The ninth annual Scholar’s Day showcased 51 undergraduate students’ research from various departments yesterday.
Dr. Chad Wallace, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, does a lot to make this event happen.
Wallace said that Scholar’s Day is important because it gives students who do their own research and scholarly work the opportunity to share it with the AU community and public.
“It gives them a chance to share their excitement and the things that they’ve learned,” Wallace said. “That’s a chance then to inspire the younger students to maybe go above and beyond in the classroom and present their work.”
When asked how students benefit from Scholar’s Day, Wallace said that it gives the students a chance to shine.
“All the faculty and students get the opportunity to congratulate the students on all the work they’ve done,” Wallace said. “It helps us to celebrate our students, their scholarship, their research and the good things we’ve seen them do.”
Wallace said that the diversity of the research is one thing that really stands out to him.
“We have scientists and engineers, musicians, people in English, Bible and religion and psychology,” Wallace said. “Most, if not all departments are represented.
“Now I get to go to Scholar’s Day and engage with those students from other disciplines and see what makes them excited and why they chose the topics that they chose,” Wallace said.
Senior Loren Baumberger, a music major with a concentration in music history, researched Alfred Schnittke, a Russian composer with a German background.
Baumberger focused her research on an orchestra and violin piece that Scnittke wrote after being inspired by the novel “Doctor Faustas” by Thomas Mann.
“He actually uses what he feels from Thomas Mann and how he feels about communism along with socialism,” Baumberger said. “He conveys this evil through the collective orchestra versus the truth that the violin is trying to tell through dissonance and things like that.”
The trick of Scholar’s Day, according to Baumberger, is turning extensive research into a poster.
“Scholar’s Day is so different because it requires you to put as much information as you can on a poster from a 20-page paper you’ve just written,” she said. “It challenges you to make it more applicable to an open audience.”
Senior Mitchell Stacy, a psychology major with a Christian ministries and Biblical studies minor, researched the relationship between love and shame.
“Basically, I’m asking if the more love you feel, then the less shame you feel,” Stacy said. “I’m looking at love from God, love for yourself, shame and how those three interact with each other.”
After college, Stacy will attend Indiana Wesleyan University to pursue his master’s in clinical mental health counseling.
“Scholar’s Day gives me experience with talking to people about my research, making the poster and presenting my research because those are things that academic people do,” Stacy said. “Just getting to do my own research in general gives me more confidence and experience, and makes me more desirable for grad school.”
Senior nursing major Marie West, a nursing major, researched the barriers of maternal health and pregnancy in Nicaragua, where she then traveled for a medical mission trip as part of the nursing curriculum.
“For me, it’s exciting to be able to share this great trip I went on, and the real-life experiences I had from being in these villages with these women,” she said. “I have a more realistic understanding of what third world country health care looks like.”
Senior Chandler Clark, a political science major with a history minor, researched the effects of economics on human happiness.
“Within this research, I analyzed the economic conditions that enhance happiness overall,” Clark said. “I take survey data from the General Social Survey and I run a series of tests to see if there are trends between specific economic variables such as family income, work status and commute time and I see if they have a significant relationship with happiness. I also incorporate personal variables to marital status, education level and health status.
“Scholar’s Day emphasizes research, and that is what is going to help me most when I move forward,” Clark, who plans to attend IU McKinney School of Law after graduation, said.
“No matter what field you’re going into, those are beneficial skills to have,” he said.