Undergraduate scholars shine at research symposium
15th annual event draws largest field of student scholars
The 216 students who presented…
(Apr 30, 2010) —
15th annual event draws largest field of student scholars
The 216 students who presented oral and poster projects at the 15th Symposium of Student Scholars & Undergraduate Research set a new record of academic
excellence for KSU, creating a triple win for the university.
This year’s symposium attracted the largest number of entrants in its history, with
each of the university’s seven colleges represented for the first time. In addition,
more of the young scholars received grants, published and presented research at more
venues than in previous years.
For the more than 300 who jammed the University Rooms for the annual reception on
April 27 and browsed row after row of visual scholarly presentations, a clear winner
was KSU’s undergraduate research profile. The participating students and more than
75 faculty mentors with whom they collaborated on more than 100 scholarly and creative
activities shared their pride of accomplishment with administrators, family and friends.
“You have no idea how good it makes me feel to see so many here celebrating student
research,” said President Daniel S. Papp. “It’s just a tremendous thing that has happened
over the last 15 years.”
Papp issued one word of caution to the young scholars: “Be careful, you may end up
Explaining, Papp said he started his career in academia as a junior in college working
alongside a professor on a research project on the Soviet Union’s involvement in the
“That led to a master’s and eventually a doctorate,” said Papp, an expert on Soviet
history, politics and military affairs. “You are beginning on a path that will lead
you in directions that will surpass your wildest dreams.”
Speaking at the symposium and conveying his enthusiasm to all faculty and staff in
a memo following the event, Provost Lynn Black characterized participation in the
symposium as a win-win for students and the faculty who nurture their scholarly and
“The undergraduate research initiative affords students a unique educational experience
of collaborating with faculty mentors on the design and implementation of a diversity
of research and creative activities,” Black said. “At the same time, faculty members
have the opportunity to work closely with students and receive valuable assistance
with their own scholarship.”
The symposium, organized and sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and
Learning (CETL) at KSU, presented a wide range of student research on topics drawn
from 23 disciplines. Among the submissions were projects and activities that have
been or will be presented at regional, national and international venues, received
awards and special recognition, were published in undergraduate academic journals,
were conducted in collaboration with other universities and provided a service to
the local community. (See list of examples below.) More than 75 of the students and
faculty mentors received grants from four CETL funding programs.
“Undergraduate research at KSU is thriving,” said Amy Buddie, associate professor
of psychology and CETL faculty fellow for advancing undergraduate research. “Studies
have shown that students who participate in research as undergraduates show improvements
in critical thinking, problem solving writing and oral communication, and are more
likely to be accepted into graduate school and to actually succeed in graduate school.”
For Laura Lund, a senior majoring in anthropology, the research she conducted on the
fossilized remains of a dog is precisely the type of research she hopes to conduct
in graduate school as she prepares for a career in paleoanthropology and forensics. Her
project earned departmental recognition as the best anthropology poster. By analyzing
the excavated skeletal remains, she was able to determine that the dog had been hit
by a car, that it had suffered injuries to its head and side, and that it was a juvenile
male. “This has been a great learning experience,” she said.
- by Sabbaye McGriff
Examples of KSU undergraduate scholars who have earned distinction this year:
Students who have presented their work in professional venues:
- Jimi Reece and Ellen Winant (Faculty Mentor: Dr. William Ensign) presented their research
at the annual meeting of Association of Southeastern Biologists.
- Vera Koganov (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marina Koether) gave an oral presentation at the
Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
- Tom Powers and Ed Dean (Faculty Mentors: Dr. Nancy Hoalst-Pullen and Hermina Glass-Avery)
presented their research at the Annual Symposium on New Interpretations of the Civil
- Lindsay Hixson, Ian McPherson, and Caroline McElveen (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ping Johnson)
will be presenting at the National American School Health Conference sponsored by
the American School Health Association.
- Kaylie Greenway (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristin Hoyt) presented at the FLAG (Foreign
Language Association of Georgia) Conference.
- Dhanashree Thorat (Faculty Mentors: Dr. David Johnson and Dr. Oumar Cherif Diop) has
two different projects: One will be presented at Harvard University for a conference
organized by the International Journal of Arts and Sciences and the other will be
presented at the third Annual Diasporas Conference organized by Inter-Disciplinary.Net
at Oxford University, UK.
- Megan Stein (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Faith Wallace) presented at the Young Adult Literature
Students who have won awards for their work:
o Noah Daleo (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ana-Marie Croicu) presented at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings in San Francisco, the largest meeting of mathematicians in the United States.
He was one of only a small number of undergraduates to receive an award for his presentation.
o Krystle Roberts and Mark Segall (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Dockery) were awarded
the Society for Applied Spectroscopy Student Poster Award at the Pittsburgh Conference
on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.
o Rebecca Finch (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Buddie) and Melony Parkhurst (Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Adrienne Williamson) won awards for their research at the Georgia Undergraduate
Research in Psychology conference.
Students conducting research outside of the immediate area:
Students conducting research that benefits the surrounding community:
Some publishing in undergraduate journals:
o Mariane Delepaut, Sandesh de Silva, Matthew Squires, and Timothy Walker published
their work in The Kennesaw Tower, the annual undergraduate foreign language research
journal at Kennesaw State University.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.