Five English and writing students from Houghton College accompanied Laurie Dashnau, professor of English, to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Memphis, Tenn. The students had the opportunity to present on a topic that they had researched during their independent study with Dashnau and to listen to other students' presentations. Approximately 4,000 students from across the country in all academic disciplines were in attendance.
The five students were:
- Emma Carpenter ’18 examining W.H. Auden’s poetry and reading a few original poems inspired by Auden’s work
- Emily Friesen ’17 presenting on the connections between Jacques Derrida and deconstructionism and the avant-garde artist Joseph Beuys
- Bethany Kuiken ’18 comparing and contrasting the styles and themes of poems from Jane Kenyon and John Berryman
- Grace MacKay ’17 speaking on journaling practices and mood scales
- Alyssa Rogan ’18, discussing the criticism that the Puritans faced in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
According to MacKay, the “coolest thing about the conference was that people from other schools would approach the speakers after presentations and have conversations about their topics … [they] were genuinely interested in the topic and had great questions about the research and aspects that I hadn't thought about before.”
The NCUR was established in 1987 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville to promote undergraduate research in universities throughout the United States.