USC Upstate Research Symposium

Research Symposium

The 15th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium will be held on April 12, 2019. Make plans to attend.

Scope and purpose of the event:
  • Provide a forum where both faculty and students from primarily undergraduate institutions throughout the Upstate of South Carolina can interact to discuss and share information regarding their research, scholarly and/or creative endeavors. Goal: Stimulate research, grant writing and multi-disciplinary collaborations between Upstate universities and colleges.
  • Provide a forum where students can experience a professionally organized research symposium. Both student and faculty submissions require an online application and a two to three page short paper that must be specifically formatted and presented orally or by poster.Goal: Expose students to a very important and sometimes overlooked aspect of research dissemination.
  •  Provide a forum where high school students throughout the Upstate can interact with college-level faculty and students, and learn about the types of research being pursued at the colleges and universities throughout the Upstate. Goal: Encourage Upstate high school students to remain in the Upstate for their college education.
  •  Provide a forum where business and community leaders throughout the Upstate can interact with faculty and students, and learn about the types of research being pursued at the colleges and universities throughout the Upstate. Goal: Stimulate grant writing and other research-oriented partnerships between Upstate universities and community organizations and businesses.
  •  Provide interactive workshops that educate Upstate faculty, students and community representatives on important aspects of research and scholarship.

Best student presentations and posters are recognized with award certificates at the symposium’s closing ceremony. For information on past symposiums, see Previous Symposium Proceedings and Pictures below. For more information about the event, contact Dr. Melissa Pilgrim, symposium chair.

Call for Participation

Submission Deadline: Feb. 23, 2018 (deadline passed).

To present oral or poster presentations: Faculty and students must submit a short research, scholarly or creative paper (2-3 pages) to the 14th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium. Submissions that do not follow the formatting guidelines closely will not be reviewed. The deadline to submit papers was Feb. 23, 2018 (deadline extended). Late submissions will not be reviewed. Research, scholarly and creative papers from all disciplines are welcomed and can report on completed projects or work in progress. Papers that speak only to forthcoming or intended work are not permitted.

Papers will be reviewed by an inter-university panel (the symposium Program Committee). Papers that successfully make it through the review process will be accepted as oral presentations or poster presentations. Contributing authors can indicate their preference for oral or poster presentations, but may be asked by the Program Committee to change their preference so that presentations can be better grouped into specialized sessions. Student authors are eligible for awards (judging rubrics: oral and poster).

To submit a paper, you must complete the online application and attach your 2-3 page submission:

Symposium Keynote Speaker: Janisse Ray

2018 Keynote Address:

Hope in a Time of Transformation PDF Document Download

Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray is the author of five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of eco-poetry. Her most recent book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, looks at the movement to reclaim the genetics of our food supply. The book has won the Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference, American Horticultural Society Book Award, Nautilus Gold Book Award, Garden Writers Association Gold Award, and Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Award.

In 2014 Ray was awarded an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga., following one from Unity College in Maine in 2007. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, where she was the William Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer 2014.

She is a 2015 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. She won the 2017 Southern Environmental Law Center Award in journalism for her piece on coal ash, published online in The Bitter Southerner: “From Ashes Such as These, What Can Rise?”

Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast, was published by Milkweed Editions in 1999. The book won the Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, American Book Award 2000, Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000. It was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read.  Besides a plea to protect and restore the pine flatwoods, the book is a hard look at family, mental illness, poverty, and religion. Essayist Wendell Berry called the book “well done and deeply moving.” Anne Raver of The New York Times said, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.”

Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home, focusing on rural community, was published in early 2003. Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land, the story of a 750,000-acre wildland between south Georgia and north Florida, came out in 2005. Ray’s collection of poetry, A House of Branches, was released in 2010 and won a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011. Drifting Into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River--a love song to the river of her childhood and a call to action to protect it--was published in 2011.

The author is a visiting professor and writer-in-residence at universities and colleges across the county. She lectures nationally on nature, community, agriculture, seeds, wildness, sustainability, writing, and the politics of wholeness. At home on a farm in southern Georgia, Ray is an organic gardener, tender of farm animals, slow-food cook, and seed-saver. She is very active in her local community. 

