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Student Research Symposium

The symposium is sponsored by the Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry Department and features the research of students in disciplines throughout RSU. Each of the papers addresses the topic of religion in some way. View Full Article.

2011 Symposium

March 25, 10-12, and 1:15-3 pm
Program pdf
Public Relations Article


Event Schedule

Morning- Session I
10:00 am Greeting, Matthew Gordley, Chair of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry Department
10:10 am Brett Lonadier, Recapturing Russian Heritage: Religious Education in Public Schools” (Submitted to the Institute for Global Engagement, Washington, D.C.)
10:35 am Elise Leal, “A City on a Hill: Exploring the Motivation and Implications of the Puritan Migration to America” (Submitted to Dr. Vincent Strudwick, Oxford University)
11:00 am Coffee and cookie break
11:10 am Benjamin Kay, “Jonah: An Examination of the Central Character and Message of the Prophetic Work (Submitted to Dr. William Lyons)
11:35 am Paul Imbrone, “The Christological Hymn of Philippians 2” (Submitted to Dr. Gopal Kunji Kanan)
12:00- 1:00 pm Lunch (the Ordinary)
Afternoon- Session II
1:10 pm Paul Bufford, “New Haven and Grand Rapids Revisited: Postliberal Theology, Neo-Calvinist Philosophy, and Academic Scholarship” (Submitted to Dr. Katherine Attanasi)
1:35 pm Frankie Hammonds, Jr., “An Analysis of the Values of Medieval and Renaissance Europe as Portrayed by its Art” (Submitted to Dr. Joshua McMullen)
2:00 pm Sara Orszulak, “The Book of Jonah: What’s in a name?” (Submitted to Dr. William Lyons)


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Symposium Presenters

BrettBrett Lonadier, Religious Studies major, International Relations and Foreign Policy minor, Class of May 2012; “I was blessed with the opportunity to intern at the Institute for Global Engagement last summer in Washington, DC...I chose my specific topic because I am interested in the role of religious education in public schools, and Russia recently introduced an initiative bringing religious education to state schools.”

EliseElise Leal, Communication Studies major, History minor, Class of May 2011; “This paper was written for a class on the English Reformations during a study abroad program in Oxford. I was interested in minority reform movements...I was also intrigued by my tutors belief that the United States was formed primarily by the religious, political, and cultural events of the English Reformations; I wanted to research this connection further ...[Puritan] migration to the New World and its outcomes on the United States [was] a subject that addressed all my interests.”

BenBenjamin Kay, Biblical and Theological Studies major, Class of May 2012; “As I was researching a paper topic for my Studies of the Prophets class, I came across the book of Jonah. This book is a fascinating work, and I soon became absorbed within the text. As my researched deepened, I realized that God played a much larger role within the work than most scholars realize. My paper addresses this concern and attempts to place God within his rightful place in the text.”   

paulPaul Imbrone, Biblical and Theological Studies major, Class of May 2014; “The Christological hymn in Philippians 2 has always been one of my favorite passages in has a profound mystical quality and balance to it that any scholar, whether sacred or secular, can appreciate. Preparing this paper afforded me a more solid footing to understand and communicate the Christ-centered truth it contains while exalting its lyrical beauty.”

PaulPaul Bufford, Religious Studies major, Class of December 2012; “[I started with narrative theology,] but I wound up drifting more toward George Lindbeck and Hans Frei’s original efforts in moving beyond theological liberalism and constructing a “Postliberal” theology. Nicholas Wolterstorff’s comparison between the Postliberal theology and his own Neo-Calvinist tradition in “What New Haven and Grand Rapids Have to Say to Each Other” fascinated me, particularly the question of how Christian theology and biblical interpretation can learn from scholarship in general while not seeking to completely conform to its results.”

FrankieFrankie Hammonds, Jr., History major, Animation minor, Class of May 2014; “The paper was originally going to be an analysis of renaissance and middle age music. However, when I thought about describing music, I soon realized that I would spend much of the paper explaining musical terms, like polyphony and monophony, rather than actually making connections to history. After a trip to the Chrysler Museum, I decided that visual art would be easier to describe than musical principles.

SaraSara Orszulak, Biblical Studies major, Class of December 2011; “When studying the prophets in Dr. Lyons’ class, we all had to select a prophet. In one of our textbooks, I learned that Jonah’s name meant dove.” This piqued my curiosity, and I wanted to understand whether or not that name fit Jonah’s behavior and story. Consequently, I began researching the characteristics of doves (which proved very challenging) and compared them to Jonah’s mannerisms.”

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