Students to Scholars Symposium invites students to share ideas, plot paths to research

What’s the big idea? Well, a little of everything.

The annual Students to Scholars Symposium, a two-day event starting Thursday at Kreitzberg Library, will gather students from across Norwich University’s schools and disciplines to share ideas, meet peers and possibly land faculty mentors for collaboration and research.

This year’s symposium, presented by the Undergraduate Research Program, is free and open to the Norwich community and the public. The schedule will include an Idea Innovation Challenge to test students’ quick-twitch research-and-presentation skills, speed mentoring, a global-pop-culture exploration and a session on Narrative Medicine, the first course from the new Norwich Humanities Initiative’s initial four-course interdisciplinary slate.

“We want to show students their ideas are valid, and give them the confidence to share an idea and feel good about that and get the feedback that they need to turn that idea into a project.”Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, Students to Scholars Symposium organizer

A presymposium Architecture Design Studio Review will run Wednesday, centered on “A Center for Conscious Life and Design in Charlottesville, Virginia,” a 50,000-to-60,000-square-foot medical center and reflection space designed by third-year architecture students. The building is designed to serve at-risk teenagers; post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers; substance abusers; military veterans; grief-and-loss survivors; and caretakers. 

Shawnae Evans, now a junior neuroscience major, speaks at the 2018 Students to Scholars Symposium. Evans later applied for, and received, a Summer Research Fellowship. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease.)

The symposium starts officially Thursday with a slate of workshops. Seventeen individual student presentations will run Friday. Presentation topics will include violence against women in Afghanistan, ethnic integration, refugee crises and the clash between technology and the environment.

Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, an associate English professor, directs the symposium, now in its eighth year. She said the goal has always been plotting pathways to research, especially for novices. 

Fresh ideas, and faces, give the symposium intellectual energy, she said.  

“(The students) are coming at it as, ‘This is exciting to me and something I would like to pursue,’” Woodbury Tease said. “So, the benefit for them is that they really just have to share their ideas in three to five minutes. And everyone who comes to see and hear their ideas has something to say.”

The “something” could be opinions, questions, article recommendations or introductions to people who can help the ideas develop. 

Spotlight on students

Importantly, Woodbury Tease said, the symposium spotlights students. Provost Sandra Affenito will recognize them at a Thursday evening reception in Sullivan Museum and History Center’s Rotunda and faculty will watch their Friday presentations.  

To highlight grant and fellowship opportunities, the Undergraduate Research Committee, Undergraduate Research Program ambassadors and 2019 Summer Researchers will lead an informal discussion and question-and-answer session. To stoke interdisciplinary learning, Woodbury Tease said she mixed students and faculty from the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Professional Schools throughout the schedule.

Students pose with charts and visuals at Kreitzberg Library after the 2018 Students to Scholars Symposium’s Idea Innovation Challenge. This year’s symposium starts Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease.)

“Maybe the English faculty member who is coming to support the student who’s talking about Japanese poetry winds up also hearing a paper from a mechanical engineer … and maybe has something to contribute. That student wouldn’t get the benefit of (that faculty member) if it was just a room full of engineers.”

The Idea Innovation Challenge is open to all students, symposium participants or not. Woodbury Tease said the students will form teams, get a spur-of-the-moment research topic, and get 45 minutes to research. When the time expires, students will present their findings to a faculty panel, which will name a winner. Members of the winning team will receive Amazon gift cards — just in time for the year-end holiday shopping season. 

“We want to show students their ideas are valid,” Woodbury Tease said, “and give them the confidence to share an idea and feel good about that and get the feedback that they need to turn that idea into a project.

“This venue has been really successful in getting students to take that dive and say, ‘Oh, all I have to do is share my idea for three minutes.’”

* * *

Here’s the schedule: 

Todd Multipurpose Room, Kreitzberg Library

12:15 to 1 p.m.: Norwich University Idea Innovation Challenge
Come with a team or alone to participate in this fast-paced problem-solving exercise. Students, who form diverse teams, and are challenged to think creatively, design solutions to a themed challenge and pitch their work to a panel of judges — in under an hour. Members of the top team receive an Amazon gift card prize. 

1 to 2 p.m.: Narrative Medicine Grand Round
Health care professionals use “Grand Rounds” to share insights, discuss research and treatments and improve patient care. Students in Narrative Medicine, an interdisciplinary course in the Norwich Humanities Initiative, will discuss how they create exhibits aligning with medicine’s four central narratives — caregiver and cared for; caregiver and self; caregiver and colleagues; and caregivers and society.

