Festival of Scholars and Artists Celebrates Student Achievement
by Franchesca Schrambling BA ’22
Each spring, Lewis & Clark cancels class for a day so that the campus community can participate in the Festival of Scholars and Artists (FOSA), an event that celebrates the scholarly and creative achievements of undergraduate students. This year’s event was held on April 8 and marked the first time the event has been held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The festival’s planning committee, in partnership with the Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB), designed a jam-packed schedule that highlighted student research and creativity, including discussion panels, poster sessions, art exhibits, and an evening Arts Showcase.
Throughout the day, students presented to their peers and professors, as well as prospective students and community members, on a wide range of topics: “How NFTs Will Function in the Art World,” “Examining Spider Venom Evolution Using Insect Cells,” “Gender, Politics, and Disability in Asylum Cases,” “Britain’s Anti-Cult Movement,” “The Future of Portland’s Forests,” and more.
“It’s safe to say there are more fascinating topics than there is time to see it all,” reflected Bruce Suttmeier, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of Japanese. “FOSA is one of my favorite events of the year, as it brings together the community to highlight and share the vast range of student talents.
Within the perimeter of Alumni Circle, attendees enjoyed music and theatre performances as well as creative writing readings, all of which highlighted individuals involved in Arts@LC. Seniors studying rhetoric and media studies held a mini film festival exploring themes of action, symbolism, and self. FOSA’s main stage performances were held adjacent to the event’s food trucks and just outside of the Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, which currently houses the work of 13 art majors in the 2022 Senior Art Exhibition, titled Don’t Blink.
SAAB-sponsored events included a raffle, music, crafts, and a new competition among L&C academic departments called FOSA Feud (based on the TV game show Family Feud). While the history department’s “History Buffs” and the mathematical sciences department’s “Mathemagicians” teams tried their best, the English department’s “Canterbury Snails” team took home the trophy.
FOSA was made possible by the hard work of many individuals, including Isabelle DeMarte, associate professor of French; Kyle Lascurettes, associate professor of international affairs; Magalí Rabasa, associate professor of Hispanic studies; Norma Velazquez-Ulloa, associate professor of biology; Julia Salomone BA ’23, SAAB representative on the planning committee; Keilani Vega BA ’22; Margaret Salstrom, administrative assistant in the dean’s office; and other members of SAAB.
“It’s a ton of work to put on this event,” said Suttmeier. “I’m grateful to all of them for organizing this wonderful celebration of our community.”