MindExpo showcases research from undergraduate students
MindExpo, an annual event showcasing research from undergraduate students on the Crete campus, took place on Thursday. It was another successful event this year, as more than 100 students participated. Posters were displayed in Nyrop Hall throughout the day, while oral presentations also took place inside Perry Campus Center. In total, there were 57 poster presentations and 24 oral presentations.
“MindExpo provides the opportunity to come together and celebrate the various research projects on campus and the collaboration between faculty and students,” said Jared List, assistant professor of Spanish and coordinator of the event. “As we continue to emphasize and incorporate experiential and active learning pedagogies on campus and in the classroom, MindExpo brings the Doane community together to recognize those achievements.
The event, which has taken place at Doane for an estimated time of nearly 20 years, had 18 individuals judge the poster presentations throughout the day. The judges scored based off the following criteria: clarity of explanation, professionalism, conveying importance of the research in general, and explaining how the research impacts the student professionally. First and second place awards were given to students in the morning and afternoon sessions.
“My favorite part about MindExpo is the showcase part of it all,” said Maddie Elder ’18. “Students spend months, if not years, working on their research for their specific discipline and area of study. Doane has so many talented students, and MindExpo is the best place to show off that talent in one collective setting.” Elder was awarded first place in the afternoon session for her poster presentation, titled “Servant Leadership: Mike Matheny’s Coaching Technique.”
Elder’s research focused on St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who strongly believes in servant leadership. As Elder explains, Matheny faced adversity after losing his fortune from his professional playing days during the 2008 financial crisis. After living with his in-laws for nearly two years, Matheny went on a number of mission trips and worked with multiple charities. After the Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 and manager Tony LaRussa retired, Matheny was hired for the position with no previous managerial experience, in large part, because of his servant leadership. Elder’s presentation outlined how Matheny uses the inverted triangle approach -- someone who is more supportive than he is assertive.
Another student who received an award for their research was Ashley VanFleet ’18, who placed second in the morning session for her presentation “Jump Scare Politics: the Political Impact of Nonpolitical Horror Films.” VanFleet’s research was a year-long project she assisted political science professor Dr. Timothy Hill on.
The research investigates how non-political horror films interact with a person's emotions and political habits or attitudes. VanFleet and Hill found that individuals who watched a horror film were more likely to prefer restrictive immigration policy. “Although there were limitations to our study, this is important because it means that the non-political media people consume could potentially impact the way they vote and the policies they prefer,” VanFleet said.
Other award winners include Zak Stevenson ’18, who received first place in the morning session, and Sydney Looper, Brianna Kempel, and Makayla Parriott, who tied for second place in the afternoon session. Truc Doan was named the recipient of the Dr. David H. Smith Memorial Research Award. Doan’s winning presentation was titled, “An Improved Colorimetric Sensor Method to Localize and Quantify Free Amines in Root Exudates of Maize.”
“For me, MindExpo exemplifies Doane's mission,” List said. “The event showcases how students are engaging with intellectual inquiry through active learning. It provides a space for students to share their research in a professional setting and embodies the LIVE Doane experience. As a faculty member who had students share their research, I was proud of the work and effort that they put towards their projects and presentations.”