With more than 300 participants showcasing their projects, often concurrently, visitors to the 2015 Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity, held April 17 at The University of Findlay, had plenty of decisions to make. Davis Street Building hallways were packed with people waiting to listen to oral presentations offered in 30-minute increments, poster presenters had crowds flocking to them in Croy Gymnasium, alumni speakers had words of wisdom to convey and awards ceremonies recognized several.
The University’s Marketing and Communication Department had the event covered, and so did faculty and staff, who shared in students’ successes. Here are some highlights:
- So do pigs thrive listening to Pearl Jam, or do they gain more weight with Brahms? Animal science students Josh Pitters and Sarah Wallace assumed that porcine music fans would be more content and add pounds with classical music compared to heavy metal or even blessed silence. Apparently the data supported their hypothesis. Rock on at your own risk, pork producers!
- She may not have been born when Yasgur’s Farm transformed into a cultural icon, but student, Sabrina Braunlich, gave an oral presentation on Woodstock (without musical accompaniment!) Braunlich took a deeper look at the music festival, concluding that it was more than “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Her literature review revealed that Woodstock exposed people to new experiences, while allowing them to stand up for their beliefs.
- “I’ve always loved elephants,” said biology major Katie Mehlow, “that’s why I chose this topic.” Mehlow took on African elephant poachers in her presentation that included information on the political and socioeconomic factors that influence poaching. Conservationists predict that African forest elephants could be extinct by 2024. It’s passionate individuals like Katie that may make a difference. She plans to attend graduate school, focusing on environmental policies and issues.
- “Finding the Missing Pieces,” (pun intended) was the title of Tabatha Clawson’s presentation on Jack the Ripper. Admitting a fascination with the notorious man in black, Clawson said that her oral presentation is just a part of a project that she’s completing for UF’s London Scholars Program. She hopes the presentation will generate ideas for future research while she studies in England early this summer. Tabatha is pursuing a Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric.
- Remember “Moneyball”? Mathematicians Justin Eitner and Kristen Hauser have taken the concept to football by predicting the success or failure of quarterbacks drafted into the NFL, based on pre-selected college statistics. We “predict” that Eitner and Hauser will parlay their math abilities into profitable careers. Maybe in the sports industry?
- Who doesn’t love a good robot? A maze-running robot demonstration offered a preview of a public seminar called “An Hour of Code” that was recently held. The robots, programmed by Heather Beck, Mitchell Campbell, Nolan Connell, Cody Frick Alex Menteer, Chris Reaper and Joshua Robinson, use sensors which allow them to follow a line by constantly scanning left and right.
- UF’s LGBT+ community, through its organization, United, hosts events to promote tolerance, inclusivity and safety. In their oral presentation, United leaders Sydney LeVan and Lexus Renner incorporated moments of silence to recognize the Day of Silence being observed nationally that day to make people more aware of the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- Demolitions of vacant and abandoned Lima homes, paid for with state funding, are reducing the crime rate, improving residents’ perceptions about their community and making people feel safer. But Timothy Lafferty’s research also found the demolitions are having a negative effect on the city’s coffers because property ordinance violators are disappearing and not paying fines.
- More support is needed for foster care parents, Emily Momberg determined after researching the issue. Such individuals often get a bad rap for public cases that have exposed abuse and neglect, but Momberg said most are in it to simply help children in need. Momberg said improvements could be made by, for instance, helping to provide childcare breaks for weary caregivers. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the occasional date night?
- Sodexo, The University of Findlay’s primary food contractor, had its own impressive presentation in Croy Gymnasium. Pinwheels, buffalo chicken bites, assorted cheeses and even chocolate-covered strawberries that visitors dipped themselves were in abundance to satiate late-afternoon appetites.