In addition to presenting the Keynote Address at the symposium, Janisse will lead an interactive writing workshop entitled “Writing Your Own Story:  A Workshop in Creative Nonfiction & Memoir.”

Registration and Program Schedule

Registration:
Thank you for your interest in the 14th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium. Registration for the event has closed.

Walk-ins are welcome at the event, provided that they report to the registration desk (Sansbury Campus Life Center, Second Floor Lobby) and sign in for the event.

High School Groups:
Junior- and senior-level high school students who intend to pursue higher education are invited to attend the Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium. This is a wonderful opportunity for junior and senior high school students to be exposed to several different fields of research and also interact with university faculty and students throughout the Upstate. 

If your high school would like to participate, please contact the High School Participation Chair on the Program Committee: Cherie Pressley or at 864-503-5730.

Program Workshops:  
Writing Your Own Story: A Workshop in Creative Nonfiction & Memoir
Roadmap to Medical School: The early stages & the role of undergraduate research.

Program Overview:  
The Program Overview. Session Schedule. Registration has closed.

Full Program:
The Full Program Schedule. Registration has closed.

Symposium Campus Map:

The USC Upstate Campus Map for the Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium. Buildings with events and sessions are highlighted in red. Parking lots available for attendees are highlighted in yellow.

Previous Symposium Proceedings and Pictures

A highlight of our symposium is that the event is free to all, which helps make the event accessible to students, faculty and community members from near and far. Thus, the daylong event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors (see below). Such support is greatly appreciated and essential for the advancement of academic research in the Upstate. Students involved in faculty-mentored research enter the work-force with an enhanced skill set, including better problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills in their field of study. Since many students who are educated in the Upstate of South Carolina stay in the area, support of academic research has a direct and positive impact on the Upstate.

14th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 13, 2018

The 14th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium was held on the USC Upstate campus. Over 300 participants attended the event. Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 28 colleges and universities (i.e., Campbell University, Claflin University, Clemson University, Converse College, Francis Marion University, Furman University, Greenville Technical College, Hollins University, Lander University, Limestone College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Medical University of South Carolina, Newberry College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, State University of New York, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina Asheville, University of South Carolina Columbia, University of South Carolina Salkehatchie, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina Upstate, Wake Forest University, and Wofford College). In addition, many local high school students, community organizations and community members participated in the event.

13th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 14, 2017

The 13th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium was held on the USC Upstate campus. Roughly 400 participants attended the event. Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 23 colleges and universities (i.e., Claflin University, Converse College, Florida Institute of Technology, Francis Marion University, Furman University, Gardner-Webb University, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, Limestone College, Midlands Technical College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, USC Aiken, USC Columbia, USC Upstate, and Wofford College) and many local community members.  

12th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 8, 2016

The 12th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium was held on the USC Upstate campus. Over 300 participants attended the event. Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 23 colleges and universities (i.e., Ashville-Buncombe Technical College, Claflin University, Converse College, Gardner-Webb University, Georgia Southern University, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, Limestone College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Stetson University, Trinity Washington University, University of California Berkeley, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, USC Columbia, USC Salkehatchie, USC Upstate, and Wofford College) and many local community members (e.g.,Cryovac, Ethos Combatives, Greenville Hospital System, Greenville Zoo, Kerley Construction, Patewood Memorial Hospital, Piedmont Audubon Society, South Carolina Department of Commerce, Spartanburg Regional Health System, Spartanburg Public Library, Taylor’s Fire Department, and Tryon Garden Club).  

