SOAR Showcases Academic Excellence

April 26, 2019

By Haley Johnson '19

As the spring semester comes to a close, so too does S.O.A.R. (Showcasing Our Art and Research), Saint Anselm College’s annual month-long celebration of academic excellence.

This year’s S.O.A.R. program series featured three distinguished speakers from the sciences and humanities, music concerts, and five interdisciplinary events: the Mind Over Major conference with the Outstanding Student Research Symposium, the Science Poster Session, and the Social Sciences Poster Session.

The Mind Over Major Interdisciplinary Student Conference on April 12 recognized excellent student work. The presentations covered a variety of creative writing projects and senior theses completed by students over the course of the academic year with panels ranging in topic and content from “Improving Detection of Postpartum Depression” to “Show Me the Money: An Analysis of Success Rates of Minority Populations and School District Spending in New Hampshire.”

Biology professor Lori LaPlante organized the event, along with professors Erik Cleven (also biology), Meg Cronin (English), Katherine Bentz (fine arts), Kathleen Flannery (psychology), Carmen McClish (English and communication), and Joshua Tepley (philosophy).

On April 12, S.O.A.R. sponsored the Outstanding Student Research Symposium in Perini Lecture Hall, featuring work of students who had received competitive fellowships or grants. The following students presented their original research projects:

Megan Dillon ’19 (Sociology and Peace and Justice Studies), Albert J. Gordon Summer Research Fellowship recipient: “Sundown on the Union: The Transnationalization of Labor and the Future of Unions Under Neoliberalism.”

Kelsey Hammond ’19 (English), Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipient: “A Glimpse into the Letters and Writings of Maria Edgeworth.”

Julia Nosel ’19 (Criminal Justice), Honors Summer Research Grant recipient: “Strategies of Violence in Gangs and Terrorist Organizations.”

Valerie Pauer ’19 (Nursing), ISURF recipient: “Palliative Care Utilization in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer: A Retrospective Chart Review at an Academic Tertiary-Care Center.”

Nathaniel Shannon ’19 (Biochemistry) and Katherine Warth ’21 (American Studies), NH-INBRE supported research.

S.O.A.R. culminated on April 25 with the annual NH-INBRE/SOAR Poster Session, featuring distinguished speaker Dr. Lauren Alloy, who presented on mood disorders. Alloy earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology and Joseph Wolpe Distinguished Faculty in Psychology at Temple University.

Following Alloy’s presentation, over 70 students with 17 different majors presented their posters and research projects in the auditorium at the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center, showcasing their hard work and diverse academic endeavors.

Posters featured research on a range of topics including: the relationship between parental communication and college adjustment; discovering a new prey-handling behavior in boa constrictors; and the correlations between bird song characteristics and satellite data.

Other S.O.A.R. events included a chamber music concert, several common hour student concert performances, and presentations by distinguished humanities speaker Dr. Jessica Maier, associate professor of Art History at Mount Holyoke College, and distinguished artist and alum Charlie Bondhus ’03, associate professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College.

S.O.A.R. is dedicated to fostering excellence in undergraduate scholarship, creative work, and research in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The program started as a small-scale, faculty-led movement in 2012 and has since grown into a campus-wide celebration of exemplary undergraduate research, writing, and art.

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