Newman University students demonstrate academic prowess at Dec. 9 ‘Scholars Day’

Dec 05, 2013

On Dec. 9, 70 junior and senior students will show the world what they’ve learned during their time at Newman University.

The students will be participants of the first “Scholars Day,” an event that will feature Newman students presenting the results of their original research and special projects through posters, demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, speeches, art exhibits and other media. Scholars Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Eck Hall on the Newman University campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“Scholars Day is a celebration of student scholarship at Newman University,” said John Vogt, associate professor of decision sciences and information technology at Newman, and coordinator of the Scholars Day event. “It’s something that will be very special for students, faculty and anyone else who wishes to attend.”

Scholars Day is the culmination of students’ research projects. Each student pursuing an undergraduate degree at Newman is required to perform a project and present the outcome at 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. In most cases research is performed in a “Core” course or research-oriented class in the student’s major. Students may also collaborate on projects.

Presentation of the research may take a variety of forms, including formal academic panels, poster sessions, creative readings or exhibits, video compilations or other means.

Vogt said the Dec. 9 event will feature 43 presentations, which “run the gamut” of topics. Among the presentations are:

• “Conditioned Courtship Suppression in Drosophila melanogaster”
(Teaching virgin male flies to suppress their courtship behavior by introducing them to mated female flies)

• “Effect of Mother/infant Skin-to-Skin Contact on Postpartum Depressive Symptoms and Maternal Physiological Stress”
(A group critique of a research report on the effect of mother/infant skin-to-skin contact on postpartum maternal emotional and physiological stress)

• “A Coloradan’s Video Guide to Wichita”
(A look at the benefits of the arts and entertainment in Wichita for companies looking to start a business or relocate in a new city)

• “An Actor’s Revelation”
(A filmed representation of how acting is connected with the human spirit)

• “Higher Education During the Great Migration”
(A look at why some African Americans chose to migrate for higher education rather than staying in the North or the South)

• “York City Walls”
(Descriptions and photos of historic parts of the English city, with a focus on why architecture is important to creativity as well as York’s culture)

“Scholars Day has the potential to transform everything about us,” said David Shubert, Ph.D., dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies and professor of chemistry. “All seniors will have the experience of doing a full-fledged research project, all Newman faculty will be involved, and we’ll have the joy of doing something new – which is one of the nice things about being a smaller, private college.”

Scholars Day will be presented at the end of each fall and spring semester in the future.

The concept for Scholars Day grew out of a new approach the university is taking to its “Core Curriculum,” or set of courses all students are required to take, called the Newman Studies Program. The program is designed to create an innovative, excellent, and unique educational opportunity that will set Newman graduates apart from graduates of other colleges.

Based in large part on the university’s namesake Cardinal John Henry Newman‘s The Idea of a University, which is recognized as a standard for liberal arts higher education, the NSP focuses on the elements of active learning, critical thinking, interdisciplinarity and connectivity to help students go beyond rote memorization and become analytical thinkers. The program emphasizes reading and writing across all academic disciplines, as well as team-taught courses, interdisciplinary learning communities, project-based and role-playing learning and other activities designed to empower students to make connections, consider different perspectives and draw conclusions.

For more information on the Newman Studies Program, visit

Click here for a complete schedule of Scholars Day presentations. Programs will be available at the event.