May 11, 2009
Wenham, MA—From pacifism, human trafficking and the sleep patterns of college students to Bronte, Medea and Madison Avenue, seniors at Gordon in their final semester explored a wide variety of academic and theological interests to complete their studies. Graduating students across disciplines presented original research, creative projects and public talks of their work as part of their course or thesis requirements.
Over the last few weeks of the spring semester, the Barrington Center for the Arts (BCA) showcased several creative presentations. Art majors exhibited the culmination of four years of creating a body of work. Their original paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and installations were displayed in the lobby and gallery of BCA. Theatre arts students produced, performed and directed creative scenes in the Jensen Theatre, all of which were original and explored themes as diverse as biblical stories, acting methods and modern relationships. And communication arts students presented capstone projects in the BCA Cinema. The topics ranged from advertising methods and public relations strategies for non-profits to film critiques and ethical issues in communication and journalism.
Across the humanities, many unique themes were explored. The senior thesis for philosophy majors, which involved a semester of researching and a second semester writing and presenting, included topics such as “Pacifism,” “The Imagination” and “Phenomenology of Love.” History presentations included titles such as, “Medea and the Greek Stress Response,” “Facing Giants: Celtic Leaders and their Followers in Times of Crisis” and “Kings and Clergy: The Effect of Christianity on Anglo-Saxon Kingship.” In the Languages and Linguistics department one senior thesis explored, “Human Trafficking in Germany: A Hidden Evil Unveiled,” and in the English department, one senior’s thesis examined “Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: A Pre-Feminist Writer Examines Injustices.”
Sixty-five student posters and exhibits were presented in the Ken Olsen Science Center for the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day for the sciences. Yehudi Self-Medlin, a research scientist from Elucida Research in Beverly, and Russell Camp, emeritus professor of biology, judged the poster entries.
Nigel Stippa, a junior chemistry major, won the event with his presentation entitled: “The Investigation of Atomic-Level interactions in the Cancer-causing BRC-ABL Tyrosine Kinase Imatinib Complex Through the Application of both Classical and Quantum Mechanical Approaches.” Soo Y. Kwon was awarded the first runner-up prize with, “Investigation of Charcoal as an Antifungal Agent on Candida albicans.” Stippa’s poster, now on display on the second floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center, competed against others on topics such as the “Effects of Sleep Patterns on Physical and Cognitive Performance of College Students” and “Foraging flocks of wintering songbirds: effects of edge on abundance and foraging success.”
Creative writing seniors offered a public reading of original poetry, fiction and memoirs from their capstone writing projects. Youth ministries majors created portfolios explaining their philosophy of ministry and mission statements. And social work majors celebrated the completion of 400 hours of practicum work in the community under the supervision of a social worker. They served in areas such as juvenile courts, elder services and sustainable agriculture.
“This sampling of presentations represents just a small part of what our students develop in their respective areas,” said Provost Mark Sargent. “But it’s always exciting to see the broad range of creative and scholarly efforts which reflect their time at Gordon.”
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