Methodist University students were able to engage, enrich, and empower during one of the biggest academic days of the year: Symposium Day.

Methodist University students were able to engage, enrich, and empower during one of the biggest academic days of the year: Symposium Day.

For a 13th year, MU’s Center for Research and Creativity (CRC) is in the midst of hosting a week-long series of events known as CRC Symposium Week – providing students an opportunity to showcase their research and creativity in various disciplines of study.

On Wednesday, Methodist University undergraduate students received a day off from their typical academic schedule for the week’s Symposium Day, allowing students to either present their own research or attend their classmates’ presentations throughout the day.

“These projects go beyond receiving a letter grade for a capstone course,” said Dr. Cameron Dodworth, director of the Center for Research & Creativity and professor of English. “The CRC Symposium provides students with meaningful evidence of work beyond the classroom… work that can continue to be displayed online for students to showcase well after receiving their degrees from MU.”

This year’s Symposium Day featured nine research-centered events and more than 50 presentations from MU students – many of which came from the Symposium’s Day morning and afternoon oral presentations, which typically occur in front of dozens of students, faculty, and staff in an auditorium. Students touched on a wide range of topics including industrial engineering, legal issues, economics, mathematics, psychology, and technological issues.

Senior Albert Pajarilla, who will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics this May, presented on inflation and how the fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) offers a novel idea of adjusting the price level so that the real value of government debt equals the expected present value of primary budget surpluses.

“The only way you can advance ideas in any field is by presenting them and getting the word out,” said Pajarilla. “I find the fiscal theory of the price level very intriguing because it has challenged other theories so to be able to get people thinking about other factors of inflation was interesting to me.”

More than 50 students also presented their research in the iconic poster sessions. Different from the oral presentations, the poster sessions allowed students to present their research multiple times in much shorter time spans to small groups.

Senior Madison Brunson, a Counseling/Clinical Psychology major, was one of the students who participated in the poster session – presenting on psychology and opioids.

“CRC Symposium Week enriches our learning experience at MU by allowing everyone the opportunity learn more about what our students and faculty are working on,” said Brunson. “The oral and poster presentations aim to broaden the worldview of all those who attend. It piques interest in new topics and invites everyone to gain knowledge they would not otherwise be exposed to.”

Flurry of Successful Events

Although Symposium Day is the marquee day, Symposium Week kicked off on Tuesday with the 7th annual Nursing Research and Community Symposium and TEDx presentations centered around the theme of “Diversity & Inclusion” from Dr. Hershey Bell (Dean, College of Medicine), Dr. Kelly Walter Carney (Professor of English; Co-Director, Women’s Studies), and Minnu Paul (Director, Global Education).

Symposium Day also included a CIRCUIT session that explored the diverse depictions of Jesus on the cross, the Cape Fear New Music Festival lectures, the Dr. Sue L. Kimball Writing Competition Readings, Phi Kappa Phi Induction Ceremony, and the 10th annual Cape Fear New Music Festival.

Methodist University also took the time to honor and celebrate its students during the annual University Awards Ceremony. The following students took home awards for their accomplishments in the classroom:

  • Anthony J. DeLapa Art Achievement Award: Gabriela Manolias
  • Willis C. Gates Award for Excellence in Performance: Anna Hall
  • George and Lillian Miller Award: Heather Bocks
  • Rebecca Woodward Wendelken History Writing Award: Jordan Matheney
  • Plyler Award in Humanities: Jordan Matheney
  • Robert S. Christian English Achievement Award: Jordan Matheney
  • Sue Kimball Creative Writing Competition: Jordan Matheney, Ziyande Khathwane, Tucker Samuelian
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Service Award: Hope Downs
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Graduate Award: Joseph Holder
  • Outstanding Research in Criminal Justice Award: Ally M Mason, Rebecca E McGaughnea, Abigail B Warf, Kaylee N Williams, Sydney H. Wixtrom
  • Outstanding Applied Forensic Science Service Award: Tyler Greenwood
  • Outstanding Applied Forensic Science Graduate Award: Ally Mason
  • Trevor Morris Outstanding Political Science Student Award: Andrew Maisonneuve
  • Lura S. Tally Award for Leadership Excellence: Adriana DeMercurio
  • Mendelevium Medallion: Harper Fordham
  • Marie Curie General Chemistry Achievement Award: Kaitlyn Craig-Atkinson
  • Walter B. Clark Maximum Effort Award: Fadhl Al-Names
  • Samuel J. Clark Award in Accounting: Cody Berry
  • David G. Wilson Community Service Award: Julian Mitchell
  • Coach Larry Kirchner Gold Medal Award: Kaitlyn Huskey
  • PGA Golf Management Outstanding Senior: Matthew Lonto, Margaret Williams
  • PGA Golf Management Outstanding Junior: Natalie Brosig, Peter Malia
  • Outstanding Computer Science Student: Morris Bandy
  • Outstanding Computer Information Technology Student: Juan Aguilar
  • Outstanding Engineering Service Award: Macie Szalach
  • Outstanding Engineering Graduate Award: Ryan Martin, Macie Szalach
  • Outstanding Environmental and Occupational Management Award: Mikayla Ramos
  • Pauline Longest Award: Bethany Strickland
  • Distinguished Pre-Service Teacher of the Year Award: Ashlynn Elliott
  • Balaez-Ambrose Mathematics Award: Charles Gaffney
  • McRae-Klein Math Endowed Award: Jakob Fick
  • Director’s Award in Nursing: Emily Van Loon
  • Deborah Murray Outstanding Social Work Student of the Year: Carley Joas
  • Outstanding Social Work Senior: Jairus Brown

More Coming Up

There is still time to catch the remaining events of Methodist University’s Symposium Week:

  • Thursday, April 11:
    • B.F. Stone Lyceum: “Beyond Artifacts: Unveiling the Ethical Tapestry of Owning Antique Human Remains” (7 p.m., Stout PA Complex Medical Lecture Hall)
  • Friday, April 12:
  • Fifth Annual Occupational Therapy Student Scholarship Symposium (9 a.m., Stout PA Complex Medical Lecture Hall)
  • Class of 2025 Pinning Ceremony for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program (6 p.m., Huff Concert Hall)

You can learn more by accessing the entire CRC Symposium Week program, which contains the exact schedule of the week’s events. Stay tuned to the Methodist University Flickr page, which will provide a collection of photos of the week at a later date. In the meantime, view some of the top photos from the event below: