Day of Scholarship is an upcoming event that will happen Tuesday April 12 this year on the Barton College campus.
This event focuses on the importance of research and how it aligns with the core values of Barton College, one of these values being scholarship. According to Barton College’s values scholarship can be defined as “…Research, creative work, or professional activity, which results in a project that is disseminated in a written, oral, exhibit or performance format and is subject to validation through review, critique, competition or invitation.”
Eleven students were awarded a research stipend of $600 to complete a research project with a faculty mentor, and the mentors were also awarded with a $250 stipend for their collaboration. Each group will present their research on the Day of Scholarship to the entire campus community, and even members of the surrounding areas are invited to partake in this event.
Dr. Susan Bane is chair of the planning committee for Day of Scholarship, associate professor of physical education and sport studies, and head of the Barton College Whitehurst Honors program. She explained the mission of Day of Scholarship is to set aside a day on campus to celebrate scholarship.
Bane said, “It really encompasses every discipline, and it is not limited to [people] in the Whitehurst Honors program.” The goal of cancelling classes during this event is to generate participation and involvement with the program activities during the entire school day. Bane said the modifications of this it to be more inclusive.
Dr. Gary Daynes, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, explained the importance of research, and how it is imperative in any setting, whether it is academic or professional. According to Daynes, there are three main purposes to Day of Scholarship. He said that it would draw attention to the importance of research, to highlight the research of students and faculty, and to strengthen Barton’s community of learners through this learning method.
He expressed, “Research is one of the key obligations of any institution of higher education, because it contributes to our understanding of the world around it. More importantly, though, research is a powerful way of learning, particularly for students who learn how to do things rather than simply learning about those things. Finally, research is a way that people and their organizations strengthen their curiosity and creativity–important habits for personal well-being.”
Several speakers will discuss the value of promoting undergraduate research, and how it can one into attending graduate school or any other professional goal. Bane said, “There are so many transferable skills that one can gain from undergraduate research,” and even in her personal experience she expressed, “one can learn to indentify problems, and understand how to solve them.”
Bane explains that forming trust and relationships with faculty mentors through undergraduate research aided her journey of research and prompted her to pursue an internship in Iowa far away from her comfort zone here at Barton College. She is an alumna of Barton College; “Barton College prepared me for two life careers. I was an member of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and I submitted my work in Iowa.”
Bane coveys a message that undergraduate research needs to be promoted for many reasons, and one of the main reasons being that students can discover their confidence by presenting research, and even along the way, help in finding a lifetime vocation. “[Day of Scholarship] is one of the proudest days of the year for me,” said Bane.
The idea for this event came from the Day of Service that happens each fall. This will be the fourth year that Day of Scholarship takes place, but this is only the second year where classes are cancelled so that students and faculty members on campus can attend the oral presentations and poster sessions. According to Daynes, 11 students will be making oral presentations of their research, and 30 to 40 people will present their research in the poster sessions. There are many more session to attend to ask questions, and support their friends and professors.
Bane said that some students do not know all the opportunities that they have in front of they, and for many participants this may be the first step to a professional and academic journey with positive repercussions. This process was implemented to share experiences, open doors of opportunity, and to encourage students and faculty members to come in contact with first-hand research.
According to Daynes by devoting an entire day to sharing research work it builds our campus community, it heightens expectations for research in the future, and it allows us to acknowledge the excellent work done by students and faculty. “Students who want to give spoken presentations of their work [next year] should start planning now to submit a proposal next fall,” said Daynes. Anyone can participate in Day of Scholarship by attending sessions and engaging with the research.
By Luisa Torres