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27 Students Presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium

December 13, 2022

Undergraduate Research Symposium Motlow State Community College conducted its first online Undergraduate Research Symposium in November. Approximately 27 students from four different areas of study participated.

"In addition to their normal academic coursework during a semester, these outstanding students have completed their research projects and papers. The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great opportunity for these students to hone their presentation skills by presenting their research findings," said Motlow Professor Dr. Stephen Guerin. "Working with these students this semester has been a wonderful experience, and I am immensely proud of them and all they have accomplished."

“The symposium highlighted the students’ outstanding work and the mentorship of their professors throughout the semester. The Symposium succeeded because of the hard work put in by all of the participants,” said Motlow Assistant Professor Dr. Charles Wexler. “It is a celebration of the research projects conducted by students in the Undergraduate Research coded High Impact Practice courses offered at Motlow this semester.”

Undergraduate Research Symposium The Symposium is part of Motlow's implementation of High Impact Practices (HIP) throughout courses at the College. HIPs are evidence-based teaching and learning practices tested and shown to be beneficial for college students. Integrating HIP activities into the curricular and co-curricular setting of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) colleges will result in the graduation of more globally aware, solution-oriented, and workforce-ready students, according to the TBR website.

"Although High Impact Practices have been around for years and Motlow instructors have always informally woven these into their courses, we recently formalized the process as part of our new Academic Resource Center," said Associate Professor Ramona Shelton. "This allows us to keep track of these practices because they will now be included in our students' Comprehensive Learner Records issued by TBR after graduation."

Undergraduate research fosters an environment where staff, faculty, and, most notably, students create a rich, high-impact academic experience that increases knowledge of resources and research methods.

Undergraduate Research Symposium "While there are several HIPs that we code for in our courses, Undergraduate Research is arguably the hardest one for students to earn. Instructors in these courses oversee research projects, and students who meet the research qualifications can present their findings publicly in our Undergraduate Research Symposium," explained Shelton.

Undergraduate research is not typically accomplished at first- and second-year student levels. It is an inquiry or investigation conducted by a student in collaboration with a faculty member that makes a unique intellectual, scholarly, or creative contribution to the discipline and for which the student receives academic credit either through a course or independent study.

"This sort of research/presentation combination is typically associated with higher level courses, but our presenters are building skills that they will use throughout the rest of their college careers and into their work lives," Shelton added.

Participating in undergraduate research projects expands student networking opportunities and enhances communications skills. Students had 5-7 minutes each to present their projects during the online Symposium.

The first group of students to present were from Guerin's Introduction to Psychology class at Motlow's Moore County campus. The second group was from Associate Professor Dr. John Butwell's English Composition class at the College's Smyrna campus. Next was Shelton's online History class. Closing out the Symposium was Wexler's History class from the Moore County campus.

Complete list of Undergraduate Student Research presenters:

  • Leland Coleman
  • Erik Luna
  • Isaac Rackley
  • Drake Mallard
  • Eve Beckstead
  • Elizabeth Rendon
  • Maven Robinson
  • Ian Tripp
  • Lauren Brandt
  • Bethany Farrar
  • Sierra Davis
  • Gloria Jacobs
  • Mya Hensley
  • Addie White
  • Tyler Dotson
  • Juliana Romano
  • Roger "RC" Tidwell
  • Amber Eischeid
  • Halleigh Wunder
  • Ashlyn Gibson
  • Hunter Johnson
  • Donielle Mastley
  • Jacklyn Saunders
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