Graduating seniors from Southern Adventist University’s honors program, Southern Scholars, presented their thesis research topics to more than 50 peers and faculty at the first Southern Scholars Symposium on Thursday, April 21.
“The students who are part of Southern Scholars are always wanting to do something more,” says Mark Peach, professor in the History Department and director of the program. “They have a very high expectation of themselves and of their professors.”
The students’ diverse disciplines made their presentations a learning experience for everyone who attended the symposium.
Janelle Junn, senior fine arts and allied health major
Junn created a gallery of paintings centered on touch. Inspired by the time she spent as a missionary in Ethiopia, Junn created works of art that viewers could touch. At her gallery, Junn encouraged attendees to donate their time or money to hospitals in Africa. In addition, she wrote a research paper on the influences touch has on a person.
Junn says she joined the honors program in order to become more well-rounded.
“I became a part of Southern Scholars because I wanted to achieve the best Southern could give,” says Junn. “I wanted to push myself and have a broader sense of everything.”
Aldo Espinoza, senior biology major
“Prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on computer mice on the campus of Southern Adventist University”
For his research, Espinoza tested computer mice on campus to see if they had MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacterium. Of the 476 mice tested, only about 3 percent had the bacteria, which, Espinoza says, is not a high level.
Espinoza is grateful that he had the opportunity to be in Southern Scholars.
“I find it interesting as a biology major to study something relevant in my field,” says Espinoza. “Southern Scholars enabled me to get the best out of my education.”
Leif Harald Fredheim, senior biblical studies and archeology major
“The Metaphor of Marriage in Hosea”
Fredheim’s research focused on Jewish and Christian interpretations of the marriage between Hosea and Gomer as recorded in the Bible. He identified two of the ways that scholars see the story and refuted them in his research.
“I believe that Hosea is one of the clearest books in the Old Testament regarding God's love for humans, despite their sin, and his love for us, never giving up on us whatever we do, always attempting to win us back,” says Fredheim.
Senior scholars encourage other students to become a part of the honors program.
“For students who are interested I strongly encourage it,” says Junn. “They can gain so much from at least trying the program.”
Students who are interested in joining Southern Scholars in the 2011 school year can apply at www.southern.edu/southernscholars. The deadline is July 30, 2011.