Students shine at research conference

June 5, 2014

4.1_URC_Ashton 14-3--URCFriday, March 28, marked the fourth annual Bryan College Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), held on the second floor of the library and open to the public.

Senior Ashton Alexander presents Students across several disciplines and years went through a lengthy process to enter the conference, drafting proposals and abstracts, researching and writing on their topics of choice, and – if accepted – preparing lengthy presentations to share their knowledge with others. Of the 26 candidates, 17 were chosen (two of these collaborating), and they presented on topics ranging from pediatric cochlear implantations and situational business leadership to the Pax Islamica and molecular mosquito identification.

This year featured exciting benchmarks for the URC. For the first time business students presented research in their field. SSG John M. Thompson, a graduating senior business administration student in the School of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS), and also the Marketing and Advertising NCO in the Tennessee Army National Guard, was the first AGS student to participate in the research conference, discussing retention rates within the TNARNG. Additionally, German student Benedikt Müller was the first-ever international student to present.

Other presenters at this year’s conference included Ashton Alexander, Leila Barker, Olivia Eanes, Nathaniel Eastwood, Isaac Geyman, Joshua Grace, Robin Harrison, Corey Heartfield, Joanna Hill, Kristin Jager, Nicholas Johnston, Alexandra Rogers, Sarah Vest, and Ryan Wolf. Their abstracts can be viewed here.

Conference participants and staff URC co-founders Dr. Brian Eisenback and Dr. Salvatore Musumeci agreed that “At Bryan the learning is not always from teachers to pupils.” They said, “This conference is an example of a time when those roles are reversed. Bryan students are what makes Bryan such a special place, and this conference showcases their skills, their vision, and their passions.”

Faculty Chair Dr. Kathryn Saynes, who gave the URC closing remarks, commented, “We got to see scripture come to life, in a way, because our students were using the gifts that they have been given. It represents a faithfulness and diligence, on their part, to use those gifts from God. The Bryan faculty could not be more proud of their students.”