Student participants: Riley Bennett, Kathryn Farnum, Kailynne Frederick, Daniel Hughes, Michael Korol, Sierra Lowell, Shakirah Mukandekezi, Amanda Olsen, Abigail Racine, Ember Rousseau, Dahrian Sheltra and Lukas Smith.

2 to 3 p.m.: “Paid to Think” Undergraduate Research Opportunities at Norwich and Beyond 

 Undergraduate Research Committee members, Undergraduate Research Program ambassadors and 2019 Summer Researchers will lead a discussion and question-and-answer session on grants and fellowships, including summer research fellowships. They will also discuss opportunities for students to pursue independent and mentored undergraduate research projects. Prospective applicants and faculty mentors are encouraged to attend. 

3 to 4 p.m.: Drop-in sessions

Speed mentoring
Todd Multipurpose Room, Kreitzberg Library

This networking session will connect students with potential faculty mentors for discussions on research projects. Apprentice Grants, Summer Research Fellowships, Travel Grants and Research Expenses Grants from the Undergraduate Research Program will be discussed.  

Global PopCon 
South Instruction Room, Kreitzberg Library 

Join EN 222 Global Pop students as they showcase their global popular culture media exploration, expressed through interactive exhibits, digital posters, videos, and more. Topics include the South Korean pop band BTS, the Home Box Office fantasy megahit “Game of Thrones,” Walt Disney Co. theme parks and the VH1 reality competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” 

Student participants: Brayden Bruess, Marlon Cammarano, Sandra Carlsten, Spencer Conatser, Jose Cortorreal, Mike Del Priore, Thomas DeMag, Nicholas diBiasio, Camilo Estrada, Abdul-Rahim Golzari, Jon Grasso, Paxton LaFoe, Jiho Lee, Kyle Maxim, Ryan Palumbo, Ryan Pasco, Melanie Peries, Julianne Rafferty, Eva Razo, Kyle Roberts, Angela Samohuallpa, Michael Sulinski 

4:30 to 6 p.m. 
Welcome reception, Rotunda, Sullivan Museum and History Center.

* * *

Todd Multipurpose Room, Kreitzberg Library

9 to 9:50 a.m.
“Futurecasting Design: Speculations on Chapel Evolution based on Precedent Analysis”
Presenter: Joseph Cavataio (architecture)

“Solar Panels: A False Hope?”
Presenter: Doan Tran Dong Son (mechanical engineering)

“The Impact of Handheld Technology on the Human Condition”
Presenter:  Melina Jackson (health science)

10 to 10:50 a.m.
“A Review of Potato Harvesting Techniques and the Potential for Application in the Peruvian Andes”
Presenter: Randu Diaz (mechanical engineering)

“The World Bank, Economic Infusions and Refugees”
Presenter: Kpatcha Massina (international studies)

“Tiny Houses and the Future of Sustainable Housing”
Presenter: Serene Martens (architecture)

11 to 11:50 a.m.
“Discontinuing the Use of Fossil Fuels and its Effect on the Geopolitical Atmosphere”
Presenter: Camryn Anderson (civil engineering)

“Japanese Politics in “A Distant Noon”
Presenter: Austin Bennett (studies in war and peace)

“Technology and the Environment: Are They Fated to Be Enemies?”
Presenter: Renata De Pavia (computer science)

Noon to 12:50 p.m.
Brown bag lunch break

1 to 1:50 p.m.
“Producing Clean Energy by Using Natural Landscape”
Presenter: Kayley Jefferson (civil engineering)

“The Efficacy of Pea versus Whey versus Animal Protein when Utilized for Regeneration of Microtorn Muscles for Enhanced Recovery”
Presenter: Maggie Thornton (exercise science)

“Wildlife Improvement Natural Development”
Presenter: Juliette Boone (international relations)

2 to 2:50 p.m.
“Determining Testing Parameters of the Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Stability Test (CKCUEST) and Its Application Across Multiple Demographics”
Presenter: Kaelee Bouleris (athletic training)

“End Violence Against Women International’s Failure to Prevent Violence Against Women in Afghanistan”
Presenter: Drukhshan Farhad (English)

“Evolution of Cuban Human Rights”
Presenter: Shayla Moya (international relations, political science, Spanish)

3 to 3:50 p.m.
“The Study of Academic Integration and Social Integration of Black Students at Predominantly White Institutions” 
Presenter: Nyla Lennon (political science)

“The Effect of the Rise of Technology on Police Misconduct”
Presenter: Charlie Mazzarella (studies in war and peace) 


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