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Maryland Scholars Summit

    The Maryland Scholars Summit is an undergraduate research, scholarship, creative scholarly works, and service learning conference open to all Maryland community college students.

    APRIL 29  |  9 AM–3 PM Harford Community College
    PRESENTED BY: Harford Community College and Cecil College 

    This conference is designed to acquaint undergraduate students with the process and academic rigors of presenting projects in a professional setting. Students will be given the opportunity to present research and projects that have been conducted under the supervision of a faculty member or professional in the field. Faculty, community members, families and students are all invited to attend.

    Monetary prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 
    Best Scientific Work  |  Best Creative Work  |  Best Poster Presentation

    Abstract Submissions

    The deadline to submit abstracts is: March 17, 2023. (Links will be available after January 7.)

    Samples of Past Scholar Presentations and Research

    Tina Luong

    Art Culmination

    "I will be informing my audience of various types of famous artists throughout history, from Renaissance artists to the modern artists of today in different careers and industries. I will be talking about the conceptual and artistic styles of these artists, what they are known for and their contributions, and finally show my own interpretation of their style and ideas with my own art and concepts."

    Vivian Mena

    Serial Killer Connections Past to Present: Analysis of Cold Case Files and DNA 

    female student presenting a poster project

     

    Hanna Habiba, Isabella Scopelliti, Ethan Walters, Jessica LeBrasseur, Christian Jednorski, Jay Davis

    Our New Friend HannaBella: Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Bacteriophage  Students  

    A bacteriophage is a virus that can infect and destroy bacteria. Bacteriophages have the potential to combat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is a reason to explore bacteriophages as a form of modern medicine. In October of 2021, the bacteriophage Hannabella was isolated from a soil sample at Harford Community College. The concentration of Hannabella was increased through a series of plaque assays using the host Microbacterium foliorum. After the desired bacteriophage concentration was achieved, the DNA was extracted and sequenced with the help of the Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute. This helped us to determine that Hannabella is a Podoviridae bacteriophage that is part of the EM cluster. Hannabella’s genome is 53,643 base pairs long, it is composed of approximately 51 genes, and the GC content is 64.8%. For the Spring 2022 semester, we are annotating the bacteriophage genome which will allow us to determine the genes and their functions. This is being done using bioinformatics tools including PhagesDB, DNA Master, HHPred, and NCBI BLAST. Our final goal is to complete the bacteriophage annotation which may shed light on other bacteriophage genomes as well as potentially bring in new information to those experimenting with new antibiotic alternatives.

    Jacob Cockerham

    Anthropoquantitivism: A Critique of the Deficient Mode of Anthropocentrism in Western Technological Society

    The intention of this paper is to critique the ethico-ontological state of Western technological society, its perceptions of its current place in progress, and the method by which the current conception of progress is sought and enframed, with the goal of demonstrating by this analysis that the current methodology is a deficient one. I use the deontological ethics of Kant to critique the place of rational beings within the current framework of technological progress and Heidegger’s analysis of the nature of modern technology to critique the current conceptions of the position of the anthropic world to the ananthropic and to the tools of technological progress. I demonstrate that the mode of Western technological progress is deficient anthropocentrism, demeaning individuals to the place of means to quantitative ends and the natural world to a series of energies to be used to similar ends. This deficient anthropocentrism I propose to call Anthropoquantitivism, and that herein lies the Supreme Danger envisioned by Heidegger. Having demonstrated this, I propose a general scheme for the ideal form of progress, that is an anthropo-poietical one, in which the autonomy of the Kingdom of Ends and the poietical revealing of Truth from concealment is pursued above all.

