Undergraduate research winners named

June 3, 2014

recon17smFive students have been selected to receive the top awards for their presentations during the recent inaugural Bryan Undergraduate Research Conference.

Dr. Brian Eisenback questionsl Kelsey McCormick following her presentation.Dr. Salvatore Musumeci, one of the conference planners, said the 18 student presenters were evaluated on criteria including the content, organization, context, and presentation of their papers, and five students clearly stood out.

“We were impressed that their work truly was of graduate-level quality,” Dr. Musumeci said.

First place was awarded to Vincent Smith, a junior politics and government and English literature double major. His topic was “The Concept of Shame in Illicit Sexual Relationships within Modern and Postmodern Novels.” Vincent’s abstract of his paper says, in part, “While many characters (in novels) do display a sense of shame after initially being caught in illicit activity, the vast majority of modern and postmodern novels create a situation where characters…do not attach shame specifically to the sexual act itself.”

Second place was awarded to Sharon Smythe, a senior biology major. Her presentation was “Balancing Imago Dei with Dominion: A Biblical Understanding of Conservation Ethics.” The abstract for her paper says, in part, “Only a position which balances the eternal worth of man with his responsibility under God for creation will adequately handle the complex ethical problems of conservation.”

Anna Hull, a senior psychology major, and Katie Wilkens, a senior history major, tied for third place.

Anna’s topic was “Sexuality and Sexual Acts in Relation to Christian Spirituality.” The abstract of her paper says, in part, “This paper counters the positive view of hook-ups through examining the dehumanizing effects of the separation of sex acts from other aspects of one’s humanity.”

Katie spoke on “Tsar Nicholas Romanov II and the Demise of the Romanov Monarchy.” The abstract for her paper says, “This study uncovers research which shows (the popular understanding of Nicholas as weak-willed and unintelligent) to be at best simplistic and incomplete.”

Jandi Heagen, a senior politics and government major, received honorable mention for her paper, “En busqueda de significando,” which was presented in Spanish. The abstract says, in part, “I consider the worldview implications implicit in the works of the eminent Chilean poet Vincente Huidobro.”

In addition, the Bryan Center for Undergraduate Research has announced that the 2012 conference has been scheduled for March 16.