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Media Contact: Kyle Huneycutt
(706) 379-5319,
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Young Harris College Hosts Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Day

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College hosted the fourth annual “From Petri Dishes to Paint Brushes” Undergraduate Research Day on March 17. The event showcased student and faculty research across all academic disciplines.

“Participating in Undergraduate Research Day allowed me and other students to further deepen our understanding within a specific topic,” said senior business and public policy major Tim Mohlin Torringer, of Sweden. “It is a very good initiative from YHC, as it not only gives us valuable experiences in researching and presenting, but it also serves as good preparation for all of those who intend to pursue graduate school.”

The event included 30 oral and 21 poster presentations addressing topics ranging from “Photometry: Light Measurements of Stars” to “The Rejection of Materialism and Capitalism in ‘Walden.’’’ Other presentations included “Patterns in Snake Behavior in Response to Increasing Human Interaction,” “Auschwitz: One Town’s Five Year Journey from Unknown to Infamy,” and “The Evolution of Healthcare in Southern Appalachia.”

The event’s organizer, Dean of the Division of Mathematics and Science and Associate Professor of Biology Linda G. Jones, Ph.D., expressed her excitement over the event’s growth, noting a 50 percent increase in participation from last year.

“I loved seeing the diversity in the presentations, and I hope students and faculty were excited to see what others are doing,” said Dr. Jones. “The closing session was a great opportunity for our current students to hear from those who have graduated and been successful in graduate programs.”

The closing session titled “Experience, Insight and Values in Graduate Research,” was coordinated by Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Eric Dickman, Ph.D. During the session, four YHC alumni were featured including Ashley Cross, ’13, a microbiology Ph.D. student at Emory University Laney Graduate School, Jenny Hite, ’07, who earned a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University in 2014, Alyssa Lowery, ’14, a philosophy Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University, and Harris Mason, ’14, a first-year law student at the University of Georgia School of Law.

More than 15 faculty members sponsored or co-presented sessions with students, who enjoyed the mutually beneficial results of conducting and presenting research with students outside of a traditional classroom setting.

“It’s virtually unheard of in most institutions for an undergraduate to work with a professor as if they were a colleague,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Chris Richardson, Ph.D. “Our students are given an amazing opportunity at an early stage in their intellectual development.”

With a goal of showcasing research across the curriculum, this annual event held on the YHC campus originated in 2013.

“Each discipline has their own idea of what research is,” said Dr. Jones. “At our event, you can hear a biology presentation followed by one regarding philosophy. It gets you out of your own niche—and that’s what a liberal arts education is all about.”

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,200 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. In 2014, the College was granted active membership in NCAA Division II and is a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2015-2016 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit

Undergraduate Research Day Presentation

Students gave oral presentations to classmates and faculty during the 2016 Undergraduate Research Day.

Undergraduate Research Day Crowd

YHC’s Woodwind Trio performed for attendees in between sessions.

Undergraduate Research Day Student with presentation board

Students created and presented posters during Undergraduate Research Day.