Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium

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A Celebration of Academic Work and Commitment to Service

Reasonable Doubts: Crime and Punishment in Society
April 24-26, 2024

This year’s event will include sessions from Wednesday, April 24 – Friday, April 26. Sessions provide a forum for students to present and discuss their outstanding endeavors. Papers, roundtables, oral and poster presentations, art exhibitions, and scholarly musical presentations will showcase undergraduate research across the curriculum.

LASS/PRISM 2024 Poster Submission

DEADLINE: 12 PM, Monday April 22, 2024

One student per collaborative group should submit on behalf of the team. Posters submitted after the deadline are not guaranteed to be printed. If time allows, late posters will be printed.

Submit your poster

Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium Week Schedule of Events:

This year’s events will be held in-person at various campus locations.


Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons LASS 2024: Keynote address by basketball icon Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons

In line with the theme of this year’s symposium, “Reasonable Doubts: Crime and Punishment in Society,” Moore and Irons will discuss their life and work as passionate advocates for criminal justice reform — a journey that began when the WNBA superstar fought to commute a baseless 50-year sentence for Irons. Through their tireless efforts, Iron’s sentence was reduced to just 23 years.

Now married, the two are co-founders of the social action nonprofit, “Win With Justice,” an organization raising awareness for criminal justice issues, advocating for change within the legal system and empowering individuals to live out their purpose.

Read more about Maya Moore and Jonathan Irons’s story here.

1 – 2 p.m. Keynote address by Maya Moore Irons and Jonathan Irons | Lupton Auditorium

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Business Internships Presentations | Cousins Center
Any questions can be directed to Stephen Craft at [email protected]


The Core Self is a multimedia experience celebrating the unique and diverse voices and identities of Oglethorpe University students whose creative work will be on view. A groundbreaking collaboration with Core, OUMA, and the Intercultural Center, The Core Self call for entries to OU students requested “expressive works engaging with one or more of the Core themes in relation to identity in a media of (their) preference, including physical, digital, or graphic art, poetry, and performance.”

After the panel presentations, Core Directors will announce the winners for the awards to OU students in the categories of Best of Show, Audience Choice, and Outstanding Core Exemplar.

Artivism: The Core Self

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Judith Levy

The Generation AfterAmina Sahovic

Dreams Without BarriersJenni Velasquez

BeingCynthia Tinschmidt Leal 

Moderators: Dr. Melany Chambers and Morgan Clapp

Marshall Davis-Hancock
Ashleigh Ewald
Tylena Patton-Bullock
Hannah Williams
Eli Yustein
Carley Bell
Cameron Martin
Berta Cuesta
Naomi Wagner

6:00 p.m. Honors Awards | Lupton Auditorium


8 – 11:15 a.m. PRISM Sciences Showcase – Research Poster Sessions | TLCC Atrium & Patio

8 – 9:30 a.m. Critical Dialogue Panels & Paper Panels

Breakfast with Influencers

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Keib

In this interactive, hybrid panel, participants will learn about how consumers interact with influencers on social media. Students will provide an overview of a survey they conducted of 650+ US adults regarding online interaction with influencers. Then, participants will be invited to join the students for one on one discussions of 10 individual applications of the research.

Ian Tirevold
Ilissa McGowan
Sarah Gilley
Nia Mahmud
Jack Lowrie
Vanessa Mendoza Contreras
Kimberlynn Taylor
Skyler Moore
Joseph Bowie
Zahira Shipman

Governing Power

Moderator: Dr. Judith Levy

Within the Burned Books: The Literature that Went Against Nazi IdeologyJennah Waters (Dr. Sharfman)

The Rise and Fall of Japanese Fascism: Intellectuals Vs. The State –  Anthony Van Loo (Dr. Sharfman)

The Origins of Self Punishment; Is it a product of norms, or driven by an internal need for self reckoning?Tulio Zea (Dr. Levy)

Manufacturing, Unemployment, Labor Markets and Crime: Econometric ApproachPablo Marenco Aburto (Dr. Allison)

Sounding the Stars, Revolutionary Spirit and Heart and Soul of Man with Bach, Beethoven, and ChopinJohn Erckert ( Dr. Runnels)

