LOTS Conference 2018

Stellar Research Showcased During Annual Event at GWU

Written By: Chelsea Sydnor, Communications Intern

Gardner-Webb University students presented their undergraduate and graduate research recently at the 21st annual Life of the Scholar Multdisciplinary Conference (LOTS-MC). More than 50 students gave presentations, making this year’s conference the largest ever.

Presentations featured a variety of topics, including: fiction writing, sustainability, nutrition, genetics, social media, politics, pedagogy, physical therapy, psychology and other subjects in science, music, political science, religion, entertainment and language.

Nine students received awards for best presentation: Holly Strother of Pinehurst, N.C., Eli Hardin of Boiling Springs, N.C., Lindsay McCracken of Forest City, N.C., Shaquavia Chiles of Greenville, S.C., Ethan Ramsey of Robbinsville, N.C., Garrett Simpson of Shelby, N.C., Luciana Ryndycz of Argentina, Gabrielle Cortese of Athens, Ga., and Natalie Proctor of Hickory, N.C.

Senior Hannah Ray of High Point, N.C., won the Caudill Prize for best overall presentation for her project “Now Memories: The Present Realized through the Nostalgia for Our Past.” Her research examines how authors use stories from the past to discover what a culture lacks in the present and longs for from its history.

According to Ray, presenting her research to an audience with varying degrees of knowledge about her topic strengthens her argument by forcing her to identify its most important parts. She also appreciates the way the GWU community comes together for the conference. “It’s one of the rare occasions when all disciplines collide, and we get the opportunity to gain knowledge and respect for all the ways scholarship is taking place on campus, not just in our department,” she said.

The Life of the Scholar Advisory Board is chaired by Dr. Kent Blevins. The conference’s steering committee includes Dr. June Hobbs, Dr. Bruce Moser, Dr. Steve Bingham, Dr. Shea Stuart, Dr. Meredith Rowe, Prof. Hannah Allford and Dr. Nancy Bottoms.

According to Hobbs, GWU professor of English and newly-appointed chair of the Fay Webb Gardner Master Mentorship Program, faculty members join the committee voluntarily, and organize the conference as a gift to the students. “We have been richly repaid by the depth and breadth of scholarship and creativity displayed by our wonderful, hard-working students,” she shared, “who demonstrate that Gardner-Webb is a place to get an education, not just a degree.”

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