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300 students present work at 11th annual Student Scholars Symposium

Symposium showcases student research, scholarly work

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Student describes poster at symposium

2022 Update: The College of Computing and Technology is now the School of Computing and the School of Data Analytics and Technology.

The Lipscomb campus was abuzz with activity Thursday, April 7, as 300 undergraduate and graduate students presented their research and scholarly work.

The day-long Student Scholars Symposium celebrates Lipscomb’s diversity of academia by providing a showcase for the student body’s scholarly research and creative works, including oral and visual presentations; readings and performances of original poetry, music and theater; and exhibitions of artistic and scientific work. 

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the event featured student work from all ten colleges and a variety of majors and programs. The symposium is directed by Florah Mhlanga, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Students standing in front of their poster

“A university can be defined in many ways. Certainly, research is a vital component in any measure of a university’s standing,” said W. Craig Bledsoe, provost. “As we continue to grow as a research institution, the Student Scholars Symposium reflects the quality, creativity and range of research produced by students at Lipscomb.”

Paper and poster presentations were presented in sessions throughout the day by 96 graduate students and 204 undergraduate students. In addition to the student presentations, participants were invited to a luncheon and keynote address by Tanya Brice Smith, vice president of education at the Council on Social Work Education, who presented “A Journey in Social Work Research: Lessons Learned.” Before her work at CSWE, Smith served as the dean of the College of Professional Studies at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, and the Dean of the School of (Education) Health and Human Services at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. She has served on the faculties of the University of South Carolina, Abilene Christian University and Baylor University. Her research centers on addressing issues of structural violence specifically as it relates to the impact of those structures on African American people. Her publications focus on the development of the social welfare system by African American women for African American children and documents structural barriers to African American families.

"I am so proud of our students! Featuring work from all ten colleges, this year’s Student Scholars Symposium was a resounding success," said Mhlanga. "I could not be more proud of our students. Not only was the quality of their presentations outstanding, the student presenters were knowledgeable, engaging and professional; I was blown away. Congratulations to all student presenters, faculty mentors, chairs, judges, and all who helped to make the event such a tremendous success.  The symposium once again demonstrated Lipscomb University’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence in and outside of the classroom."


Dr. Tanya Brice Smith

Dr. Tanya Brice Smith was the keynote speaker for the symposium luncheon.

keynote address crowd

Symposium keynote address

Student Awards

The day concluded with a dinner and an awards ceremony, where winners of various categories were announced. This year’s winners are:

​​Undergraduate Paper Presentations Session 1

  • IA: A Note to Victorians: Jane Eyre as a Christian Bildungsroman with a Feminist Twist; Alisa Chirkova-Holland
  • IB: Importance of Urban Parks as Stopover Sites for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds; Savanah Emery
  • IC: The effects of caffeine on reaction time and muscular power; Kailey Best, Isabel Creasey and Emily Hauke
  • ID: Light Pollution as a Prediction for Avian Population Changes during Migration; Perri Haga
  • IE: Borderland Theory: Code-Switching in the Mexican American Community; Erica Diaz
  • IF: Ring of Light; Rachel Randolph
Student describing research

Undergraduate Poster Presentations

  • Group 1: NASA University Students Launch Initiative Senior Design Project; David Pauls, Eric Yeazell, Mike Piechocki, Hadlee Chubb, Brendan Nee, Ryan Bush, Kendra Davidson and Paul Burdet
  • Group 2: The Use of Recycled Aggregates in Lightweight Concrete: Natalia Hoeppner
  • Group 3: Tumor Treating Fields Potentially Disrupt Cell Division in Breast Cancer; Lauren Scott, Madeleine Enos, Keyra Patterson and Jayce Hill
  • Group 4: Microbial Effect of Tryptophan in Small Intestinal Epithelial Cells; Marina Isaac
  • Group 5: The Effect of Topoisomerase II on Zebrafish Behavior and Neural Organization; Isabella Gaona and Nevaeh Stoudermire
  • Group 6: Toxicity of Toluene on Zebrafish Embryos; Kelli Beiler and Haley Davis
  • Group 7: Using Extended DLVO Theory to Characterize Primary Colonization of Bacteria: Niyati Pathak
  • Group 8: What’s the 4-1-1 on 4:20? Measuring THC and CBD in Hemp Hearts from the Cafeteria; Lindsey Reynolds, Alexus Brown and Gray Pullias
  • Group 9: Alarm Fatigue: Patient Safety and Management; Jenna Steele, Abbey Olson, Alondra Brazzel, Geo DeLaTorre, Joshua Smith and Mackenzie Johnson
  • Group 10: Impact of Sexual Education on Teen Pregnancy; Chaley Allen, Brooke Edwards, Abbey Tarter, Brianna Hill, Chloe Leung and Siyada Gellana
  • Group 11: Factors in Post-Graduation Placement Rates for Undergraduate Students at Lipscomb; Abigail Buxa
  • Group 12: Beyond #MeToo: An Examination of Title IX Processes; Ashley Berry
Group of students in front of poster presentation

Graduate Poster Presentations

  • Group 13: Medication Prescribing Patterns in a Well Defined Cohort of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Patients; Hannah Peterson and Kelsi Vela
  • Group 14: Evaluation of Interprofessional Interactions in Pharmacy Curriculum; Marleigh Dietz, Elizabeth Pendergrass and  Mary White
  • Group 15: In Vitro Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic Properties of the Cyclopeptide ent-Verticilide; Tri Do
  • Group 16: Exploration of Severity of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) Symptoms and Vitamin D Intake; Kylie Churnetski and Jennifer Dougherty
  • Group 17: Autoreactive-Prone Memory B Lymphocytes Are Clonally Expanded in At-Risk Type 1 Diabetes Donors; Tommi Taylor
Student describing research

Undergraduate Paper Presentations Session 2

  • 2A: A Case Study for Children’s Spirituality and Trauma; Gabriella Brandner
  • 2B: Franz Liszt: His Piano Sonatas–Sonata in B Minor and Dante Sonata; Janelle Spiers
  • 2C: Rewriting “i write”: A Translation of Amina Said; Lydia Jernigan

Undergraduate Poetry Performance

  • I: I want to pick flowers; Grace Morrison
  • II: The Moon Caresses my Face; Mar’a  Harris

Graduate Paper Presentations

  • IA: Repatriation Effectiveness of the Transition Tax within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017;  Makayleigh Lackey
  • IB: Archaeological Theology: An Instance of Further Exegesis in a Pauline Homology; Scott Huff
  • IC: Overactivation of ADAM10 via Prodomain Proteases as a Neuroprotective Treatment Against Alzheimer’s Disease; Maria A. Contreras

The Student Scholars Symposium is financially supported by the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the College of Computing & Technology, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, the College of Education, the Department of Social Work and Sociology and the Student Government Association. 

The 2022 Student Scholars Symposium Organizing Committee included, Shanna Ray,  Brandon Banes,. Josh Owens,  Joseph Weinstein-Webb, Amanda Williams, Jan Harris, Sarah Gibson, the Event Planning Class, Danna Perry, Lori Martin and Susan Nelson.  

Learn more about the Student Scholars Symposium

— Photos: Kristi Jones