Scholars to Gather for Debates, Demonstrations During Spring Symposium

Every spring, there is a gathering at San Jacinto College Central Campus which offers access to what some would say is the most powerful weapon: knowledge.

Knowledge-seekers and educators will join together to celebrate all that the San Jacinto College Symposium offers. Professors, students and volunteers conduct the large-scale event, which features academic presentations, demonstrations of educational findings or talents, and formal debates on different subjects.

“At our largest, we had 40 presentations over two days, had honors students involved, and even extended the event across campuses,” event chairman Angelina Cavallo said.

According to Cavallo, the purpose behind the 25-year- old event is to share the passions and interests of San Jac faculty with students and the community.

“We wish to reopen communication and welcome every field in San Jacinto to showcase whatever they wish to share; to spark interest in San Jacinto College Central, not only with students, but the public and businesses at large,” Cavallo said.

Traditionally, a wide variety of subjects are discussed and presented at the Symposium, which Cavallo said include, “…quartets, dance, poetry, unique topics such as Special Operation’s Intelligence Collection in Iraq, anthropology research, and cultural studies.”

Academic presentations aim to inform and educate listeners, and according to Cavallo, are drawn from “the presenter’s latest research or other academic findings in their field.”

“Demonstrations such as science or technical may be used to showcase something in the presenter’s field,” she added.

Furthermore, organized discussions between professors who teach similar subjects are a traditional feature of the Symposium.

“Debates are to be done by those with field or academic knowledge in the topic presented,” Cavallo said. “These are not opinion platforms, but rather deep discussions with evidence and/or philosophical debate.”

Moreover, everything presented during the event is put into a catalog for public viewing.

“A printed journal of collected works from Symposium participants called ’Reflections’ had been published annually to share the culmination of the San Jacinto College faculty/staff art and achievements,” Cavallo said.

Meanwhile, English professor David LeMaster explained the reasons the event is a well of knowledge and opportunity.

“It might surprise you to discover how much talent we have at San Jacinto,” LeMaster said, “and many of us are eager to share with, and hope to inspire, our students, our fellow faculty, and our local community.”