Posted on February 10, 2015 by Tia Lalani

Augustana Campus recognizes students with OUR awards from their presentations at Student Academic Conferences.

Every semester, Augustana Campus recognizes individual students with Outstanding Undergraduate Research awards from their presentations at Student Academic Conferences. The OUR award winner has the opportunity to publish their work in Metamorphosis, the Journal for Undergraduate Research produced by the Council for Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

Spencer-webSpencer Kryzanowski (BMus ’15) received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research award for “Queering the Kiss: Rodney Sharman’s The Garden” as part of his AUMUS 477 course with Dr. Milton Schlosser. His dual presentation and performance was offered at the December 2014 Student Academic Conference and will be published in an upcoming issue of COPLAC’s journal for undergraduate research, Metamorphosis.

“This project combined many forces,” says the former St. Albert resident. “I was able to discuss and explore my interests in gender studies and queer musicology together with personal perspectives towards homosexual acts of desire, public displays of affection, and contemporary Canadian piano composition… all of which took me out of my comfort zone. I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to have presented on and performed the Alberta premiere of Rodney Sharman’s The Garden for such a supportive audience. It’s not too often that one has the opportunity to present provocative subject matter and language in a substantial chapel space.”

“Spencer brings unique abilities as an undergraduate that allow him to perform this piece,” says Dr. Schlosser. “He has theatrical training and he is able to play and either sing or speak at the same time. He also has the intellect and the courage to openly address queer issues within the realm of music. Despite the performing arts being home to many queer artists, the disciplines themselves remain fairly conservative and closeted about glbqt+ issues at an academic and social action level. Spencer’s performance challenges this reticence in a wise, artistic way.”

Brittany-webBrittany Johnson (BA English ’15) from Camrose received Honourable Mention at the December 2014 Student Academic Conference. Her presentation was on “Aboriginal Women, Sexuality, and the Spiritual” for AUENG 402 with Dr. Roxanne Harde.

“The research I undertook for both my directed reading and SAC presentation furthered my knowledge and understanding of how sexualities and spiritualities are uniquely and inherently tied to one another for Aboriginal women,” says the Metis student whose family is from Treaty 8 territory. “It strengthened my drive to pursue further research and to continue on in my academic pursuits.”

“Brittany studied Native women’s fiction, poetry and drama that focused the conjoining of spirituality and sexuality,” says Dr. Harde. “She drew on a wide body of theoretical work to analyze her primary texts, and came up with a fascinating study that will become the foundational work for her master’s thesis in the Faculty of Native Studies.”

Samantha-webSamantha Matters (BSc Environmental Science ’14) received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research award in the April 2014 Student Academic Conference. Her presentation was on “An Analysis of the History of Aboriginal Peoples in the Beaver Hills” for AUENV 402 with Dr. Glynnis Hood.

“I was incredibly proud to have the opportunity to present my work during the SAC,” she says. “My peers, professors, and my parents were all in the room to hear about the work I had been so dedicated to for the past several months. This work is incredibly close to my heart and I was filled with so much excitement to be able to share it.”

Samantha graduated from Mannville High School in 2010 and is currently working for the Government of Alberta in Aboriginal Relations. “I hope to continue gaining experience working with the province, while determining my next steps,” she continues. “Augustana has given me such a broad view of the world and I hope to utilize the knowledge and skills I have gained in a number of areas. For example, I would like to work in environmental education in the future.”

JessicaJessica Stambaugh (BA English ’15) received Honourable Mention in the April 2014 Student Academic Conference. Her presentation was on “Gaining Control: Self Harm to Combat Societal Harm” for AUENG 401 with Dr. Roxanne Harde. Her paper was published in the Fall 2014 issue of COPLAC’s journal for undergraduate research, Metamorphosis.

“I chose this topic to work with theories of how society attempts to control female bodies and how women try and take control back,” she says about her analysis of youth fiction. She chose novels geared towards young women that meant to show how their peers were struggling and how they weren’t alone in their efforts to have control over their bodies. “While I felt immense satisfaction with the research and paper, I felt that I was really working towards bringing awareness to some of these issues. Presentation night was the perfect opportunity to showcase what I had learned: how literature is still a relevant part of society in that it can teach and reach out to people.”

Jessica graduated from Tofield High School. As she approaches graduation in April, she plans to move out to Vancouver to pursue a career within the publishing world and continue her education with a Masters in Publishing. “Augustana was an excellent institution to earn my Bachelor degree,” she says. “I received invaluable individual time with my professors to make the most of my education, and provide me with the means and skills to continue my education.”

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