Science, Society and the Arts Conference

Science, Society, and the Arts Conference

Thursday evening, March 16, 2017 and Friday, March 17, 2017

Science, Society, and the Arts is a multi-disciplinary conference at which Washington and Lee undergraduate and law students present original work to an audience of their peers, faculty, and staff.   The primary purpose of Science, Society, and the Arts is to provide the W&L community a chance to share the fruits of the tough days and long nights devoted to academic endeavors that are usually seen only by a single professor.  Original work may be presented as part of one of the many panels, as a poster at one of the four sessions, as a performance of dance, theater or music, or as a display of visual art such as drawings, painting, or photography. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff may take part in one of 25+ different book and film colloquia.The deadline for research papers or poster proposals is February 3rd, 2017.   For more information go to:

Guest Speaker will be Marlon West, Head of Effects Animation at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
West started his career producing educational films for Encyclopedia Britannica, after graduating from Columbia College in 1985.  In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles and started freelancing, working on special effects for music videos, television commercials and motion pictures.  Marlon joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1993 as an effects animator on The Lion King.  His first assignment at Disney was to add the dust cloud effects to the wildebeest stampede scene in The Lion King.  Other features that West worked on in his continuing role as effects animator include Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, Fantasia/2000 and The Emperor's New Groove.  On Pocahontas, Marlon was part of the team responsible for the storm sequence at the beginning of the film.  He designed and animated the effects for Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas's aged advisor.  In The Hunchback of Notre Dame's dramatic climax scene, Marlon was responsible for the molten lead effects.  For Hercules, he used his artistic skills to bring life to the hot-headed Hades and the destructive Titans.  West animated the fire on the shipwreck in Tarzan, as well as much of the lightning in the show down between Tarzan and Clayton.  He served as Assistant Effects Supervisor on the "Rhapsody in Blue" sequence of Fantasia/2000.  West worked as Head of Effects on Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Home on the Range.  As Effects Lead on Atlantis: The Lost Empire, West designed most of the effects.  He was also responsible for casting and keying all traditional and digital effects and worked closely with the Directors and Art Director to create the "comic book" look of the movie.  After transitioning to computer graphics animated films, West worked as a digital artist animating special effects on Chicken Little and then as an Effects Animator on Meet the Robinsons, West helped to usher the return of traditional, 2-D animation (as well as the cartoon short form) to the studio with his work as Artistic Coordinator and Visual Effects Supervisor on How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.  West recently completed The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh. In this same vein, he worked on Paperman, and served as Head of Effects Animation for Feast, both shorts that won Academy Awards.

A few years ago, Marlon was Head of Effects Animation for Frozen, which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  He iserved as Head of Effects Animation on Moana.
Always a music fan, he has worked as a DJ in various venues and styles.  A native of St. Louis, Marlon resides with his daughter and thousands of CDs and records in Glendale, California.