I really enjoyed speaking to the students at the Symposium. I spoke with Lydia about how her summer research evolved, and how she discovered that many of the heroic traits in the tall tales she studied were similar to the traits of modern-day superheros, leading her to her thesis topic. I think it’s really interesting to hear how research can start as one thing and then lead to another, similar to what we talked about on one of the first days of class (spies? English nobility? theatre? wow!). I also spoke with Juliana who conducted research on terrorism. I was especially interested in her research on the differing leadership structures of Al Qaeda and ISIS. What really struck me at the event was the diversity of topics pursued by these students. I learned about American culture, terrorism, sustainability, economics, and more. Seeing their completed projects was actually quite inspirational – it’s a shame more students don’t pursue research of some kind.