MUCH research at conference

by Sarah Stout

A few weeks ago five students attended the first Midwest Undergrad Conference in Humanities (MUCH). 

This conference represents students who have done research in the Humanities field. Students have to submit a piece of their research and are selected to present their work at the conference in front of other students and professors.

 “The conference was quite successful, particularly for its first year,” English Professor J.J. Butts said. “27 students contributed from 10 different schools in several humanities disciplines. In addition, we had around 15 faculty from these schools attending.”

Five of the 27 students were from Simpson College. The students represented were seniors Alberto Bejarano, Sam Hohneke, Ashley Klocke, Kevin Rice and junior Travis Williams.

I feel that for this being the first, it was very successful,” Klocke said. “There was a large range of majors and minors. There were students that traveled from as far as Long Island University-C.W. Post, Bellarmine University and Tulane University.”

Each student attending had different goals and reasons for attending.

“I went because I wanted to meet people from other schools and see what their academic interests were,” Bejarano said. “And because I wanted to hear what other students thought about an essay I wrote last summer.”

Bejarano felt the environment was very constructive during his time at the conference.

“I think a lot of people went to the conference with the hopes of getting feedback and of socializing, so there was a very positive environment,” Bejarano said. “Besides, all the students had similar interests, which was very helpful when it came to exchanging ideas.” 

Klocke felt there was a lot of information to learn while at the conference.

“I learned a lot about things that are going in other countries (there was a discussion of German politics, and we watched the documentary Waste Land),” Klocke said. “I also learned a lot about language, translations and different writing styles.”

Klocke was honored to show her research.

 “It was a great opportunity to present research that I was proud of being a part of,” Klocke said. “It seemed that it was mostly juniors and seniors, given that most underclassmen haven’t been given too many opportunities to do extensive research, but all are welcome. If they choose to hold MUCH again next year, Simpson has already asked to hold the honor.”

Butts thanks the Academic Dean’s office for Simpson’s involvement again next year. 

Next year, thanks to the support of the Academic Dean’s office, we plan to host the conference here at Simpson, and we’re hoping to draw more students and faculty from around the Midwest,” Butts said. “I’m hoping to see more creative projects as well as more research-based ones. As well as providing a venue for interdisciplinary and intercollegiate discussion, the conference will provide an opportunity to showcase the resources we have here in the humanities at Simpson and the intellectual engagement, breadth, and depth of our students and faculty.”