SEARCH Invites Model Scholar to Annual Symposium

Dr. Praveen Sethupathy joins AU’s campus in celebrating the best of research and scholarship at AU.

Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the Center for Vertebrate Genomics at Cornell University continues conversations begun by SEARCH program Christianity and Science.

Falling in step with a growing line of scholars who model scholarship and the Christian faith on stage at the annual SEARCH Symposium, AU welcomed Praveen Sethupathy, Ph.D. from Cornell University as the 2022 Keynote Lecturer. During his visit, he modelled for the AU community, in his diligent approach to his work and his interactions with colleagues, his devotion to Christ and an intellectual humility that AU was proud to highlight. He was found approachable and was often pulled aside by students, faculty, and guests who had a question to ask or a comment for him. 

Sethupathy is Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the Center for Vertebrate Genomics at Cornell, where he leads a research lab focused on molecular genetic and genome-scale approaches to understand physiology and human disease. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Francis Collins and was later selected by Genome Technology as one of the nation’s top 25 rising young investigators in genomics. Sethupathy has authored over 115 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and has served as a reviewer for over 45 different journals. He received a faculty merit award for outstanding teaching and mentoring, and the prestigious American Diabetes Association Pathway To Stop Diabetes Research Accelerator, which is awarded to only three people per year.    

Sethupathy began his time on AU’s campus with a chapel message “Building Trust in the Arena,” which offered foundational truths on approaching scholarship, work, and relationships from a Christian perspective. His time on campus proved enhancing for several AU faculty, especially those who joined him for dinner that Wednesday evening. Several of these have been involved with the SEARCH Christianity and Science program which began in 2019. Dr. Sethupathy was the first guest invited by Lilly Fellows, Dr. Ben Brammell and Dr. Dan Strait to speak on relating faith with science. SEARCH was pleased to host him for another discussion. 

Dr. Devin Brown, professor of English, kicked off Thursday’s schedule of SEARCH Symposium events, hosting Sethupathy and a group of AU’s top students at the Windsor Manor for a short interview of Sethupathy over lunch. That evening, Sethupathy’s Symposium Keynote Lecture, titled “Stardust and Wonder,” tied the mysteries of science together with the wonder of God’s workmanship.  

Following his keynote, student presenters were recognized and dismissed by AU president, Dr. Kevin J. Brown, to make their way up an illuminated Jewell Walk to the library for the poster session. Almost 250 students, faculty, and guests joined the presenters on the upper floor of the Kinlaw Library to show their support. The research completed by the three SEARCH Symposium paper competition finalists was featured among the posters at the session.  

Music major, Annie Wilder ’23 titled her research: “How Form Reinforces Meaning – A Formal Analysis of Benjamin Britten’s Canticle II.” Wilder’s research argued that Britten’s piece showcases a masterful example of how a composition’s form can add further emotional weight to what is being depicted in its text. It was completed under music professor Dr. Vicki Bell in a Form & Analysis course. Wilder was named SEARCH Scholar of Excellence in the Arts. 

Biology major, Hayden Bartels ’22 submitted his senior research project titled, “Low-Field 1H NMR Quantification of Capsaicin in Five Capsicum Varieties,” under the direction of chemistry professor, Dr. Bruce Branan. His research awarded him the title SEARCH Scholar of Excellence in the Sciences. Bartel’s research explored the validity of a method of quantifying the pungency of peppers, which could make measuring capsaicin levels possible for undergraduate students without the equipment commonly used to measure them. 

Jedidiah Hutt ’22 earned the award of SEARCH Scholar of Excellence Overall and in the Humanities for his research submitted under history professor, Dr. Glenn Harden. Hutt’s study, titled “Religion, Race, and the Refugee Experience in Greece,” sought to fill gaps in the literature of refugee studies by examining the intersection of religion, race, ethnicity, and nationality with the refugee experience in camp and the asylum process in Greece.  

The 2022 SEARCH Symposium concluded programming for the 2021-22 academic year. Sociology professor, Dr. Lisa Weaver-Swartz, summed up Symposium’s events: “I can’t tell you what a delight it is see academic rigor celebrated so beautifully by the Asbury community.” SEARCH looks forward to showcasing AU’s academic endeavor and building collaborations across campus with the opening of the new SEARCH Studio and fresh programming for the 2022-23 year.

Annual Symposium