Art History and Archaeology in Context

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Collins 

Bog Body Research in ArchaeologyHannah Erwig

How the Hell did Humans Evolve Storytelling?Caleb Stallworth

Wastewater Analysis, Usage, and Archaeological SitesElena Vega


Honors Director: Dr. Seema Shrikhande
(Honors advisors are in parentheses)

History of the Israeli-Palestinian Educational Systems and Curriculums: Prevailing Impact on Israel-PalestineIzzy Forster (Dr. Sharfman)

The Tragedy of the Mother’s AgencyHaley Liddle (Dr. Hornback)

From Plantation to Incarceration Nation: Analyzing Reproductive Oppression Against the Black Female Body Through Slavery, Eugenics, and IncarcerationJaden Poindexter (Dr. Maher)

Who Let the Ghosts Out?: Gender and Abjection in the South Indian Horror Comedies Chandramukhi and KanchanaBhavana Kunnath (Dr. Hebbar)

The AlJayRhythm: A One-Woman ShowJariyah Williams (Professor Huff)

9:45 – 11:15 a.m. Critical Dialogue Panels & Paper Panels

Meaning and Making: OU Student Perspectives on the Filmmaking Process

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Katherine Zakos

Best Overall & Capturing Culture 3rd Place: Janitor 988Justin Edwards, Karla Ojeda
Second Overall: The Man Who Ended the WorldEvan Williams
Third Overall: JackBrody Young
Capturing Culture 1st Place: Homesick Gabriela Dumar
Capturing Culture 2nd Place: the sun wept and the moon listenedJaidyn Carter
Best Narrative: Leave a Light OnEmma Jean Scott
Best Experimental: Shower ThoughtsImani Alsobrook
Best Documentary: Mindful MentalityLarissa Williams
Best Promotional: Lifted: A Gymshark Spec AdIke Ogueri

Thinking Local

Moderator: Dr. James Iredell

Dirty South: Atlanta Political Leadership and the Dismantling of The Black MeccaKaniya Freeman (Dr. McWhorter)

Mapping Homelessness in AtlantaLacey Frye (Dr. Wheeler)

Oglethorpe On My Mind: The Man Behind OUr NameJennah Waters (Dr. Levy)

Lights, Camera, Attention! Crafting Content that Catches the Media’s Eye

Flex your writing skills in a new way! Come out to learn from the country’s’ best about how to write copy that earns media coverage. In this workshop, you will create ideas for an actual Atlanta client. Get feedback from industry pros from Jackson Spaulding. Compete against your classmates for prizes.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Art Showcase | TLCC Lower Classrooms & Outside


Honors Director: Dr. Seema Shrikhande
(Honors advisors are in parentheses)

Purgatory is Humid; A Screenplay of a First-Time ScreenwriterJack Bulger (Dr. Burgess)

“Save Our Skulls”: Consent, Ownership, and the Mütter MuseumAmbrose Blanchard (Dr. Lambert)

The Case of Italy: Perpetrators and Perplexities of a Stagnant StateShelby Jones (Dr. Orme)

Loss of the H3K9me2 demethylase jhdm-1 in C. elegans results in a transgenerational decrease in chemotaxis
Loss of the H3K4 methyltransferase subunit wdr-5 in C. elegans results in a transgenerational decrease in chemotaxisJaely Chavez and Mackenzie Roberson (Dr. Schmeichel)

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Critical Dialogue Panels & Paper Panels

Race and Racism

Moderator: Dr. Kate Marsden

One of the Good OnesKaniya Freeman (Dr. Wynter Parks)

Complexity of Interracial RelationshipsIvy Nganga (Dr. Hebbar)

Cop City: An Interdisciplinary ApproachLacy Frye (Dr. Wheeler, Dr. Schmeichel, Dr. Pham)

Liberdade e Justiça para todos (Liberty and Justice for All) – Maria Isabel Moraes Lanzelotti (Dr. Basby)


Unraveling Heterochromatin: Using Comparative Genomics to Elucidate Transcription Mechanisms in Drosophila F ElementsTessa Allen (Dr. Schmeichel, Dr. Deckner)

Steric analysis of a force-induced retro Diels-Alder reactionFelipe De Araujo Ferreira (Dr. Roessler)

There are orthologous CDS in the F element of D. willistoni that correlate to D. melanogasteEli Cousins (Dr. Schmeichel, Dr. Deckner)

Flagellar Associated Protein 93 is not involved in propulsive force generation in Chlamydomonas ciliaMalaika Taylor (Dr. Alford)

