Quest 2016 to showcase scholarly, creative work


March 23, 2016

SUNY Oswego’s annual Quest symposium Wednesday, April 13, will promote scholarship and creativity across campus and across disciplines, from accounting to zoology, from music to math, from ocean depths to outer space.

“Each department and program has created its own way to shine,” said Denise DiRienzo, director of the college’s Center for Experiential Learning and co-coordinator of Quest with Roger Taylor of the psychology faculty. “This is a conference. It’s about scholarship, creativity, excellence. We’re proud we’ve been able to involve each department in this.”

Quest 2016 presentations are free and open to the public in Marano Campus Center; a schedule will be available soon at For the first time, the popular poster session will take place on the floor of the Marano Campus Center arena. Parking on campus that day is free.

By the deadline for submissions, students, mentors and other faculty members and staff had submitted scores of proposals for posters and presentations.

An early sampling of Quest project proposals provides a glimpse at the beehive of scholarly and creative activities that will buzz throughout Marano Campus Center on April 13:

School of Business students and faculty mentors, for example, will discuss writing a business plan for an independent film production company, chartering a chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, using Warren Buffet’s criteria in stock selection for the Student Investment Club’s portfolio and comparing how Nordic nations and the United States address the gap between rich and poor.

From the School of Communication, Media and the Arts come proposals on dealing legally with threats posted in digital social media, examining post-feminist portrayals of women on television, recording music for a trombone quartet with just one trombonist and creating a movie musical.

School of Education students and mentors propose exploring how perceptions about life in a developing country such as Benin change as people play an interactive game, improving undergraduate students’ perceptions of the school psychologist’s role, modeling and studying a hybrid classroom, and using award-winning books to bring high school students, graduate students and community members together.

From the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences come proposals on brain-directed control of electronic devices via electroencephalogram (EEG), a new puzzle that twists the idea of the Rubik’s Cube to teach mathematical group theory, training students to test and analyze grains arriving at the Port of Oswego, demonstrating the Shineman Center planetarium’s effectiveness in teaching the motions of the sky, unveiling the linguistic secrets of the West African language Maninka, comparing Chinese and American beliefs about the relationships between learning and emotions and exploring a relationship between amino acids and body mass in 59 different mammals.

Poster proposals, some in conjunction with the separately scheduled presentations, are similarly diverse: studying dating competition in relation to romantic interest, identifying sentinel genes to detect nutrient deficiencies in crops, promoting mental health in schools and analyzing vocalizations emitted by bearded capuchin monkeys, among other submissions.

“We’ve asked departments to really show what their students and faculty mentors can do, so students understand the rigor that goes into research and presentation,” DiRienzo said.

Now in its 36th year, Quest should leave a much more comprehensive record of its presentations and proceedings, Taylor said. Penfield Library is working on a repository as part of the project to introduce new digital asset management software to the college.