MU Hosts 11th Annual Center for Research & Creativity Symposium

Suchada Bunkongthon presents a poster at the 11th annual CRC Symposium

Ideas, conversations, questions and more were on full display during Methodist University’s 11th Annual Center for Research and Creativity Symposium.

Like many events this year, the in-person element triumphantly returned to the CRC Symposium across campus the week of April 4-8. Due to the pandemic, both the Ninth Annual and 10th annual CRC Symposiums were presented in virtual form.

Student presenting at the 11th annual CRC Symposium“Even though it’s a lot more work putting together an in-person event like this, it’s truly a breath of fresh air having people back in person,” said Dr. Cameron Dodworth, the director for the Center for Research and Creativity at MU. “Not only is this event great for the University now, but for the future, as well. Students can be extremely proud of the work they’ve accomplished while also having a valuable research sample when they apply for jobs down the line.”

CRC Symposium week kicked off Monday, April 4 with “ROYGBIC and You: Color Theatory and Golden Ratio” followed by the “Student Genre Fiction Reading” on Tuesday, April 5.

But most of the marquee events fell on CRC Symposium Day – Wednesday, April 6 – allowing approximately 30 students to deliver more than 20 presentations on engaging topics like Shakespeare, occupational therapy and engineering, financial economics, ancient politics and religion, food and travel, music, and domestic concerns.

Junior Abigail McCandless handled one of the morning session presentations, “Scene to Screen: An Analysis and Adaptation of ‘Titus Andronicus’”, which provided an examination and modern adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy in front of dozens of faculty, staff, and peers.

Student presenting at the 11th annual CRC Symposium“I really hope [the audience] took away the tragedy of revenge,” McCandless said. “Revenge unravels you morally. At the end of the day, depending how far you go, you come out of it as the monster you originally saw your enemy as.”

After each presentation, the audience was given an opportunity make comments or ask questions of each presenter.

“I was very touched by the support of my colleagues at Methodist. I saw two of my professors, which was very nerve-racking because they are individuals that I look up to. But I’m glad they were there,” McCandless added.

During the afternoon session, 12 more presentations stepped up to the plate. One of them, “Guatemala Presentation on Non-Governmental Organizations,” included four speakers: Trey Samuelian, Josie Samuelian, Jake Patterson, and Daniel Magen. It allowed each of them to share their experience during their recent study abroad in Guatemala.

Student presenting at the 11th annual CRC Symposium“Our goal was to leave other students with an eye-opening experience that they can take back to their classes and get an idea of what study abroad is like,” Magen said. “We have a great [study abroad] program at Methodist, so why not take advantage of it while you can?”

The festive day continued with a poster session in the Berns Student Center, where 56 students presented various ideas on different canvases – touching on subjects like gaming on campus, school pickup and drop off, Sierpinkski’s triangle, and dozens more.

Meanwhile, the evening portion included a first for the CRC Symposium, TEDx presentations. Five MU faculty members each produced high-quality demonstrations on their research revolving around their varying subjects of expertise. Afterwards, the night wrapped up with the Eighth Annual Cape Fear New Music Festival at MU’s Matthews Ministry Center.

Dodworth hopes this year’s success can build momentum for years to come.

TEDx Presenters at the 11th Annual CRC Symposium“I want to grow it even more. I want to see more interdisciplinary events and more events across the whole week. To add onto that, I would love to see parents and the community get involved so Methodist receives even more recognition,” Dodworth said.

If you missed out on the events from Symposium Day, there are still two more events left – the B.F. Stone Lyceum tonight and the final STEAM event on Friday, April 8.

To read an in-depth breakdown of the schedule, presenters, and presentation summaries, visit the CRC Symposium website.