12 – 2 p.m. Lunch – Buffet style | TLCC upstairs lounge area

Honors III

Honors Director: Dr. Seema Shrikhande
(Honors advisors are in parentheses)

Investigating the Function of FAP93 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtiiCasandra Slocum (Dr. Alford)

Unveiling the Past: the Crypt of Civilization as a Public MonumentMaria Coles (Dr. Price-Washington)

Inactivation of SPR-2, an inhibitor of histone acetyltransferase, results in a rapid and transgenerational germline mortality phenotype in C. elegansThalia Boston (Dr. Schmeichel)

Playing with Perceptions: Gender, Aggression, and Competence in Video Game EnvironmentsSarah Farmer (Dr. Hayes)

6 p.m. Dinner | Academic Quad

Program PDF


The Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) is an annual event that brings together Oglethorpe University students and faculty in a celebration of exemplary scholarly work produced by Oglethorpe students under faculty mentorship. The symposium’s sessions provide a forum for students and faculty to present, discuss, and learn from outstanding student endeavors. Papers, roundtables, oral and poster presentations, art exhibitions, and scholarly music presentations present the fruits of both Oglethorpe’s liberal arts curriculum as well as science, technology, and math research. You can explore programs and schedules from prior years below.

Events will run April 24-26, but the primary day of LASS will be held April 26, 2024.

“Traditional/Regular” Sessions – These sessions consist of four to five paper presentations that are disciplinarily or thematically connected. Presenters will have about 12-15 minutes to discuss their contribution, followed by discussant comments in some instances. Afterwards, the presider will open the floor to discussion and questions from the audience.

Critical Dialogue Sessions – This format includes short (5 minute) presentations by up to 8 students followed by facilitated dialogue that critically explores connections among the papers or projects. The audience will have an opportunity to participate in the dialogue as well. This provides the opportunity for both presenter and audience to engage in and deepen their exploration of the themes of the presenters’ work.

The university strongly encourages attendance at LASS. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the Oglethorpe campus community and experience our motto “Make A Life. Make A Living. Make A Difference” up close. Your instructor may require attendance for a particular class, so please check with your individual professors.

If you’re interested in your subject and proud of your commitment to the topic, that will show in your abstract and proposal. Any course-related subject with a faculty mentor is open to consideration by the LASS committee.
The Student Guide includes detailed information on writing an academic abstract or proposal. In addition, the Student Guide includes detailed information including presentation skills, preparing a poster, and dress code.


Poster Template

The 2024 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) Committee invites student proposals for participation. Students who wish to present are required to submit a proposal or abstract of their work. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 8, 2024. A committee of faculty from a variety of disciplines including the humanities and sciences will convene to review proposals and abstracts. Notification of proposal acceptance will follow shortly thereafter.
Yes, you must work with a faculty mentor to write your proposal or abstract and to prepare for your presentation.
Business casual. Formal wear, party clothes, or clothing with slogans are generally not appropriate unless relevant to the content or tradition of your presentation. Follow these guidelines:
  • You may want a tailored jacket over a professional dress or pantsuit.
  • Shoes should be plain and not too tall (no platforms, sandals, or sparkle.)
  • No ‘club wear’ — short skirts, low-cut blouses, or tight-fitting clothes.
  • Hair, makeup, jewelry should be conservative. Pull your hair back if you play with it when nervous.
  • Hair and facial hair should be trimmed and neat; clean-shaven is generally best.
  • Shoes and belt should match in color.
  • No white socks.
  • No polo shirts, t-shirts, hats, athletic wear, sneakers.
  • No chewing gum, food, take-out cups, or cell phones.
LASS/PRISM participation puts you ahead of your peers in graduate school and in your profession when it comes to conference skills. Attending symposia and conferences and presenting research or speaking in your chosen field is a part of professional life. According to the ASAE (American Society for Association Executives), there are nearly 100,000 different organizations for professions in the United States alone. Graduate students routinely speak and present at academic conferences throughout their course of study.

Yes, this is a public, free event.


LASS 2023


LASS 2023: Spotlight on Student Internships, Organizations and Campus Initiatives

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) is an annual event that brings together Oglethorpe University students and faculty in a celebration of exemplary scholarly work produced by Oglethorpe students under faculty mentorship.

2023 LASS playlist


Email [email protected] with any questions.