Students showcase research

Presenters display work at the Liberty student symposium

Students set aside their textbooks in exchange for the Liberty Student Research Symposium April 11. Three rooms, holding presentations simultaneously, competed for student attention.

Poster — Students look at one of the participant presentations. Photo credit: Emily Becker

The symposium showcased both undergraduate and graduate students’ research reports on topics in the fields of psychology, biology, chemistry, English, philosophy and history.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much research goes into this,” psychology professor Marilyn Gadomski, one of the meeting’s co-chairs, said. “People definitely need to know.”

According to Tabitha Cassidy, a presenter at the event, some students conducted research on their own for a class project or paper, while others researched in teams, such as the Daniels Program in the Department of Psychology.

According to Liberty student Emily Abel, the evening of oral and poster presentations featured Liberty students’ passions.

Abel conducted research on psychology and autism in children. Abel’s presentation, “Material and Social Reinforcements in Children with High-Functioning Autism,” won first prize at the sixth Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium at High Point University the previous weekend, April 5-6.

“I approached Gadomski about it,” Abel said. “I just wanted to do research.”

Graduate student Leslie Keeney, who also works in Liberty’s Marketing Department, displayed a poster entitled “Morally Sufficient Genocide: An Apologetic for God’s Commands Concerning the Canaanites.” According to Keeney, she was able to research a topic in which she placed great value.

“This issue speaks directly to God’s character,” Keeney said. “For many Christians, the character of the Old Testament God is the reason why they lose their faith. It is very important. That’s why I can’t shrug my shoulders and say, ‘God’s ways are simply higher than man’s.’”

Miranda Becker is a few weeks away from finishing her first semester in graduate school at Liberty. She presented a poster stemming from a previous research paper. She called it “History Repeated: the Continual Underestimation of Russia — a Correlation between Charles XII, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolf Hitler and their Respective Campaigns in Russia.”

Becker said that she noticed the correlation between Napoleon and Hitler’s attacks on Russia during her undergraduate studies at Liberty. Now in the History Department of Liberty’s graduate school, Becker took the opportunity to study the topic further, adding Charles XII to the mix. She said that she was very excited to dive deeper into the topic.

Presenters like Cassidy seem to enjoy the opportunity to showcase their work.

“I was lucky enough to present at this year’s symposium as well as last year’s,” Cassidy said. “Seeing how much it grew in such a short amount of time makes me excited to see the impact Liberty is going to have on the research community in the future.”

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