Research and recognition were the talk of the campus at Friday’s Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity, a daylong celebration showcasing top academic accomplishments.
Several images from the event can be perused via UF’s Flickr album.
Here are some highlights from the day:
- Forrest Miller and Katie Ahrns received the Founder’s Son and Daughter Award, and the Mancuso Award was presented to student-athletes Shelby Warner and Anthony Frederico. The awards are presented each year to some of the University’s top academics who also exemplify stellar qualities such as leadership and community service.
- Heidi Mercer ’06 spoke at the College of Health Professions awards ceremony. A social worker who worked for several years in England, and for the AmeriCorps Program, Mercer is now a human trafficking survivor supervisor at a crime victim services office that serves northwest and west central Ohio. Mercer’s advice to students and professionals: challenge yourself every day, even if it’s scary; pause, take a step back and look at the bigger picture; recognize that beauty can grow from tragedy; remember that you can always do something, no matter how small; and find your guru, your mentor.
- Junior Courtney Van Horn spoke at the scholarship lunch for recipients and donors. Originally from China, she relayed her adoption story, and commented positively about her future. “Being here at this moment in my life with the most encouraging friends and family I know has helped me realize that I was meant to do something incredible in this world,” said the accounting major. “Thank you, donors, for making such an impact on my own life, as well as many of the students here today. Without you, many of us would not be where we are today in our college career.”
- Buford Center for Diversity and Service employees gave a 1:30 p.m. oral presentation about their numerous services, ranging from the Buford Dialogue Series that tackles tough issues such as modern day slavery, to the Dakota Access Pipeline and its effect on Native Americans. Workers also foster engagement with the community through events such as International Night, assist with organizing service-learning trips abroad, and organize the Service Ambassadors program that pairs community members with international students for meaningful volunteering.
- How much federal income tax do you pay? Do you think the system is equitable? It was a very busy day for Courtney Van Horn, who presented “Know for Whom the Tax Bell Tolls” with Will Bibler. They illustrated research that shows the burden of federal income taxes falls largely on poor families, who pay a disproportionate amount compared to those who make upwards of $5 million per year. The pair based their research on the canon of equality from “The Wealth of Nations,” published in 1776 and now considered a foundational work in classical economics.
- Big Brother is and has been watching, noted David Maynard for his thesis research. Titled “Government Surveillance and its Implications for First-Year Writing,” Maynard, a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing student, advocated for increased education relating to the U.S. government’s surveillance of digital communication via popular platforms such as Microsoft Outlook. Failure to pay attention and be cognizant of such activities could be considered an ethical failure with far-reaching implications, Maynard said, addressing the concept of alien phenomenology.
- Is The Countess, played by Lady Gaga, in the TV show “American Horror Story: Hotel,” a
symbol of female empowerment or a divisive character who simply perpetuates negative stereotypes about homosexuality and women? Jacob King, in his 3:30 p.m. oral presentation, argued the latter. His potential solution for her character and future female power characters: “What if she didn’t have to have sex to get what she wants? What if she was more logical, and employed critical thinking?”
- Brittany Schindler, a social work major, decided to research whether applying attachment theory to foster care to explore whether matching attachment styles made any appreciable difference in bonding. There is “huge debate” in the field regarding the topic, she said. Schindler’s poster revealed that it does not – children with attachment issues characterized by behaviors such as avoidance and anxiety appeared to adjust to their respective foster family environments, no matter if the foster parents’ attachment styles correlated with the child’s or not.
- The beat goes on with Kaitlyn Walker and Olivia Tanner, who studied whether frequencies of particular songs influence a genre’s popularity. The pair found that music with primarily lower frequencies, country tunes, for instance, was the most popular.
- The food is always a big hit at each SCC, and this year’s event was no exception. The free buffet in Croy Gymnasium fed ravenous students, faculty, staff and community members who had been traversing campus throughout the day to learn and celebrate with award winners. Sodexo, UF’s dining service, and Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn collaborated to serve a treats ranging from chips and salsa to specialty “Oiler” orange popcorn.