Student scholars


Library’s research fair continues to grow

Celebrating student achievement and faculty ingenuity were the central themes during Bluffton University’s third annual Celebrate the Library Week which took place Feb. 1-5. 

More than 50 students took part in this year’s research fair.  That’s up from 35 last year, and Johnson expects even more students will be nominated by faculty and staff to participate next year. 

 “I figure we’re just going up,” said Johnson. “Next year, we’re going to be crowded on the third floor because we’ll have so many.

The pursuit of knowledge was highlighted each day of the week, however, the main event was Thursday’s student research fair. 

“I think this event is just exciting,” said Mary Jean Johnson, library director. “I just get excited as a librarian. We help students of course when they’re working on their research, and I am thrilled to see what they did with that research.”

Research fair projects ranged the gamut of studies at Bluffton University from exploration of scientific theory to gender inequality in athletics.  The poster-session-style event showcased student work including traditional research presentations, projects and creative work. The goal of the event is to enhance the academic culture of Bluffton University.

“When you hear these students talking, many of them are passionate about what it is they researched or the internship they had,” said Johnson.

Mathematics major Bryce Butler ’18, Bucyrus, Ohio, presented, “The Monty Hall Problem—A Conceptual Challenge from Probability Theory.”

“Probability is in almost everything we do, from choosing a card to opening a door. I think the research fair gives people a chance to see that,” said Butler.

Celebrate the Library week began with a teaching and learning conversation for faculty and staff which featured presentations on collaborative and experimental teaching approaches currently being used at Bluffton University.   

Meg Short ’16 shared her experience as a student journalist at the Mennonite Church USA convention, during First Tuesday at the Library.

Also on Tuesday, Five Minutes of Fame, featured eight student scholars nominated by faculty, sharing five minute presentations on their research. 

On Wednesday, 14 juniors in the nutrition, education and communication class shared recipes, tips and samples for better health. 

The week ended Friday morning with coffee and conversation between students, faculty and staff in the library. 

Johnson believes the success of this year’s Celebrate the Library week will roll over to next year. 

“I think that whenever you add something to a campus, as it becomes a tradition, I think there will be more and more people that will come.”

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Colton Steiner ‘18

Student research
When you hear these students talking, many of them are passionate about what it is they researched or the internship they had."