Campus / News / Student Research / May 9, 2012

Displaying Knox’s bright horizons

With topics ranging from Kim Kardashian to mate choice in zebra finches, students presented their research in the first annual Horizons event.

Thirty-two students displayed their projects to students and alumni alike in Seymour Library on Saturday as part of the Installation of President Teresa Amott.

Amott described the event as “a remarkable and important event for Knox … precisely because it is the first,” in a speech given to presenters and attendees near the end of the event. Amott anticipated the event growing over the next few years, even outgrowing its current location in the library.

Student presenters would also like to see the event continue.

“They should do this every year,” senior Monica Prince said. “I’ve learned a lot and seen a lot.”

Senior Adrienne Wagner, who presented her research on the ways women brought religion and the cult of womanhood to the west, enjoyed seeing other students’ presentations as well. She especially appreciated the variety of topics and departments represented.

“It’s so amazing,” she said.

The event provided an opportunity for students to get experience presenting their research, some for the first time, including junior Emma Lorenzen, who presented her research on the molecular magnetism of copper dimers.

“It’s been a good experience, I haven’t actually done a poster presentation, so it’s a good way to get experience,” Lorenzen said.

Sophomore Marika Takemura agreed that “although it might have been a bit stressful, it was a good learning experience overall.” Takemura’s research involved investigating the uses for iron metal in green chemistry.

“I got to interact with alumni who are in the same fields as I am,” Takemura said. “It’s cool for them to realize how much chemistry has changed.”

Junior Kyla Tully, whose project involved tracing the connection between homosexuality and dance throughout history, found interacting with alumni to be both exciting and intimidating.

It was “a little terrifying,” she said. “All of a sudden you’re here and Mr. and Mrs. Vovis are asking you questions about the project they funded.”

Gerald and Carol Vovis, whom the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study that presented the Horizons event is named for, managed to talk to most of the student presenters over the course of the event.

Gerald Vovis spoke at the end of the event about his own introduction to research at Knox, reminiscing about his Honors defense and Flunk Day and how it “changed the course of my life.”

The Vovises wanted to “create a permanent structure to support and encourage,” research and scholarship at Knox, leading to the creation of the Center for Research and Advanced Study.

Gretchen Walljasper

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