Undergraduate Conference





See the 2019 conference schedule below:


Sabrina Wengier is Associate Professor at Middle Georgia State University in the department of Media, Culture and the Arts where she teaches French as well as humanities and interdisciplinary studies courses. Dr. Wengier received a B.A. and an M.A. in English Studies from the Universityé Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon, France, an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, and a Ph.D. in Romance Studies from the University of Miami, Miami, Florida. She is passionate about teaching culture and exposing students to different ways of seeing the world.

From Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of five books of poetry, published in the US and UK, most recently Madwoman, which won the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature Poetry Prize. Her work has been widely published in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe, has been translated into several languages, and has received such recognition as a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. From 2003-17 she directed the Stadler Center for Poetry and is now a Liberal Arts Professor of English at Penn State University.

Robert Wall is a Board Certified Music Therapist who has been working in mental health since he earned his certification in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2006. He is currently employed with Navicent Health in Macon. He also holds a BA in vocal performance from Western Kentucky University.



Brad Warren is President of Warren Adhesives located in Mobile, AL.  Warren Adhesives was named one of the top 25 adhesive companies in North America.  He has worked in every facet of the business, from production, recruiting, purchasing, selling, and now management.  Brad is passionate about sales of uniquely created products, recruiting new talent to the industry, and promoting family business.  Focused on USA produced raw materials and finished products, searching for more environmentally responsible answers in the adhesive industry, and remaining profitable to sustain employee growth are the reasons he goes to work everyday.  He has been married for 25 years in August, and is  the father of 4, with 3 currently in college, and one attending a boarding STEM high school in Alabama.  He loves to travel, engage in new experiences, and will never turn down a pint of English or Irish cider.

(full Conference schedule in PRogress)

Thursday, April 18 (Cochran Campus)

1:00p.m. – 1:45p.m. – Kickoff Speaker – Russell Hall Theater

Dr. Sabrina Wengier
"'Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?' Representations of Madness in the Media."

1:45p.m. – 2:15p.m. Peacock Gallery- Russell Hall

MGA Student Art Show Discussion and Conference Opening Reception

2:20p.m. – 3:35p.m. Panels- Russell hall


Friday, April 19 (Macon Campus)

8:30a.m.–9:00 a.m.–Registration – SOAL Lobby
9:00a.m. – 10:00a.m. –Keynote Speaker – SOAL Theater

Shara McCallum, Poet and author of "Madness"


10:00a.m. – 10:20a.m-  SOAL Lobby

Shara McCallum Book Signing

Session 1
10:30a.m.-11:45a.m. (Macon)

Translation Competition for Students of Spanish (SOAL Rehearsal Hall)
SPAN 1002: Mary Niegas, Eve Balding, Sophia Cantrell, Jonathan Embro
SPAN 2002: Candice Corey, Amanda Juarez, Lara Persiani

Macon/Warner Robins Public Speaking Sections Spring 2019 Contest (SOAL Theatre)
Moderator: Christian Norman

Shara McCallum Presents a Writing Workshop (SOAL 120)

11:45 – 12:55 Lunch – Rehearsal Hall
12:15 – 12:55 – Speaker and Awards Ceremony –Rehearsal Hall

Robert Wall  "Mental Illness: From Demons to Drugs"

Session 2
1:00p.m.-2:15 p.m. (Macon)


Creative Writing: Poetry (SOAL 120)

Moderator: Kelly Whiddon
Participants: Heather Small, Sara Kathryn Smith, Jason Cormier, Deanna Rivero

Beasts, Monsters, and Slaves: Perceptions of Women in the Ancient World (SOAL 108)

Moderator: Dr. Karmen Lenz
Jimya Oglesby, “The Biblical Debate over Women”
Kaitlin Hill, “Monstrous Women and the Patriarchy”
Jahi Mendes, “Female-Beasts: Representations of
Women in Japanese folktales”

Science Oral Presentations (SOAL 112)

Benedict Tong, Juwon Kim. Dr. Khatmullin (Advisor),
“Photochemical and Photophysical Properties of Spiropyran”
Hannah Peeples and Clinton Ready
(Advisor),“Beekeeping in Different Geographic Areas: The Circadian Rhythms of Apis mellifera”
Yenamala D. Reddy, Mr. Edwynn Wallace (Advisor), and
Dr. Sharon Standridge (Advisor),“The Development of a Compact Electromagnet to Study Magnetotactic Bacteria”
Ashleigh Page , Dr. Sharon Standridge (Advisor), and Mr.
Edwynn Wallace (Advisor), “Study of Media Recipes for Trial Growth of Magnetotactic Bacteria”


Session 3
2:20p.m.-3:35p.m. (Macon)

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Panel (SOAL 120)
Moderator: Kelly Whiddon
Sara Kathryn Smith: “Rats in the Tea Room” Fiction-Short Story
Heather Small: “My Mother’s Daughter,” Fiction-Short Story
Andrew Willis: “Jessi” Creative Nonfiction-Memoir
Aisha Mayes: “Thetford” Creative Nonfiction-Memoir

