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4 LSUA Students to Participate in MadRush Research Conference

Released: 03/11/2011

Four LSU Alexandria students have been chosen to participate in the prestigious MadRush Undergraduate Research Conference at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., next month. They will participate in a panel discussion of “The Satyricon,” a book written by ancient Roman author Petronius.

The LSUA students were selected from essays written in a Major World Writers class taught by Dr. Ginger Jones, professor of English and a former Fulbright Scholar. “This is a significant achievement for these students,” said Jones. “The competition for this research conference is formidable, and it’s rare for students from smaller schools to be chosen.”

The participants from LSUA are senior psychology major Caina Munson from Marksville, senior communication studies major David Humphrey from Alexandria, junior English major Susan Cowart from Alexandria, and sophomore English major Kyle Krebsbach from Pineville. Munson is Student Government president, and Cowart and Krebsbach are secretary and treasurer, respectively.

The essays were written on aspects of Roman life depicted in “The Satyricon” and several other sources. Munson’s “Satyr’ical Sexuality, Morality and Politics in Ancient Rome and Modern America” draws a parallel between Roman life more than 2,000 years ago and modern-day Louisiana. Humphrey’s essay, “Satyricon: A Criticism of Stoicism and Cynicism,” examines the motivation behind Petronius’ philosophy and writing style.

Cowart’s “The Importance of Education” discusses Roman society and its flaws, its education system, and the subjugation of women during that period. Krebsbach’s “A Desire to be Remembered or a Fear of Being Forgotten” illustrates the elaborate practices and beliefs associated with Roman funerals.

The April 9 conference is limited to 72 students, who come from 19 universities in five states and the District of Columbia. LSUA is the only Louisiana school represented. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Matt Wasniewski, the new historian for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jones said the LSUA students were chosen based on a 150-word abstract submitted to a panel of faculty judges headed by Dr. Chris Arndt, associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts at James Madison. “Our students will learn more about the value of research and its place as they seek graduate degrees,” said Jones. “They also gain confidence in their work at LSUA as they see how it holds up against students from other universities.”