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Senior Symposium

14th Annual Senior Symposium banner

The Senior Symposium features a group of graduating Gallatin seniors whose talks span a range of genres and highlight the intellectual diversity of Gallatin's undergraduate scholars. Seniors discuss their academic concentrations, colloquium topics, research projects, extracurricular involvement, and passion projects in the fields of art, science, activism, sustainability, social justice, and more.

14th Annual Senior Symposium 2022

Speakers In order of Presentation: 

Sophie Spector “Studying Infectious Disease from an Interdisciplinary Perspective”

Chandani Nash “Laboring Voices: Vocalization, Vibration and Relationality in Childbirth”

Cristina Gutierrez “Reimagining Education in America”

Moosa M. Waraich “The Alternate History of the Hidden Minority”

Hannah Javens “Left Behind: The Material Traces of Crossing the Border”

Robyn Green “Loaded for Bear”

Emma Waddell “Building an Interactive, Music Artificial Intelligence”

Zoë Elizabeth Lillis “Dramatizing History of the Present Moment: Empowering Artists Both On and Offstage”

Sophie Spector Photo

Sophie Spector (BA '22)

Studying Infectious Disease from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Sophie Spector (she/her) is graduating from Gallatin with a concentration on Infectious Disease from an Interdisciplinary Perspective, which combines humanities with biomedical science. During her time at NYU, Sophie has worked at the Jane Carlton lab, where she received a GURF and DASR for her work studying malaria and the STD-causing parasite Trichomonas, respectively. Currently, she is completing her Senior Project at the Stapleford lab at NYU Langone on Zika virus-induced cardiomyopathies. In addition, Sophie was a learning assistant at the ULC and worked on the E-board of the Biology society for the past three years, and has written for NYU’s Medical Dialogue Review and Gallatin’s Confluence. Sophie's symposium reflects on the need for greater interdisciplinary collaboration and improved accessibility within the scientific community.

Chandani Nash Photo

Chandani Nash (BA '22)

Laboring Voices: Vocalization, Vibration and Relationality in Childbirth

Chandani Nash is a full-spectrum doula, reproductive justice advocate, and writer from Brooklyn, NY. Her concentration is in Reproductive Justice and Political Theory, which explores how humans reproduce themselves, both physiologically and socially as well as across space and time. Her Senior Project and symposium talk are a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural exploration of childbirth from the perspective of the laboring voice. Drawing on the fields of anthropology, performance studies, feminist metaphysics, and new materialisms, Chandani's Senior Project presents the voice as a vibrational and relational object through which the "biosocial" phenomenon of childbirth can be read and understood. Chandani currently works as a program associate with a national reproductive justice organization where she focuses on combating the logic of population control and eugenics. After graduation, Chandani will continue her study of reproduction as a Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her writing can be found in Zora Magazine, Left Voice, and Medium.

Cristina Gutierrez Photo

Cristina Gutierrez (BA '22)

Reimagining Education in America

Cristina Gutierrez has created a concentration titled Reimagining Education Through Narrative Investigations, which is an exploration into the history, strengths, and flaws of the American education system as revealed through literature, testimony, and narratives. Through her investigations, Cristina critically evaluates how the American education system has perpetually failed students of color and low income students, and the ways in which educators, administrators, and policymakers alike can contribute to making an equitable system of education. During her time at Gallatin, she completed a Senior Project that examined the history and efficacy of teacher education programs. She specifically explored the ways in which these programs can better prepare their students to teach the diverse youth of America. Cristina hopes to continue her research and earn her master's degree and teaching credentials after a gap year spent working for e-learning company Eduscape.

Moosa M. Waraich photo

Moosa M. Waraich (BA '22)

The Alternate History of the Hidden Minority

Hailing from Islamabad, Pakistan, Moosa Muzaffar Waraich is a senior at Gallatin who is currently concentrating in the study of Race, Globalization, and Postcolonial Studies. He draws primarily from the disciplines of History, Politics and Anthropology and is also pursuing a minor in Social and Public Policy. For the Senior Symposium, Moosa will be expanding upon the research he conducted on the Afro-Pakistani community with the Dean’s Award for Summer Research in the summer of 2021. This research is currently being developed furthermore in his Senior Project. In his talk he aims to discuss transnational solidarities of Afro-Asiatic communities, examine their status as hidden minorities in contemporary Pakistan, and explore what last names and ethnonyms can tell us about a group’s position within the Pakistani socioeconomic and ethno-racial hierarchy. Through this, he hopes to analyze the applicability of critical race theory as a framework of analysis for South Asian Studies.

