Undergrad scholars return to Sweet Briar for annual MARCUS conference

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Staff Writer

Environmental science major Verena Joerger ’15 presents her research at MARCUS 2014. Environmental science major Verena Joerger ’15 presents her research at MARCUS 2014.

For nearly two decades, Sweet Briar College’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS) has drawn students from across the region and out of state to the Central Virginia campus to present and share their research. The 2016 conference will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Associate professor of English Tony Lilly, who directs MARCUS, is especially excited about this year.

“Since the conference was away for a year as a result of the closure attempt, it’s wonderful to have it back at Sweet Briar, which has been its home since its beginning,” he said.

Administered by Sweet Briar College’s Honors Program, MARCUS is devoted exclusively to the scholarship and research activities of undergraduate students. Since the program’s inception in 1999, students from Virginia and the region have presented independent research and creative projects across all academic disciplines.

The event’s atmosphere is one of lively inquiry. Student researchers are the experts, presenting their posters or talks to an audience of peers. Unlike many conferences, MARCUS is interdisciplinary on purpose, with an emphasis on the intersection of disciplines across the liberal arts spectrum.

MARCUS defines research broadly. The goal is to base projects on critical interpretation of primary material, demonstrate responsiveness to other work within one’s field(s) and ultimately produce new work. When the final project is a creative one, presenters should make evident the research component underlying the work.

The registration deadline for presenters was Sept. 19. Non-presenters have until Oct. 10 to sign up for the daylong event, which will feature both oral and poster presentations.