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Cornerstone Undergraduate and Graduate Students Showcase Research at Annual Academic Symposium

News May 1, 2024

Over 100 exhibits on April 18, including poster presentations, oral presentations, and musical performances, highlighted the breadth of student-authored research, original compositions, and artwork completed at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. An opening celebration welcomed students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of Cornerstone with a survey of the day’s presentation topics and encouragement that academic study pursuits for the glory of God are worship.

“Scholarship is a beautiful opportunity to explore the world that God has made,” Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, president of Cornerstone, said during the event’s morning ceremony in Christ Chapel. “We must always endeavor to speak rightly of God — who He is, what He does, what He has made, and how He governs the world.”

Students, supported by faculty sponsors, shared quantitative and qualitative data from their learning endeavors as well as creative projects from programs such as business, engineering, kinesiology, the humanities, communication, Biblical studies, and the social sciences. An awards ceremony distributed over $2,000 in awards to students in recognition for excellence in outstanding scholarship.

As Cornerstone faculty prepare students to present original works that align with the characteristics outlined in Boyer’s Model of Scholarship, students learn how the discipline of academic study, practices that lead to proficiencies, and communication of new insights can influence the world for Christ.

“I believe research is an extraordinary opportunity for students of Cornerstone to experience hands-on learning; develop and hone their skills in their discipline; network and collaborate with peers and professionals; and grow professionally as they prepare to enter the workforce,” reflected Dr. James Sackett, assistant professor of kinesiology and Celebration of Scholarship committee chair. “Research provides a unique learning environment through which many students thrive, and I love seeing students excel in all aspects of research, whether it be data collection and analysis or dissemination of their findings.”

Activities such as Celebration of Scholarship provide participants with valuable hands-on learning as they receive mentorship in research methodology from faculty, collaborate with peers and professionals in their field of study, and apply their real-world findings before graduation. In addition, this work can shape students’ understanding of their vocations and callings.

“A highlight for me [of my Cornerstone experience] would be getting to be a part of Celebration of Scholarship,” shared Lydia Bryant (’24), a Creativity & Innovation Honors Institute student and early childhood education major who previously presented at the symposium. “It was a great moment to present and show all the things that I have been working on throughout my years at Cornerstone University. I also was given the opportunity to be a speaker during my junior year, which I will always treasure!”

For a taste of the 2024 Celebration of Scholarship event, explore abstracts for the oral presentations, descriptions for poster presentations, or recordings of select presentations. In addition, discover how faculty sponsors mentor Cornerstone students to conduct meaningful research from a Christian worldview and take the next step toward participating in a future academic symposium by contacting the Admissions Office at admissions@cornerstone.edu!

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