Students to present at annual symposium

From aggressive lemurs to Queen Marie of Romania, the Guilford Undergraduate Symposium features a broad range of topics.

The eighth annual Guilford Undergraduate Symposium will take place on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the symposium, many Guilford College students from multiple disciplines will present their research and accomplishments.

“(Scheduling GUS in late April) will encourage more students who are doing senior theses to register, giving them more time to prepare their presentations,” said GUS Organizing Committee member and Professor of German Dave Limburg in an email interview. “We hope it will also encourage more students, in general, to present, and (that it) will be seen as a celebration of student work and achievements near the end of the semester and academic year.”

GUS originally began as a Guilford version of The North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium. Since 2008, when Guilford hosted its first annual GUS with 60 students and 50 oral presentations, participation has continued to grow steadily.

“We’re expecting another great symposium, hopefully with an increased number of sessions and presentations,” said Limburg. “This year’s symposium will also help us kick off our new college-wide Quality Enhancement Plan, which starts next year: ‘Enhancing Student Skills in Making Public Presentations.’”

Topics presented at this year’s GUS range from differences in aggression between species and sexes of lemur presented by senior Ryan Siebens, Queen Marie of Romania’s 1926 tour of the United States and the development of the celebrity royal presented by senior Emma Rountree and problems with antibiotic resistance and bioprospecting presented by senior Adele Price.

The deadline for submissions is on April 1 at 5 p.m. Students will be presenting posters, panel discussions, exhibits, oral presentations and performances at locations all across the campus, indoors and outside.

“Students enjoy improving their presentation skills and sharing the fruits of their labor,” said GUS Organizing Committee member and Assistant Professor of Psychology Rachel Riskind in an email interview. “For all of us in the Guilford community, GUS is a fun opportunity to learn new things from disciplines across campus and take pride in the accomplishments of our talented student body.”

GUS is a unique feature that Guilford students get to participate in. It is an opportunity to be recognized by faculty and classmates alike for hard work and dedication.

“The short story (on preparing for GUS) is Dr. Melanie Lee-Brown’s favorite phrase: Research. As in re-search. As in keep searching” said junior Taryn McFadden, who is presenting twice, one topic being mental health and stress among college students and the other being multispecies biofilm inhibition using a polyphenol/enzyme cocktail.

GUS is an important opportunity offered to students that is unique to Guilford. It prepares them for presentation conferences in the professional world.

“I would just say that GUS has been an important community building event for sometime now as communication is the keyword to successful networking,” said senior Julia Geaney-Moore, who is presenting research on components of strong communities.

“We want to encourage all Guilford students to attend — even if you’re not presenting,” said Limburg. “It’s a great way to get more involved in our academic life together, to support each other in our scholarly and creative pursuits and to learn from each other and be inspired to present in the future.”