Celebrating Student Achievement (CSA) Day is a showcase of strong Meredith College students. The annual event, which features research presentations, performances and creative projects, and other activities that honor student success, was held on April 8.
“This is a day celebrating exploration and intellectual life,” said President Jo Allen, who calls CSA Day her favorite Meredith tradition.
Provost Matthew Poslusny also sees CSA Day as a celebration.
“Education is not a spectator sport, you have to be active and involved,” Poslusny said. “CSA Day is a celebration of that.”
Approximately 125 students presented research during CSA Day.
The day began with poster presentations on topics including “The Effect of Theater on High School Academics,” “Music Icons in Fashion,” “The Effects of Nicotine Sulfate on Escherichia coli,” and “Relationship between High School Size and Transitional Stress among First Year College Women.”
There were 13 conference sessions that featured in-depth presentations of student research.
Many of the students’ presentations focused on topics that support their career goals. Callie Davis, ’15, who wants to become an orthodontist, researched the physics behind braces. Sarah Boykin, ’14, who plans to become a veterinarian, shared her patient profile for Rocinante, the horse in the novel Don Quxiote. She was one of four students from an honors course that used Miguel de Cervantes’ classic work as a basis for research.
Other students offered insights gained from study abroad. Taylor Haines, ’14, presented “The Green Adventurer,” which explored the environmental impact of travel, including eco-tourism alternatives. Jasmine Johnson, ’14, presented her findings of the differing levels of materialism found in birthday celebrations in the United States and Costa Rica. Students also shared their winning compositions from the 2013 study abroad essay contest.
Students in art and design demonstrated their skills in sessions including an interior design showcase, a fashion show, performances, and art history presentations.
Celebrating Student Achievement Day powerfully illustrates the value of the undergraduate research experience.
Research “helps students see where curiosity can take them and … creates a lifelong habit of asking good questions and seeking good answers,” Allen said.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Meredith Magazine.