Barton’s Annual Day of Scholarship Provides Students and Faculty an Opportunity to Showcase Research

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(Photo above represents students presenting during the 2019 Day of Scholarship.)

WILSON, N.C. — April 7, 2020 — Alongside laptops and mobile devices and books and teaching notes, Barton College will host its 2020 Day of Scholarship presentations during the week of April 7-9, as students and professors gather virtually with administrators and staff to celebrate academic excellence. The best of the 2020 Day of Scholarship will be available for public viewing beginning Monday, April 13.

“Day of Scholarship is a tradition at Barton College,” explains Dr. Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As part of that tradition, we have gathered together once a year to welcome guest researchers, listen to research presentations from students, staff, and faculty, and celebrate our alumni whose research skills, built at Barton, have led them to success.

“This year the coronavirus makes it impossible to gather on campus,” he continued. “But, we could not bring ourselves to cancel Day of Scholarship — the work that students, staff, and faculty have done is too important. So, we will showcase it differently. During the week of April 7-10, Day of Scholarship posters and presentations will be available to current Barton students, staff, and faculty, through Canvas, our learning management system. Then, during the week of April 13-17, we will make the best of Day of Scholarship available to the public at www.barton.edu/dayofscholarship. So, please plan to join us beginning Monday, April 13, to celebrate the power of research at Barton College.”

Highlights of the 2020 Day of Scholarship will include an introductory video welcome from Dr. Daynes, as well as opportunities to choose virtual scholarly presentations by Barton College’s three Boykin Fellows: Dr. Jackie Ennis, Professor Gerard Lange, and Dr. Jane Webster. In addition, there will be a variety of research and scholarship presentations, as well as poster presentations by Barton faculty and students, with topics ranging from “Stigmatizing Criminal Offenders: How Gender Blinders can Affect Views” to “The Impact of Superstitions on Division II Student Athletes,” from “Examining Genomes: Food Preservation and a Caviar Fungus” to “Empathy and Morality: Are College Students Less Empathetic than a Comparison Sample?,” and from “Health Behaviors in Middle School Students: Designing a Wilson YMCA After-School Program” to “Politics, Anxiety &Empathy, Oh My! Does Anxiety and Empathy Influence Political Affiliation,” just to name a few.

This annual Day of Scholarship will showcase presentations of research and academic collaboration by some of our best and brightest on campus, as they share their passion for study and scholarship.

Faculty Presentations:

The faculty at Barton College are professionals in higher education. As experts in their field of discipline, they are committed to sharing their knowledge with students. Professors also contribute to the knowledge base by participating in original research. Different disciplines have different expectations for what constitutes research. Some faculty probe the literature on a subject, others conduct scientific or social-scientific studies, while others do work in the humanities, write books and articles, produce theatrical works, or create art and music.

Student Presentations: 

Undergraduate research is the exploration of topic by a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree that generally follows one of three lines of inquiry: (1) a systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the subject; (2) an investigation that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline; or (3) an investigation of a question with a defined goal but without a preconceived result. Students presenting undergraduate research during the 2020 Day of Scholarship submitted their proposals in the fall. These proposals were judged by faculty, and 10 projects were awarded a grant to complete their work. Three additional students received Interfaith Leadership grants.

Poster Presentations:

Academic posters balance the information pertaining to the research with the design and layout of the graphics, concisely communicating key elements of the research. Members of the Barton College community applied to have their posters included in the 2020 Day of Scholarship, and faculty volunteers adjudicated the posters. At an academic conference, posters are displayed throughout the duration of the event, but, at a given time, researchers stand next to their poster to discuss the content. The 2020 virtual Day of Scholarship will include recorded audio of the researchers presenting their posters.

More About the Boykin Fellows:

Dr. Jackie Ennis graduated from Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College, with majors in Elementary Education and Intermediate Grades Education. She earned her M.Ed. in Middle Grades Math and Science Education from Campbell University and taught middle grades math, science and technology for 15 years. Dr. Ennis came to Barton College as a full-time faculty member in the School of Education on 1995, earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from North Carolina State University, and continues to enjoy helping pre-service teacher candidates develop into effective teachers and leaders. As a Boykin Fellow, her research is directly related to her work with the NC Digital Learning Initiative Work Group to determine the needs of Educator Preparation Program (EPP) faculty to prepare future students to use instructional technology effectively in their classrooms. “We hosted a research symposium to gain insights from EPP faculty and key educators, administered and analyzed a Digital Learning Progress Rubric for EPPs, and conducted an assessment and analysis of current digital learning practices within NC EPPs utilizing the streamlined Digital Learning Progress Rubric,” she shares. “As a result, we created a proposed Professional Development Strategy and presented it to the NC State Board of Education.”

Professor Gerard Lange is the Director of the Whitehurst Family Honors Program and Professor of Art & Design at Barton College. His work as a Boykin Fellow examines word-image relationships in the creation of synthesized knowledge as shown in eighteenth and nineteenth century commonplace books. Lange’s past work includes his graduate thesis on the influence of commodity fetishism on the psychology of perception. Currently, Lange is studying cognitive theory and learning science as a doctoral student at Maryville University. “In the first part of my work as a Boykin Fellow, I explored the impact writing has on cognition and the retention of information,” he notes. “Now, I have extended this work to include the effects of doodling on memory through the construction of mental maps where thoughts, words, and images become intertwined. Using eighteenth-century commonplace books as a conceptual framework, this research explores how some of the world’s greatest thinkers developed their ideas while drawing in the margins of their notes. Furthermore, it encourages students to let their minds wander and do the same.”

Dr. Jane S. Webster is a Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She has published five books and written multiple articles, conference presentations, and book reviews addressing topics in religious studies and pedagogy. During her tenure as Boykin Fellow, she is extending her interest in healing modalities with a deep dive into Functional Medicine and the mind-body connection. “In the second year of the Boykin Fellowship, I continued my studies as a health and wellness coach,” she explained. “As I practiced coaching skills with my fellow students, I quickly learned that the same principles are easily transferable to my relationships with students with some interesting results. This [year’s] presentation describes some of the moves used by coaches and applied to student advising. I struggled to set aside the ‘expert approach’ and learn[ed] how to listen carefully.”

For additional information about the 2020 Day of Scholarship, please contact the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at cetl@barton.edu.

A special thanks is extended to the 2020 Day of Scholarship Planning Committee: Dr. Gary Daynes, Dr. Jane Webster, Gerard Lange, Brandi Orbin, Jacob Sauls, and the Reverend Blythe Taylor.

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