|Discovery Day projects highlight college’s long history|
|Friday, 03 April 2009|
This year marked lucky number 13 for the annual college event, Discovery Day, and it is was as successful as ever.
This year, 170 students participated and presented a total of 61 projects. As all classes and events were canceled for the day, students had the opportunity to take a new perspective on learning.
This year’s event included projects paying homage to the past and others that will shape the future.
An array of works made this Discovery Day unique. A project by a biology major honors the college’s Sesquicentennial Celebration by summing up the first 40 years of BC’s Biology department.
Other students took a reverse approach, pushing the boundaries of modern music by composing their own contemporary music pieces.
Because this school year marks our Sesquicentennial Celebration, these three projects focus on the past and the future of education at Benedictine College.
Lauren Sheeley, a sophomore Biology major, took on the history of the college’s biology department with her project, The Development and Growth of St. Benedict’s College Biology Department: A 40- year Survey under Fr. Hubert W. Blocker, O.S.B., Ph.D.
Sheeley undertook this project after Biology Professor Dr. Terry Malloy planted the idea in her head.
The Biology Department became official in 1927 under Fr. Hubert Blocker, O.S.B., Ph.D, who stayed until 1952 when Fr. Eugene Dehner, O.S.B., Ph.D took over.
By reading the autobiographies she was able to compile the history of the first 40 years of the Biology Department. Originally, Sheeley planned on doing a complete history of the department so far, but because of the overflow of information, she focused on its inception and first years.
“I hope to expand the project next year and cover the entire history of the department,” said Sheeley.
Her presentation included a poster and a display table of materials used in the Biology Department in its first years, which included a time line of microscopes used and slides that were created by Fr. Blocker for use in the department back in the early 1900s.
“My favorite part of this project was poking around the department looking for old microscopes, slides, and material and seeing all the old things that were used so long ago. It was really interesting,” said Sheeley.
Sophomore music major Sean York was one of a handful of music students whose projects focused on the future of the school instead of its history.
York composed and directed the performance of his own musical piece, called “The Works.”
With assistance from music professor Dr. Chris Greco, York composed a four-part brass piece entirely on his own.
“It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but it was also the most rewarding,” said York. The composition utilizes contemporary 20th century techniques, which vary from the more traditional music normally played at Benedictine.
The use of more contemporary techniques allowed York to be creative in how he portrayed the theme of the piece. The theme is about the battle between good and evil and the discord it causes here on earth.
The name of the composition represents “the works” of the devil. The non-traditional techniques he used to represent the theme are very modern, showing the progress the Music Department is making as music continues to develop and change.
Performing the piece was Christian Garcia, timpani, Matt DeLoux, trumpet, Alex Martinez, trumpet, and Tom Downey, tuba. York directed the performance.
Although Discovery Day included many other education endeavors, these two projects represent the history and the future of education at Benedictine College.
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