On April 17, Piedmont’s Quality Enhancement Program, also known by the acronym Q.E.P., will be showcasing the school’s best and brightest in a research exhibition entitled the Lion’s P.R.I.D.E, which stands for Piedmont Research Innovation and Discovery Exhibition.
“The Lions P.R.I.D.E. is a way to showcase the research and creative inquiry projects our undergraduate students have done throughout the year,” said Dr. Julia Schmitz, director of Q.E.P. “These could include, but not limited to, research, internships, Maymester travel, or compass projects.”
As stated by Schmitz, the exhibition will showcase student’s efforts in research projects and other creative endeavors that they have completed during their most recent year at Piedmont. Schmitz, alongside a team of additional faculty and staff members, is working to produce the exhibition.
“Q.E.P. is spearheading the day, but as with any big projects it takes the support of everyone,” Schmitz said. “I am working with the VPAA’s office, the deans, institutional advancement, as well as reaching out to student affairs. I also have the support of the other Q.E.P. subcommittees as needed, including Assessment, Communications, Fellows, Athens, and Student Committee. There is the potential for students to volunteer on the day of the event for community service hours, so I have also reached out to the Greek organizations.”
Professors can nominate their own students to present at the exhibition. One of the members of the Communications Q.E.P. subcommittee, assistant mass communications professor Dr. Melissa Tingle, nominated two of her students to present at the Lion’s P.R.I.D.E.
“Oftentimes, the teachers are the only ones who get to see the student’s scholarship,” Tingle said. “Sometimes students produce really creative pieces, and we wanna offer a venue for them to showcase this. Not just to their peers, but to the community at large.”
Tingle works alongside the members of the Communications Q.E.P. subcommittee to create promotional materials for the exhibition.
“We have particular goals in place,” Tingle said. “We want to, obviously, encourage students to participate. We want to encourage faculty members to nominate students to present in the showcase. We want to encourage the campus community to embrace the idea of this showcase.”
Although to some, the word ‘research’ might trigger thoughts of extensive hours in the library that lead to one achieving a ‘geek’ status by their peers, Tingle hopes that the Lions P.R.I.D.E. exhibition will turn the preconceived negative opinions into positive realizations and career advancements.
“When people think research, it’s like there is a nerd alert,” Tingle said. “But that’s not what this is. This is stuff that we are already producing as part of our good work at Piedmont College, and now we have a venue to display it all and show it to the world. Hopefully, this will also open up new doors for students as they move through college.”
Schmitz and Tingle both have high hopes for the turnout of the Lion’s P.R.I.D.E., and if the turnout is right, there are higher hopes that this research exhibition could become a yearly tradition at Piedmont College.
“I would like to see this become a yearly tradition at Piedmont with it growing in number of presenters each year,” Schmitz said. “Many other colleges already have an exhibition similar to this. This is a way for students to show their classmates, faculty, and staff all of the wonderful things they have done. I know that students will be nervous about presenting, even I still get nervous! But we are all here to support you in your endeavors.”
The exhibition will take place on April 17, in the Swanson Center, from noon to 5 p.m. For more information regarding the exhibition, contact Dr. Julia Schmitz at [email protected], or visit https://www.piedmont.edu/lions-pride.