USC Upstate News

USC Upstate Students Are Clear Winners At Fifth Annual S.C. Upstate Research Symposium

03- 31- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - The fifth annual South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium, presented by the University of South Carolina Upstate, was held on Friday, March 27 and ended with 12 USC Upstate students winning awards in their respective categories.

No fewer than 10 South Carolina institutions of higher learning - including all seven from the Upstate - converged on the Marriott in downtown Spartanburg where more than 60 presentations were given throughout the day, from faculty and student research papers in nine categories that included health care, education, music and the arts and human and civil rights.

“Participation has grown each year,” said Sebastian van Delden, symposium chairman and director of research support at USC Upstate, with the amount of schools more than tripling from last year and 250 people attending this year.

Van Delden said the purpose of the symposium is two-fold. One is to spark collaborations between the different schools, which are not research-focused schools. Another goal of the event is to promote interaction between colleges and the community, stimulating grant writing and other research-oriented partnerships.

"We're not research-one (centered) schools, so it's impressive how many people are doing research - finding the time to do it, getting grant money and publishing papers," van Delden said. "And also it's exciting how a lot of schools are including students in their research. It's a good experience for the students because it's coming up with answers to unknown problems, so it really reinforces their critical-thinking skills. It's an important part of the education process."

The Symposium winners are listed below.

Best Paper Awards:

  • Math and Computer Science: Nicole Hodge (Advisor: Sebastian van Delden, USC Upstate)
  • Social Science: Vernette Porter (Advisor: Jennifer Parker and Stefanie Keen, USC Upstate)
  • Natural Science: Derek Griffith (Advisor: Jeannie Chapman, USC Upstate)
  • History and Politics: McKensie Hall (Advisor: Rachel Snow, USC Upstate)

Best Poster Awards:

  • Math and Computer Science: Michael Blackmon (Advisor: Gamal Elnagar and Kelly Waters, USC Upstate)
  • Social Science: Vernette Porter (Advisor: Jennifer Parker and Stefanie Keen, USC Upstate)
  • Natural Science: Alexsis Ferguson (Advisor: Melissa Pilgrim, USC Upstate)
  • History and Politics: Seth Rubenstein (Advisor: Trevor Rubenzer, USC Upstate)

Best Presentation Awards:

  • Math and Computer Science: Edward Stokes (Advisor: Wayne Smith, Presbyterian College)
  • Social Science: Ashley Higgins (Advisor: Leon Couch, Converse College)
  • Natural Science: Chelsea Kross (Advisor: Melissa Pilgrim, USC Upstate)
  • History and Politics: Jennifer Jones (Advisor: Andrew Myers, USC Upstate)