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For Immediate Release
April 6, 2011

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267
jroy@brockport.edu

Reflections on Scholars Day

Story by Morgan McDowell í11, Office of College Communications Intern

Many students may see Scholars Day as a break from classes and an excuse to do absolutely nothing all day. However, this day serves a great purpose to the campus community as a whole. With a record number of 323 presentations, Scholars Day 2011 acknowledges the collaborative efforts of student and faculty alike to expand knowledge and share new ideas and concepts in their department of expertise. The two sessions I attended today were diverse, yet were of equal importance to both the presenters and audience. During the morning session, a Psychology major presented her study of Family Functioning and Childhood Chronic Illness, a study she had been conducting through her internship at Mount Hope Family Center. The afternoon session included a handful of Communications students presenting their multimedia projects and websites they had created using JavaScript coding.

As a Communication Studies major graduating in just a little over a month, I understand the importance of this annual event that celebrates academic success. If I had a nickel for every time I was told that experience is critical, I would have enough change to pay for my entire undergraduate tuition. With my professional career rapidly approaching, I have spent countless hours perfecting my resume and building my personal portfolio that includes a few abstracts from final presentations and projects I had previously found tedious. In the midst of fighting with overhead projectors and faulty PowerPoints, I had a rather obvious epiphany. Professors donít assign presentations just to torment their students; they are secretly preparing us for the real world under the alias of final projects and/or midterm presentations. These are everyday communication skills necessary not only in the work force, but in all aspects of our lives. Professors want us to acquire said skills since we will all need them long into our chosen careers.

This same principle holds true for Scholars Day. Classes may be cancelled, but presentations are abundant on campus. This annual event gives students the opportunity to present their own research in a professional setting, away from just a classroom full of peers and one faculty member. These original presentations attract a very diverse, and in some cases, hostile audience, one that students will encounter in the professional world. A Scholars Day audience is critical in learning how to deal with constructive criticism, another important learning experience we must face as a college student. At the very least, such presentations are a resume booster. As a Scholars Day presenter, students sharpen their public speaking skills while educating their peers and other members of the Brockport community on a topic in which they are experts. Such skills are crucial in every profession whether it be teaching or business.

Indeed, Scholars Day is a celebration of student success. We have worked hard all year and now itís time to show our peers, professors and other members of the community that all that money and hard work was not in vain; that we did capitalize on the opportunity to attend college. Every chance you get to speak in front of peers makes you that more confident when the time comes to showcase yourself to a potential employer.

I'm glad I took advantage of this Brockport tradition. And, I hope everyone else in attendance did, too.

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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 * www.brockport.edu

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