April 2011 Updates
The Undergraduate Writing Symposium
On March 27th, the third annual Vanderbilt Undergraduate Writing Symposium was held in the Commons Center. The event opened with remarks from Provost Richard McCarty, and was well attended by student’s parents, Vanderbilt faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. Over eighty papers were nominated by instructors across campus, and each paper was subjected to a rigorous, two-tiered review and selection process. Ultimately, the symposium featured the work of twenty-four undergraduates, from freshmen to seniors, and panels included essays from across the disciplines—from philosophy and English to neuroscience and medicine health and society. In the panels I attended, students presented their essays with poise and professionalism, and in one memorable session, even encouraged audience participation. The presenters deftly fielded questions from faculty and other students at the end of their presentations. The Undergraduate Writing Symposium is wonderful opportunity for writers to focus intensely on the writing process, and to think of their writing as part of a larger conversation in a community of writers.