80 undergrads expected to present research at MC

April 10, 2002

What do women entrepreneurs in Tennessee, Chaucer's Pardoner, in vitro development, oral histories of Southern Appalachia, dollarization in Latin America and the effects of aggressively themed music on human behavior all have in common?

Not much, but they will be central themes in six presentations made during the ninth annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference, scheduled for Friday, April 12, and hosted by Maryville College.

More than 80 undergraduate students from eight colleges in East Tennessee and Kentucky are expected to attend the conference, which is organized to encourage students to research, write and present papers in their disciplines. Approximately 60 separate presentations are planned.

"This conference encourages and showcases undergraduate research," explained Dr. Susan Schneibel, professor of comparative literature and chairperson of Maryville College's Humanities division.

Professors and academic advisors from participating colleges and universities recruit students who represent the best research and writing occurring at their respective institutions. In preparation for 15-minute presentations, students are required to pare down original research papers or theses and focus on key themes.

A spectrum of disciplines is represented: natural, behavioral, political and social sciences; and literary, regional, historical, film and theatre studies. Presentation titles range from "The ABM Treaty and the U.S. Pursuit of a National Missile Defense" to "Nostalgia in Checkhov" to "Whole Tree Water Use of Acacia Longifolia."

Professors agree that participation in the conference gives students' research "life" beyond the classroom and that students begin to take ownership of their research and see it as more than just the initial assignment. The conference also gives students the opportunity to compare their work with that of their peers enrolled at other colleges.

Presentations begin at 11 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. in conference rooms in Bartlett Hall and Fayerweather Hall. Poster sessions and displays are planned throughout the day in the Center for Campus Ministry.

A storytelling performance and workshop is planned following the conference in Isaac's student grill in Bartlett Hall.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.