As every Maryville College student knows, senior year is the time of the feared and respected thesis. While every senior must complete a senior study, the College presents a handful at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. April 20 was the third annual symposium, with both oral and poster/laptop presentations.
Oral presentation from the Natural Sciences, Math and Computer Sciences divisions were given by Cara Coleman ’18 presenting “Characterization of Regulatory T Cell Suppressive Activity,” Chloe Kilpatrick ’18 presenting “Effects of 17a – ethinyl estradiol on Daniorerio hepatosomatic index and liver composition,” Nico Velez ’18 presenting “Mathematical Magic,” and Valerie Whitehead ’18 presenting “Population Dynamics of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) in the Maryville College Woods.”
Oral presentations from the Fine Arts, Humanities and Languages and Literature Divisions were given by Allison Franklin ‘18 presenting “Vichy France: Uncovering the Truth,” Lenny Lively ’19 presenting “Making Noble, Grand & True: Our Bicentennial Story,” Aliya Makansi ’19 presenting “Utilitarian Environmental Ethic,” Sherilyn Smith ’18 presenting “Image and Narrative,” and Hannah White ’18 presenting,‘’The Storyteller’: A Comparison of Opera and Musical Theatre Techniques.”
Oral presentations from the Behavioral Sciences, Education and Social Sciences Divisions were given by Andrew Garcia ’20 and Alden Wright ’20 who presented “Helping the COMPASSion Project” together, Corrinne McClure ’18 who presented “Prejudicial Policy and the Mass Incarceration of Economically Disadvantaged African-American Women,” Katie Rogers ’18 presenting“Feeling Good About Doing Bad: Moral Disengagement Among Juveniles in Alternative Schools,” and Jackie Eul ’18 presenting “Are Childhood Experiences with Nature Associated with Outdoor Physical Activity in Young Adults?”
Poster presentations were given by Rachel Britt ’18 who presented “All Feminism,” Madalyn Carpenter ’18 who presented “The Civil War in Cades Cove,” Chandler Chastain ’18 who presented “The Benefits and Realities of Reading Dog Therapy as an Alternative Reading Method for Early Readers,” Victoria Deal ’19 who presented “Correlations Between Plasma Concentrations of TLT-1 and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome,” Evan Ezell ’18 who presented “Implementing the Dynamic Time Warping Algorithm into the WSTAMP R Package,” Mariah Franklin ’18 who presented “Local Politics, History,and Modern Cartography,” Andrew Horton ’19 who presented “The Marketing Strategies of ReMax and Keller Williams,” Rebecca Jones ’18 who presented “War Photography as an Art Form,” Jordan McCullough ’18 who presented “The 1st U.S. Heavy Artillery Unit and the Black Experience in the Civil War,”Brandi Payne ’18 who presented“Everjoy, Illinois,” Hannah Robbins ’18 who presented “Effects of Expressive Writing on Intrusive Thoughts and Depressive Symptoms,” and Madison Smith ’19 and Morgan Corso ’19 who presented “The Coffee Industry” together.
Undergraduate research has been a unique aspect of Maryville’s curriculum since 1942, when a two-semester, faculty supervised, independent study was deemed a requirement for all students.
According to the College’s current catalog, “the Senior Study requirement allows the student to exercise bold initiative and design, plan and complete a substantial piece of work, while gaining the confidence and pride that comes from accomplishment.”
While the initial act of starting and completing a thesis may be daunting, there is almost always pride and reward in turning it in. In a recent survey conducted by the College, 82 percent of young alumni reported that completing independent research at the College was a “very important” or “important” factor in their career success.
The Undergraduate Research Symposium is held immediately after the annual Scholarship Luncheon so that alumni and donors have the chance to see and appreciate the research that seniors are doing.