Students who participated in the summer 2009 Maple Scholars program have recently presented their research at conferences in both Atlanta, Ga. and Kokomo, Ind.

Beth Martin Birky, Professor of Women’s Studies, and Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Assistant Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies (PJCS), along with Rachel Halder, a senior, and Elizabeth Speigle, a junior, presented their women’s studies research during a conference in Atlanta this past weekend.

The group attended the National Women’s Studies Association’s 30th annual conference in Atlanta, which took place from Nov. 12-15. The conference theme was “Difficult Dialogues,” and Martin Birky, Shands Stoltzfus, Halder and Speigle presented in the session entitled, “Narrating Collection Action: Chandra Mohanty's Genealogies of Community and Noncolonized Dialogue.” Carolyn Shrock-Shenk, Associate Professor of PJCS, moderated the session.

Halder, a communications major, and Speigle, a sociology major, spent their summers studying the history of the women’s movement in Costa Rica. Martin Birky went on SST in Costa Rica and has returned several times. Through her travels, Martin Birky has done significant research on the Costa Rican women’s movements. In doing so, she has collected hours of film of Costa Rican women.

At the conference, Halder presented her Maple Scholars final project, which included a short documentary about the ethics of the Costa Rican women’s movement and the Artisans Commission of Santa Elena-Monteverde (CASEM), a small cooperative that makes and sells crafts in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Speigle presented her research on the role of religion in Costa Rican women’s lives. An important lesson Speigle learned during her research was to recognize her cultural bias and not let it get in the way of studying women from another culture.

“Each individual has a unique story, but at the same time, everyone is influenced by their own cultural context as well,” Speigle said.

Adie Gerig, a senior environmental science major, presented her Maple Scholars research in late October at the Indiana Academy of Science meeting in Kokomo, Indiana.

The meeting was spread over two days with over 100 presenters in 15 different areas of science. Gerig researched the effects of deer consumption on a restored tallgrass prairie with Jeremy Good, a senior, and Ryan Sensenig, Assistant Professor of Biology.

"It was really cool to see the other presenters in the [environmental science] field," commented Gerig.

Kathryn Schlabach, a senior molecular biology/biochemistry major, also presented her 2008 Maple Scholars research at the same Indiana Academy of Science meeting this October. Her presentation was titled, “Effects of Selective Internal Radiation Treatment (SIRT) on Liver Ultrastructure.”