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UNG faculty present research at symposium

Mingyuan Yan, assistant professor in the Mike Cottrell College of Business explains her research to Clay Rowell, associate professor and department head of the clinical mental health counseling program during the 2016 faculty research conference, SOIRE.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Office of Research and Engagement, in collaboration with the Center for Teaching, Learning and Leadership (CTLL), hosted the 2016 Symposium on Innovation, Research and Engagement (SOIRE) on Nov. 11 to celebrate UNG faculty and staff scholarly work.

The annual symposium, held this year on the Gainesville Campus, showcased a broad spectrum of faculty and staff scholarship from each of the university's campuses.

"The conference included representatives from all five colleges and the departments of academic and student affairs, with individual panel presentations spanning topics such as clinical mental health, music history, communications, community engagement, and effective teaching and engagement strategies; a larger poster presentation session, and a musical performance and art exhibition from the artist-scholars of the College of Arts & Letters," said Dr. Rebecca Johnston, associate professor of music and assistant director of CTLL.

In the first of two panels that focused on community research and the scholarship of teaching and learning, Dr. Terry Easton of UNG's English department focused on community-based scholarship that involves multiple disciplines. Dr. Esther Morgan-Ellis, assistant professor of music, music history and world music, showcased a specific area of research in her project, titled "Community Singing in Baltimore, 1915."

During the poster session, "Brass Fireworks: A Performance Presentation of Music for Brass and Piano," was performed by Dr. Adam Frey, assistant professor of music and director of brass studies, and Dr. Joanna Kim, associate professor of music and director of keyboard studies. Dr. Chris Dockery, associate professor of visual arts, presented faculty and student work that is part of a broader community engagement project in conjunction with the Center for Appalachian Studies: "Art-Based Research in Appalachian Studies: Exploring Community Discourse through the Making of Things (An Exhibition of Research Objects and Methodologies)." Dr. Laura Getty, professor of English, presented her exploratory research of the modern concepts of education in China titled "False Assumptions: The Challenges and Politics of Teaching in China."

"SOIRE is a reaffirmation of the value of a liberal education," said Dr. Andy Novobilski, UNG’s chief research officer. "Each faculty member that participated, whether as presenter or participant, was a tangible reminder to their colleagues of the value placed on their scholarship."

The second panel kept the theme of diversity and globalization with research in visual literacy by Rebecca Rose, head librarian for the Cumming Campus, and English professor Dr. Patricia Worrall, and new pedagogical methods for student engagement in the classroom in a study done by Dr. Ray-Lynn Snowden, associate professor of communications.

"Nearly 40 research projects were presented by faculty showing passion and enthusiasm for their work to visitors, faculty, and staff who attended the symposium," Johnston said.

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