NOVA Holds Dr. Joseph Windham Student Voices Conference

From merging biology and physics to transgender stigmas to marketing beauty products and experiences in culture and diversity, NOVA students shared their academic works at the annual Dr. Joseph Windham Student Voices Conference at the Alexandria Campus. Nominated by their professors, approximately 20 students across disciplines and campus activities shared their current research and performances with peers, faculty, staff, and Windham family.

The morning started with keynote speaker Landon Marchant, NOVA alumni and Williams College student, sharing his experience with the event and highlighting the legacy of Dr. Windham. Landon suggested to Student Voices presenters that “participation in the Student Voices forum will have an impact on your life going forward. The critical thinking, research, and communication skills you have learned, will serve you well going forward, no matter where you go next. The tradition of academic presentations—collaborative intellectual growth, thoughtful questioning, respectful disagreement (and refutation)—allows us all to hone the skills Dr. Windham so prized. Critical thinking, confidence, academic rigor, and community.” Landon, who transferred from NOVA to one of the most prestigious liberal arts universities in the nation, shared his experiences of adversity and finding refuge in scholarship.

In the morning session, students shared their experiences learning Chinese through friends across the globe. Several art students showcased beautiful examples of their work in abstract art and graphic art. Although the mediums were different, the art students highlighted how faculty have inspired their “artistic voice.” Next, the audience was captivated by Stacy Becenti’s descriptive essay of a nonviolent protest at FedEx Field. The session ended with a reflection by Nazeleh Jamshidi on the successful Afghan Women’s Panel sponsored by the Jean Braden Center for Women’s Equality, Gender, and Social Equity earlier this month.

The late morning session started with Alexandria Campus Writing Contest winners sharing their work. Zainab Saeed gave an informative presentation on her research merging biology and physics in her work titled “Our Plasma Membrane as an Electric Capacitator.” NOVA Forensics team members performed on the topics of the social injustices within the transgender community and 3D bio printing. There were lighthearted moments in this session as well. Visiting international students Ciaron Campbell and Catriona Taylor from Dundee and Angus College in Scotland discussed their culture shock and immersion into American sports. One of the final speakers gave informative presentation on the Uyghur culture by highlighting its unique values, clothing, artifacts, and cuisine.

Professor Araceli Bachner, coordinator of the event, closed the ceremony by reminding the audience how Student Voices is a unique event that highlights the academic works created and nurtured while at NOVA. The event was informative, provocative, and inspirational. In the spirit of Dr. Joseph Windham, the themes of community, multiculturalism and social justice were prevalent in many of the Student Voices presentations.

For more information about the event, please contact Araceli Bachner.

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