Marian’s 16th Annual Academic Symposium Approaches


Gracie Thies, Editor

Marian University’s 16th annual Academic Symposium is planned for April 9th and 10th  with “The Power & Problematics of Narrative” as the theme. The schedule begins with keynote speaker, Dewey Bozella, on April 9th at 7 P.M. On April 10th panels and presentations will begin at 9 A.M., and will run for the remainder of the day until 3 P.M. 

The Academic Symposium is an event that gives students an opportunity to explore ideas related to a general topic, that provide them interesting information aside from their regular class schedule. The theme of the symposium focuses on all aspects of telling a story, from the advantages and disadvantages to what it means to own your personal narrative. There are stories all around us – from the vast array of narratives social media provides us with, to the stories that we and our peers define ourselves through, we are all storytellers creating our own tales. Our narratives create our identities, and are ways through which we may truly express our voices, and this is just what the Symposium will focus on.

The 2011 Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner, Dewey Bozella, will kick off the symposium as the keynote speaker. Bozella has an especially unique story that he uses to find his own voice and share his narrative with the world. He was imprisoned at the Sing Sing prison for 26 years and now devotes his life to helping others better themselves by working with a non-profit that helps recently released prisoners rehabilitate to successfully re-enter society. Another one of his passions is boxing, as he works as a trainer for children and aspiring fighters. In having faced such adversity, Bozella now uses his experiences to motivate and connect with others who may not be fully in touch with the power of their own narratives. 

On the following day, panels and presentation sessions are each one hour long. Some interesting session topics include, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” “The Value of Stories, Brain Chips and Whole Brain Emulation Could Ensure Football’s Survival (Part I and II),” “International Views of and from the United States,” and “Steven Avery: What Really Happened,” which is in connection to the course that was introduced to Marian this semester, where Avery’s case is examined in depth. 

The Sabre Voice staff will also be joining in on the fun with a session of their own. The session begins at 11 A.M. and is titled, “Who Reads it Anyway?” There will be a panel discussion featuring the Sabre Voice staff and an inside look at the rewards and challenges of writing for a school newspaper.  

There are four interactive presentations that will be on display the entire day in the Stayer Atrium and the science building. One of these involves solving a small crime, and is titled, “Be the Detective: Can you Solve this (Miniature Crime)?” All attendees are encouraged to pass through in between sessions.  

While Wednesday is free of classes, students and faculty are encouraged to attend a few sessions throughout the day. There is a range of fellow Marian students and staff members presenting in a variety of sessions, so show some Sabre support and check out Marian’s Academic Symposium on April 10th and 11th.