news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Undergraduate and Graduate Students Present Research in Annual Event

A scholar presents her research

Life of the Scholar-Multidisciplinary Conference Features Topics From Arts, Sciences and Health

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University students will present their undergraduate and graduate research on March 4 at the annual Life of the Scholar-Multidisciplinary Conference (LOTS-MC). The event begins at 8:30 in Stewart Hall, Tucker Student Center, with remarks by Professor of English and Director of Undergraduate Research Dr. June Hobbs, Digital Scholarship and User Experience Librarian Holly Mabry and Professor of English Dr. Shea Stuart.

Since its inception in 1996, the conference has allowed students to share their research with the community, stimulate creative thinking, and enhance their resumes with a professional conference credit. The event is hosted by LOTS, an informal but dedicated group of GWU professors and students who work to take experiences from the classroom into the wider community.

The day is divided into three sessions. During the first session from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., psychology topics will be presented in Stewart Hall; literature research in Faith Hall; and topics from natural sciences in Hope Hall.

The second session from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. will be a faculty showcase in Stewart Hall. Presentations will be presented by Dr. Aihua  Zhang, Dr. David Campell, Dr. Stefka Eddins, Dr. Ben Brooks and Dr. Venita Totten.

Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. The final session begins at 1:15 p.m. and features religious studies topics in Hope Hall, psychology two and sociology in Faith Hall, political science and history in Stewart Hall, and literature in the Tucker Theater.

At 2:30 p.m., everyone will gather for cake and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the student researchers.

The LOTS-MC steering committee includes Hobbs, Stuart, Mabry, Dr. Bruce Moser, Hannah Wylder, Dr. Meredith Rowe, and chair of the LOTS Advisory Board Dr. Arielle McKee. Administrative and tech support are provided by Debbie Hill and Jordan Turner.

The event is open to the public. Reservations are requested by March 1 by emailing Shea Stuart, [email protected].

Presenter Schedule

Session I – 9 to 10:15 a.m.

Psychology, Stewart Hall

  • Micah Moulder
    • TikTok and the Likelihood to Self-Diagnose Mental Disorders
    • Mentor: Dr. Iva Naydenova
  • James Noah Seip
    • A Psychological Perspective on Christian Martyrdom
    • Mentor: Dr. James Morgan
  • Alissa Carpenter
    • The Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic Isolation on Multiple Aspects of Child and Adolescent Lives
    • Mentor: Dr. Meredith Rowe

Literature, Faith Hall                                                                                                                                                                                                 

  • Brandon Richmond
    • Writing and World-Building
    • Mentor: Dr. Chris Davis
  • Benjamin Flournoy
    • From Folklore to Fantasy: Chronotopic Evolution in the Witcher Novels
    • Mentor: Dr. Janet Land
  • Paula Harvie
    • Casa tomada y Peronismo (House Taken and Peronism)
    • Mentor: Dr. Charles Moore
  • Sherri Moye
    • The Heroine’s Journey in 18th Century Gothic Literature
    • Mentor: Dr. Shea Stuart

Natural Sciences, Hope Hall

  • Jared Reeder and Katie Wilson
    • An In-Vitro Study of the Effects of Essential Oils on Human Skin Microbiome
    • Mentor: Dr. Meredith Rowe
  • Nicole L. Riha
    • Isolation of Citral from Lemongrass: Steam Distillation, Spectroscopy, and GC-MS Analysis
    • Mentor: Dr. Ben Brooks
  • Emma Rayfield
    • Porifera: Biology and Medicinal Properties
    • Mentor: Dr. David Campbell
  • Madison Mintz
    • Is CRISPR a Potential Treatment for Huntington’s Disease?
    • Mentor: Professor Susan Manahan

Session II – 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Faculty Showcase, Stewart Hall

Chair: Anita Sanders

  • Aihua Zhang
    • The Making of Modern Female Citizens in Republican Beijing
  • David Campbell
    • Beware of Bogus Barcodes
  • Stefka Eddins, Ben Brooks, and Venita Totten

Session III – 1:15-2:30 p.m.

Religious Studies, Hope Hall

  • Brandon Richmond
    • Sex Work and the Old Testament
    • Mentor: Dr. Paula Qualls
  • Payton Farley
    • Women in Auschwitz
    • Mentor: Dr. Eddie Step
  • Abigail Hackworth
    • Creation Theme in Psalm 104
    • Mentor: Dr. Paula Qualls
  • Rebecca Majorel
    • Reading Rahab through the Lens of Colonization
    • Mentor: Dr. Anna Sieges Beal

Psychology II/Sociology, Faith Hall

  • Haley Baker
    • Autism as Seen in the Mirror
    • Mentors: Dr. Dianne Sykes
  • Erin White
    • Schizophrenia in Women: Cause for a New Approach to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Accommodations
    • Mentor: Dr. James Morgan
  • Sarah Morrow
    • The Parental Effects of Addiction on Child Development
    • Mentor: Dr. James Morgan
  • Marissa DiMatteo
    • College Involvement on Campus and Its Relationship to Undergraduate GPA
    • Dr. Iva Naydenova

Political Science/History, Stewart Hall

  • Michelle Lominac
    • The New Public Square: Social Media and the First Amendment
    • Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Amato
  • Emily Cox
    • Middle Eastern Media Framing
    • Mentor: Dr. Lisa Luedeman
  • Bethany Mace
    • Parallel Paths: The Central Branch and The Phyllis Wheatley Branch (Charlotte, NC YWCA)
    • Mentor: Dr. Aihua Zhang
  • Rebekah Vaughn
    • The Supreme Court’s Jurisprudence from Roe to Dobbs
    • Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Amato

Literature, Theater

  • Ashley Rich
    • Public Libraries as Rural Infrastructure
    • Mentor: Dr. Arielle McKee
  • Sherri Moye
    • The Importance of Mythology in YA Literature as Seen through an Ecocritical Lens
    • Mentor: Dr. Arielle McKee
  • Zoe Mina
    • Sustainability at Gardner-Webb University
    • Mentor: Dr. Arielle McKee

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 working days prior to the event.  Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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