Seven Tusculum College students participated in the 2013 Blue Ridge Undergraduate Conference on March 8 and 9, with one of the students receiving recognition for their poster project.
Chelsea White, a junior museum studies and history major from New Jersey, received the “Outstanding Poster” award for her exhibit, “Mirage of the Frontier.” The exhibit focused on the gender roles portrayed in Western art or “cowboy art,” and how modern assumptions are based on the interpretations of the West portrayed by this genre. White was advised on her project by Tusculum professors Dr. David Key, Dr. Peter Noll and Dr. Joel Van Amberg.
Also participating with a poster presentation was Tom Salinas, a museum studies and history major from Brownsville, Texas who is a senior. “Texas Roots: The Misnomer of Revolution” by Salinas investigates how the roots of the Texas Revolution define it more as an act of secession than a revolution.
Five students presented papers during the conference, which is designed to encourage undergraduates in colleges in the Appalachian region to conduct research projects by providing a high-quality, low pressure forum for presentations. This year’s conference was hosted by Lincoln Memorial University with approximately 90 students participating.
Presenting papers were:
Ryan Barker, a junior from Laurens, S.C., majoring in history and English with a creative writing concentration, presented, “Roman Britain: Claudius’ Social Obligation.”
Barker’s paper explored the reasons for the Roman invasion of Britain under Emperor Claudius and the historical significance of the island’s conquest using a lens of social and cultural obligation.
Cory Callahan, a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in chemistry, made a presentation about “The Implementation of Distributed Drug Discovery at Tusculum College.” Callahan, who is from Bristol, focused on research at the college to synthesize, purify and characterize a series of compounds for evaluation as anti-malarial agents for the Distributed Drug Discovery project, developed by researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Isiah Lyman, a senior from Boiling Springs, S.C. majoring in history and political science, discussed his research of “The Presentation of American Slavery in the History Textbooks in Tennessee from the 1940s to the 1970s. In his paper, Lyman illustrated how the section on American slavery has changed over time in high school textbooks and explored the possible influence of national, state and local governments on how the topic was presented.
Senior Samantha Lyons, a history major from Rogersville, explored “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender Modeling Using Frontier Images.” Lyons’ paper examined how the 20th century’s interpretation of the West and the frontier provided general modeling and guidelines for the behavior of children, whether intentionally or not.
Jack Scariano III presented his research about “The Changing Image of George Custer.” Scariano examined how Custer’s image has changed in the media from the glorification as an American hero in the late 1800s to a perpetrator of the genocide of Native Americans in the 20th century and how the changes of views of Custer reflect broader changes in society. Scariano is a junior history major from Knoxville.