    Olivia Borkowski-Johnson

    The Impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy: Veterans Who Have Experienced PTSD Symptoms

    The impact of animal-assisted therapy on veterans who have experienced PTSD symptoms can vary. This research presents evidence to showcase the benefits of animal-assisted therapy used as a treatment method for veterans with PTSD symptoms. A survey was developed to determine how others viewed the benefits of this type of intervention. Participants of this survey consisted of volunteer members of Project Liberty Ship; a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the S.S. John W. Brown. The results indicate that those who have taken part in a form of animal-assisted therapy considered their experience very beneficial. Eighty percent of the respondents indicated that they would participate in animal-assisted therapy to treat PTSD symptoms if that scenario applied to them. Forty-two percent reported that they believed animal-assisted therapy would best improve behavioral symptoms. Based on the statistical analysis of the survey results, it was found that animal-assisted therapy is beneficial for the participants involved; however, more evidence is needed to support this conclusion. Though preliminary results suggest that animal-assisted therapy is beneficial to PTSD victims, another survey that includes the affected population may produce more concrete conclusions.

    Lindsey Donovan

    Child Poverty: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

    Child poverty is a problem in both the United States and worldwide. It is continually climbing at an alarming rate and endangers the health, safety, and development of children. Studies have shown that the brain structure of impoverished children develops abnormally and contributes to attainment deficiencies (Hair, et al). Child poverty rates vary according to gender, race, family structure, and geographic location. According to the United States Census Bureau, although previous methods of measuring child poverty have become outdated, updated models provide more accurate statistics of child poverty. There are various assistance programs available to impoverished children in the US, as well as global volunteer organizations that advocate for them. However, additional efforts are needed to eradicate child poverty such as educational funding and programs, affordable childcare, and extended paid maternity and paternity leave. This research aims to provide insight into the causes, effects, and preventative measures of child poverty.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Preparing for the Conference
    • What kind of "undergraduate research" is presented at the Scholars Summit?
      This conference is designed to acquaint undergraduate students with the process and academic rigors of presenting scholarly projects in a professional setting. Scholarly projects from all disciplines are welcome! For all submissions, students’ projects must be/ or have been conducted under the supervision of a faculty member or professional in the field.
    • What kind of “undergraduate research” is not appropriate for presentation.
      The Summit is not an appropriate venue for “position papers,” where students present opinions rather than scholarly research.
    • Is the Scholars Summit open to creative works?
      Yes! We encourage artists to submit applications to participate in the Summit. You should be prepared to discuss the background, motivation, process and interpretation of your work.
    • I am in the early stages of my scholarly project. Can I still apply?
      You do not need to have completed your research to be considered.
    • Where can I get help with my presentation? I think my topic is good, but I never presented before may need some guidance. Where can I get that guidance if my teacher is not available?
    • What is one of the first steps to participate in the Scholars Summit?
      Develop a short description or abstract of your scholarly project that concisely summarizes the focus, approaches used, and purpose of the project.
    Preparing for the Presentation
    • Can I present a scholarly project that I did at another educational institution (non-community college)?
      Yes, as long as the project was completed at a higher education institution, under the study of an undergraduate college level instructor and is current.
    • Can I present a scholarly project that I presented at another professional conference?
      Yes, however, you should think about modifying the project presentation based on feedback received from that professional conference.
    • What format should I use for my presentation?
      Poster boards (a template is provided, PowerPoint presentations and gallery walk (creative works). Click here for posterboard template.
    • Can I present two or more scholarly projects at the Summit?
      Students are permitted to submit and present more than one project. Students can only submit one abstract for each category: scientific works, poster board and creative work.
    • What should I include in my abstract submission?
      Your abstract should be up to 200-250 words  and describes the scholarly project  (your overall argument, thesis, or hypothesis, data collection/analysis (if applicable), and major findings or conclusions).
    Attending the Conference
    • Is there an option to present virtually?
      Unfortunately, this year's Summit is strictly an in-person event.
    • Can I invite friends, family, and faculty?
      Yes, Yes, and Yes! A detailed, schedule of presentations will be available a couple weeks before the event.
    • Who do I contact for further questions?
      For any further questions, please feel free to contact us at mdscholarssummit@harford.edu.