Students from Clarke University, the University of Dubuque and Loras came together at Clarke on Nov. 11 to participate in the 10th Annual Streamlines Conference, an undergraduate conference celebrating literature, language and writing. This collaboration between three local schools offers students and faculty a unique opportunity to share both scholarship and creativity.
Nine students from Loras presented creative works of poetry, short stories and video-essays. These students included sophomores Seth Biedrzycki and Laura Iunghuhn; juniors Jeffrey Budz, Natalie Droeske, Sophia Muzzarelli and Kayla Thompson; and seniors Anna Girgenti, Clarice Kies and Maria Teets.
Students were encouraged to submit work early in October. Their submissions were then distributed among faculty members from all three schools and evaluated.
“With all of the preparation that goes into it,” said Loras coordinator Dr. William Kanyusik, “it’s always a little nerve-racking, but it went really well. There were a lot of really wonderful presentations.”
The conference covered a variety of topics, from spy novels to political perspectives present in Shakespeare, to religious trends in Latin America (presented in Spanish), to readings of creative work.
“Presenting at Streamlines for the first time was a bit nerve-racking,” said two-time presenter Muzzarelli. “I was a Psychology major in a sea of English/Literature majors. However, everyone who attended was so supportive and nice. Everyone is there to celebrate the talents of everyone present.”
The conference was organized in four sessions split 3-1 by a catered lunch and keynote speaker. This year’s keynote speaker was Clarke’s Steve Bellomy, who enlightened attendees about the prevalence of November in 20th century literature. Each presentation session featured 3-5 presenters who were grouped by topic.
“The best part about Streamlines was looking at the panels and meeting people who were grouped together based on similar works,” said Muzzarelli. “During the question portion, everyone was able to discuss their thought processes and inspirations.”
Professor William Jablonsky presented in a panel on publishing work. Drs. Kevin Koch, Kate McCarthy-Gilmore and Susan Stone and faculty from the other universities served as moderators for the sessions. Reflecting the collaborative nature of the conference, the venue for the event rotates among the three institutions. The 2018 Streamlines Conference will be held at Loras on Nov. 10.
“The process (of planning for next year’s event) is actually already underway,” said Kanyusik. “The initial steps go into place for the next conference at the start of the previous school year to make sure that everything is set. It’s already in the works.”