L to R: Ryan Whittington, Christopher Earle, David Inczauskis, Rachel Cumbest

On April 22, the ZSR Library hosted the fifth Annual Senior Showcase before a large crowd of students, faculty, staff and parents. The Showcase was proposed in late 2009 by a graduating Wake Forest senior who was impressed by his peers’ research, yet was disappointed there was no campus-wide platform for presenting their theses. In response, the Senior Showcase was launched in 2010 to recognize exemplary undergraduate honors theses and projects. As Dean Lynn Sutton noted at this year’s event, the Showcase is the culmination of the library commitment to help undergraduates succeed: ZSR welcomes them as first-year students with fun events, supports them throughout their undergraduate years by providing resources and research assistance and, finally, celebrates their significant academic accomplishments in their senior year.

Nominated by their faculty advisors, this year’s honorees presented research topics ranging from Catholic liberation theology to Homer to Schoenberg to pay-for-performance incentives for teachers.

The 2014 honorees were:

  • David Inczauskis, Religion, “A Theoretical Analysis of the Historical Dialectic Between Latin American Liberation Theology and Catholic Social Teaching.”
  • Rachel Cumbest, Classical Languages, “Constructing Identity: Homer’s Articulation of Three Questions which Became a Literary Trope for Later Authors in ‘Knowing Thyself.'”
  • Ryan Whittington, Music, “Arnold Schoenberg: ‘An Intelligent Man and a Terribly Curious Man.'”
  • Christopher Earle, Economics, “Mission Impossible? An Economic Analysis of Guilford County’s Distinctive Pay-for-Performance Plan.”

Following the presentations, Dean Sutton awarded each honoree a $1,000 prize. The Showcase concluded with a reception sponsored by the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center.

Slides from the four presentations are available in WakeSpace, along with select presentation slides from past Senior Showcases.