Ouachita hosts annual Scholars Day April 27

Ouachita Baptist University held its annual Scholars Day on Wednesday, April 27. The event, an undergraduate research symposium sponsored by the Carl Goodson Honors Program, featured 52 poster presentations from the natural and social sciences fields, 11 voice and instrumental recitals, a juried art exhibit featuring the works of six students, a theatrical performance, 11 honors student theses presentations and 21 student research presentations.

Activities began with inductions for Alpha Chi at 1 p.m. in Grant Plaza. Thirty-three students were inducted into the national academic honor society from multiple disciplines. Scholars Day presentations officially began at 1:25 p.m. in honor of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary.

Poster presentation topics were broad, ranging from the study of DNA interactions to “religiosity and personality.” Senior thesis presenters also covered a wide range of topics, with one student presenting part of a young adult novel she recently authored, Mooncakes and Marshmallows, and many others offering their thoughts on specific topics from their fields of study.

“The Honors Program gave me a chance to research a topic I was interested in with faculty help and encouragement,” said Ananda Boardman, a political science and Spanish major from Geronimo, Texas, who presented her senior thesis, “Body of Lies.” “It also allowed me to make friends with students who were devoted to going the extra mile while at Ouachita. … It’s a great personal goal achieved to complete the Honors Program. It shows that I was able to push myself to the limits and do so with a great group of like-minded individuals who offered encouragement along the way.”

In Verser Theatre Gallery, awards were given in the Juried Art Show including Best of Show to senior art and secondary education major Ashley Turner from White Hall, Ark.; Best of Graphic Design to senior graphic design major Anthony Ridgway from Arkadelphia, Ark.; Best of Photography to senior mass communications and speech communication major Meg Gosser from Coppell, Texas; Best of Studio Art to junior graphic design major John Oakley from DeKalb, Texas; Going the Distance award to freshman art and education major Katie Hopmann from Cypress, Texas; and honorable mentions to Hopmann and Sam Chidister, a sophomore art and education major from DeValls Bluff, Ark.

Kathryn Kellogg, a junior musical theatre and mass communications major from Sherwood, Ark., and Katie Willhite, a senior theatre arts and Biblical studies major from Rowlett, Texas, performed scenes from their Irene Ryan Theatrical Competition-nominated performances of “Proof” and “Betty’s Summer Vacation” in McBeth Recital Hall.

“Katie and I made it to the semi-finals of the Irene Ryans, which is a really great honor,” Kellogg said. “We both worked very hard on our scenes, but no one from Ouachita had the chance to see them. We both wanted to showcase them and get the opportunity to film them for our digital portfolio. We really enjoyed the scenes we selected and wanted a chance for Ouachita to enjoy them with us.”

Festivities concluded at 4:30 p.m. with dinner on the grounds provided by Sodexo catering.

“I enjoyed seeing students appreciate the work of majors in other fields of study: artists looking at the science posters and English majors hearing a business presentation,” said Honors Program director and Associate Professor of Christian Missions Barbara Pemberton. “I really enjoyed every element. This was the first time I was able to see the poster sessions, and I was amazed at the quality.

“I also loved the entire music recital – the Saxophone Quartet was great,” Pemberton added. “Of course I also loved hearing the Honors Program senior thesis presentations. I was so happy for them to have the opportunity to shine – to display the culmination of their Honors work.”

For more information, contact Barbara Pemberton at pembertonb@obu.edu or (870) 245-5541.

By Whitney Crews

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