May 4, 2016 at 10:15am
Dane Lisser

Millikin University's annual Celebrations of Scholarship (COS) is a culmination of the academic year where students from across the University present results of research, scholarship and creative efforts to the Millikin community.

On April 29, multiple subjects of research and discovery were covered across Millikin's campus representing the College of Arts & Sciences, Fine Arts, Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. The event included the 23rd COS Poster Symposium, held on the second and third floors of Shilling Hall, highlighting the scholarly work completed by students in regular scheduled courses, seminars, internships and more.

Celebrations of Scholarship

Among the first presentations from Celebrations of Scholarship were playwriting staged readings held in Albert Taylor Theatre inside Shilling Hall. The readings were a celebration of the process of new play developments presented by students enrolled in Millikin's Playwriting course.

Readings were made from three plays. Each reading was followed by a short feedback session where audience members shared their thoughts with the student playwrights.

Celebrations of Scholarship

"It's really about what the playwright thinks is the best vehicle to present their words," said Dr. Tom Robson, Millikin assistant professor of theatre & dance. "The playwright has a chance to ask the people, who heard the play, for feedback."

The works in progress included "On Edge" written by Rachel Head, a junior theatre major from Indianapolis, Ind.; "No Hero" by Dave Thomson, a senior theatre major from Oak Forest, Ill.; and "Dealt With" written by Grace Piper, a senior theatre major from Palm Springs, Calif.

Celebrations of Scholarship

In the area of Behavioral Sciences, a group of Millikin students presented a new student organization called Big Blue Backpacks. With the focus on students in need at Dennis Lab School, Big Blue Backpacks aims to provide Dennis students with products that contribute to nutrition and wellness over each weekend during the academic year.

The presenters included Latasha Wilson, a senior human services major from Decatur, Ill.; Bryn Agnew, a senior human services major from Towanda, Ill.; Ashley Horan, a senior psychology major from Batavia, Ill.; Trista Smith, a junior human services major from Farmer City, Ill.; and Jonathan Rieck, a junior human services major from Elgin, Ill.

"One of the reasons I wanted to help initiate this program was because it embodies everything about Performance Learning," Rieck said. "We are undergraduate students working closely with the community to create something that is beneficial and provides us skills we will need later in life."

Celebrations of Scholarship is our way of inviting everyone to see and hear from students who have gone above and beyond traditional classroom learning because of our commitment to Performance Learning.

Currently, Big Blue Backpacks has partnered with the Good Samaritan Inn of Decatur to feed 100 students at Dennis Elementary School every weekend next school year. Through community contributions and volunteerism, the Millikin students hope to extend their network in the upcoming years to help children throughout the city of Decatur. Big Blue Backpacks is scheduled to start on Aug. 17, 2016. Mary Garrison, Millikin associate professor of social work, is the faculty advisor for Big Blue Backpacks.

Celebrations of Scholarship

"I'm a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and vice president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters student organization at Millikin," said Bryn Agnew. "I feel pretty invested in the kids here and I felt it was important to join."

Senior art therapy major Kathryn Scarim was able to shed light on the process of making print art during her presentation at Celebrations of Scholarship. As part of her presentation Scarim shared her own personal journey and growth as an artist through Millikin University's Art Department.

Celebrations of Scholarship

"Printmaking is very labor intensive, but for me it's all worth it and the process is such a beautiful thing," Scarim said. "Abstract art for me is not simply a process of creating objects that are pleasing to the eye. Art is about exploring."

Scarim, from Palos Park, Ill., specializes in printmaking and likes to experiment with layering different solid shapes over her line work. Most recently, Scarim has been working on flattening out and reducing shapes to simple contour lines.

Celebrations of Scholarship

Scarim noted, "Art is about giving new meaning to existing objects or finding new ways to express ideas. So much has been done already, but how can we make our footprint in the art community? Great works of art are significant because at one point in time they introduced something to the world."

Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper says Millikin's Celebrations of Scholarship is "our way of inviting everyone to see and hear from students who have accomplished a lot in their time at Millikin, and have gone far above and beyond traditional classroom learning because of our commitment to Performance Learning."

