by Gabriella Pisano ’18
Among the core requirements and proficiencies that students are expected to complete throughout their academic career, there are many opportunities that allow students to explore their passions through academic work. The Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity highlights student work and allows them to share their passion for their studies.
Providence College’s three-year grant from the Davis Educational Foundation for Fostering a Culture of Student Engagement inspired the event. In tune with the College’s mission of promoting, sustaining, and enhancing academic excellence, the purpose of the grant is to deepen student engagement in their learning. The event gave the opportunity to many students with a variety of majors and minors to present on their theses, experiential research, and service projects. From history to math to art to science to English to psychology, presentations covered a wide range of subject matter.
This year’s event, which marked the 8th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship and Creativity, took place on Wednesday, April 26 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and was held in the Slavin Center. Spanning throughout upper Slavin and into ’64 Hall, the event caught the attention of many passersby.
Allison Schmidt ’19 presented on the struggles illegitimate children in 18th century London, or foundlings, had to deal with in society and how the laws at the time limited them. Schmidt stated, “I had many of my friends and professors come and speak to me about my presentation as they were interested in seeing how I examined the law of the time in the 18th century London and compared the real life examples to fictional novels about these foundlings.”
Catered by Sodexo, the free food was a catch for students throughout the building. While some originally stopped by the event for some free food, the presentations by students caught the attention of many and prompted many to engage with the students presenting.
Much of the information contained in student presentations is not commonly known. History and Political Science double major Elizabeth Petretti ’17 stated, “I have always been interested in the Revolutionary War, and I chose to focus on women specifically because the study of women’s roles in history is a relatively new subject and I wanted to research why some women are really well remembered and why others have been forgotten despite great feats.” Focusing on a topic that is not wellknown allowed Petretti to gain a wealth of information that she was able to share with others at the event.
Petretti based her presentation on her History Honors Thesis that examined women of the American Revolutionary Era and the way in which they are remembered throughout history. After researching women of various social classes and with very different stories, Petretti found that there were three reasons some women were remembered. She concluded, “Those with high social status, male advocates, or written documentation tended to be remembered more throughout history than others who were missing one or more of these criteria.”
Claire Kleinschmidt ’17, who has participated in the event the past four years and worked on increasing student participation last year, spoke about the event, stating, “At PC we have so many opportunities to do research with faculty or throw ourselves into projects we are passionate about. The Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity is an incredible opportunity to showcase the interests and hard work of students here at PC. I really believe that we have so much to learn from each other and fields other than our own.”
Kleinschmidt continued, “I look forward to the Celebration for Scholarship and Creativity because it allows me to talk to students about their art projects, research, and future plans every year, and I’m so grateful for a chance to really engage in meaningful conversations with my peers.”
PC’s Strategic Plan includes student engagement as a critical step in the College’s effort to enhance academic excellence through expanded research, study, and service. By appreciating students’ scholarly and creative work, the celebration is an important piece of this the Strategic Plan.