April 03, 2015

The 2015 Student Symposium at Ball State University

The 20th Annual Student Symposium at Ball State University took place on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. The event was held on the second floor of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center and included a poster display session, moderated paper presentations and an award ceremony.

Setup for the Student Symposium began on Monday when students participating in the poster session had an opportunity to set up their displays that afternoon. Poster set up continued early Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. As setup came to a close the 15 faculty members who served as this year’s judges gathered in the Pineshelf room. They received binders containing scoring sheets for each project they were responsible for evaluating. Each judge was given approximately 30 projects to score and each project was scored by three individual judges. The judges evaluated each project display based on numerous criteria, including the clarity of the project’s objectives, methodology, conclusions (or, in the case of projects still in process, potential impact), originality, intellectual merit, organization, visual appeal of the display and clarity in writing. The judges’ scores were then tallied by Student Symposium staff. At 1 p.m. the ballroom was opened for public viewing of the posters displays. By the end of the day more than 400 people (including Symposium participants, students, faculty/staff, and members of the public) had visited the ballroom to view the poster displays.

For the second-year, the Student Symposium included moderated paper presentations, which took place in various locations on the second floor. The number of paper presentations rose from nine entries the previous year to 19 paper presentations registered for the 2015 Student Symposium. The six paper sessions were Studies in Speech and Language, Physical and Health Sciences, Spaces and Environment, Issues in Higher Education, Issues in Business, and Peace Ethics and Social Issues. Ball State faculty members and doctoral students moderated the sessions.

At the conclusion of the poster and paper sessions Student Symposium participants and guests made their way to Cardinal Hall for the presentation of the Keys/Litten/Smith awards. Dr. Robert Morris, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, gave remarks thanking everyone who had participated for making the 2015 Student Symposium at Ball State University a success. Dr. Morris then presented the Keys/Litten/Smith Awards. These awards honor Linda Keys, Jeffrey Litten and Sandra Smith. These three Ball State University staff members served in the Sponsored Projects Administration (formerly the Office of Academic Research and Sponsored Projects) for a combined total of thirty years. They were instrumental in developing the Symposium as the premier event for students to highlight their work and were avid supporters of student research and creative endeavors. The awards recognize students for their outstanding research or creative endeavors presented at the Student Symposium. Listed below are the 2015 award winners.

Display Award Winners: 

Natalie Abell (Biology)
The Influence of Saltwater Intrusion on Georgia Tidal Freshwater Forests 
Faculty Mentor: Melody Bernot (Biology)

Nick Harmes & Joey Klahn (Biology)
RiverPACE: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in The White River Compared to National Data 
Faculty Mentor: Jesse Becker (Biology)

Jack Omstead, Erin Moreno, Alyssa Reese & Tyreese Love (English)
Representing Religion in Comics 
Faculty Mentor: Jeffrey Brackett (Philosophy and Religious Studies)

Content Award Winners: 

Koby Bluitt (Theatre and Dance)
Peace for the Youth Through the Works of Theater 
Faculty Mentor: Gerald Waite (Center for Peace and Conflict Studies)

Riley Carswell (Biology)
Mating Defense in the Long-Clawed Hermit Crab (Pagurus longicarpus) 
Faculty Mentor: Tim Carter (Biology)

Kimi Dahl (Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science)
Load Distribution and Postural Changes When a Traditional Backpack Versus the BackTpack 
Faculty Mentor: Clark Dickin (Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science)

Jason Doll (Biology)
Estimating Capture Probabilities of Common Stream Fish in the Eastern Corn Belt Plain Faculty Mentor: Thomas Lauer (Biology)

Lilly Gu (Biology)
Light and Temperature Interact to Regulate the Response of Algae and Heterotropic Bacteria to Elevated Nutrient Levels in a Boreal Peatland 
Faculty Mentor: Kevin Wyatt (Biology)

For the official 2015 20th Annual Student Symposium at Ball State University Program (PDF) CLICK HERE.

Photos from the 2015 Student Symposium will be posted shortly to the website, blog, and Facebook.
If you are interested in registering for next year’s Student Symposium, in January 2016 make sure to check out the Student Symposium homepage, the Research Blog, or the Sponsored Projects Administration Facebook page. There you can find out more information about the annual Student Symposium, as well as helpful grant-funding information, research, and educational events.

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