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A Research Tradition

One of the biggest days on the University of Dayton calendar arrives this month as more than 1,200 students share their research, artistic endeavors and academic achievements during the annual Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium, from 8 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18.

Since 1989, the University has promoted the Stander Symposium as a day of alternative learning, suspending scheduled classes and meetings to invite faculty, staff, students and the general public to engage in conversation, education and discussion outside the classroom.

Guided by more than 220 faculty mentors, the students will showcase their work, ranging from poster presentations to speeches on front porches in the student neighborhoods, live performances, panel discussions and multimedia displays. A student-produced documentary will explore the Dayton area's opioid epidemic; a student songwriting contest will highlight musical creativity; sumo robots will face off in a “battle royal”; and students will discuss their research in a sea of 368 poster presentations in the gym in the University’s RecPlex.

"The Stander Symposium is such an influential academic tradition at UD because it has come to touch nearly all of our undergraduate students, regardless of their majors and their level of sophistication in research and scholarship,” said Provost Paul Benson. “From students in first-year courses presenting research in a public setting for the first time to seniors who are collaborating with faculty members or graduate students on publishable research projects, the Stander Symposium encompasses the breadth and depth of students' participation in scholarly creation and innovation across our campus.  

“Stander demonstrates the quality of academic engagement that marks the impact of a UD education," Benson said.

This year’s highlights include:

  • A celebration and reception for Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives, a community-storytelling project that paired 25 students from the Department of Art and Design and the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community with 25 Dayton community members to create typographic posters that visualized visualizing their narratives. More information about the project can be found at and in the accompanying story here. (6 p.m. Fitz Hall, second floor)
  • A viewing of “Epicenter: Dayton’s Opioid Crisis,” a documentary on the scope and impact of the opioid crisis epidemic in Dayton. Developed by media production students, the documentary includes interviews from former addicts, treatment specialists, coroners and law enforcement officers. (11-11:40 a.m. Science Center auditorium)
  • The Sumo Bot IV tournament, featuring 44 robots developed by sophomore engineering majors as part of an electronics class project to design and program autonomous machines. (2-5 p.m. Science Center atrium)
  • A poster presentation from the Department of Biology on invasive plants and their effects on microorganisms in Dayton waterways. Junior biology major Jenea Adams, a group project member, said the Stander Symposium led her to enroll at UD. Click here to learn more about Adams and the group’s research. (9-10:15 a.m. RecPlex main gym)
  • A variety of  presentations from 12 Stander Fellows, who each earned up to $2,000 to fund their symposium research projects
  • A juried songwriting contest in which guitar students of Department of Music Artist-in-Residence Jim McCutcheon perform original pieces. (3-4 p.m. Sears Recital Hall)
For a full schedule of events and presentation times, visit For more information, contact Andrea Wade at 937-229-1723 or


News and Communications Staff