Mercer to Hold Virtual BEAR Day to Showcase Student Scholarship


MACON – Mercer University has converted its 10th annual Breakthroughs in Engagement, Arts and Research (BEAR) Day to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to showcase outstanding student research and special projects.

Students were invited to submit their work to the University’s digital repository where it will be available for viewing by fellow students, faculty and the general public.

“This was a big change for us, especially on such short notice,” said Dr. Adam Kiefer, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and faculty co-chair of BEAR Day. “That being said, it was essential to provide students with the opportunity to present their work and accomplishments to the Mercer community. More than 130 student projects were uploaded into our University Research, Scholarship, and Archives (URSA) database.”

“Many students and faculty had to entirely rewrite their presentations to accommodate this change, but at the end they were able to upload a presentation or paper that is now shared the world over,” added Kathryn Sheriff, archivist for Mercer University Libraries who oversees URSA. “We intend to make publication through URSA an option for students in future years.”

BEAR Day, originally scheduled for March 26-27, accepted proposals for more than 290 poster and oral presentations from students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, Townsend School of Music, School of Engineering, Tift College of Education and College of Health Professions.

The event was also set to include the third annual Malcolm Lester Phi Beta Kappa Lectures on Liberal Arts and Public Life featuring Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The lectures have been rescheduled for Sept. 14-15.