Spotlight on student research

Feb 21, 2014

There were 118 presentations over four and half hours at Heidelberg’s 21st annual “Minds at Work” Student Research Conference. Faculty, staff, parents, and community members were in attendance to watch students present their research projects.

The event not only highlights student achievement, but also serves as a learning experience. “I gained confidence in my presenting skills throughout this experience and learned the importance of research projects,” said sophomore history major Maggie Wilson. “My favorite part of the day was having my parents come up and support me and attending other presentations.”

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Crystal Lake, a distinguished professor of English language and literatures at Wright State University, who specializes in 18th and 19th century British literature and culture.

Lake’s keynote address, The Scholar Adventurers in the 21st Century: New Research and Discoveries in the Humanities, expounded on the relationship between scientists and humanists. “Knowledge moves forward only when it comes together from different disciplinary areas,” she said.

Lake explained how early antiquarianism, the study and collection of artifacts, showed how the humanities can be used in research and discovery. “It’s a different kind of science,” she said. While there is seldom cross-understanding between the two, science and the humanities are important to academia. “Ultimately we need both beauty and truth,” she said.

This thought was echoed by Heidelberg students who presented on a wide range of topics including the chemistry of perfume, ultrasound techniques, Ohio agriculture, immigration, the Chinese gulag, and CEO succession.

Dr. Traci Stark, Associate Professor of Psychology, was the advisor for 13 presentations. “I’m looking forward to seeing faculty, staff, and other students see the work they’ve done,” she said.

The hard work was indeed appreciated as many sessions were filled beyond capacity with some observers standing or sitting on the floor. It was an exciting day that showcased the creativity, collaboration, and dedication of Heidelberg students.

“I think this event is incredibly important because it highlights the academics that we do at Heidelberg and gives students a chance to show off how much effort and hard work they have put into their academics,” said Maggie.

Integrated learning and distinctive opportunities define a Heidelberg education.