More than 100 students will present academic projects related to a variety of subject areas this weekend at the annual Augustana Symposium.

Any student can submit a proposal to present at the Symposium, provided the project being presented has a faculty or professional advisor. Most students present independent research relevant to their major area of study or that is part of a Civitas vocation project.

“Symposium is a chance to present all of the work that’s happening outside of a traditional classroom,” Elizabeth Babcock, chair of this year’s symposium planning committee, said. “We’re challenging students not only in their coursework, but we’re also giving them hands-on opportunities to engage in scholarship.”

Student presentations range from posters to 30-minute talks, and more students are presenting this year than have ever presented in the Symposium’s history, according to journalism professor and planning committee member Jeffrey Miller. Miller attributes this in part to an increased number of Civitas students presenting.

“Part of their final project involves presentation,” Miller said. “[Symposium] is a really good forum for them.”

This year, presentation topics range from My Little Pony to medical tourism to Mussolini.

“It’s kind of bringing together all of the things people are doing on campus that you may not have seen and getting to hear what our peers are doing that they wouldn’t talk about in normal conversations around campus,” junior Aimée Fisher said.

Fisher, with seniors Mo Hurley and Anh Ta, will present an art installation project called “Hashtag YOLO,” which includes a video presentation and life-sized figures made from cellophane tape.

The Symposium will take place Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Student presentations will be located in the Humanities building, and keynote speaker Stephanie Kelton will present at 10 a.m. Saturday in GSC 100.

Kelton ties optimism, economics together


Stephanie Kelton, associate professor and chair of the economics department at University of Missouri Kansas City, will travel to the Augustana campus Saturday, April 12. She is slated to serve as the keynote speaker for the college’s annual symposium.

Kelton’s speech, titled “Turn That Frown Upside Down: A Heartwarming Tale of Debt and Deficits in the Modern Economy,” will focus on the problem of debt in the United States economy. A fiscal liberal, she will offer her own evaluation of the country’s national debt and Washington policymakers who advocate  balanced budgets.

According to Kelton’s website, her research emphases include Federal Reserve operations, fiscal policy, social security, health care, international finance and employment policy.

Alongside her work in academia, Kelton  has maintained a strong web presence.

She serves as editor-in-chief for the New Economic Perspectives blog and as a regular commentator for networks such as C-SPAN and MSNBC. Kelton’s website also features links to her Twitter feed and her podcast, “New Economic Perspectives.”


Schedule of Presentations: 2014 Symposium program