Sarah Witte '09 presented her Spanish capstone project, La mujer y el feminism contra
el hombre y la sociedad
Students from the FYE course Physics and Economics of Sport developed new
sports. Here, students demonstrate "Schponglaball," a fusion of dodge ball, baseball,
tennis, lacrosse and the art of balancing.
Brittany Thomas '11 presented research on Randolph-Macon College: Its Boydton, Virginia
Will Carroll '09 constructed a wind-turbine (above) in conjunction with his research.
The prototype for the project was
made of soda cans.
On Friday, May 15 2009, Randolph-Macon College held its annual Research Day. This
outstanding program is a campus-wide event that represents the culmination of student
research efforts, including senior and honors theses, as well as course and program
projects. It also affords first-year students, all of whom participate in the college's
First-Year Experience (FYE) program, the opportunity
to create meaningful culminating projects that reflect their year-long, integrated
academic experience. Research Day activities include poster sessions, research presentations,
seminars, video projects, drama presentations and more.
Students from all disciplines participate in Research Day. For
Students in the FYE course Identity: Me, Myself, and I; We, You, and Them
presented their autobiographies in the form of five-minute self-produced films.
Each film was creative and entertaining. The students explored their life stories
and why they chose to come to Randolph-Macon College. Professors Joe Mattys and
Kristen Klaaren teach this unique FYE course.
• Anna Maria Diaz ’12 focused on her desire to become a successful
actress. She shared her struggle with having to decide whether to enroll at R-MC
or The Conservatory of the Arts. She ultimately decided to attend R-MC in order
to get a quality liberal arts education.
• Shenochia Jordan ’12 shared her experiences working as a professional
model and her desire to become a successful entertainer. She decided to enroll at
R-MC because her parents always stressed the importance of education. She also feels
that an R-MC degree will be helpful if she decides to pursue a career that is not
in the entertainment field.
The music department also gave several presentations, including
one in conjunction with its Recording Techniques class. A half-dozen students set
up speakers on the historic campus in front of Old Chapel and played music from
their multi-track recording projects. Professor Roland Karnatz and Artist-in-Residence
Bill McElroy teach the course.
• J.D. Jump ’09 is a drama and music industry double major. He
hopes to use the recording techniques he learned in a religious worship setting.
He says, ”Hands-on opportunities are greater for students at R-MC because it’s a
small school." He was excited to work on the recording project in a professional
studio and with a professional designer. He continues, “At R-MC, you can do it all.”
• Laura Eister ’09 has been playing the piano since she was eight
years old and writing her own music since her senior year of high school. This was
her first time in a professional studio and the first time she had recorded her
own music. Eister is a philosophy major and hopes to work in healthcare or the music
industry. Laura chose to come to R-MC because of “the small school experience and
how closely you get to work with professors.” Not to mention her dad, sister and
brother are proud R-MC alumni.
Some of the students involved in Research Day did so in conjunction with the
college’s unique Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program. SURF was introduced in 1995 as an endowment to support scholarly
undergraduate research by Randolph-Macon College students in all disciplines. The
initial gift for the program was made by Benjamin Schapiro ’64 and his wife Peggy,
whose continued generosity provides R-MC students with the opportunity to conduct
original research under the guidance of a faculty member.
Students are paid a stipend and many present their findings at academic and professional
conferences both nationally and internationally. This level of in-depth research
is usually reserved for graduate students. SURF projects have helped set R-MC students
apart when applying for graduate school and finding work in a chosen career field.
The SURF program is co-directed by R-MC Professors Serge Schreiner, Ph.D. (chemistry)
and Kelly Lambert, Ph.D. (psychology).
For a complete schedule of the 2009 Research Day events, click
For more information on R-MC’s First-Year Experience program, visit