Students represent UTM at the Southern Regional Honors Conference

The University of Tennessee at Martin’s Honors Program will be sending four students, Morgan Goddard, Luke Robinson, Erin Gallagher and Jacob Fiala, to the Southern Regional Honors Conference in Orlando, Florida, March 31 through April 2.

“Students from all over the Southeast will be there to present their research, and I’m taking four seniors this time. All four of them have excellent projects, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to hear them present,” said Lionell Crews, the head of the Honors program at UTM. “UTM has always had a good showing, and we’ve received lots of good comments from the other faculty there. It’s a little sad, though. I’ve made friends with these people over the past four years. Scholars is a very community-oriented experience, so I’ve been able to see them from the first ice breakers in their first year all the way to their defenses at the end of their senior semesters.”

Morgan Goddard, a senior Communications major from Clarksville, Tennessee, is presenting research titled: Relationship and Brand Marketing: A Content Analysis of Taylor Swift’s Twitter. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to present my research in Orlando,” said Goddard. “I’ve worked on this research for a long two years, and after presenting, I will feel like all my stress and hard work has paid off.” Her research investigates how public figures employ principles of relationship marketing when they use social media to build their brand and create a credible image. The content analysis of Taylor Swift’s Twitter account examines how Swift, as a public figure, demonstrates Grunig’s factors of organization-public relationships.  

Luke Robinson, a senior Criminal Justice major from Wakefield, New Hampshire, is presenting research titled: Knocking On Death’s Door: The Contributions That Influence the Commission of Capital Crime in Tennessee. The research in this study explores the possible influences that impact the commission of capital crimes, as well as the current moral, ethical and legal opinions regarding capital punishment in Tennessee. “I’m actually excited to present,” said Robinson. “I just finished my senior defense this past week for my scholars project, so that’s a weight off of my shoulders. I just have the 15-minute speech left to do while we’re there, so everything will be good. I’m looking forward to it.”

Erin Gallagher, a senior Cell and Molecular Biology major from Germantown, Tennessee, is presenting research titled: Perceived Self-Efficacy Among College Athletes and Recreational Exercisers. The purpose of this study was to determine if exercise category, gender, or a combination of both had an effect on self-efficacy before and after the administration of a step test.  

Jacob Fiala, a senior Psychology major from St. Louis, Missouri, is presenting research titled: Examining Consciousness Using the Placebo Effect. It is a thorough investigation of how the placebo effect demonstrates the power and complexity of consciousness. Due to Psychology’s largely materialistic approach however, the importance of consciousness is under-appreciated. This presentation argues that the available evidence favors a more holistic approach in Psychology and explores the consequences of adopting such an approach.

This is the fourth year the Honors Program has sent students to present their two-year University Scholars research at the conference. Previous conference locations include Louisville, Kentucky; Savannah, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina.

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