Student Symposium goes online to larger audience

By Tiffany Moore
Transcript Correspondent

The coronavirus created many first’s for Ohio Wesleyan, but not all of them are bad.

OWU will still host its annual Student Symposium this year, but for the first time it will be online, opening it up indefinitely to a wider audience and giving students more room to show off their projects.

Typically, the symposium is a one-day event where students present their research projects live or on posters. But this year, they will get an opportunity to create a webpage that is scheduled to go live the week of May 4. OWU will train chosen applicants to create web pages using the university’s content management system.

The Student Symposium is used to showcase summer internships, theory-to-practice grants, senior capstones and other academic projects done by OWU students.

The website will be open to the public indefinitely, which is expected to boost the audience and offer an opportunity for prospective students to view student research projects, said Will Kopp, OWU’s chief communication officer.

“I think it will be something that OWU will be proud to show to prospective students and families,” Kopp said.

Students can create a webpage to show videos, photos, text and illustrations related to their research. Previously, about 40-to-50 applicants applied annually, including those applying for presentation or posters.

This year, 30 students applied, but that is a good number considering current circumstances and changes due to the virus, said Lisa ho, assistant director of international and off-campus programs.

“We feel very good about how many students were still willing to participate given the new format,” Ho said.

The research topics evenly cover academic disciplines such as humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. They are also well distributed between independent studies, class projects and grant-funded programs, Ho said.

Digital posters of research projects from previous years can still be accessed through the OWU library Digital Commons site, said Ellen Arnold, associate professor of history and manager of this year’s student symposium,

Arnold says she hopes students will feel proud of the work they have done while using the new online format.

“I hope that all the students involved will feel proud of the fact that such a wide audience will be able to see the results of their hard work,” Arnold said.

The symposium will be promoted to students, families and prospective students through email, social media and the OWU website.  The site will also be linked from major web pages to draw in a larger audience, Kopp said.

Apiary coming to OWU, bees welcome

Monnett Garden. Image courtesy of
Monnett Garden. Image courtesy of

Anna L. Davies, Transcript Correspondent

In a partnership with Stratford Ecological Center, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Monnett Garden will get a honey producing and observation apiary on April 22 for students of all majors to use.

The apiary is financed by an approximately $1,000 Theory-to-Practice grant written by junior zoology and nonfiction writing double major Meg Deeter. The grant Deeter received will cover the costs of beekeeping equipment and a stipend for a current lecture series about beekeeping by Stratford apiarist Dave Noble.

Noble’s last two lectures have been about the pollination industry and the honey bee genus Apis, respectively. Stratford will be providing the hives for no charge and will act as the main apiary caretaker and owner. “It’s a growing trend for campuses to have apiaries, and I wanted to bring that here,” Deeter said.

“I’m hoping for a foundation for students like me. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I want it to be something that stays when I’m gone.” “My main goal is to have a hands-on experience for parasitology and entomology students,” Deeter said.

Deeter said the apiary would still be open to students of any major. “I emphasized in my grant that this project would be interdisciplinary,” she said. “I don’t like the sciences and the arts being separated.”

Deeter said she was inspired to start the apiary over the summer while interning at a fish and wildlife center and watching her boss breed honeybees. While staying late in parasitology lab last semester, Deeter also overheard OWU professor of zoology Ramon A. Carreno mention wanting an observation hive.

“I also want an outreach for kids. Dave Noble helps with OWjL (Ohio Wesleyan Junior League) and wants to bring kids here to campus to study our apiary,” Deeter said.

Noble’s focus is getting young people interested in bees. “I came to bees when I was in college. My mentors started keeping bees when they were eight,” he said. “10,000 kids on average come to Stratford every year on field trips. I get to interact with all of them,” Noble said.

Like Deeter, Noble said he also wants science, humanities and social science college students to get involved. “I’m a huge proponent of the liberal arts because you have a specific major but get exposed to all these other things to create a wide foundation for life,” Noble said.

Noble’s next lecture is on March 28 and will be about threats to honeybees. The series continues with an April 11 lecture on honey bee genetics and an April 18 lecture on how to not get stung.

All lectures will take place at noon in Schimmel-Conrades Science Center room 163.