Wayland prepares for University Research and Performance Days

March 29, 2012

Plainview and area residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the work students at Wayland Baptist University are doing as the university begins its Research and Performance Day series.

The series takes place in weekly chapel sessions, which are held from 11 a.m. to noon each Wednesday in Harral Auditorium. The first of the series will be April 4 when the schools of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Languages and Literature, and Music will take the stage.

The presenters are chosen through a competitive process by the individual school deans and each process must include a minimum of three competitors, which may consist of individual students or student groups. Competitors may be undergraduate or graduate students, as determined by the school dean, and each presentation in chapel will last no more than 15 minutes.

Each school will designate a champion, or champions, based on the competition, and the names of winners will be listed on plaques displayed permanently in the individual schools.

On April 4, the School of Music will be represented by Vincent Limon, a senior saxophone performance major from Austin. He won the school’s MAA competition, performing against both upperclassman instrumentalists in one category and against vocalists, keyboardists and instrumentalists for the overall winner’s competition.

According to Dr. Sandra Mosteller with the School of Music, Limon’s presentation will include both a lecture and a tenor saxophone performance. The lecture will include an explanation of the nature of a music performance, including the preparation, practice and research needed to perform a work that includes both classical and jazz/creative improvisation.

He will end his presentation with a performance of the first movement of Bob Mintzer’s Jazz Sonata.

Representing the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences will be Chase Aycock of Lorenzo, a senior psychology and religion major with a minor in Spanish. His presentation will be on sleep paralysis, which he describes as “a transcultural phenomenon well-represented in many folklore traditions.” In an abstract of the paper he will present, he explained that “researchers have examined many biological factors that could be linked to SP, such as age, gender, race and heredity. Furthermore, many psychiatric disorders have been linked to SP, such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and depression.”

Aycock pointed out that while there are many areas related to sleep paralysis that need further research, “it has a promising future.”

The School of Languages and Literature will be represented by Kristen Ditmore, a senior English major, media communications specialist minor from Fort Worth. She will present an essay she completed recently for a Major American Writers class. In “the Truth Behind the Truth in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” Ditmore will use textual analysis to consider the “truthfulness” of Harriet Jacobs’ nineteenth-century slave narrative. Her examination “questions Jacobs’ genuine ability to avoid the advances of a cruel master, thereby suggesting a physical failure that in turn highlights Jacobs’ narrative success,” according to Dr. Cindy McClenagan, professor of English and dean of the School of Languages and Literature.

In explaining the reasoning behind the University Research and Performance days, Wayland Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Bobby Hall pointed out that the university has a “rich diversity of academic disciplines, organized through its nine distinct schools.”

Hall explained that because it often is difficult to showcase the “superior achievement” of the students in the various schools to the larger student body and to local residents, it seemed only natural to designate specific days when those achievements could be acknowledged.

The university will hold two other days: April 11, which will feature the schools of Education, Fine Arts and Nursing; and April 25, which will feature the schools of Business, Mathematics and Science, and Religion and Philosophy.