Scholars Day gives students an opportunity to shine

On Dec. 5, 116 Newman University senior students turned out to show the best of their research, scholarly and artistic work at the Fall 2016 Scholars Day.

Scholars Day, which is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters, is the culmination of students’ research or creative work during their time at Newman. It is the capstone activity of an undergraduate education at Newman, and is a requirement for graduation under the Newman Studies Program, the university’s innovative approach to the “core curriculum.”

Natalie Sauder explains her project during the poster session of Scholars Day.

Natalie Sauder explains her project during the poster session of Scholars Day.

Each student must identify a faculty mentor, who agrees to approve and guide the student through some kind of research that reflects the student’s major field of study and personal interest. Students may collaborate on projects. Presentation of the capstone project may take a variety of forms, including formal academic panels, posters, creative readings or exhibits, demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, video compilations or other means.

scholar-day-3This year, many students presented their work with posters in Eck Hall from 9 to 11 a.m. Fine Arts students’ portfolio work was presented at 11 a.m. in the De Mattias Fine Arts Center, and a screening of a video work took place in the Jabara Flexible Theatre at 11:30 a.m.

“For this Scholars Day students made oral presentations, posters or artistic performances on campus and in locations in southeast and southwest Kansas,” said Nancy Dahlinger, MSEd, assistant professor of occupational therapy and chair of this semester’s Scholar Day. “Scholars Day events provide students an avenue to publicly present the results of their work, all the while preparing students for the rigors of graduate school or their upcoming roles as leaders in the community.”

Caitlin Vaughn teamed up with fellow nursing students Mikalena Martinez and McKenzie Brown on the project "Impact of Family Presence During Patient Resuscitation."

Caitlin Vaughn teamed up with fellow nursing students Mikalena Martinez and McKenzie Brown on the project "Impact of Family Presence During Patient Resuscitation."

Dahlinger added that 63 faculty and staff worked behind the scenes for this Scholars Day as assessors, IT support or facility set-up and management. The event also drew many members from the Newman community, family members, fellow students and friends who came to support the students.

“I think the day went very well,” Dahlinger said. “Congratulations to the students and a big thank you to all that helped make it a success!”

The fall 2016 Scholars Day included 66 presentations. Among the topics were:

  • Animal Assisted Therapy and Pain Control in the Pediatric Population
  • Proliferation of Hela cancer cells in the presence of bacterial-infected media
  • Male Gaze during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
  • Mesomobilization: How The Right Leaning Alternative Media Became Friendly
  • Netflix: Marketing Strategy
  • Redemptive Suffering and Football
  • Isolation and Characterization of Microbes from the Hutchinson salt mines
  • Detecting Trace Amounts of Cocaine in Money
  • Prediction and Reconciliation of 2016 Presidential Election
  • Watch Out They Could Be A Serial Killer
  • Walmart Ethical Issues
  • The Connections of Standpoint Theory and Mass Effect Trilogy
Theatre major Josephina Gregory-Jenkins discusses her project with, from left, project sponsors Ray Wills, associate professor of theatre, and Mark Mannette, director of theatre, and assessor Susan Crane-Laracuente, associate professor of English.

Theatre major Josephina Gregory-Jenkins discusses her project with, from left, project sponsors Ray Wills, associate professor of theatre, and Mark Mannette, director of theatre, and assessor Susan Crane-Laracuente, associate professor of English.

Theatre major Josephina Gregory-Jenkins’ project was a 30 ½ minute video entitled “The Unfinished Project [An Indie Film Gone Bad].” Jenkins said the project grew from personal experience.

“We all know what it’s like when an indie film goes bad,” Jenkins said. “People feel bad and embarrassed. I decided, let’s turn it around and make it fun.”

The film played on the humor of producing a bad film. Jenkins said she was happy with the final result. “I was very afraid that no one would understand what I was trying to do, but they did.”

View some of the action during Scholars Day in the video below:

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