The Drew University Day of Scholars is an annual, student-centered event that took place on Friday, April 8. This event aimed to give students the opportunity to showcase their creative and scholarly accomplishments, including Baldwin Honors theses, music, theater and dance performances as well as visual arts and research poster presentations. In 2020 and 2021, the event was held virtually, and this was the first time in the last two years the event was held in-person.
Day of Scholars was coordinated by Director of University Events Megan McHugh and former Assistant Director of University Events Maddy Randall. Both McHugh and Randall meticulously planned for the big day by contacting students who had been recommended by faculty members to present.
“Some of the biggest details that go into planning an event like this is making sure we have a diversity of presentations, plenty of adequate space for showcasing and that we spread the word campus wide,” said McHugh.
The event had an outstanding turnout including both friends and families of presenters, as well as faculty from several university departments. McHugh reflected on the impressive turnout, and although the event was advertised on Drew Today, she believes the high level of engagement came from students bringing their respective communities and support networks.
The event ran from 1 to 6 p.m., and attendees were welcomed by University President Schwarz in the Dorothy Young Concert Hall. Schwarz’s introduction was followed by oral presentations from Baldwin Honors students on their theses and musical performances.
Alyssa Sileo (’22) presented her play “Un Canto di Natale” at the event. Sileo wrote her play back in Nov. 2021, and with a cast composed of Drew students, she was able to present it publicly in a table-reading at the Day of Scholars. She was also able to provide open captioning for her play with the help of the Drew Performing Arts Access Coordinators (DPAAC) to ensure the play could be enjoyed by all.
“When it comes to my reading in particular, I was grateful for the chance to see my work read aloud in person, which hasn’t happened in awhile,” said Sileo.
Students enrolled in Choreography and Performance Studies recruited student dancers to perform the routine they have been working on for the course. The audience was able to sit-in on a dress rehearsal of the routine as they have been preparing for a future performance later in the semester.
Nearly 100 Drew STEM students gathered in the Ehinger Center during the later portion of the day and had the opportunity to present the research they have been working on. Olivia Mango (’22) worked in Dr. Roger Knowles’s neurobiology lab over the summer and presented her findings on preventing neuron degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.
“I couldn’t believe how many people were genuinely interested in a project I had worked so hard on,” said Mango. “It was also really exciting to share my work with my professors and make new connections with faculty I hadn’t met before.”
Overall, Day of Scholars was a major success due to diligent coordination and students’ hard work.