Feature Story

Student Symposium Highlights Academic Achievements

April 23, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

More than 40 students presented projects at Ohio Wesleyan’s first Student Symposium. See more images from the event in the photo gallery below. (Photos by Paul Vernon)

More than 40 students presented projects at Ohio Wesleyan’s first Student Symposium. See more images from the event in the photo gallery below. (Photos by Paul Vernon)

New Event Highlights Breadth, Depth of Ohio Wesleyan Experience

Over the past year, Ohio Wesleyan University students have researched connections between brain waves and video games, served as a surrogate mother to 11 baby rhinoceroses, created an original music composition based on minimalism, and much more.

On April 15, OWU students shared their academic experiences as part of the University’s first Student Symposium. The four-hour event, held in the Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, included more than 40 students participating in a poster session and in seven panel sessions.

The panels featured work in neuroscience and zoology; in biology; in Africa; in modern foreign language; in philosophy, comparative literature, and music; in psychology; and in social sciences.

“As part of the OWU connection, we emphasize connecting theory into practice and independent and collaborative research and scholarship,” said Martin Eisenberg, Ph.D., dean of academic affairs, who helped to organize the new event. “The Student Symposium provided an opportunity for students to highlight their efforts.

“We were delighted at the participation in our first Student Symposium,” Eisenberg continued. “The Symposium had work from all divisions and from students just beginning their OWU careers to those who will graduate in a few weeks. The Symposium provided a valuable opportunity for students to develop their presentation skills and explain their work to a general audience.

“Personally, I enjoyed speaking with Jordan Brown and learning about a possible exciting solution to an important world problem,” Eisenberg said of Brown’s research into reducing and recycling carbon dioxide emissions using microbes. “I also enjoyed talking with him about the next steps in his work and how we might find funding sources to try to manufacture a microbial mat.”

Students participating in the 2015 Student Symposium, their projects, and their faculty mentors were:

Abhinandan Biswas, “On the Noosphere and the Nature of Thought: Towards an Object-Oriented Ontological Perspective of Thinking,” mentored by Sally Livingston, Ph.D., assistant professor of comparative literature. Megan Buys, “Being Bossy and Being Female: Gender Effects on Identity Management,” mentored by Melanie Henderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Mary Katherine Caja, “The Birds and the Bees: Talking About Sex in Tanzania,” mentored by Randy Quaye, Ph.D., associate professor of black world studies. Jordan Brown, “Carbon Fixation and Recycling via Microbial Mats,” mentored by David Markwardt, Ph.D., associate professor of zoology. Geology 499 students, “Draft Sustainability Plan for OWU,” mentored by John Krygier, Ph.D., professor of geology and geography, and the Sustainability Task Force. Shane Gorbett, “Impact of Male:Female Ratio on Male Mating Behaviors of Poecilia latipinna,” mentored by Shala Hankison, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology. Kyle Hendershot, Jack Kubicki, Chase Leaders, Kati Molnar, and Tyler Wake, “A Spanish Noir Short Film,” mentored by Eva Paris-Huesca, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern foreign languages. Jacob Henicheck and Kyle Simon, “Professional and Sexual Identities in the Workplace,” mentored by Melanie Henderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Nam Tran Hoang, “A Recursive Formulation for a Rank Sum Statistic Used to Detect Genomic Copy Number Variation,” mentored by Craig Jackson, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and computer science. Emily Keiser, “The Impact of Explicit L1 Knowledge on the Retention of Grammar Concepts in Beginning L2 Students,” mentored by David Counselman, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern foreign languages. Jongwoon Kim, “Development of a Brain Controlled Video Game,” mentored by Christian Fink, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics-astronomy and neuroscience. Kaitlyn Kropf and Katie Swindler, “The Impact of Stress on Episodic vs. Semantic Memory,” mentored by Lynda Hall, Ph.D., professor of psychology. Khoa Lam, “Pedals,” mentored by Jennifer Jolley, D.M.A., assistant professor of music. Khanh Le, “The Search for Pyramid-Like Shape in 70Ge,” mentored by Robert Haring-Kaye, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and astronomy. Eugene Lim, “Aristotle and the Explosive Vegetable: Exploring Classical Thought in Modern Logic,” mentored by Jeffrey Nunemacher, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science. Sarah Love, “An Investigation of College Student Illness,” mentored by Vicki DiLillo, Ph.D., professor of psychology. Nathan Madonich and Sara Scinto, “An Exploration of the Structure, Dynamics, and Impact on Quality of Life of Selected Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) in Italy and the United States,” mentored by Christopher Fink, Ph.D., assistant professor of health and human kinetics. Zoe Morris, “Creating Consent Culture in Early Childhood Classrooms,” mentored by Katherine Glenn-Applegate, Ph.D., assistant professor of education. Memme Onwudiwe, “2015 Nigerian Presidential Election: A New Reality,” mentored by James Franklin, Ph.D., professor of politics and government. Annie Pappenhagen, “Historical Trauma and Cultural Embeddedness in the Lakota People: Links to Narrative Characteristics,” mentored by Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Lucas Peters, “The Irrelevance of Free Will and Moral Responsibility,” mentored by Erin Flynn, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy. Shelli Reeves, “A Preliminary Study of Tanzanian Perceptions of African Americans,” mentored by Judylyn Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of English. Hannah Sampson, “Oil Drilling in ‘Post-Neoliberal’ Ecuador and its Impact on Indigenous Autonomy in the Yasuní,” mentored by Jeremy Baskes, Ph.D., professor of history. Shannon Schlater, “The Poaching Crisis: Leaving Rhino Orphans Helpless,” mentored by Shala Hankison, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology. Caitlen Sellers, “The Feeling’s in the Beat,” mentored by Nancy Gamso, D.M.A., professor of music. Kyle Simon, “Called It! The Intersection of Sexual Orientation Perception, Attraction, and Community Embeddedness,” mentored by Sarah Bunnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology. Mira Singhal, “SecuraBand,” mentored by Dan Charna, M.B.A., assistant professor of economics. Yuxiao Tan, “Isolation of Corn Stalks Degrading Microbes from Soil,” mentored by Laura Tuhela-Reuning, Ph.D., part-time professor of botany/microbiology and zoology. Sarah Thomas, “Hereford Mappa Mundi as Guide to Salvation,” mentored by Ellen Arnold, Ph.D., assistant professor of history. Madeline Vroom, “The Motility and Chemotaxis of Bacillus spp. Isolated from Songbird Plumage,” mentored by Laura Tuhela-Reuning, Ph.D., part-time professor of botany/microbiology and zoology. Emily Webb, “Fluctuating Asymmetry as a Conservation Management Tool for Indicator Species of the Open Longleaf Pin Forest Ecosystem,” mentored by Shala Hankison, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology. Elaine Young, “Evaluating the Tectonic History of the Chugach-Prince William Terrane Through Geochemistry and Petrography of Orca Group Volcanic Rocks in Eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska,” mentored by Karen Fryer, Ph.D., professor of geology and geography.

Learn more about the Student Symposium and read the students’ project abstracts at https://www.owu.edu/about/offices-services/academic-affairs/programs/student-symposium/.