18th annual undergraduate symposium lets students share knowledge and joy of learning
For 197 students presenting posters or oral presentations at the 18th Annual Symposium of Student Scholars, the potential to win hefty cash-value awards may have been an incentive, but learning something new and sharing it were the ultimate rewards.
“I love math and biology and this project gave me a chance to combine them,” an enthusiastic Morgan Atterberry said of her project demonstrating how mathematical models are used to track the spread of infectious diseases. A math major, she also is “pre-med” and hopes to study osteopathic medicine when she graduates in May.
Atterberry and her colleagues participating in this year’s symposium demonstrate the growth and vitality of undergraduate research and creative activity at Kennesaw State, which thrives with the help of faculty mentors. More than 75 faculty members worked with students to complete 127 projects for this year’s symposium.
“This is a unique set of students,” Provost Ken Harmon said during an April 25th ceremony recognizing Kennesaw State’s undergraduate scholars. “Looking back on my own undergraduate experiences, I can say that what you’re doing is way beyond.”
Harmon noted that some 40 percent of the student scholars being recognized had presented their research at professional conferences nationally and internationally.
“Research shows that students who participate in these types of activities are better critical thinkers, writers and public speakers, Harmon noted. “We take great pride in knowing that we are not just teaching you stuff but, through the hard work and passion of the faculty, we are helping to transform lives. I see this [symposium] as a transformational event.”
Based on evaluations by a faculty panel, the following student projects earned distinction at this year’s symposium:
Poster Winner ($200 gift card):
Title: “Toward the Synthesis of Novel Bi- and Tridentate Carbenes and Their Transition Metal Complexes”
Student: Zachary McCarty - Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Daniela Tapu
Poster Runner-Up ($100 gift card):
Title: “Prevalence and Perception of Mental Health at KSU”
Students: Ken Trickey, Courtney Collins and Darya Sipeykina - Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Daniel Rogers
Oral Presentation Winner ($200 gift card):
Title: “Cave Spring Oral History Project”
Student: Sharifa Potter - History
Faculty Mentor: Julia Brock
Oral Presentation Runner-Up ($100 gift card):
Title: “A Work of Art”
Student: Anterior Leverett - Theater and Performance Studies
Faculty Mentors: Margaret Baldwin, Karen Robinson and Jamie Bullins
"The 2013 Symposium of Student Scholars was a huge success,” said Amy Buddie, associate director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and associate professor of psychology. “Undergraduate research truly is a high-impact practice for students; they learn how to apply the information from their coursework to real research situations, which translates to deep, integrative learning. It's evident from the quality of the submissions this year that KSU's students are producing high-level scholarship in all forms. Viewing the students' work, I was struck by the innovation and rigor exhibited in these projects. The students and their faculty mentors should be proud of their accomplishments."