More than 100 students and 26 faculty members will present original scholarly papers across campus during Southern Adventist University’s annual Research Day on April 17. Schools and departments represented include nursing, social work, education and psychology, math, physics, religion and biology.
One of the students introducing her findings that day is Amy Beard, senior physics and mathematics major. She is no stranger to this kind of academic rigor, having completed six such studies since starting at Southern.
This year Amy will present twice, once for the end project of her math analysis class in which her group will discuss unusual mathematical functions that don’t behave as expected. The other presentation is part of a research project she and physics professor Ken Caviness have been working on for more than a year. The latter focuses on sequential substitution systems and the complex patterns that can arise in an enumeration, an ordered list, which science can’t explain. Caviness was the first to create such a list, called the Universal String Enumeration.
The presentations begin at 8 a.m. with keynote speakers Brennon Kirstein, chaplain, and Freddie Fuentes, education and psychology professor. Both recently completed their doctoral theses and will present their research.
Kirstein studied the disengagement of young adults from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and his findings created a comprehensive spiritual master plan for the university. The information is changing the way Campus Ministries develops relationships with students, and Kirstein is excited to move forward with the takeaways from his research.
Fuentes’ thesis examined how high school mathematics teachers managed the emotional intelligence (EI) of both the students and themselves. As a teacher, Fuentes learned how to influence students’ brains through their hearts and he wanted to explain how EI could facilitate better learning in the classroom.
Research Day then continues with poster presentations in the McKee library where students who created a visual version of their findings will answer questions and showcase their creativity. From 9:30 a.m. until noon, students will share their studies in buildings all across campus. Research Day concludes at 5 p.m. with presentations by May graduates from the Master of Science in Nursing program.