23rd COS Poster Symposium

The 23rd Annual Celebrations of Scholarship Poster Symposium provided students with an opportunity to share their scholarly work, and in the process increase campus and community awareness of the variety of scholarly activities conducted by students and faculty throughout the academic year.

Judith "Judy" and the late G. Richard "Dick" Locke, M.D. began providing financial support in 1994 for the Poster Symposium prizes awarded to the top-rated student presentations. Judy Locke continues to support undergraduate research at Millikin University through not only treasure but also of her time. Judy returns to campus annually to serve as a Poster Symposium judge and has greatly enjoyed the time she spends with students and faculty.

Celebrations of Scholarship

The following are the award winners of the 2016 Celebrations of Scholarship Poster Symposium.

1st Place Awards

Jessica Brinegar, a senior biology major from Decatur.

"Prevalence of Blood Parasites in Relation to Heterophil:Lymphocyte Ratio and Asymmetry in Birds of Prey admitted to the Illinois Raptor Center"

Jenna Farquhar, a senior biology major from Ledyard, Conn.

"Prevalence of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) Bacteria in Waste Water of Central Illinois"

Monzolesso Bagah-Kognagba, a senior biology major from Merrillville, Ind.

"Identification of Opioid Receptors in the Hermit Crab and the Crayfish"

Adam Falasz, a senior chemistry major from Bloomington, Ill.

"Prevention of Human Tooth Enamel Staining by Cola Beverages"

Celebrations of Scholarship

2nd Place Awards

Sara Siegfried, a junior biology major from Red Bud, Ill.

"An Essential Solution: Toxicity of Five Essential Oils in MCF-7 Cancer Cell Lines"

Hannah Bond, a senior biology major from Moweaqua, Ill.

"Analysis of Mucosal Antibodies in Red-Eared Slider Turtles"

Peter Piers, a senior chemistry major from Hoffman Estates, Ill.

"Lysis of Liposome and Nanoparticle Composites by Laser and Thermal Heating"

Zechariah Miller, a senior physics major from Decatur; Hunter Somers, a sophomore physics major from Heyworth, Ill.; and Ben Woodall, a senior physics major from Crystal Lake, Ill.

"Correlations Between the Dark Matter Halo Properties and Half-Light RadII of Milky Way Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies"

"Phase Space Density Constraints on the Properties of the Dark Matter Particle"

Kyle Leadlove, a senior physics major from Belleville, Ill.; Austin Evans, a senior physics major from Dubois, Pa.; and James Seyfert, a senior physics major from Decatur.

"The Effects of DC Electromagnetic Stimuli in conjunction with Standard Cryogenic Treatment of Metals"

"The Effects of AC Electromagnetic Stimuli in conjunction with Standard Cryogenic Treatment of Metals"

3rd Place Awards

Shelby Chesko, a senior biology major from Wilmington, Ill.

"Quantification of Lead in Central Illinois Birds of Prey"

Kelsey Going, a senior biology major from Butler, Ill.

"Innate Immune and Antioxidant Costs of Low Temperatures in Native Hyla Cinerea and Invasive Tropical Osteopilus Septentrioalis"

Aaron Fleming, a senior biology major from Lovington, Ill.

"Potential of Cantharid In-Containing Liposome and Gold Nanoshell Complexes to induce Apoptosis"

Emily Talbott, a senior biology major from Champaign, Ill.

"Control of Citrobacter Freund II with Multiple Bacteriophages to overcome rapid development of Phage Resistance"

Emily Vana, a senior biology major from Elmhurst, Ill.

"Variation in Seroprevalance of antibodies against Mycoplasma Gallisepticum and Avipoxvirus in nine species of birds with differential access to feeders"

Jessica Kerr, a senior biology major from Saint Johns, Fla.

"Effects of Soil Depth in a living roof ecosystem on success of Illinois native plant and produce species"

Francis Barnes, a senior chemistry major from Lockport, Ill.

"Fabrication of Platinum Ultramicroelectrodes"

Jeffrey Grimes, a senior psychology major from Olney, Ill.
"A View on Equality: Attitudes towards Homelessness and Race"

"Run Like a Girl: An Example of a Gender Myth"

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Academic Campus