Apr. 03, 2013

GREAT Day showcases student research and creativity; journalist to speak


More than 965 students will share their research and creative efforts during the seventh annual GREAT Day – Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent — on April 16, with presentations, performances, poster displays, discussions and more. /FILE PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11




Just after 11 a.m. this morning, Twitter users posted more than 2,665 tweets —in a single minute, from around the world. The website Tweetping.net shows where and when the 140-character blasts are posted in real time and is the inspiration for research by geography majors Allison Roosa '13 and Patrick Heffernan '13, who collected and examined the global distribution of tweets made in two 24-hour periods.

With Professor of Geography Darrell Norris, they examined where the most, and least, tweets are made, and explored how social media such as tweeting impacts society.

"The increased use of social media worldwide is creating a global community of enormous proportions," says Roosa. "... Understanding just how widespread the Twitter community is can help us to understand the influence of social media as well as how it can be used as a vehicle for information."

They are among more than 965 students who will showcase their research and creative efforts in the seventh annual GREAT Day — Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent — on April 16.sobel2

Students representing all academic departments will share their work in the daylong event through presentations, exhibits and performances. The diverse offerings include a performance by Bhangra, Geneseo's competitive Indian dance team, as well as a poster display that explores the spatial ecology of the 14 slavemaking ant colonies in our own Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum to displays about cancer research.

"GREAT Day is growing every year and with good reason," said Provost Carol Long. "It celebrates the accomplishments of our students and faculty through scholarship, performance and creative activity. I look forward to GREAT Day every year because it powerfully affirms the strength of a liberal arts education."

This year, the keynote address will focus on transformation of humankind's worldview through science.

Former New York Times science reporter and author Dava Sobel, will discuss "Bringing Copernicus to Life in Prose and Script," delivering this year's Jack '76 and Carol Kramer '76 Endowed Lectureship. Her address is at 1:45 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Sobel's lecture is based on a stage play she wrote about Copernicus, "And the Sun Stood Still," which portrays the events that made him buck common sense and received wisdom to defend the Earth's motion around the sun. A science journalist for 40 years, she has written several books, including "Longitude" and "The Planets," and has written for many magazines including Audubon and Discover. She has served as a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine and Omni, and co-authored five books, including "Is Anyone Out There?" with astronomer Frank Drake. She also received the 2001 Individual Public Service Award from the National Science Board for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public.