11th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 17, 2015

Our 11th symposium was hosted on USC Upstate's campus. Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 18 colleges and universities (i.e., Clemson University, College of Charleston, Converse College, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, Limestone College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of Iringa - Africa, The University of South Carolina, The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville,The University of South Carolina Upstate,  Virginia Tech, and Wofford College), the USC Upstate Scholars Academy, 4 middle/high schools (i.e.,Chapman High School, Landrum High School, Landrum Middle School, and D. R. Hill Middle School), RL Spencer Communications, Swofford Career Center, Spartanburg Area Conservancy, Spartanburg County Public Library, and the Spartanburg Regional Hospital System. The links below will take you to highlights of the event:

10th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 18, 2014

Our 10th symposium was hosted on USC Upstate’s campus and we had a record year, with over 300 participants attending the event. Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 19 colleges and universities (i.e., Coker College,  College of Charleston, Converse College, Furman University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, Limestone College, Medical University of South Carolina, North Greenville University, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Southwest Louisiana University, Southwest University of Science and Technology-China, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina Upstate, and Wofford College), the USC Upstate Scholars Academy, 4 high schools (i.e., Boiling Springs, Byrnes, Chester, and Dorman), the Daniel Morgan Technology Center, the Greenville Hospital System, the Spartanburg Area Conservancy, and the Spartanburg Public Library. The links below will take you to highlights of the event:

9th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 19, 2013 

Participants, presenters and co-authors represented 17 colleges and universities (i.e., Converse College, College of Charleston, Davidson College, Francis Marion University, Greenville Technical College, Lander University, Limestone College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Wesleyan University, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina Upstate, University of Tulsa and Wofford College), the SC Department of Natural Resources, Spartanburg Day School and Dorman High School. The links below will take you to highlights of the event: 

8th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 20, 2012

7th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 15, 2011

6th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

March 26, 2010

5th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

March 27, 2009

4th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 11, 2008

  • Keynote Speakers:
    • Dr. John Stockwell
    • Mr. Ingo Angermeier
    • Dr. Rosemarie Booze
    • Dr. Michael Dorcas
  • Proceedings
  • Pictures

3rd Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

April 6, 2007

2nd Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

2006

1st Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium

2005

The Symposium Program Committee

Members of the Program and Organizing Committee for the Annual South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium work diligently to ensure a well-organized event of high-quality presentation sessions that are anchored by prominent keynote speakers. The committee members include:

Dr. Melissa Pilgrim, Symposium Chair
Associate Professor of Biology 
Director of Research  
USC Upstate

Dr. Caleb Arrington
Professor of Chemistry 
Wofford College

Dr. Kathleen Brady
Vice Chancellor for External Relations and Partnerships
Executive Director of Metropolitan Studies Institute
USC Upstate

Dr. Jeff Cook
Professor of History 
North Greenville University

Dr. Lee Edwards
Academic Program Director, Biology 
Greenville Technical College

Dr. Mary Jane Farmer
Professor of Psychology 
Spartanburg Methodist College

Dr. Latha Gearheart
Associate Professor of Chemistry 
Physical Chemistry Department Chair 
Presbyterian College  

Dr. Megan Haggard
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Francis Marion University

Dr. Randall Harris
Assistant Professor of Biology   
Claflin University

Dr. Berta H. Hopkins
Dean of Health and Human Services                                                   
Spartanburg Community College 

Dr. Pengju George Luo
Professor, Dean of Basic Sciences
Director of Research
Sherman College of Chiropractic

Elaine Marshall
Director of Sponsored Awards 
USC Upstate

Dr. Tamara McGovern
Associate Professor of Biology 
Limestone College

Cherie Pressley, High School Participation Chair
Regional Workforce Adviser 
SC Department of Commerce                                                  
USC Upstate

Dr. David A. Slimmer
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics 
Professor of Physics 
Lander University

Dr. Bill Wright
Clinical Assistant Professor, Physiology 
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

Map and Directions

The 14th Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium will be held on April 13, 2018, at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg.

University of South Carolina Upstate (interactive mapDriving directions from Greenville SC.
800 University Way (driving directionsDriving directions from Greenville SC.
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Event Map:
The USC Upstate Campus Map for the Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium. Buildings with events and sessions are highlighted in red. Parking lots available for attendees are highlighted in yellow.

Driving Directions:

Coming from Greenville:
directions Driving directions from Greenville SC.

Coming from Charlotte: 
directions Driving directions from Greenville SC.

Coming from Spartanburg:
directions Driving directions from Greenville SC.

Please contact the Program Committee Chair with any questions.