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For Immediate Release
January 22, 2009

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267

Scholars Day: Brockport Tradition Celebrates Scholarship and Research

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Press Release Photo The students in Puppet Theatre (THE 365) class make famous stories alive with their colorful handmade puppets for children and grownups. (2007)

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Press Release Photo This popular presentation by Professor Emeritus Kenneth Schlecht, PhD, contained over a dozen demonstrations designed to generate thought and interest in chemistry and science. (2005)

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Press Release Photo Art students demonstrate the ceramic firing technique of raku, which has gained popularity with ceramic artists of the West because of the rapid firing and drama associated with the process.(2007)

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Press Release Photo Poster presentations are popular during Scholars Day.

Brockport, NY - The College at Brockport, State University of New York, created Scholars Day as a way to shine a light on faculty achievement. That was in 1984, and the event has since become a time-honored tradition, expanding to encompass student scholarship and academic achievement.

Established by a committee of representatives from the College Senate and the Office of Academic Affairs, Scholars Day is an annual event in which an entire day is set aside for presentations by students, faculty and staff.

The first Scholars Day included 66 presentations in the Seymour College Union. At that time, a number of professors suspended their classes and gave assignments for students to write short essays on their Scholars Day experience. Former President John Van de Wetering, under whose leadership Scholars Day was established, remarked that Scholars Day was a wonderful opportunity for students and professors to come together to discuss important research. Although the originally Scholars Day highlighted only faculty research, the event quickly reached out to student scholars. Today, Scholars Day focuses primarily on student presentations, but continues to include faculty and staff presentations as well.

A Scholars Day committee meets each year to plan that year’s event and to consider future Scholars Day activities. The first Scholars Day Committee was chaired by James Eilers, PhD, in the Department of Chemistry. Increasing publicity and suspending classes to increase attendance were two changes the future committees adopted, allowing all students the opportunity to participate in and attend sessions. Fellow committee member James Haynes, PhD, in the Department of Biology, said, “There are a number of ways to learn. On Scholars Day, we get the students out of a classroom and move them into a conference-type environment to learn in a different setting.”

Changes in technology also have helped to facilitate submission of Scholars Day applications, especially important since the number of presenters has grown into the hundreds. Today, applications are only accepted online, and a variety of different measures have been taken to ensure that Scholars Day reflects a configuration of that of a scholarly conference, including session chairs for mediating each session. In the past few years, the program has expanded to include Scholars Night, which takes place at The College at Brockport MetroCenter, located in downtown Rochester.

“Scholars Day is a significant event on The College at Brockport campus,” said President John R. Halstead, PhD. “It is emblematic of our commitment to strong and diverse scholarly endeavors. As always, student success is at the forefront of our efforts. On Scholars Day, in particular, student success takes center stage, and we shine a bright light on the academic achievements of our students.”

Last year, Scholars Day reached record proportions, reflecting the continuing and expanding success and achievement of The College at Brockport students. There were 235 presentations, 429 student presenters and 27 faculty presenters, which adds up to 169 more presentations and 429 more student presentation than the first Scholars Day a quarter of a century ago.

This year, Scholars Day is expected to be the largest gathering of student, faculty and staff scholars and researching, spanning both The College at Brockport campus and the MetroCenter.

Scholars Day takes place April 15, 2009. Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate.

Learn more about Scholars Day and this year's sessions.

The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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