Friday, June 1, 2007
More than 120 students participate in Meeting of Minds
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Oakland University had the largest contingent of students at this year’s Meeting of Minds undergraduate research conference held at the University of Michigan-Flint on May 18. OU was represented by 122 students who presented their research through poster and oral presentations at the annual conference. Their work will now be published in the Meeting of Minds journal, a marked accomplishment for undergraduate researchers.
Stefanie Bohde presented “Bedtime Stories: Vijay Seshadri and the Negotiation for Bi-Cultural Identity” as an oral presentation.
“I completed my Honor’s College thesis and I wanted a way to present all the research I had done on it,” Bohde said. “Meeting of Minds was the perfect avenue for me to do so.”
Seshadri is one of Bohde’s favorite poets. She said his work details a lot of Indian culture and Indian myth and reconciles it with American culture and myths. Bohde began her research more than a year and a half ago. She even had the opportunity to meet Seshadri and have dinner with her to learn from him directly and Bohde said it gave her a deeper understanding about bicultural identity.
“Meeting of Minds is a good place to go for your first undergraduate conference. It’s a receptive audience and you aren’t going to be put down,” Bohde said.
Students presented work from a number of areas including psychology, biology, chemistry, English and art. CamieLee Frahser presented “Earth Art: The Power of Illusions.”
“The project was originally a thesis I had to write for the class Concepts in Modern and Post-Modern Art. Through that, I was introduced to some revolutionary, contemporary artists that work with the environment,” Frahser said.
For her project, Frahser began researching artist Andy Goldsworthy and a few others and even experienced with environmental art herself.
“It started out for a class, but while I was researching, I just got so involved in it that I pushed it to the next level,” Frahser said. She was introduced to Meeting of Minds through Sally Schulter Tardella, special instructor in studio art, and used the research she had done for class as a foundation.
Frahser complete an oral presentation, and while she said she is comfortable speaking in public, she said he was a little nervous because this was her first academic conference.
“The people who come to your presentation come because they are interested in the title or the abstract that was written so you know you already have their attention,” Frahser said. She preferred the oral presentation so she could use visuals to illustrate her research.
Frahser is heading into her senior year as a studio art major with a concentration in art education and new media art. She plans to participate in Meeting of Minds again in the future.
“I’ll probably do something within art again because that’s where my passion is,” Frahser said. “It always helps in your future career or other work you want to pursue to do research related to that field. I’ve been recommending people to get involved with Meeting of Minds. It’s good experience just being with the other student researchers.
The 2008 Meeting of Minds will be held at Oakland University. For more information, visit the Meeting of Minds Web site.