Session B: 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Architecture, Arts, and Humanities. Session B – Oral Presentations. Boyer Conference (2nd floor), Alumni House

SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Location: Boyer Conference (2nd floor), Alumni House


Mapping the Conservative Movement
Luke Seaver, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Peter Roady, University of Utah

SESSION B 10:45-11:00AM
Boyer Conference (2nd floor), Alumni House

Mapping the Conservative Movement is a digital humanities project led by Dr. Peter Roady of the University of Utah Department of History. It brings together the insights of history, sociology, and psychology and the digital tools of entity extraction, social network analysis, and data visualization to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the origins of the modern conservative movement. In my capacity as research assistant to Dr. Roady, I am conducting archival research and digitizing archival documents in order to identify key individuals and organizations in the early conservative movement and provide data for the digital analysis tools. I will also write analytical essays on some of the project’s most important findings for the open-source webpage that is to be created for the project once the research is complete.


The Effects of High School Design on Student Success
Charity Wardle, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor