Research and Recognition Take Center Stage at Symposium
The University of Findlay on April 1 united for the day-long, campus-wide Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity, which marked its tenth anniversary this year. Thousands attended morning awards ceremonies that recognized outstanding students from each of the University’s six colleges, heard a wide range of oral presentations in Davis Street Building classrooms, and perused more than 70 posters that illustrated recent research.
Here are some highlights from the event:
- Are the Western world’s decentralized religious tenets part of the reason for today’s pop culture dystopian themes? Jacob Clagg and Parker Schroeder led a discussion regarding their investigation into youth’s post-apocalyptic interests, and how they differ from actual, perpetual suffering experienced by the Hebrew people. Unlike the Hebrews, many in the Western world do not live lives based on faith, Clagg pointed out. “A lot don’t hold onto religion in a communal sense. It’s a pluralistic society. Diversity doesn’t necessarily help us cling together,” he said. Hence, common tropes such as loner heroes and the abandonment of morality in entertainment options such as the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Last of Us,” a video game.
- UF has vowed to focus more on sustainability practices, or the lack thereof, Pulse Editor Sarah Stubbs explained in her presentation on investigative reporting she completed on the topic. Ambivalence when it comes to practices such as recycling and using solar power for energy are common at many college campuses, she pointed out, in part because it requires an initial investment for a delayed monetary return.
- At the request of the Findlay City School District, Rayan Alghuraibi, Reilly Butz, Todd Hamit and Aaron Pauly studied whether preschool helps students score higher on the fourth grade proficiency test. They gathered test scores, examined several preschools throughout the area and took into account factors such as learning disabled students. Examining information from a one-year time period, they determined preschool attendance has a positive effect on later test scores, but that it may depend on which preschool a student attends. Students from the YMCA preschool program, for instance, scored higher than others examined for the year 2015. It was determined more information is needed to try to pinpoint what makes a preschool program a high-quality offering. Information gathered from additional years would also enable a more comprehensive understanding, they determined.
- Despite strict food rationing in Britain during World War II, citizens actually got healthier, given that they were consuming less “bad” food, explained Brandy Smith, who visited London to examine how residents were affected by the war. Also, despite consistent bombing from 1939 to 1944, women were encouraged to “keep your beauty on duty”; some did so by using markers to draw stripes up the backs of their legs to give the illusion that they were wearing stockings (nylon was in short supply during the war), and using a mixture of boot polish and beet juice as lipstick. “The Germans’ goal was to defeat their morale and that’s what they didn’t do,” said Smith.
- Not every student was required to present a research project at Symposium, but attendance was encouraged via various incentives. Oral presentations in particular drew large crowds, and presenters were also able to gather information on how well they did by asking attendees to write what they thought worked well and suggest improvements.
- Starting at 3:30 p.m. that day, Croy Gymnasium was the hub of campus activity. More than 70 posters highlighting additional research projects ranging from how family involvement affects quality of life for long-term care residents to reproductive system variety of the American bullfrog were being used as talking points. Free T-shirts were being handed out, and the cake pops rapidly disappeared.
- Caity Jackson, a reporter from YourNewsNow stations in Lima, covered the event. She interviewed Andrew Shepherd and Philip Alfano, who studied the public’s general perception of electronic cigarettes on health risks.
- Nick Thompson and Allison Dilbone received the University of Findlay Founders’ Son and Daughter Awards, which recognizes students for qualities such as exceptional leadership skills, service and personal integrity.
- UF Alumna Abbey Nickel ’15 reminisced about her times working at The Pulse, and spoke about her career as a features reporter for the Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana. “In each of us is a constantly unfolding story,” she explained. Mentioning an article she recently wrote about a 2-year-old girl who has brittle bone disease, she debunked the idea that news reporting is a dying practice. “Journalism is alive and well and I’m happy to be a part of it,” she said.