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Announcing the All-College Symposium

Save the date: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019

On Nov. 7, the entire campus community will take part in the inaugural All-College Symposium, which recognizes the scholarship of our exceptional seniors and the results of their research and integrative projects. Please join us in celebrating this important milestone event.

The All-College Symposium highlights students’ integrative learning in Connections, the College’s reinvention of the liberal arts. More than 150 seniors who participate in the College’s centers for interdisciplinary scholarship or academic Pathways will showcase how their coursework and experiences have informed their studies and learning over four years. Through 10-minute talks, poster sessions, performances, screenings and exhibitions, students will share their  intellectual curiosity and passions with their peers and the entire campus community. Presentations will be held in locations across campus and are open to the campus community.

For more detailed information about the College’s day-long Symposium, including schedules and speakers, please check back often.

Meet some of our student presenters:


Headshot of Viridiana Villalva Salas ’20 
, Class of '20

Viridiana Villalva Salas ’20

Decolonizing the Syllabus: One Book at a Time

Viri, an English major with a concentration in poetry who is also pursuing a secondary education certificate, is exploring educational inequity within higher education—specifically within English classrooms—through the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy.

“My project aims to address the issues of the current use of ‘canonical’ text in the English literature classroom, and how text selection can be improved to better serve the ever-diversifying community of U.S. college students,” she says. “I decided on this topic through my own experience in a philosophy class, where I felt as though my classmates—most of whom did not come from inner-city schools like I did—already knew a lot of the material because they had access to more classical texts than I did in high school. This experience highlighted the fact that simply because students make it to the same elite colleges does not mean that all students receive equitable resources prior.”

As a junior, Viri studied abroad in Athens, Greece, where she also had the opportunity to work in a school setting. She has also worked in the New London public schools and at the Noble Network Support Team Office in her hometown of Chicago.

A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Viri plans to pursue a Ph.D. in education and hopes to become a professor of education. She will present a PowerPoint presentation, “Decolonizing the Syllabus: One Book at a Time,” at the All-College Symposium on Nov. 7.

“I want people to reflect on their educational experiences and question everything, whether that means to question what is being taught on their syllabi or how their identity has affected the way they experience the classroom,” she says. “I hope that people realize how much culture truly affects people's educational experiences.”

Headshot of Ken Colombe ’20, Class of '20

Ken Colombe ’20

Entrepreneurial Mindset in Professional Basketball Team Development

Ken, an economics major and finance minor, joined the Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change Pathway to learn how to apply his liberal education to everyday life. “My experience with the Pathway has been incredible. Not just for my own learning, but also being educated on what my fellow classmates are interested in and how they have applied their different perspectives to similarly posed questions. We all had the same thematic inquiry class, and learned the same entrepreneurial processes, but, as you will see at the Symposium, our projects all went in different directions,” he says.

Ken interned in the front office of the Indiana Pacers, an NBA basketball team, and for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, experiences that were critical to informing his animating question: How is the entrepreneurial mindset and approach used in NBA front offices in developing team rosters?

“I became fascinated by the cultures of the organizations I was able to intern for. I really wanted to see what made them successful and found there were a lot of the thought processes used, explicitly or not, that we learned about in the thematic inquiry,” he says.

Ken, who hopes to work for an NBA team after graduation, will present a poster, “Entrepreneurial Mindset in Professional Basketball Team Development,” at the All-College Symposium on Nov. 7.

Headshot of Margaret Davey ’20, Class of '20

Margaret Davey ’20

Life Behind a Screen: How Technology is Changing the World

After taking courses on the psychology of sleep and the psychology of women, Margaret joined the Bodies/Embodiment Pathway and discovered that she is fascinated by the many ways technology influences different parts of our lives.

A psychology major and sociology minor, Margaret studied abroad in Copenhagen, where she took a course on cyberpsychology, interacted with a host family and used her interest in squash to connect with local residents to get a better sense of their views on technology’s impact on society, sports and the body. This past summer, she interned with the Boston-based market research company C_Space, where she worked on ways to use a survey mobile app to get different age groups to best answer questions in order to get the most effective information. The experiences led her to her animating question: What are the ways in which the mind and body are affected by technology? The question is also the basis for her senior psychology thesis.

At the Nov. 7 All-College Symposium, Margaret will give an interactive presentation, “Life Behind a Screen: How Technology is Changing the World,” that utilizes everyday technology like personal smartphones to demonstrate technology’s impact on the mind and body.  

“I will be covering how I have been able to explore my animating question, and I plan to show how technology has become so pervasive that it often affects everything a person does,” she says.  

Headshot of Cameron Segal ’20
, Class of '20

Cameron Segal ’20

Straight as the Blade, White as the Ice: Hockey as an Exclusionary Sport

Cameron, an American studies major who is also pursuing a teaching certificate, joined the Cities and Schools Pathway because he hopes to teach at an independent school after graduation. He is also a hockey player who has, at times, been made to feel like he didn’t fit in with his teammates because of his olive complexion. After a black hockey player for the Washington Capitals was taunted by Chicago Blackhawk fans chanting “Basketball,” Cameron decided his animating question would be: Why is hockey considered a ‘white’ sport? 

