Hogwarts on the Mon - Harry Potter Conference at Cal U

Hogwarts came to California University of Pennsylvania this past Friday. Cal U hosted 264 high school students from six different high schools for the Harry Potter Conference. These high schools included Laurel Highlands, Avella, Ft. Cherry, Uniontown, Trinity, and Carmichaels. These high school students got to attend different seminars given by presenters from as far away as Texas.

Seminars included classes such as “Care of Magical Creatures” and a presentation by Dr. Sarah Downey from Cal U titled “Fantastic Medieval Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a class called “Theory of Magic” with a presentation titled “Harry Potter and the Hero’s Journey: Why Mix Mythology and Modern Literature?” given by Jennifer Beno-Young from Robert Morris University, and a class called “History of Magic 102” which included a presentation by Victoria Scholz from Texas A&M University – Commerce titled “Fantastic Fictions and Where to Find Them: J.K. Rowling’s Creation of Fairy Tales in the 21st Century” to name a few exciting seminar examples. There were 18 presenters in total.

Many hours and a lot of hard work went into this Harry Potter Conference. Dr. Christina Fisanick organized the event. She collaborated with over 100 Cal U students that worked as set designers, clean-up crews, volunteer escorts, and so on. Cal U’s Admissions also talked to the high school students about upcoming Cal U events and about attending Cal once they graduate high school.

The high school students and teachers that accompanied them were given lunch after their sessions. While eating, students got to enjoy performances by different Cal U music ensembles including the Cal U Choir and the Cal U Strings. Students enjoyed walking through campus to their different seminars and then ended the day in the beautifully decorated Performance Center that was turned into The Great Hall. The high school students could submit artwork and writings for a few different competitions during the conference, too, such as the Harry Potter Fan Fiction Contest.

Dr. Fisanick’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Everyone who attended the conference or who was involved was excited and happy to be there. It was terrific to hear the music, see the decorations, and listen to the presenters. The conference also helped show Cal U to possible future students. The only thing missing was Harry Potter himself!