A Celebration of Students, Faculty

and Collaborative Learning

April 21, 2017
2-4 p.m.

 With its second Undergraduate Research Symposium, Maryville College again joins other college and university members of the Council on Undergraduate Research this month in promoting the importance of "high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.”

The symposium gets underway at 2 p.m. with poster presentations in the upper-level Grand Corridor of the Clayton Center for the Arts. During poster presentations, attendees will be able to talk to 14 students from six different academic divisions about their research objectives and methods, data collection and analyses and conclusions. Research topics range from the neurodevelopmental effects of alcohol to synchronicity and rectilinear motion to the economics of the American beer industry.

At 3 p.m., oral presentations will begin in three locations of the Clayton Center. Students of the Math and Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences divisions will present their research in the Lambert Recital Hall. Presentations by students of the Fine Arts, Humanities and Languages and Literature divisions will take place in the Harry H. Harter Choral Rehearsal Room. Students representing the Education and Behavioral Sciences divisions will present in the Fulmer Family Room.

In all, 14 students will give oral presentations.

Following oral presentations, student participants and their friends and family members are invited to attend a reception with faculty members and administrators at 4 p.m.

Undergraduate research has been a distinctive feature of the MC curriculum since 1947, when a two-semester, faculty-guided independent study was made a graduation requirement of all students. Although the name for it has changed over the years — Special Studies, Independent Study, Senior Thesis, Senior Study — the required project has remained a common, shared experience binding alumni whose graduations span almost 70 years.

According to the College’s current catalog, “the Senior Study requirement allows the student to exercise bold initiative and design, plan and complete a substantial piece of work, while gaining the confidence and pride that comes from accomplishment.” In a recent survey of Maryville College’s young alumni, more than 82 percent reported that completing independent research at MC was a “very important” or “important” factor in their career success.

 Below is a listing of all student participants and titles of their presentations.

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Poster Presentations

2 p.m., Grand Corridor, Clayton Center for the Arts


Madison Bakri ’17 (Marketing) – “The Cosmetics Industry”

Colby Beach ’19 (Exercise Science) – “The Pokemon Go Phenomena May Promote Unique Physical Activity Patterns”

Gabrielle Billstrom ’17 (Education) – “Why Adults are Physically Active on Greenways: Important Factors and Concerns that Contribute to Greenway Use”

Elizabeth Burnham ’17 (Biochemistry) – “Determining the Antioxidant Capacity of an Invasive Plant: An Evaluation of Hedera Helix Extracts”

Evan Ezell ’18 (Computer Science and Mathematics) and Thomas Simms ’19 (Mathematics) – “Synchronicity among Gender-Identifying Pairs and Quantifying the Complexity of Rectilinear Motion”

Brian Gresham ’17 (History) – “A Historical Perspective on Habeas Corpus”

Carter Habeeb ’17 (Religion and International Studies) – “Bias in Literature on Wahhabism”

Ryan Haley ’17 (Chemistry) – “Evaluation of a Colorimetric Assay for the Detection of Arsenic in Water”

Andrew Henry ’18 (Economics) and Patrick Messinger ’18 (Finance/Accounting and Economics) – “Economics of the American Beer Industry”

Myresha Hinton ’17 (Neuroscience) – “‘Turn Down for What?’ Using Yeast Mitochondria to Study the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Alcohol”

Sarah Potter ’16 (Engineering and Mathematics) – “An Introduction to Optical Cloaking”

Rachael Zaffiro ’17 (Psychology-Counseling) – “The Effects of Religiosity on Sexual Permissiveness and Sex Guilt Among College Students”

Oral Presentations – Behavioral Sciences and Education

3 p.m., Fulmer Family Room

Rachael Carson ’17
(Child Development and Learning) and Julia Gasper ’17 (Child Development and Learning) – “Analysis of Excessive Unexcused Absences”

Madison Sexton ’17 (Child Development and Learning with Teacher Licensure) – “Addition and Subtraction Word Problems: A Kindergarten Capstone Project”

Tessa Wilcox ’17 (Neuroscience-Psychology) – “Examining the Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Attention in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder”

Heidi Vowell ’17 (American Sign Language and Deaf Studies and American Sign Language-English Interpreting) – “Achieving an Equivalent Message by Analyzing Use of ASL Sentence Types: A Skills Self-Improvement Project​”

Natalie Decker ’17 (Exercise Science) – “Using the Oxford Knee Score to Compare Patient Perception of Function and Range of Motion in Quadriceps Sparing and Traditional Total Knee Arthroplasty Patients”

Oral Presentations – Fine Arts, Humanities, Languages & Literature

3 p.m., Harry H. Harter Choral Rehearsal Room

Morgan Strain ’17 (History and History/Economics with Teacher Licensure) – “Before Birmingham: Alabama’s Industrial History”

Bethany Headrick ’17 (Spanish and International Business) – “Guaraníes and Jesuits: A New Socioeconomic Structure”

Erika Hipsky ’17 (English with Teacher Licensure) – “‘Who Would Not Tolerate a Female Pen?’: American Women Authors’ Perceptions and Subversions of the Domestic Ideology”

Tobi Scott ’17 (Design and Writing Communications) – “Reading Sarah Dessen: A magazine analyzing the work of Sarah Dessen”

Sean Holton ’17 (Design) – “A Collector’s View of Scots Baseball”

Oral Presentations – Natural Sciences, Math & Computer Sciences and Social Sciences

3 p.m., Lambert Recital Hall

Thomas Moore ’17 (Biology and Environmental Studies) – “Analysis of a Population of Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) on Cumberland Island National Seashore, St. Mary’s, Georgia, Before and After a Controlled Burn”

Jon Carney ’17 (Mathematics) – “Using Regression Analysis to Evaluate Performance of Players in the National Basketball Association”

Charles Pratt ’17 (Economics) – “An Analysis of Economic Factors Influencing Tennessee’s Decisions Regarding the American Civil War”