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Lyon students win more than just scarves and cash prizes at SCARF

Thirty students presented creative projects and research for a chance to win cash prizes and more during the 2019 Student Creative Arts and Research Forum (SCARF), held March 28 in the Lyon Building.

The event is hosted each year by Lyon College’s Mortar Board chapter. All presenters receive Lyon College scarves and the opportunity to work alongside a faculty advisor to develop their research and presentation for the forum.

Lyon President Joey King delivered a keynote speech explaining how SCARF and a liberal arts education go hand-in-hand to benefit students, saying it teaches them to be creative, and creativity is “what drives human civilization.”

“The reality is, we don’t teach you to [be creative]; we enable you to have experiences where you learn to do it, where you become comfortable to do it,” King said.

“If we value creative work, it has to be reflective in our institutional priorities, and I think more and more so we’re making that [a priority]. The students who were participating today are the concrete example of what that means and what the outcomes can be.”

Following King, senior Jordan Trant spoke on her experience with research and SCARF.

“Research is more than just 40 hours in lab… it’s also learning how to stand up in front of people and talk about the research,” she said. “Research also gives you the amazing ability to travel. I’ve been to a lot of conferences... It’s a great way to broaden your horizons.”

Trant also acknowledged the role of faculty and thanked them for their mentorship in the student research process.

“It really has a meaningful impact on our education to be able to do research and have a close relationship with the faculty member who encourages us to do our best,” she said.

Each year, presenters choose to participate in poster or oral presentations in arts and performance; humanities; or research.

In the poster presentations category, Kendra Bell won first place in arts and performance for her poster: “A Performance of Beckett One-Acts;” Katie Cruse was named runner-up in humanities for her poster: “The Relationship Between Aesthetics and Worldviews;” and Hannah Smithee won first place for her poster: “The Effects of Racism on Support for Capital Punishment: A Look at U.S. State Demographics.”

Hannah Zang and Luke Shackelford were named runners-up in research for their poster: “Mutational Analyses of a Factor Promoting Cytoplasmic Ribosome Maturation in S.cerevisiae;” and Jordan Trant earned a first-place award in research for her poster: “Development of a Mathematical Model for Computing the Number of Geometrical Isomers of Octahedral Transition Metal Complexes.”

In the oral presentations category, Morgun Henson won first place in arts and performances for her presentation “Public Art: Using Murals to Paint a Community Together;” Matthew Kirkpatrick won first place in humanities for his presentation “Dysfunctional Plenipotentiaries: An Analysis of the Anglo-Irish Negotiations;” Luke Shackelford won first place in research for his presentation “Combating Glioblastoma Resistance to Temozolomide Using Inhibitor of Human DNA Polymerase Kappa.”

“I would like to congratulate all the oral and poster presenters of 2019 SCARF for their outstanding scholarly work as well as the high-quality presentations that we witnessed yesterday evening, and also thank the mentors again for the guidance,” said Mortar Board Advisor and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Irosha Nawarathne.

“The judges had immense difficulty in selecting the winners from each category given the close competition.”