Student Work Shines at Annual Conferences

From Coast to Coast, Student Research Showcases GWU’s Best & Brightest


Two conferences—one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Portland, Ore.—offered Gardner-Webb students a chance to share their research with other students from around the region and nation on April 5-7.

The Southern Regional Honors Conference (SRHC) was hosted in Washington, D.C. Eighteen students attended and had an opportunity to experience over 400 panels, art works, presentations, or poster presentations. The SRHS does not offer special awards or scholarships for presentations or projects; however, several students took advantage of the opportunity to share their research findings with conference attendees.

The Alpha Chi National Convention was held in Portland, Ore., and included 16 Gardner-Webb students. According to Dr. June Hobbs, Alpha Chi sponsor, the 2018 conference marked Gardner-Webb’s most successful ever as the group brought home a collective $10,000 in fellowships and prizes.

For the second time in University history, the Gardner-Webb collaborative team took the first-place prize of $5,000 for their project “The Psychology of Oceanic Climate Change.” Team members were Tyler Hemingway (chemistry), Damian Hutchins (biology), Kelsi Williams (psychology), and Hope Still (nursing).

“Behind every one of these Alpha Chi members are mentors who encouraged them and helped them polish their work,” Hobbs reflected. “And behind all of us is the University that believes in the importance of undergraduate research. These trips and programs such as Summer Scholars and LOTS-MC give the students opportunities to hone their research and presentation skills.”

Learn more about Academic Enrichment at Gardner-Webb

Southern Regional Honors Conference

  • Alice Byrd – Nerds Abroad: A Semester Spent in Florence
  • Jessica Ferguson, Callista Eckert, Kylie Ameres, and Jordan Vitale – Jocks Can Still be Nerds
  • Laine Parker, Jessica Ferguson, and Hannah Roberts – Fascism Today -  A Study of Nazi Germany and how its Fascist characteristics appear in our world today.
  • Eli Hardin and Nicholas Brondum (EKU) – Through the Eyes of a Researcher and a Participant:  How Two Individual View the Hurricane Katrina Evacuation Differently Based on Perspective
  • Callie Elliott and Joy Smith – An Honors Event: Murder Mystery Dinner
  • Jessica Ferguson – Crash and Burnout:  The Sophomore Slump in College Athletics.
  • Emily Hamilton – Effectiveness of Alternative Therapies for People with Special Needs
  • Chelsea Sydnor – Fake News:  Agenda Setting and Gatekeeping in the Media
  • Emily Szalkowski – Feminist Cosmo:  An Analysis of Cosmopolitan Magazine Surrounding the Heights of Feminism
  • Kylie McGee – Single or Taken:  The Effect of Relationship Status, Gender and Interaction with the Opposite Sex on Arousal and Spatial Ability

Alpha Chi National Convention

  • Mallory Moore won a $3,000 Benedict Graduate Fellowship for her essay “‘Visual Pleasure’ and Suicidal Cinema.” 
  • Harley Burgess won a $1,000 Region III graduate fellowship for her essay “A Mirror Worth Imitating: The Song of Songs as Diverting the Traditional Marriage Matrix and Normative Sexual Boundaries.”
  • Hannah Ray won the presentation prize in American literature for “Now Memories: The Present Realized through Nostalgia for Our Past.”
  • Emily Eidson won the presentation prize in world literature for “Moral Development and the Transactional Reading Experience: The Stimulation of ‘Theory of Mind’ in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.”
  • Sarah Grace Moxley won the presentation prize in education for “‘Enhancing the Freedom of Others’: Using Multimodality to Create Social Justice in the English Education Classroom.”
  • Gabrielle Cortese won the presentation prize in exercise science for “Effectiveness of a Student-led Worksite Wellness Program Addressing Health-related Physical Fitness.”
  • Harley Burgess won the presentation prize in world religions and philosophy for “The Divine Collaborative Effort: Agency as a Tool for Examining Power and Relationship in the Exodus Narrative.”