All College Symposium 2022 Connecticut College News
President Katherine Bergeron, who attended more than 30 of the presentations, said she was moved by “all the clever ideas, thoughtful presentations, beautiful visuals, and the kindness and generosity of this incredible community.”
Bergeron praised the Elders for persevering in the midst of a global pandemic to make important connections between all of their courses, research, internships and experiences on campus and in communities around the world.
“The idea that everything is connected is something that I felt throughout the day. That’s why this college and this program is so special,” she said.
College Dean Erika Smith said it was “really amazing” to see how the seniors had benefited from their studies.
“In partnership with your mentor teachers, you have been encouraged and guided, both intellectually and interpersonally, to examine yourself, explore your beliefs, and find new ways to embrace and celebrate your cultures and identities,” a- she declared. “It’s the exquisite beauty of the education you receive here.”
Ted Brown ’23, a double major in architectural studies and environmental studies, said it was through his work in the entrepreneurship journey that he discovered a passion for sustainable real estate development.
“The incubator atmosphere taught me to think entrepreneurially and forced me to think about my future in a new light,” he said.
Brown completed three internships during her time at Conn, working with an environmental NGO, an architecture firm, and a real estate developer to explore her interests in sustainability. At the symposium, he presented case studies of a new 17-story apartment building in White Plains, New York, and a second 17-story building under construction in Stamford, Connecticut.
“Our ability to self-design much of our academic experience should not be taken for granted,” Brown told fellow students in a celebratory gathering at the end of the symposium. “I have met great friends within this cohort who have pushed my way of thinking. And I have found a place where I can integrate all of my interests. When I connect with graduates or other professionals in the real estate, I feel confident to tell my story.”
Hannah Gonzalez ’23, who also spoke at the celebratory event, recalled attending the first All-College Symposium as a freshman in the fall of 2019.
“My freshman seminar traveled in packs that day, curiously exploring the various presentation panels and poster sessions showcasing the work of our upperclass peers. I was inspired by how these students took their academic interests outside of the classroom and began meaningful work in their areas of interest,” she said.
A government major and philosophy minor, Gonzalez joined the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. She first became interested in police reform due to her experience growing up in a low-income, predominantly immigrant neighborhood in Chicago. But she soon realized that “the social issues that had plagued the neighborhood I grew up in were part of an overall question about which countries can or should integrate and accept people from outside their own borders”.
She studied U.S. refugee policy and international human rights and served as a policy and advocacy officer for the International Rescue Committee, assisting one of the world’s leading refugee resettlement and development organizations. humanitarian with research projects and policy recommendations. She is currently completing a capstone project and applying to law school to pursue a career in human rights law.
“With the support of Holleran Center students and staff, I have cultivated a clear vision of the type of changemaker I want to be,” Gonzalez said. “There are hundreds of seniors here today who share this experience of personal growth through an education at Connecticut College. I’m immensely proud of all we’ve accomplished in our four years here, and I can’t wait to see the impact we’ll have on the world.