Furman Engaged! is a day to celebrate research, scholarship, and creativity. Launched by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Internships in 2009, the annual event brings the Furman community and visitors together for a day of presentations, posters, and performances across campus.
On April 11, nearly 600 undergraduate students shared their experiences in research, creative activity, internships, study away, and service learning in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Here are a few of their stories:
Furman Engaged! Research
Growing up in a city in central Florida, Rachel Martin '16 didn't know much about gardening or composting.
These days though, she's overseeing compost by the ton, ensuring the hip-height piles keep the correct ratios of carbon, nitrogen and water.
With Furman now producing more than 20 small tons of compost in a year, Shi Center for Sustainability Fellows, including Martin, are working to help Furman meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2026.
Several hundred students shared individual research projects or details of their internships during Furman Engaged! Projects ranged from computer science research on microcomputers and artificial intelligence to sociology research on gender and body image.
Through her art, Brigid Morrissey '14 of Floyds Knobs, Ind., shared her story of relationships and breaking down barriers and stereotypes.
Her four portraits of fellow athletes and friends, Brittany, Kelsey, Ja'nice and Holli, are told using digital illustration and materials including record album covers, pages from the Bible and fast food wrappers.
"This project has made me think about judging someone too quickly," Morrissey said of her work in the Thompson Gallery. "My art… shows how I connect to each of them and what bonds us together."
Furman Engaged! Scholarship
On one particular day after Thanksgiving, Lydia Porter's grandmother takes a big yellow mixing bowl out of her kitchen cabinet, along with chocolate, peanuts, powdered sugar and pecans.
All the grandchildren get together to help make the family's special chocolate balls, 80 to 90 pieces of hand-dipped deliciousness.
"They don't last long," said Porter '17, a native of Easley.
As part of her First Year Writing Seminar with professor Savita Nair, Porter shared one of her family's decades-old traditions with friends and Furman family Friday during Furman Engaged!
From food to physics, Furman Engaged! held a treat for everyone.
Harvard professor Lisa Randall kicked off Furman Engaged! Thursday evening with the lecture, "Religion and Science in the Modern World." Furman students and faculty shared some of their favorite jazz works live in the Trone Student Center and nearby, students were able to sample foods from Germany to Japan as part of the International Food Festival in Kohrt Commons.
Porter has already expanded her food tradition to Furman, as she and her grandmother made a large batch of the chocolate goodies for all the neighbors on her hall. "It's very special to me," she said.
Furman Engaged! Creativity
They called it "The Case of the Disappearing Paladin."
After the Furman mascot suddenly vanishes from the Trone Student Center, reporter Sally Tucker '15 launches a thorough investigation.
Will she be able to crack the case? "Furman esta' segura," Tucker finally declares, after recovering the stolen Paladin.
Tucker and other Furman students showcased their acting and language skills in Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese in short films shown throughout the day Friday during Furman Engaged! The day ended with a live vote for the best short Foreign Language film award, won by Abram Edgar '16 and Andrew Safigan '16, and the best Language House award won by the Chinese Language House.
In addition to presentations by senior theater majors, the Theatre Arts department performed Molière's "The Imaginary Invalid."
The Furman Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra presented Maurice Duruflé's Requiem and Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Timpani Thursday, while the Composers' Forum in Daniel Recital Hall Friday featured new music by student composers.
It "exudes sadness," Holt McCarley '14 said of his new work, The Walk, which he wrote for a friend. At the same time, the song shows the "profound happiness" they share, he said.