Research Day 2011 to view a slideshow of photos.
On Friday, May 13, 2011, Randolph-Macon College held Research Day. This annual,
campus-wide event represents the culmination of student research efforts, including
senior and honors theses, as well as course projects. It also affords first-year
students, all of whom participate in the First-Year Experience
(FYE) program, the opportunity to create projects that reflect their year-long,
integrated academic experience. Research Day activities include poster sessions,
presentations, seminars, video projects, drama presentations and more.
Research Day 2011 for a slideshow of photos from the event.
Some of the students involved in Research Day do so in conjunction with the college’s
Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
program. SURF was introduced in 1995 as an endowment to support scholarly undergraduate
research by R-MC students in all disciplines. The initial gift for the program was
made by Benjamin Schapiro ’64 and his wife Peggy, whose continued generosity provides
students with the opportunity to conduct original research under the guidance of
a faculty member. SURF students are paid a stipend and many present their findings
at academic and professional conferences both nationally and internationally. The
SURF program is co-directed by Professors Serge Schreiner (chemistry) and Kelly
Kellianne Mullin ’12, Raymond Scott Jr. ’12,
Matt Webster ’12 and Katie Raulerson ’11 spent the
spring semester planning and building a model home. As students in
Economics and Business Professor George Lowry’s Production and Operations
Management course, they were challenged to design a home that is handicap-accessible.
Their project is titled Toward Universal Design. Scott, an accounting and economics/business
major, says, “We became anthropologists and collected various amounts of information
to better help us create a universally designed home.” For Raulerson, the most rewarding
part “is looking at my project and realizing just how much physical and mental work
went into making it possible. It's really something that we were able to conceptualize
a family and not only design but also build a model of a house for them in just
14 short weeks.”
For English major Bethany Rotenberry ’12, Research Day was an exciting
opportunity to unveil the 2011 edition of The Stylus, R-MC’s literary
magazine. “The issue is full of poetry, photography, and short stories written by
faculty and students,” says Rotenberry, who serves as editor-in-chief of the publication.
During a presentation in the McGraw-Page Library,
she and other Stylus staff members explained the process of putting together
the publication, and several students read their original works. The staff received
more than 80 submissions, which were judged according to a ten-point scale.
“The creative and artistic abilities of Randolph-Macon students deserve a quality
outlet, and The Stylus provides that for them,” says Rotenberry. Professor
Bryan Giemza (English) served as the faculty
advisor for the project.
Students enrolled in the First-Year Experience (FYE)
course If Music Be the Food: Shakespeare and Songwriting wrote and performed songs
inspired by the Bard’s most famous works. Taught by Professors Marissa Cull (English)
and Christopher Ryder (music), the course brought
together musical and literary interpretation to show how experiences with texts
and performances can be altered through music.
Jessica Gibson ’14, a biology
and chemistry major, says she was a bit wary
about taking a course that combined Shakespeare and music. “I wasn’t sure about
the class at first,” says Gibson, “but it turned out to be great. In the music portion,
we learned about chord progressions, different scales (the blues scale is my favorite),
and how to bring all of what we learned together to create songs. In the Shakespeare
portion of the class, we went into great depth about the meaning behind the plays
as well as how music played a significant role in the lives of the characters.”
Gibson and her classmates Taylor Campbell ’14, Brock Barbeau
’14 and Michelle Hutchison ’14 took the stage in St.
Ann’s Building and performed “Hopeless,” which was inspired by “Romeo and Juliet.”
The quartet was accompanied by several guest musicians, including alumnus Kevin
Smith ’08. In all eight groups performed original works. Cull says
the students’ performances were “the culmination of a lot of hard work.”