Academic Festival celebrates students’ best work

Penn State Mont Alto to showcase student research and artwork
Mont Alto Academic Festival Poster

Forestry student Dominic Lenzi (right) discusses his research project, “Letterkenny Planting Plan,” with Penn State Mont Alto Forestry Instructor Craig Houghton (left) during the 2017 Academic Festival.

Credit: Debra Collins

MONT ALTO, Pa. — On April 20, Penn State Mont Alto students will display and present their best academic and artistic work during the 13th annual Penn State Mont Alto Academic Festival from noon to 3 p.m. in the Multipurpose Activities Center (MA­­C). An awards ceremony will be held in the General Studies Building auditorium at 3:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

“We are proud to showcase the hard work of our students. This year’s festival will include 55 student projects―research-based posters, information exhibits, and oral presentations― and about 20 individual art show pieces,” said Andrea Pritt, Penn State Mont Alto librarian and co-chair of the Academic Festival.

The students’ work covers a wide array of topics and ranges across all majors and subjects. Art projects will also be on display on the second-floor of the Penn State Mont Alto Library and will include drawings, paintings and photographs.

The festival will begin with exhibits and posters from noon to 3 p.m. in the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC). Oral presentations and performances will be presented beginning at noon to 3:15 p.m. also in the MAC, room 122. Student artwork will be on display on the second floor of the library and a reception will be held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. An awards presentation will close the festival beginning at 3:45 p.m. in the General Studies Auditorium.

A sampling of the students’ work includes the following:

“Analyzing Trajectory of Hydrogen Powered Rocket” by physics students Misael Carlos Vera, Michael Fitch, Wyatt Chilcote and Jordan Cooper ― “We will use kinematics and stoichiometry to determine the maximum height of the rocket, the time it takes to reach peak height, the time it takes to return to the ground, and the velocity of the rocket as it hits the ground under ideal circumstances with no air resistance or drag. We will then measure the difference between the experiment and real-life using mathematical models.”

“Modern Day Slavery: A Look at Human Trafficking” by nursing student Echo R. Plank ― “Human Trafficking is a global problem. Nurses and medical professionals are some of the few who may have contact with these victims while they are being trafficked. They are, therefore, in a unique position to identify victims early on and get them to safety. Providing education to nurses and medical staff will assist in identifying victims and help them know what to do once a victim is identified.”

“Chesapeake Bay: Rising from the Dead” by biology student Savannah Dymond ― “Algae blooms are caused by abundant minerals, specifically, phosphorous and nitrogen. This fuels the growth of algae bloom and creates “dead zones,” which are detrimental to all sea life in that area. The Chesapeake Bay has many dead zones that cause species such as oysters and underwater grasses to decrease in population size. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is in the lengthy process of restoring the Bay and spreading awareness to those who can make a difference is a step in the right direction for restoration.”

“We Are…American” by Honors Program student Elven Acolatse ― “The people among us have amazing stories to tell about their life experiences and family histories. Families have emigrated from different countries across the globe to settle in the United States. I set out to discover what people know about their families' immigration histories. This video project is meant to shed light on the many different cultures that surround us and to show that history is far deeper than skin color.”

The student awards for this year’s Academic Festival are sponsored by Sandra Offut, Penn State Mont Alto Class of 2008, the Penn State Mont Alto Alumni Society, and the Penn State Mont Alto Academic Support Center.

For more information, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing, at [email protected].