During the 2018 Symposium of Artists and Scholars on Thursday and Friday, Randolph students presented the results of various research projects on topics ranging from teaching strategies to environmental surveys to planning for a zombie outbreak.
In its 10th year, the Symposium brings together students of all academic disciplines to share research results and highlight some of the work produced at the College. Modeled after a traditional academic conference, the event features a keynote speaker and luncheon, oral presentations, readings of creative works, musical performances, exhibitions of student artwork, and poster presentations.
Sophia Dill ’18 , who presented Friday afternoon discussed the best methods and biggest challenges in creating 3-D masks for the College’s Greek Play. Another student, Miranda Hudson ’18, talked about her experience attending the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this semester. At the conference, she won second place in the creative nonfiction category for her essay, “Orokomono,” which was about her journey to uncover stories about her Taiwanese grandmother. It sprung from the death of her grandfather in China and her increasing desire to connect with her heritage.
At the Symposium, Hudson presented her inspiration for writing the essay and read excerpts for the audience.
“During my time here at Randolph College, I’ve put a lot of time into learning about culture and how I grew up and how I feel, and how I identify with being both Chinese and American,” Hudson said. “This essay is about my exploration of that relationship with my grandmother who is currently living in Taiwan and me learning more about her life and how important she is to me.”
Several students in Randolph’s Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program also participated in the Symposium, presenting their results from various classroom trials. In his presentation, “The Future of Learning History,” Stuart Gossler ’18 M.A.T. shared his findings from a study on educational technology in the classroom. Gossler incorporated new software like Slideshow and EdPuzzle apps into a history class in an urban Virginia high school.
“I found that it really did help, especially academic achievement,” Gossler said. “I think it’s especially because students were able to go out and do research on things they were interested in and things that they wanted to learn about. But also, a lot of students like making their own history. We did a lot of projects and talked about how our own history and our family history is important, and the students really enjoyed it.
“We really are in an amazing time with so many advancements in technology that can help in the classroom, and I think it can help our students achieve in so many ways,” he added.
Also on Friday, dozens of students presented posters in Hampson Commons. Some of the topics included: “Avian Population Trends in Lynchburg, Va.” (Kati Biggs ’18), “Paint the Music” (Amber Darby ’18), “Italy Renaissance Study Abroad” (Desiree Page ’18), “Developing Virtual Reality as a Research Tool” (Dung Nguyen ’18 and Avisha Shah ’18), and “Modeling a Zombie Outbreak” (Katie Jones ’19).
The full program and list of presentations for the 2018 Symposium of Artists and Scholars is available at http://www.randolphcollege.edu/research/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2018/04/SAS-2018-Program-1.pdf.