This October, three undergraduate seniors from UTC’s Department of Art – Arden Craft, Alyson McGowan, and Hannah Wimberly Lowe – will present their original research at the SECAC 2019 Conference. SECAC is the country’s second largest national non-profit organization devoted to education and research in the visual arts, with individual and institutional membership of a global scope. Hosted by the UTC Department of Art, the 2019 Conference in Chattanooga (October 16–19, 2019) will be the largest in the organization’s history, with 140+ sessions and 650+ chairs and presenters exploring a multitude of topics.
Craft, McGowan, and Wimberly Lowe will share work they developed as part of special projects and seminars at UTC. Both Craft and McGowan’s presentations tie into the work they are conducting towards their Honors theses. Craft is a double major in Studio Art and Art History. Her paper, Constructions of Personhood: An Exploration into Artist James Luna’s Work, The Artifact Piece (1986), engages in a postcolonial critique of the popular exploitation of Native American imagery. Focusing on one performance from Luna, Craft uncovers the entangled nature of identity, consumerism, and difference embedded in American culture from the 1980s to today. McGowan’s paper, A Psychoanalysis of Caravaggio, reflects her academic interest in the Italian Baroque period, while delving into historiography, Lacanian theory, and her own visual analysis of the acclaimed artist’s self-portraiture. She conducted on-site archival research in Italy to develop this project, and currently works with the Hunter Museum of American Art as a Gallery Assistant. McGowan was the recipient of the Gavin Townsend Memorial Award for Art History majors last year, and presented preliminary research towards this project at URACE Research Dialogues in April 2019. Wimberly Lowe is also an Art History major, and her paper, National Parks 2050: Reinventing American Landscape to Communicate Environmental Urgency, draws from research conducted during her curatorial internship at the Hunter Museum and an upper level Art History seminar. She examines the intersection of landscape imagery and ecocritical theory to explore how the arts have advocated for environmental action from the 1840s through today.
Presenting at SECAC will provide these students with valuable professional experience and feedback on their original research from a broad community of artists and experts in and beyond Chattanooga. Their participation will also grant them exposure and networking opportunities as they explore future graduate study. Craft, McGowan, and Wimberly Lowe’s commitment to the research panel highlights their leadership as part of a growing community of students rigorously engaged in Art and Art History at UTC. Their presentations at SECAC are generously sponsored by UTC’s Department of Art and URACE program. In addition to SECAC, these students have also committed to share their work and experiences at the upcoming URACE Research Dialogues in April 2020.
We’re excited for UTC students Arden Craft, Hannah L. Winberly Lowe, and Alyson McGowan (pictured), who are presenting their research at the national SECAC Art conference in Chattanooga from October 16-19 (https://secacart.org/page/Chattanooga), with support from Art History Professors Olivia Wolf and Stephen Mandravelis. UTC Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor is supporting #secac2019 conference registration for these students!
Joshua won first place for his paper titled “Speculation and Wheat” at the Academy of Economics and Finance Conference Undergraduate Research Competition held in Tampa, FL, Feb 6-8, 2019.
Joshua’s Research Journey
I became interested in Econometrics last summer after beginning my search for graduate programs. During my search, I noticed that nearly every school recommended or required exposure to econometrics at the undergraduate level. I then enrolled in Dr Alam’s Intro to Econometrics for the Fall 18 semester. Early in the semester I communicated to Dr. Alam that I was serious about the course and wanted to learn the most I could, and he gave me additional textbooks and publications to read outside of class (these would then become the basis for my research). One of the course requirements was to research and present a topic at the end of the semester, which is where I initially presented my paper. Afterwards, he told me about the AEF Conference and asked if I would be interested in attending and submitting my paper. I did and won first place!
In sum, this was the most challenging (and one of the most rewarding) experience I have had. I came away from this with a whole new level of respect for anyone who has completed or even attempted a PhD. At the conference I got to meet and talk with so many extremely intelligent and friendly people, which filled me with optimism and humility. I cannot thank Dr. Alam enough for all his help/support. Like many students, I have always wanted to participate in research, but never really knew how to have the conversation. He completely took me under his wing and was both a terrific teacher and mentor.
I have been accepted and intend to enroll in SUNY Buffalo’s MSc in Financial Risk Management program, specifically their quantitative finance track. I believe their program will best allow me to improve my research and quantitative skills, thereby improving my PhD application. Long-term, I hope to complete a PhD that allows me to specialize in Finance. Afterwards, I hope to continue to work in research in either the public or private sector. As I am only just beginning my post-secondary education, my research interests are especially broad, but I would prefer to research topics that have some sort of public policy implication. I am currently working on a research paper alongside Dr. Alam that builds off my initial “Speculation and Wheat” paper.
On Tuesday February 26, six UTC undergraduate researchers traveled to Nashville to participate in the annual Posters at the Tennessee State Capitol event. The annual event provides an opportunity for students to share research findings with legislators, and communicate the transformational power of undergraduate research activities. Congratulations to the 2019 presenters!
List of presenters:
Sara Bey (Physics), “Experimental Studies of Transport Properties of Novel Amorphous Fe-Dy-O Thin Films”
Mentor: Dr. Tatiana Allen
Hannah Hightower (Biology), “Tracking Cicada Susceptibility to Fungal Infection in Urban Habitats”
Mentor: Dr. DeAnna Beasley
Karina Kraevsky-Phillips (Nursing), “Nice girls finish last: Acquiescent assertiveness attributed to workplace violence exposure and uncivil nursing encounters”
Mentor: Dr. Katharine Kemplin
Nicole Messer (Political Science), “Ebb and Flow: How the Supreme Court Distributed Power in the Twentieth Century”
Mentor: Dr. Kelli Nelson
Morgan Royer (Psychology), “The Effect of Therapy Dogs on Preoperative Anxiety”
Mentor: Dr. Preston Foerder
Trevor Paratore (Chemistry), “Photoacoustic Harmony: Using Musical Concepts to Study Mixed Gases through PA Spectroscopy”
Mentor: Dr. Han Park
“I used to think that research is more valid when it deals with concretely following the scientific method, but that opinion has been challenged by my own experience with UR this past summer and by people I met at the SURF conference. I think any research, regardless if it follows strict rules of science, is effective in isolating a topic one might be interested in, or not interested in, when pursuing a future career. This, in my experience, is something constantly on students’ minds but no one ever seems sure how to go about confidently deciding something they may want to research in graduate school or how to align it to a career path. UR is a great way to start and has helped me.” – URaCE Fellow 2018
Below is a curated gallery of URaCE students at SURFs 2018 conference