Westminster College Community Learns from Over 150 Students at Undergraduate Scholars Forum

Missouri guerilla warfare in the Civil War, income inequality in Europe, the effects of aromatherapy on pain, virtualization in cybersecurity and pioneer women in Kansas are just a few of the topics to be discussed when the entire Westminster College community comes together Thursday, April 16, for students to showcase research accomplishments in their various academic disciplines.

One day is set aside every year for the Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum, a special Westminster event day established eight years ago, to allow students to highlight their achievements in a formal and comprehensive way for students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees.

“Westminster College is committed to promoting undergraduate research and to developing young scholars,” says Dr. Carolyn Perry, Senior Vice President and Dean of Faculty. “This Forum is truly a celebration of scholarship on our campus.”

Over 150 students from 15 majors will offer paper presentations, presentations using posters or multi-media presentations and creative performances and readings to celebrate their academic achievements.

“The Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum is based on a similar concept used at America’s most prominent Ivy League schools to highlight student achievements in a formal and comprehensive way,” says Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe.  “Our Forum is a way to show off all the great work our students do.”

Activities for the Forum will begin with a welcome by Dr. Carolyn Perry, Senior Vice President of the College and Dean of Faculty, in Champ Auditorium at 9 a.m.

The morning keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Jia Liu, Class of 2009, who graduated from Westminster and attended the University of Southern California where she received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2014.

Liu is a pioneer in the field of nano material synthesis with a focus on carbon nanotubes for the next generation of electronics.

She has received many awards for her work including The Bau Price Award in recognition of excellence in graduate teaching, Best in Session Award at the TECHNON international conference and the Chinese Government Award for outstanding students abroad.  Her work has been reported by news media including The Engineer, Science Daily, EurekAlert and Technology Review.

The opening session will also showcase a student presentation, “Go West Young Ma’am: Lives of Pioneer Women on the Kansas Frontier,” delivered by John York, a senior from Lee’s Summit, MO.

Papers and posters for the annual competition will be judged by some of the members of the Teaching and Learning Committee, and awards will be given in both the paper and poster categories.

Academic awards for the 2014-2015 year will be presented by Dr. Perry and Dr. David Jones, Associate Dean of Faculty.

The Westminster Teaching and Learning Committee organized the Scholars Forum and created the program.  The Westminster Chapter of Alpha Chi and Westminster Student Ambassadors serve as hosts for the event.

The Forum is made possible thanks to the generous donations of Gail and David (’68) Stubbs, Thad Stubbs (’00), Courtney (Swan) Stubbs (01) and Beth Stubbs (00).

More information on the Undergraduate Scholars Forum.



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