Spanish: “I had the strangest dream last night” (SOAL 112)
Moderator: Maritza Bell-Corrales
Participants: Nicole Abercrombie ,Yvonne Anderson
Catherine Bates, Kasey Morris, Leslie Valdez, Pate Zachariah, Francis Nobis and Maris Irick

Film and Literature 1 (SOAL 108)
Chair: Dr. Patrick Brennan
Kehli West: “Should You Really Laugh When People Run With Scissors?”
Siobahn Lawrence “Making a Mountain out of Henry Hill: From Wiseguy to Goodfellas (1990)”
Karolina Philmon “Hollywood Romance Formula Debunked in Safe Haven (2013)

Indigenous History and Culture (SOAL 106)
Moderator: Matthew Zimmerman
Wendy Sharp, “Understanding the Development of
Muskogee Creek Pottery Design and Style in Georgia and Alabama”
Ben Fincher, “Walking Among Ghosts: A Narrative
Recollection of The Importance and Significance of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice”
Zach Brigmond, “Chinese Traditional History: Neolithic
to Qin Empire”


Session 4
3:40 p.m.-4:55 p.m. (Macon)

Adolescent Literature (SOAL 120)
Moderator: Shane Trayers
Erin Byington,"A Monster Called Kitty: How Imaginary Friends Help Children"
Lara Persiani, "Sophie’s Acceptance of Herself Explained Through Young’s Individuation Theory"
Sara Kathryn Smith, "Null and Void: Filling the Emptiness in Feed"
Kelley Jordan, "Darwinism versus Disability: Epilepsy in Lord of the Flies"
War, New Deals and Deep-rooted Systems: History Panel II (SOAL 106)
Moderator: Matthew Zimmerman
Ben Fincher, “Of Corpses Rotting in Front of the Front-
Line Trench; These Laid the World Away; Poured out the Red Sweet Wine of Youth”: Juxtaposing the Private Experiences of the Officers and Their Men.”
Wendy Sharp, The effects of the New Deal on Atlanta Georgia’s African American Population 1935-1941””
Morgan Delk, “The Prison-Industrial Complex and its Roots in the Convict-lease System

Mass Communication Students Dissect Various Media Platforms (SOAL 112)
Moderator: Sheree’ Keith
Sina Clayton, An analysis of Racism in "Rupaul's Drag Race"
Aisha Mayes , Examining the Portrayal of Autism in Prime-Time TV: "The Good Doctor"
Oluwadamilare Olajide-adediran "Maryam",A Critical Analysis of Gender Stereotypes in Advertising
Brent Meister "Tyler", An Analysis of the Award Winning Program: "This is Us"
Phillip Wheeler, “Listening to the Music: The effects of lyrical content on youth”


Saturday, April 20 (Macon Campus)

8:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m.–Registration – SOAL Lobby
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. SOAL Theater  –STEM Speaker

Brian Warren, President of Warren Adhesives located in Mobile, AL. 

“Myriad of Opportunities in the Chemical Industry, with a Focus on Adhesives”

Session 5
10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. (Macon)

Poster Session (Rehearsal Hall)

Poster Session (Rehearsal Hall)
Mikayla Reuter1, Danielle Ury1, Bryce Wetherell1, Taylor Messex1, Emília
Martins2, Alison Ossip-Drahos1 (Advisor), “A tale of three signals: interactions between different signaling modalities in the eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulates”

Ashley Allgary (Middle Georgia State University & USDA-ARS), Dr. Jaya Rao (Advisor), USDA-ARS Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory of Byron, GA, “The effects of Barricade® fire gel on the viability of entomopathogenic nematodes exposed to ultraviolet radiation”

Shardaya Weems, Dr. Jaya Rao (Advisor), USDA, “The Role of Branch Growth in Pecan Scab Diversity and Severity”

Sundaeclaire (Dee) Yanong, Dr. Donna Balding (Advisor), “Transposons in Bartonella henselae”

1=Department of Natural Sciences, Middle Georgia State University, Macon, GA
2=School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Session 6
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (Macon)

Knight Writers 2019: Writing Anxiety and the Writing Marathon & Extending to STEM (SOAL 120)
Moderator: Lorraine Dubussion
Allison Warren, "Anxiety and Young Writers: The Knight Writers Experiment"
Lara Persiani,"Knight Writers and the Writing Marathon"
Misty Miner, "Extending to STEM: The Middle Georgia State University Writing Center

Film and Literature 2 (SOAL 112)
Chair: Dr. Patrick Brennan
Sierra Marie T. Woodman, “Misery (1990): From Page to Screen”
Brian Henderson, “Who Goes There: The Adaptation and Extension of Fear in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)”
Johnathan Allen, “Red Dragon: The ‘Becoming’ of Manhunter (1986)



12:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony – Rehearsal Hall

Best Science Presentation and Best Poster Awards