News Releases

Lander Students Shine at National and International Gatherings

April 13, 2015

Eight students represented Lander University at recent national and international conferences, and three of them won prizes for presentations that showcased their creative talents.

Brenda Kapingidza, of Zimbabwe, and Kenneil Mitchell, of Columbia, received second-place awards for their senior research projects at the national convention of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society in Chicago in March. Kapingidza’s project, related to the development of ultra-lightweight space telescopes, has attracted the interest of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and other researchers.

Mitchell presented a dramatic reading of three poems on the importance of existential decision.

The other Lander presenters were Grace Halsey, of Hodges, in the American history category, and Brian Riehl, of Douglasville, Ga., in molecular cellular biology.

Anna Jones, of Iva, had an entry in the convention’s poster session. Her topic was “From Mothers to Workers: The Changing Role of Women.”

 A sixth student, William Hall, a junior from Iva, represented Lander as a delegate to convention meetings dealing with governance and strengthening chapters.

Professor of Philosophy Dr. John Moore, Lander’s Alpha Chi faculty sponsor, and Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lisa Brodhacker accompanied the students to the convention.

Moore described it as a growth experience for the students and, he added, “They are sterling examples of what a Lander University education provides.”

This is the third year that Lander has sent a delegation to the national convention, which, along with satisfying other requirements, has earned the university’s Alpha Chi a Star Chapter designation, recognizing its quality. Moore said about 100 juniors and seniors, who rank in the top 10 percent of their class, are members of the chapter.

Lander president Dr. Daniel Ball said the chapter has distinguished itself under Moore’s leadership. He told Moore, “Your sustained efforts have kept the organization vibrant, growing and improving.”

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Lander University students and faculty members who attended the Alpha Chi National Honor Society national convention in March are, from left: William Hall, of Iva; Kenneil Mitchell, of Columbia; Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lisa Brodhacker; Brenda Kapingidza, of Zimbabwe; Grace Halsey, of Hodges; Anna Jones, of Iva; Professor of Philosophy Dr. John Moore, who is also the Lander chapter’s faculty sponsor; and Brian Riehl, of Douglasville, Ga.

At about the same time as the Alpha Chi convention, and 1,300 miles away, Lander senior Robby Maynor IV, of Summerville, was picking up a top prize at the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society’s 2015 International Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

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                 Robby Maynor, IV

Maynor won first-place and a cash award of $600 in the fiction and drama category for his story, “We’re Not Indians.”

He and senior Stephen Sanders, of Greenwood, were the first Lander students invited to attend the conference. Students must apply and submit creative writing papers, which are blind-reviewed by a committee of professors from around the country. The best are accepted and their authors are invited to present them at the conference.

Maynor and Sanders are English majors in Lander’s Honors College. Dr. Lillian Craton, director of the College, said the event draws a very large and talented pool of students from around the world. Craton has been a conference reviewer and said competition is intense.

In addition to receiving a top award, Maynor’s work was selected for publication in the prestigious online fiction journal “Bartleby Snopes.”