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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Denison's Summer Research- Live and In Person

Summer Scholars- I've been impressed and touched by this program for a number of years through my work and participation at The Works. STEMfest and other hands-on science activities that engaged Denison science students thrilled me. I am always delighted to meet current student and see them helping make science real for children in our community.  In the past two weeks I've had the honor to learn about the research that happened on campus summer 2015. The posters and presentations have blown me away- and I wanted to share it on the blog.  Certainly you know how much I support and believe in the liberal arts.  The opportunity to see the examples of how deep, transferable, important and real the students' work is was something to write about as it inspires my work and time in my life on Newark-Granville Road.

Here are three examples that go beyond what I realized what was happening the hill and I believe represent the Denison liberal arts well.  Know that Knobel Hall was jam packed with these types of presentations- all equally inspiring. These three caught my attention and I'll share why.

Kate Ramsdell '16 Communication and Psychology- Professor Alina Haliliuc- Laughter as Social Corrective: Russell Brand's Negotiation of the Fool Persona- she took me right back to the late 80s sitting in a social media class at Denison.  (Lucky me I was instructed by now VP Student Life, Laurel Kennedy.) Student and faculty's role to reflect, think and understand what we take in, what surrounds us- ahhhh.  Kate's research was the entertaining and caring Russell Brand.  Walking through the sea of research I couldn't help but want to know more about happenings in my own major and this actor that makes me laugh. Kate engaged with us well and presented herself well.

Anna Yokuah Teye '16  International Studies and Women and Gender Studies-Professor Isis Nusair Microfiance, Healthycare and Education as tools for Social Emancipation: the Case of Women's Empowerment NGOs in Ghana.  The opportunity to hear this poised and articulate young woman from Ghana share the simple but concrete lessons from her research was a beautiful part of my day. As we look to lift up girls all over the world and in our own back yards (or dinner tables) we cannot dismiss the importance of goal setting and planning. Equipping goes beyond providing skills- encouragement with sites plays a critical role.  Something I've been fortunate to have my whole life. This ties nicely to the talk I heard at lunch from our visiting Vail artist on Tuesday- enriching Friday's Vail concert. And a bonus- new direct views of Africa.

Gretchen Giltner '16 Art history and Visual Culture and Biology-Professor Joanna Grabski Visualizing the Ebola Mediascape: A Case Study of National Geographic and Newsweek.  The Ebola epidemic fascinates me so I was drawn to this poster. When I heard she say biology and art in her opening sentence she had me! I was reminded again of the importance of our sources and how we see to perceive the world. (Real life connection for me as Clare engages more with the "news" in her Global Studies class.)

All three of these women are intelligent, articulate, and passionate about their education and Denison experience. The choice and opportunity to remain on campus over the summer was valued. It isn't just the students that impress and inspire. You have to look deeper to understand the Denison value.  The faculty making this real and effective- the relationship and mentoring.  The dollars-philanthropy at work and so much more.  The campus and town may seem quiet June-August but I assure you the classrooms and labs, residence halls and library are buzzing with learning. I am Denison Proud and honored to have had time with these women last week.

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