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Lander Academic Symposium Showcases Wide-Ranging Student Research

Lee Phillips, of Greenwood, talks about a web app he created to make the study of genetic data more accessible to genetic researchers and members of the general public who simply wish to study their DNA. Lee is majoring in Computer Information Systems at Lander with minors in Cybersecurity and Mathematics. Photo by Laura Brown

Nearly 90 Lander University students presented research findings during the annual Student Academic Symposium in mid-April. Hosted by Lander's Honors College, the Symposium is an opportunity for students to showcase original research projects from various disciplines.

"The Symposium is always a delight; it's a chance to see our best students' best work, ranging from literary analysis to laboratory research and from artistic production to software engineering," said Dr. Lillian Craton, Director of Lander's Honors College and Associate Professor of English. "It's also a great chance for students to practice their communication and presentation skills, which definitely pays off. Several of the Symposium presenters went on to win prizes at regional conferences like the Big South Undergraduate Research Conference and the South Carolina Psychological Association Conference that were later the same week."

Winners of the 2018 Student Academic Symposium

  • History Panel In her presentation "The Forgotten: Toni Stone, Mamie, Johnson, and Connie Morgan," Meghin Taylor, of Spartanburg, chronicled the racial and gender discrimination of three women who joined the Negro (baseball) League.
  • Computer Information Systems Andrew Akins, of Greenwood; Wesley Boehm, of Greenville; and Ryan Martin, of Greenwood, were recognized for their development of the LINK101 Mobile App. The app is intended to be used by Lander students and instructors who lead LINK 101 courses, which are designed to help first-year students as they transition from high school to college.
  • Mathematics Panel

    Chance Stowe, of Chesterfield, was recognized for his presentation entitled "The One Dimensional Wave Equation." Stowe, a participant in the Dual Engineering Program between Lander and Clemson University, delivered a brief interpretation of the Fourier solution, a tool that decomposes waveforms into sines and cosines.

  • Interdisciplinary Panel Haley Histon, of Greenville, examined the motivations of undergraduate college students as they volunteer for nonprofit organizations. Her presentation, "Motivations Behind Undergraduate Volunteerism," was based upon a survey completed at Lander. The data indicated that the perception of career and résumé benefits and the sense of connection to a group or community have strong impacts on the students' desire to volunteer, whereas material rewards are not an important factor.
  • English Panel Adam Thrasher, of Greenwood, examined the ways that Western biases about gender and sexuality affect translations for literature and cultural studies.
  • Visual Art Panel Ashley Dever, of Lexington, for a seven sculpture series about self-identity following a summer study tour of Paris and Venice.
  • Biology Poster Session Blair Harmon, of Saluda, and Haven Wood, of Greenwood, collaborated to study the effects of caffeine on brain development.
  • Mathematics Poster Session Zachery Keisler, of Gilbert, examined the life of Shing-Tung Yau, and his contributions to differential geometry, string theory and the relativity theory.
  • Physical Science Poster Session Scarlett Singletary, of Charleston, studied the human effects of contamination on Lake Greenwood by gathering and examining sediment samples from various sites around the lake.
  • Psychological Science Mel Bussard, of Chapin, and Dallas Thompson, of Columbia, tied for first place awards. Bussard examined the role of religion as a source of comfort or concern in relation to the anxiety of death; while Thompson examined the ways that many people look for companions with belief systems similar to their own.
  • Symposium Scholar Award
    Sarah Arielle Floyd, of Troy, was recognized for two research projects. For a project entitled "Invert Sentences, Yoda Does: Sentence Structures from our Favorite Jedi Master," Floyd examined sentence structure by focusing on dialogue of the famous Star Wars character. For "The Circuitry of Shyness." She examined shy personalities and the root causes for the personality trait.