Success Story


Back to Success Stories
<< Return to Current Success Stories

Symposium Reflects ‘Apprentices to Knowledge’

Symposium Reflects ‘Apprentices to Knowledge’Learning through research is active, as opposed to gaining knowledge by traditional teaching. Dr. William Harris, associate professor of environmental science and studies, said the team selected this year’s theme, “Apprentices to Knowledge,” for the 2013 Research Symposium to reflect on students’ active participation in the learning process.

“When students are involved in research activities, either alone or with a faculty mentor, they are working to create the knowledge that they will possess,” Harris said. “This gives the students more ownership of that knowledge. One of the unique things that we can offer here at UST is an increased participation of students in research projects in upper-division courses, as well as through funded research projects, internships, service-learning experiences and thesis work.”

The Symposium will run from April 11-13. The poster reception will be 4-6 p.m. on Thursday in Crooker Center, and will transfer to Jerabeck Center on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and Saturday at 8 a.m. to noon. Poster judging is 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday. The oral presentations are 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in Crooker Center.  The Honors Colloquium is at 4 p.m. on Friday in Scanlan Room, Jerabeck Center.

Dr. Dominic Aquila, vice president for academic affairs said the Research Symposium theme describes a way of learning that has a long tradition in Catholic education and thrives at St. Thomas.

“Apprentices have a unique and close relationship to their teachers, teachers who model a whole way of life surrounding the pursuit of knowledge and the constant joy of new discoveries,” Aquila said. “We are all ‘apprentices to knowledge’ insofar as we acknowledge that learning is a lifelong project.  The University of St. Thomas Research Symposium is an annual reminder of the joy of such an apprenticeship.”

Harris said, with UST's small class size and low faculty-to-student ratio, the University can provide these experiences to a large percentage of our student population.

University President Dr. Robert Ivany said every year, undergraduate students present educational, interesting and even inspiring topics at the Research Symposium.

“Their accomplishments reflect the inspirational guidance of their faculty advisors who devote a great amount of time and energy to their students research and presentation,” Ivany said. “The annual Research Symposium is a glimpse of the excellence of a St. Thomas education.”

It is an opportunity for students to "strut their stuff" in front of faculty, staff, students and the general public, Harris said. Symposium chair, Harris said presentations will help students develop communication skills and confidence within their field, and the broader public will see what the University has to offer.

“Research experience can also show a potential employer or graduate school that the student is capable of functioning at a higher development level within their field than someone without such experiences,” Harris said. “This should make our students more attractive for employment or selection for graduate admissions to the schools of their choice.”

Attendees will include alumni, advisory committee members, judges for the poster session and community members of Galveston-Houston. The University community is encouraged to attend these presentations and support their colleagues and fellow students in the presentation of their research projects.

For more information, contact Harris at 713-525-3805 or The event is sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Committee.

Prof Wheeler Crawford- Angela Lopez- Prof Tracy CoveyName: Angela G. Lopez
Major: Chemistry & Physics
Advisors: Dr. Wheeler Crawford and Dr. Tracy Covey

Read Abstract: Synthesis of Dinitrochalcones, Their Reduction to Diaminochalcones and Their Evaluation of Biological Activity


Srijana Shrestha and Addison RoyName: Addison Roy
Major: Psychology
Advisors: Dr. Srijana Shrestha

Read Abstract: Just Dance 2 and the Role of Social Facilitation


Catherine Barber and Angelic SetchellName: Angelic G. Setchell
Major: Education
Advisors: Dr. Catherine Barber

Read Abstract: Infidelity at One's Fingertips


Maury Harris and Kelly ShieldsName: Kelly Shields
Major: Environmental Science & Studies
Advisor: Dr. Maury Harris

Read Abstract: Using Computer Mapping to Analyze Issues Related to the Debate about Voting Restrictions

Top photo: Top row: Dr. Catherine Barber, Angela Lopez; Second row: Kelly Shields, Dr. Wheeler Crawford, Dr. Tracy Covey, Addison Roy; Bottom row: Dr. Srijana Shrestha, Angelic Setchell

Second photo: Angela G. Lopez, top, with advisors Dr. Wheeler Crawford and Dr. Tracy Covey.

Third photo: Addison Roy, right, with advisor Dr. Srijana Shrestha, left.

Fourth photo: Angelic G. Setchell, right, with advisor Dr. Catherine Barber, left.

Bottom photo: Kelly Schields, right, with advisor Dr. Maury Harris, left.