-faculty collaboration and creative expression.

“It’s so exciting to see the depth of study that is taking place on campus every day,” UMF President Theodora J. Kalikow said. “Symposium is really a celebration of the student learning, persistence, creativity and mentoring that happens all the time around UMF.”

Throughout the academic year, students focus on the process of project creation and development and in-depth academic research of their work, which is then exhibited at the symposium in the form of papers, oral and poster presentations, original student readings, art gallery exhibits and performances.

Supported by a generous gift by Michael and Susan Angelides, in honor of their good friend Michael D. Wilson, UMF class of 1976, this year’s symposium will feature the original research findings of the 2010-2011 Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars and Fellows and students throughout campus, including research topics such as:

* Detection of Acetaminophen in Farmington’s watersheds;

* Peer interactions facilitated by the iPad;

* Maine surgeons during the Civil War;

* Dirty money: bacteria found on currency; 

* Netflix: an evaluation;

* The effect of background music on math performance of gifted and talented students;

* A newly discovered fault system at Maine’s Bald Mountain;

* Calculus in action; and

* An assessment of Maine’s Welfare policy.

Additionally, Jeffrey Thomson, UMF associate professor of creative writing and UMF Trustee Professor for 2010-2011, will give a lecture on his project. It is a prose memoir titled “Landscape with Human Figure,” where he attempts to engage with language and the natural world.

 In addition, the UMF Art Gallery senior art exhibit titled “Line” will be open from noon to 4 p.m. May 2-8, and by special arrangement from 4 to 6 p.m. May 4. All arts events are sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry and are free and open to the public.

 The Michael D. Wilson Symposium is organized by the UMF Culture Committee. A full schedule of Michael D. Wilson Symposium events may be found at