A Recap of the 2022 Mount David Summit

Last Friday, Bates community members flocked to Pettengill Hall to enjoy the 20th annual Mount David Summit. With 220 student presenters, the building was packed as students showcased their research, writing and achievements to the Bates community. 

The presentations commenced at 1:20 p.m. with an opening ceremony and ran until 6 p.m. that same evening. There was a dance concert that night at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Theatre where students presented dance theses and a number of dance classes performed final projects.

While in previous years the summit has been open to the wider Bates community, due to COVID-19 concerns, only students, faculty, staff and parents of senior presenters were allowed to attend.

Sarah Abbott ‘22 presented her chemistry thesis during the 1 to 3 p.m. poster session and enjoyed getting to interact with summit-goers. For her thesis, Abbott worked in a lab on an on-going project to try and synthesize a potential therapeutic for respiratory syncytial virus, a common virus in children.

“I worked on this all year and then in a previous semester, pre-COVID actually, I had been in this lab doing some of the simpler steps supporting this project,” Abbott said. “And then I got to do some of the larger-scale stuff as a thesis student.”

Abbott was one of 42 presenters during the first poster session; the Atrium was packed to the brim as students wandered through the maze of poster-boards.

“I forgot how crowded it was because we haven’t had one of these in a while. I forgot how busy Mount David Summits are,” Abbott said.

Eliana Al-Konsul ‘22, an anthropology and psychology double major who presented  their psychology empirical thesis, also displayed her work during the 1 to 3 p.m. poster session.

“I was just talking to my advisor and I was complaining to him about how I was learning more things from people as they were asking me questions,” Al-Konsul said, “which I’m really excited to integrate and think about in my discussion section.”

Their thesis was on system justification theory, the idea that people will justify systems that harm certain groups of people in order to maintain the status quo. 

Al-Konsul further explained, “The study was about the differences of system justification theory between Black and white women in relation to their experiences with sexism both benevolent and hostile.”

Her poster presented research she conducted throughout the winter semester. Despite the amount of time that Al-Konsul poured into her project, they came away from the summit with more unanswered questions.

“It was my first Mount David Summit,” Al-Konsul said, “so it was really cool to see people invested in the topic because it kind of validates why I was interested in it.”