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Mercyhurst celebrates scholarship of faculty, students

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rebecca Schratz, Andrew Vargas & Jamie Coleman

As spring term draws to a close, a pair of events will highlight the central role of scholarship in the life of Mercyhurst University: Illumination 2016, the Student Scholarship Symposium, on April 28 and the Celebration of Teacher-Scholars on April 29.

More than 100 Mercyhurst students will take part in Illumination, designed to showcase the quality and diversity of experiential learning projects carried out by Mercyhurst students. Projects will be displayed in the atrium of the Center for Academic Engagement on campus on Thursday, April 28, between 1 and 4 p.m.

Posters and other displays created by students from all four colleges will describe experiences including research or other scholarship, service learning or community projects, internships, art projects and performances.

A sampling:

  • The development and testing of a new strategy for designing antibiotics ("Exploring the utility of isoxazolines as probes for studying bacterial quorum sensing," Connor Link, Jessica Kuehne and Ivonne Schneider, in collaboration with Dr. Amy Danowitz)

  • A new method for assessing blunt force trauma to rib heads ("Reassessing Blunt Force Trauma to True Rib Heads Utilizing Tension-Compression Theory," Kelsey A. Carpenter and Kena A. Ihle in collaboration with Dr. Steven A. Symes)

  • A study of the relationship between gender and poverty levels on participation in the informal economy in Mexico ("Poverty, Gender, and Occupational Status in the Informal Sector in Mexico,” Andrea Flores in collaboration with Dr. Juan Argaez)

  • A study of the photographic and oral histories of Erie's Eastside ("You Are Here, We Are Here: An Illustrated Walking Tour of Erie’s Eastside," Taylor Rollins, Victoria Kreysar, Ian Hauser, Alex Biehls, Allison Stacy and Sydney Van Leeuewen, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Magoc, Dr. Benjamin Scharff)

Many benefactors who have helped make these experiences possible will be on campus that day for the annual Scholarship and Donor Recognition Luncheon and have been invited to see firsthand the kinds of scholarship that students create as part of their Mercyhurst educations.

Illumination 2016 has been organized by the Student Research Committee, which includes faculty members Chris Taylor, Amy Danowitz, Amy Burniston, Ben Scharff and Steve Ousley and students Austin Hembree, Cailey Dewaine and Samuel Lioi.

The Mercyhurst community is also invited to attend the annual Celebration of Teacher-Scholars on Friday, April 29, at 3:30 in Mercy Heritage Hall.

The event will highlight more than 250 presentations, grants, performances, publications and exhibitions produced in 2015 by some 60 faculty members. Much of the work was made possible due to collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students, including student research assistants; more than 40 students/alumni are included as co-authors of these projects.

Other work grew directly out of and affected the classroom experience, as faculty shared new ideas with their classes and redesigned courses around topics they were investigating.

Mercyhurst President Michael Victor will provide the welcome. Three faculty members – Sarah Howorth, education; Heather Garvin, forensic science; and Chris Magoc, history -- will speak briefly about their own research and its impact on the classroom. The event will also include a brief video about the Sisters of Mercy who worked on the faculty and their role as teacher-scholars. All are then invited to stay to check out the displays and enjoy refreshments and conversation.

The committee for the Celebration of Teacher-Scholars included Phil Belfiore, Alice Edwards, Sarah Howorth and Matt Weaver.        .

PHOTO: Student researchers Rebecca Schratz, Andrew Vargas and Jamie Coleman presented papers at the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference, held recently at Mercyhurst.