HIGH POINT, N.C., March 30, 2017 – Members of the High Point University community frequently conduct, publish and share research and creative works in a variety of ways. Below is a recap of research initiatives from the past month.
Physics Student Receives ‘Best Talk’ Award
Kyle Corcoran, a sophomore physics and math major, received the “Best Talk” award for an oral presentation he gave at the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section Meeting in Macon, Georgia. His presentation, “The O-C Diagram and Its Applications to Astrophysical Systems,” involved a discussion of methods that are applicable to his studies of both math and astrophysics. He explained a unique diagram that can be used to observe the evolution of stars, discover companion stars or planets, predict the radiation of gravitational waves, and predict novae and supernovae.
“I’d really like to thank Dr. Brad Barlow for providing me with papers to read on the subject and helping me prepare to explain it to a mathematical crowd,” Corcoran says. “This was an additional topic I learned outside of class, and he made time to help me with everything. I want to go to graduate school to study astronomy, and this presentation was a good step toward that goal.”
Student Awarded for Research Presentation at Sports Medicine Conference
Meghan Patton, a senior exercise science major at HPU, received second place for her research presentation at the annual Southeast Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine on Feb. 16-18 in Greenville, South Carolina. Patton won the award for presenting her poster, “Thermal Stress Sensitizes C2C12 Myotubes to Subsequent LPS Exposure.” She and senior Mandy Szymanski were both selected as finalists in the judged research competition out of more than 200 undergraduate posters submitted. In total, nine students attended the conference with faculty mentors Dr. Matthew Kuennen and Dr. Roger Vaughan, assistant professors of exercise science.
“It was an honor to have presented at the SEACSM conference this year,” says Patton. “It was my first time presenting my research at a major conference, so to have won an award was a really gratifying experience. Being able to present and also just observe at this conference is a very cool experience to have as an undergrad. You learn so much from the other presenters and it opens your eyes to a lot of other areas of research you might not have known about.”
Professors Publish Article on Portrayal of Fat in Popular Culture
Dr. Tony Kemerly, professor of exercise science, and Dr. Jenn Brandt, assistant professor of English and director of Women’s and Gender Studies, were recently published in the Fat Studies Journal. Their article, “Shuffling Toward Oblivion: The Long Walk of the Fat Body,” examines the portrayal of the plight of the fat body in society in Stephen King’s novel “The Long Walk.” Through their analysis of the story, they examine how society treats those with bodies coded as “fat,” and how being fat is perceived as a physical and moral weakness that results in a person being seen as “lesser” in society.
“This project is a great example of collaboration between two departments that on the surface do not seem to have much in common,” says Kemerly. “I am excited to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Brandt as well as to highlight a different type of research coming from the Department of Exercise Science.”
English Professor Gives Lecture Previewing Her New Book
Dr. Kirstin Squint, associate professor of English, gave a lecture at Louisiana State University titled “Choctalking and Code Talking in LeAnne Howe’s South(s).” Her lecture covered material from her forthcoming book on Choctaw author LeAnne Howe. Squint, a graduate of LSU’s Ph.D. program in comparative literature, had the opportunity to share her research and talk to students from her alma mater about her career as a scholar and professor at HPU.
“I am honored that my first book-length publication is forthcoming with the award-winning Louisiana State University Press,” says Squint. “I am looking forward to seeing the book in print in the spring of 2018.”
Students Present Research at Psychology Conference
Elizabeth Perkins, Jordan Izzo and Alexandra Daniel, psychology majors at HPU, presented research posters at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference on March 16-18 in Boston. Dr. Jana Spain, professor of psychology, collaborated on both research projects. Perkins and Izzo’s poster, “The Accuracy of Mothers’ Descriptions: Predicting Their Child’s Daily Life Emotions,” examined the ability of mothers to predict positive and negative emotions in their children based on their descriptions of their child’s temperament in childhood and current personality traits.
“The accuracy of the mothers’ descriptions of early temperament was somewhat limited. Their ratings of specific adult emotion-relevant traits, however, were more accurate,” says Spain. “Mothers’ descriptions were able to predict their adult sons’ and daughters’ feelings of being scared, happy, joyful, nervous and distressed in daily life.”
Daniel’s poster, “You Should Go and Love Yourself: Discrepancy in Perceptions of Self-Esteem,” examined perceptions of an individual’s self-esteem. Participants had a brief conversation with a partner and then provided self-esteem ratings for each other. The results indicated that sometimes individuals rated themselves lower than their partners rated them on self-esteem, but contrary to expectations, this tendency was not more common among women than among men.
“Self-esteem in others may be somewhat difficult to detect,” says Spain. “When we interact with others for the first time, we may try to create favorable impressions in others and that may affect their ability to get accurate information.”