Westminster College Community Learns from Over 150 Students at Undergraduate Scholars Forum

The entire Westminster College community came together Thursday, April 10, to learn about topics as wide ranging as the use of drones in modern warfare, the economic impact of the Olympics, the prognosis on gun control, the current polarization of political parties and poetry readings on “Watching the World” as students showcased research accomplishments in their various academic disciplines.

One day is set aside every year for the Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum, a special Westminster event day established seven years ago to allow students to highlight their achievements in a formal and comprehensive way for students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees.

Over 150 students from 16 majors offered paper presentations, presentations using posters or multi-media and creative performances and readings to celebrate their academic achievements.

“The Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum is based on a similar concept used at America’s most prominent Ivy League schools to highlight student achievements in a formal and comprehensive way,” says Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe.  “Our Forum is truly a celebration of scholarship on our campus and a way to show off all the great work our students do.”

Activities for the Forum began with a welcome by Dr. Carolyn Perry, Senior Vice President of the College and Dean of Faculty, in Champ Auditorium.

The morning keynote address was delivered by Dr. James Spriggs II (’89), who is the Sydney W. Souers Professor of Government and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Washington University.  Dr. Spriggs will return to Westminster on Alumni Weekend to be honored as an Alumni Achievement Award winner.

The presentations at the Forum were judged by some of the members of the Teaching and Learning Committee and awards were given in both the paper and poster categories.

The two winning entries in the paper division were judged a tie for first place.  Winners were Alyssa Baker, a senior from Town and Country, MO with her presentation “A Safer War?  The Impact of Drones in Targeted Killings” and Richard Sterns, a junior from Chesterfield, MO for his presentation “An Analysis of the Ideology of Modern American Secessionists.”

First place in the poster division went to Yuwei Chen, a junior from Nanjing, China, and Ammanisa Sawuti for their presentation “Characterization of Transition Metal Complexes” and second place to Haylee Rethman, a senior from Clever, MO for the entry “Rosa Parks and Oprah Winfrey.”

The Westminster Teaching and Learning Committee organized the Scholars Forum and created the program.  The Westminster Chapter of Alpha Chi and Westminster Student Ambassadors served as hosts for the event.

The Forum was made possible thanks to the generous donations of Gail and David (’68) Stubbs, Thad Stubbs (’00), Courtney (Swan) Stubbs (01) and Beth Stubbs (00).

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