posted on: Thursday April 22, 2010
On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 21, the lower level of Slavin was buzzing with activity as students presented creative research to members of the greater Providence community. The booths featured projects in all different subjects, ranging from “Design of a Microflush Toilet Valve for Use in Rural Communities in the Developing World” by Colin MacDonagh ’10, to “Effects of Dance on the Young and Old” by Katelyn Uyehara ’10. This first annual Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity showcased 30 of Providence College’s finest, and highlighted student efforts that often go unacknowledged.Each student here at PC at one time made the conscious decision to matriculate at a liberal arts college. In this day and age, the plummeting economy and highly-competitive workplace has great potential to deter young adults from seeking a liberal arts education. Students are now drawn to specialized schools that place less emphasis on broadening the scope of student knowledge and more on climbing the corporate ladder.At PC, we have experience with Plato and Dostoyevsky, with logarithms and Latin, with cellular respiration and Baroque music. This foundation challenges us to think about the world in more ways than one and inspires us to play an active role in continuing and molding the traditions we have studied. The depth and diversity of student interest, and the products that result from such curiosity is characteristic of Providence College and other schools that share in the ethos of our institution.As the end of the 2009-10 school year approaches, for many the focus rests on final exams and how they will affect the end-all cumulative GPA. At other colleges, this number may encapsulate the entirety of student achievement. After even a quick walk through the showcase, however, it was made clear that a single number cannot measure the innovation and creativity fostered by a liberal arts education.This event was truly a celebration of the student work, and moreover was a testament to the philosophy that knowledge is of more than one sort.