Student research presented at Symposium


More than 90 posters were presented at the 2022 Piedmont Symposium over three different sessions. Posters were presented in the Commons Gym throughout the day. PHOTO // LEO GALARZA

More than 400 students presented 255 different research projects at the 5th Annual Piedmont Symposium on April 6.

“Piedmont Symposium is an exciting day when the entire university comes together to celebrate the work of our students,” said President James F. Mellichamp. “I know I speak for everyone at Piedmont when I say that we are proud and inspired by our students, who are proving they are ready to confront complex issues and make meaningful contributions to their fields, communities, and the world.”

Presentations and posters represented nearly all of Piedmont’s majors. Education majors Kinsley Smith and Miranda Caudell presented “Homework: Is it Effective?” The 15-minute presentation centered around elementary students and math. Both students are in a “math for teachers” class so their topic needed to be math related.

“We started looking for topics that we could pull lots of information from, and this was one both of us thought would be a good controversial topic that we agree with on both sides,” Smith said.

In his presentation “Analysts of VO2MAX and Sports efficiency,” health sciences graduate student Max Miller sought out to answer that question which activity requires more oxygen: running or cycling?

VO2MAX is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise. Miller conducted his exercise on the different VO2MAXs of runners and cyclists. “I grew up doing all the endurance sports from running, swimming and biking,” said Miller. “There is a friendly competition between all runners and cyclists on who actually is the better endurance athlete, and I wanted to find out myself.”

Music major Julia DeMello took music to tell a story at the 2022 Piedmont Symposium. Doing, “a musical collage to tell the story of a storm,” DeMello focused her research on the Romantic Era, the music of today and her own compositions.

“We are going to go on a musical journey together,” DeMello said as she started her presentation wanting the audience to imagine a storm. “Whether it is a literal storm we’ve seen or it’s a storm inside your head, there is some kind of conflict that is created.”

DeMello cited her themes: isolation, contemplation, hope, fear, frustration and resolutions. As her soundscape played the audience could hear the flow of the music as it changes between the different sections, and could tell the change of mood as the storm started and then ended. These themes are the emotions one feels when going through a conflict and the process of the conflict being resolved.

After COVID forced an all virtual Symposium in 2020, and a hybrid version in 2021, Symposium Director Dr. Julia Schmitz said it was great to be “back to normal.”

“There was a great energy in the room on Symposium Day as ideas were shared and new ideas for further research were sparked.”