After considerable research, Cameron developed a Learn to Skate Program to introduce Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School students who have recently immigrated to the United States to the sport of ice hockey. Cameron worked with the Dayton Arena rink manager, his club hockey team, the figure skating team, Bennie Dover teacher Rocio Tinoco ’17, the Connecticut College Education Department and Residential Education Fellows students to launch the program. This summer, he was a faculty intern at Loomis Chaffee's Summer Program, where he served as a teacher assistant, coach and residential adviser for students in grades 7 through 12. 

At the All-College Symposium Nov. 7, Cameron will present a PowerPoint presentation, “Straight as the Blade, White as the Ice: Hockey as an Exclusionary Sport.”

“This presentation will explore the roots of hockey as a sport for straight, white men,” he says. “Specifically, it will focus on the factors that have made hockey more accessible and inclusive to people who live in the suburbs or have lighter skin, while restrictive and exclusive to people of color in cities. I will analyze the steps being taken by the Hockey Community and determine how successful they have been in creating safe spaces for people of all races, genders and sexual orientations."

Headshot of Sharon Van Meter ’20, Class of '20

Sharon Van Meter ’20

Narratives of Childhood Well-Being

It all started with a theater prop: For a performance in the musical “The Cradle Will Rock,” Sharon made a protest sign—inspired by a quote by Maximilien Robespierre—on which she wrote, “Knowledge is Power.” A year later, she joined a Pathway with almost the same name, the Power and Knowledge Pathway. Her interest in theater and media, combined with a desire to understand what makes us who we are (which she regularly explores as a history major and religious studies minor), led her to her animating question: What role do corporations play in forming our concepts of childhood well-being? 

Last spring, Sharon studied at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she took a Broadcast Analysis class about the media’s role in producing knowledge. Currently, Sharon is studying how Times Square's transformation into a site associated with family friendly entertainment and well-being is associated with the roles that gender performance and class play in the entertainment it provides. She will present a PowerPoint presentation, “Narratives of Childhood Well-Being,” at the All-College Symposium on Nov. 7.

Outside of the classroom, Sharon explores the production of narratives through her involvement in Wig & Candle, Conn’s student-run theater organization, and The College Voice, Conn’s student newspaper. She hopes to translate these interests into a rewarding career in publishing, museum work or education.

Headshot of Marissa Domantay ’20, Class of '20

Marissa Domantay ’20


Marissa’s interest in the representation of diverse stories and bodies in media led her to join the Social Justice and Sustainability Pathway. A Posse Scholar who founded and chaired the South and Southeast Asian Alliance at Conn, Marissa drew on her own experiences for her animating question: What do the experiences of intersectionalized bodies in higher education look like and how can people—incoming students, undergraduates and administrators—learn from these experiences? 

“I reflected on my preparedness in transitioning to college and realized that a lot of booklets and guides on the subject do not consider intersectionality,” she says.

Last spring, Marissa, an art major and mathematics minor, studied abroad in Ireland, taking courses on media studies and different platforms for storytelling. In her free time, she also conducts research in the field of Filipino-American studies.

At the All-College Symposium Nov. 7, Marissa will present “IntersectiXns” (pronounced “intersections”), a gallery and collage showcasing why people believe intersectionality is a crucial part of their experiences in higher education. She is collecting submissions from students and members of the community through her website and through Facebook. 

“I hope people can reflect on their own experiences and come away with a better understanding of what intersectionality is, why it is important, and how it plays a role in higher education,” she says.  

After graduation, Marissa plans to continue pursuing her passion for representation within education and media. She is considering career paths ranging from art professor to writer and illustrator.


Interdisciplinary Focus

Selected Symposium Topics

Devil’s in the Details: Design of Psychotherapy Waiting Rooms 

Lily Nobel
Public Health

Bottom-Up Mural Arts (Movement)  

Vanessa Giraldo
Social Justice and Sustainability

Equitable Art Programming in New York 

Kimberly Mitchell Ince
Social Justice and Sustainability 

Causes of and Barriers Within the Informal Economy of Lima, Peru 

Dominique Burrows

They Only Built Five: Gender Representation in NYC Public Art 

Natasha Strugatz
Ammerman Center

Changing the Immigration System to Reduce Undocumented Immigration 

Paloma Camarena

Sino-US Relations and Policy in the Trump-Xi Era 

Justin Nitirouth
Peace and Conflict

Petticoats, Pants, and Power 

Juliet Wilson

Mitigating the Colonial Gaze 

Juliet Levesque
Global Capitalism


Conn’s First Connections All College Symposium will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019










Mailing Address

Connecticut College
Fanning 206
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06415


Libby Friedman '80
Assistant Dean of the College for Connections


Fanning Hall 206