SEARCH Symposium Celebrates Asbury Student Research

Asbury University’s inaugural SEARCH Symposium showcased outstanding scholarly work by Asbury students.

April 21, 2016

Students sitting listening to a lecture
An estimated 200 guests attended the inaugural SEARCH Symposium on Wednesday.

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University’s inaugural SEARCH Symposium showcased outstanding scholarly work by Asbury students on Wednesday evening.

With an estimated 200 guests attending, the undergraduate research event featured research from on-campus students in the College of Arts and Sciences, giving them an opportunity to share their findings with the campus community.

“I never would have presented research like this had it not been for the SEARCH Symposium,” said Bethany Stafford ’17, a Music major who researched Native American influences in Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”). “This gave me an opportunity to share something that I love in a way I never would have tried, and to learn things I never would have discovered.”

The SEARCH Symposium opened with a guest lecture from Dr. Ronan Power, vice president of Alltech Life Sciences in Nicholasville, Ky. In his talk, Power encouraged students to challenge received wisdom, to collaborate across disciplines and to communicate effectively.

“I have found that, for many endeavors, be it scientific or otherwise, the key to success is interdisciplinarity,” Power said. “If you want the whole package, you had better go outside your own comfort zone and skill set and find people to join your team.”

Student presenting research
Tyler Ogden ’16 presents research on chemical differences in black teas.

After Power’s talk, guests moved to the top floor of the Kinlaw Library to view and discuss research poster presentations with SEARCH participants. Asbury students presented 27 research projects in arts and humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. All projects were completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor, with titles ranging from “The Religious Life of Andy Warhol” (Amantha Wagner ’16) to “Study of Pyroxene Weathering Process and Calcium Concentration” (Joo Won Jun ’16).

In addition to presenting research posters, many students submitted formal papers, competing for a cash prize, certificate and honorary sculpture. Winners will be announced during Honors Convocation Chapel on April 25.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better showing for the inaugural event,” said Asbury Academic Dean Tim Campbell ’99, who organized the event with Dr. Janet Dean, professor of Psychology. “We are very excited and pleased with how many people are talking about ideas right now.”

For Provost Jon Kulaga, SEARCH is a real-time example of Asbury’s commitment to whole-person education through the liberal arts.

“SEARCH promotes academic excellence, as well as liberal arts interdisciplinarity, incorporating music, writing, science and more,” Kulaga said. “Ultimately, this event is missional, and it’s been a huge success.”

Annual Symposium