Hannah Javens photo

Hannah Javens (BA '22)

Left Behind: The Material Traces of Crossing the Border

Hannah Javens developed the concentration Haunting Culture with a minor in French Studies. She focuses on alternative memory keeping and how it pertains to traumatic experiences, drawing from the fields of sociology, critical theory and forms of creative expression like literature and art to explore how emotional resonances become lasting aspects of cultures. Originally from Texas, she is an editor for several student publications such as the Gallatin Review and the Art History department’s Ink and Image, and also tutors French-speaking individuals in English. Her Senior Project explores what objects discarded at the U.S. Mexico border can say about those who once possessed them and their reasons for displacement in the absence of this human context. In challenging the view that these objects are seen as pollution or trash, she points to the underlying systems that motivate this separation and the subsequent violence that empowers fear-based power structures.

Robyn Green photo

Robyn Green (BA '22)

Loaded for Bear

Robyn Green is finishing up her concentration in Anti-Civilization Anarchisms at Gallatin, as well as a minor in Indigenous Studies at CAS. She is writing a tabletop role playing game (TTRPG) about anthropology called Loaded for Bear, and she hopes to convince you to play it in her presentation today. Robyn has been playing TTRPGs since she was less than ten, and according to her family she's been an anarchist of one kind or another as long as she's been around. She keeps her public work and social media at, and is hoping excitedly to meet some like-minded people in the homelands of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuck people (colloquially western Massachusetts) where she will make her new home after graduation.

Loaded for Bear will launch in May.

Emma Waddell photo

Emma Waddell (BA '22)

Building an Interactive, Music Artificial Intelligence

Emma Waddell is a computer scientist and musician interested in live interaction between a computer system and saxophone improvisation. For their Senior Project they have been building a Supercollider program to be used in LiveCode performances. This program allows the user to create a beat to improvise with. As the improviser grows in intensity, the computer can generate a series of beats that are more intense but related to the given starting beat. The computer can also be given a score with multiple beats as different musical sections, and the computer will follow the performer through this score. This talk outlines the major strategies used in musical artificial intelligences at large, as well as the specific methods used for their Senior Project, such as evolutionary algorithms and supervised learning.

Zoë Elizabeth Lillis photo

Zoë Elizabeth Lillis (BA '22)

Dramatizing History of the Present Moment: Empowering Artists Both On and Offstage

Zoë is a director and producer living and working in New York City. At NYU Gallatin, she studied Directing and Dramatizing History, focusing on the relationship between narrative and the process of production. She is thrilled by stories that remind us of the excitement and magic of our shared humanity. From 2020 through 2021, Zoë conceived of, curated, and directed TNT Offstage, an original concert. Offstage invited a diverse group of artists to come together to write music centering around the theme of identity and finding ourselves in the world today. Her select directing credits include: Amélie (TNT), Offstage (TNT), Unplugged (TNT), Lovesong (Gallatin Theatre Troupe), and Love Sucks (GTT). Assistant directing credits include the world premiere of Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom (Irish Repertory Theatre) and Legally Blonde (TNT). Various theatre credits include work with The Huntington Theatre, the cell, and on Broadway with Second Stage and Manhattan Theatre Club.

Senior Symposium - Past Years

TedX Gallatin Stage Photo

TEDx Gallatin, 2014 (left to right): Daniel Seara, Kerrin Smith, Rachel Brazie, Nicole Johnson, Anthony Giambra, Natalie Nazarian, Mali Bowers

2021 Senior Showcase

The 2021 Senior Showcase was presented via Zoom on May 26, 2021.

Selections from the 2021 Senior Showcase:

Courtney Curd - "An Imaginative Presentation on an Anti-Imperial History of the Americas”

Kaylee Lamarche - “In Death: Pandemics & the Population”

Dylan Brown - “The Imprisoned Black Radical Tradition: San Quentin and the Legacy of George Jackson”

Sarah Sadia Daoui - “Algeria's Hirak movement & the New York, Paris protests”

Olia Zhang - “Re-Imagine Education for Liberation”

2020 Senior Symposium

2020 Senior Symposium

The 2020 Senior Symposium was presented via Zoom on May 8, 2020.