Annual BEAR Day and Engineering Expo to Showcase Student Scholarship


MACON – Mercer University will hold its seventh annual Breakthroughs in Engagement, Arts, and Research (BEAR) Day and 16th annual Engineering Expo April 6-7 to showcase outstanding student research and special projects from the College of Liberal Arts, Stetson School of Business and Economics, Tift College of Education, Townsend School of Music, College of Health Professions and School of Engineering.

The festivities begin with poster presentations throughout Heritage Hall in the University Center on Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

This year's BEAR Day keynote speaker is Dr. Timothy Rowe, J. Nalle Gregory Regents Professor of Geology at University of Texas at Austin and director of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, which holds one of the largest research collections of vertebrate fossils in the U.S.

Dr. Rowe is also co-founder and director of the High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility, where he is a leader in developing digital technologies to analyze and visualize the skeleton along with the soft tissues that the skeleton supports.

His research interests focus on the evolution and development of vertebrates. He conducts fieldwork in the Mesozoic badlands of Texas and the American Southwest. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Keck and Intel foundations, and the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Rowe earned his B.A. from Occidental College in 1975 and went on to obtain an M.S. from the University of Chicago in 1981 and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986.

Dr. Rowe's keynote address, titled “What Happened to the Dinosaurs?,” is supported by the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program and will take place on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center.

BEAR Day poster and paper presentations and art exhibitions continue Friday in locations across campus, including the University Center, Knight, Stetson and Hardman halls, and McCorkle Music Building.

The Art Department will hold its annual student awards ceremony in Hardman Gallery and Townsend School of Music's brass choir will perform in Fickling Hall on Friday from 10-11 a.m.

The University Honors Convocation will take place from 4-5 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium.

Friday's festivities will conclude with a senior art show and reception at 6 p.m. at the 567 Center for Renewal in downtown Macon.

“BEAR Day demonstrates and honors the achievements of students and highlights the depth and breadth of the academic experiences at Mercer,” said Dr. Wayne Glasgow, senior vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “I know those in attendance will enjoy the presentations and trust that BEAR Day will spark intellectual curiosity and inspire further scholarly pursuits.”

The Engineering Expo will be held on Friday, beginning with the annual freshman design competition from 9-10:50 a.m. in the Engineering Building atrium and lobby. Podium presentations will take place from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and poster presentations from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Science and Engineering Building.

“The Engineering Expo is a showcase where our students share their research and design activities over the last year,” said Dr. Wade H. Shaw, dean and Kaolin Chair of Engineering. “The School of Engineering is proud to share the work of seniors completing their capstone design projects, honors student projects, master's thesis projects and the design competition that our freshmen use to test vehicles that they have built. This year, we celebrate the efforts of more than 150 students as they share their success with the community.”