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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Academic Gala informs '00s, '99s

Four seniors described their honors theses to about 80 underclassmen at the College's first ever Academic Gala, which organizers say they hope will become an annual event.

Sarah Lenczner '97, who organized the event with the College President's Intern Theresa Ellis '97, said the event was "a great success -- not only in the number of people that attended but the comments that people made to me afterwards."

Lenczner said the point of the event was to show members of the Classes of 1999 and 2000 "what seniors have done with their honors projects and to give them a sense of what they might like to do."

Ellis said the gala also showed underclassmen that the College supports students' academic endeavors.

One panel member, Phil Lord '97, animated a nine minute cartoon, titled "Man Bites Breakfast" as his senior honors project.

Lord said he stressed the importance of the process of doing an honors project rather than the project itself.

"The process is the most important thing," he said.

Lord said his film was about a man whose cereal eats him alive, and the cartoon became an apt metaphor for his own life during its production.

It was like entering the "Heart of Darkness and you don't come out," he said. Lord's film consisted of 400 feet of film, 5,000 drawings and 20,000 pieces of scotch tape, he said.

"The value of doing something very hard is a culminating experience." he said, "And then when you do it for real you will have made all those mistakes already and are comfortable with the process."

Amanda de la Rosa '97 wrote a thesis in engineering titled "Trinidad Distillers Ltd."

De la Rosa said it was important that students pick topics that are interesting to them because "you are going to spend so much time on this topic that you should want to do something for the fun of it."

"Any forum where undergraduates can learn from upperclassmen" is a great opportunity, she said. "That's the only way that you can find out what really goes on because no one reads the," Organization, Regulations and Courses guide.

Another panelist, Suzanne Lambert '97, presented her thesis, which is titled "Black and Female in the American Corporate Landscape." Peter Tucker '97 discussed his experiences while working on his senior honors project, an opera titled Credo.

Ellis said that the four panelists were chosen to represent "the different divisions of the social sciences and a senior fellowship."