This year, 30 participants presented their work via posters and oral presentations in the annual spring symposium April 13.

Scholars program gives students in-depth research experience

The Oxford College Research Scholars Program affirms Oxford's commitment to student research in the first two years of college. Oxford Research Scholars assist faculty with research projects and receive academic credit.

This year, 30 participants presented their work via posters and oral presentations in the annual spring symposium April 13.

Second-year student Annalys Hanson, along with classmates Laura Cortina, and Ellie Agler, gave an oral presentation on “Visual Narratives of Early Emory Student Life at Oxford” as part of the symposium. The trio worked with Tasha Dobbin-Bennett, assistant professor of art history and studio art, and Elliott Kuecker, collection management librarian and college archivist, on a project digitizing the Early Emory/Oxford College Photograph Collection.

The visual narratives project caught Hanson’s attention because it reminded her of spending time as a child in a museum where her mother volunteered. Hanson looked forward to getting hands-on experience on how information is arranged and presented to an audience while also learning about Emory history.

She especially enjoyed researching photos and their historical context.

“I have an insatiable curiosity and I enjoyed the ‘treasure hunt’ through old archives, memoirs, and Emory Phoenix articles,” explains Hanson, who is studying anthropology and human biology at Oxford.

Dobbin-Bennett enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm and sustained interest in research by the three students. “They not only applied themselves to learning different disciplinesarchiving, digitizing, curatingbut they have begun to grapple with the wider issues and questions when researching,” she says.

“I loved seeing students excited about research,” Kuecker agrees. “They were truly engaged in the work and taking their role as a scholar seriously and showing ownership for the project, which is exactly what we wanted them to do.”

With so much information on early Emory history that isn't well known, the students spent numerous hours carefully curating what to include. “I especially respect the research scholars program because other students will be able to build from it and do more research on several aspects of early Emory,” says Hanson, who came to Oxford from Minnesota.

Although Hanson says she’s sad her project is over, “I’ve gained valuable experience in direct archival research that I hope to apply to my future endeavors in academia and research.”

For second-year student Ellie Agler, the visual narratives project expanded her thinking. “I was forced to think about stuff that as an undergrad, I didn’t feel qualified to answer, and I realized I was more capable than I thought,” she says.

“I love old stuff,” admits Agler, a history major from Hickory Flat, Ga. “I wanted a chance to get to see actual old photographs and be a part of something greater than myself and have aid in doing research.”

The Oxford Research Scholars Program introduces participants to current research in their disciplines and demonstrates how research is organized and funded. The program, started in 2002, is funded by the Dean of Academic Affairs’ office.

The research scholars she worked with gained the experience of a multi-semester research project with a tangible outcome, says Dobbin-Bennett: “They’ve been able to visibly contribute to Oxford College's history in a meaningful and scholarly manner.”

Students presenting their research results and their faculty research partners include:

  • José Amador 
    “Nationhood: Mexico Emerging into the 20th Century” 
    Pablo Palomino, assistant professor of Latin American & Caribbean Studies
  • Lydia Bailey
    “The Ethics and Law of NCAA Athletics” 
    Erin Tarver, assistant professor of philosophy
  • Allis Barker 
    “Investigating CXCR2 Expression in Bone Marrow Leukocytes during Chronic Inflammation” 
    Alexandra Tremblay, visiting assistant professor of biology
  • Myra Chao and Chris Peters
    “Contemplative Children: A Developmental Model” 
    Patti Owen-Smith, professor of psychology and women's studies
  • Felipe de Almeida and Emma Hanlon
    “Authenticity: A Student Analysis of Literature and Discourse” 
    Alicia DeNicola, associate professor of anthropology
  • Sean Eagan
    “Follow the Leader: Edward R. Murrow’s See It Now and Contemporary Influencer Marketing” 
    David Resha, assistant professor of film and media studies
  • Annalys Hanson, Laura Cortina, and Ellie Agler
    “Visual Narratives of Early Emory Student Life at Oxford” 
    Tasha Dobbin-Bennett, assistant professor of art history and studio art
  • Mariam Hassoun
    “Muslim First? Negotiating Multiple Identities on Campus”
    Florian Pohl, associate professor of religion
  • Mahaa Mahmood and Gabe Eisen
    “Politics of Eminent Domain: Atlanta and the US” 
    Joshua Mousie, assistant professor of philosophy
  • Gabriel Moran 
    “The Mobilization of Operation Barbarossa: A Survey of the Major Literature Available”

    David Leinweber, associate professor of history
  • Emily Newell 
    “Applying C-H Activation Techniques to the Synthesis of Triazoles” 
    Annette Neuman, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Franny Parent 
    “Too Much the Writer, Too Little the Mother: Sylvia Plath and the Impact of Motherhood” 
    Christine Loflin, associate professor of English
  • Andy Paul 
    “Acting Up in Atlanta: Southern Activism in the AIDS Crisis”
    Molly McGehee, associate professor of English and American studies
  • Emily Rexer 
    “Edge-Graceful Labeling” 
    Jonathan Hulgan, assistant professor of mathematics
  • Gratia Sullivan, Sara Feinstein, and Amara Evering 
    “Notions of Food Justice at Oxford College” 
    Deric Shannon, associate professor of sociology
  • Niah Thomas and Brittany Scanameo
    “The Effects of Length and Position on the Perception of Article-Noun Agreement Cues” 
    Daniel Walter, visiting assistant professor of German and linguistics
  • Charlotte Wang and Linda Wu 
    “Characterizing the Effect of Different Organic Cover Crop Techniques on Microbial Diversity” 
    Sarah Fankhauser, assistant professor of biology
  • Crystal Wu 
    “Chebyshev Spectral Solutions of Nonlinear Differential Equations” 
    Michael Rogers, associate professor of mathematics
  • Jim Xue 
    “Regional Characteristics That Determine STEM and Non-STEM Occupational Rates” 
    Christopher Blake, visiting assistant professor of economics
  • Lily Zhong and Ethan Wang 
    “Investigation of Antibacterial Activity of RP-1”
    Reza Saadein, associate professor of chemistry