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The SPARC Festival

SPARC festival LogoSPARC is a yearly academic celebration wherein is highlighted some the best work of students at the Mount. A long-standing tradition, the SPARC Festival provides students the opportunity of presenting their work in disciplinary-conference format.

Participation in the SPARC Festival is often the culmination of months of academic preparations including literature review, primary research, and written reporting, all under the mentoring guidance of faculty and other subject matter experts.

As such, the SPARC Festival is not only a highlight in the Mount St. Mary’s University academic year; more importantly, participation in SPARC is often a highlight in the overall academic experience of many Mount St. Mary’s students.


► Keynote Speaker – Tamika Tremaglio, C'92
► Honored Faculty Speaker – Caitlin Faas, Ph.D.

Dates and Times

► SPARC Festival: April 25-27.
► Academic Awards: April 27, 3:30 p.m.

Celebration of Senior Honors Scholars Program.
Details on FIRE Talks, Lightning Talks, Performance Presentations, and Posters.

Poster and Lightning Talk Abstracts.
Schedule at a Glance.

Festival Formats

Science experiment at the SPARC FestivalLightning Talks
A Lightning Talk is a brief presentation that hits the main points and expresses what matters most. These are roughly 15 minutes. You may choose to pair your talk with a PowerPoint, but this is not required. Learn more about lightning talk guidelines.

Honors Presentations
An Honors Presentation is the final, capstone presentation of an honors thesis, as per the requirements of the University Honors Program. Students presenting honors theses have worked through many months of research that culminates in an honors thesis, and their findings are presented to the university and greater community during the SPARC Festival.

Panel Presentations
A Panel Presentation is a small group of presenters (3-6) who will talk about various angles on a specific theme. Panels are scheduled for 60-75 minutes and panelists usually speak for roughly 10 minutes each. If you have a panel idea, talk with one of your professors!

Poster Presentations
A poster presents the result of a project visually. Your poster should be self-explanatory, leaving you free to answer questions on the finer details of your project. Poster sessions are scheduled for two-hour blocks. Learn more about poster presentation guidelines.

Performance Presentations
A Performance Presentation is a discussion of the process by which a performance of music, theater or performance art is prepared and then performed. The 20 minutes combine a discussion of the topic complimented by performed examples. Each session is followed by a Q&A session with attendants.

Contact Us

Get Social with SPARC


If you have any questions or comments regarding the SPARC Festival, please contact:

Michael J. Turner, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Mary Catherine Kennedy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | | 301-682-8315