By Natalie Ferjulian
May 6, 2011
WENHAM, MA—Acting in nearly every production of the Theatre Department over the last four years, Alec Lewis has been no stranger to the stage at Gordon College. But for the first time he’ll direct an original play, one he wrote for his Senior Seminar class. The play, Social Skills, will be presented Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the Margaret Jensen Theatre in the Barrington Center for the Arts.
“It’s the story of a young adult with autism trying to understand romantic relationships,” Lewis said. “I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at 6, so this play is an opportunity for me to share about that process in my life in a way that’s fun and engaging.”
Lewis’s production is just one of many unique senior projects and student presentations taking place across campus these final weeks of the spring semester. From science research to art exhibits and special lectures, Gordon’s classrooms and buildings are particularly busy celebrating the end of the academic year.
The Undergraduate Research Symposium, May 11, 1–6 p.m., is an event in the Ken Olsen Science Center that includes students from the physical, biological and social sciences. Over 60 students will present posters on research they have conducted over the course of a few months or a few years on a range of interests. Topics include the ethics surrounding carbon emissions; mandating the HPV vaccine; landscape ecology; and the effects of humans on small mammal populations, to name a few. Students will be at their posters to answer questions 4–5 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. awards will be given in each of the three divisions based upon scientific contribution and poster presentation.
On the other side of campus in the Barrington Center for the Arts, the gallery is displaying the work of four senior art students. Titles of their exhibits include Somewhere In-Between; Knowhere; Resurfacing; and An Undulating Course—Rocking Chairs and the History of the World.
Communication arts students are also gearing up for presentations on May 12. From 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Barrington Center for the Arts, seniors will present on topics such as publicizing health and wellness, how skype benefits interpersonal communication, and the current climate of journalism. Later that evening, communication arts film students will join the Gordon Film Society for a presentation of their senior films at Cinema Salem (1 East India Square) at 9 p.m. (Click here for details.)
Seniors in the social work major will host a breakfast for their semester-long practicum supervisors on May 13 in the Ken Olsen Science Center Chairman’s Room from 8:30 to 10 a.m. They will give synopses of their practicum experiences as well as present their agency projects. Topics include educational planning needs in Dorchester schools, bullying curricula, and the need for elderly services in Gloucester.
The History Department welcomed visitors as two honors seniors defended their theses on April 28. Topics defended included “The Mostellaria of Plautus: A Case Study in Hellenization and Social Tensions in Roman Italy following the Second Punic War,” and “Looking over the Horizon: Travel in Irish Monastic Literature.”
The English Department held three honors thesis presentations on April 21. Titles of the presentations included “Unspoken Images”; “Counting and Recounting: Disparate Realities and the Mosaic Novel,” and “‘The Timeless and the Temporal Together’: Modernity and ‘The End of History’ in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.”
For many seniors these projects and presentations represent the final assignment of their undergraduate career and serve as strong resume material. While graduating students across the country are beginning the job search, Lewis has already accepted a full-time position at The Spotlight Program in Danvers, Massachusetts, an organization that uses theatre and games to develop social-emotional confidence and competence in adolescents.
“I’m excited that I’ve been able to create a senior show that encompasses the skills I’ve gained as a Gordon student, and many of the major lessons I’ve learned in life,” Lewis said.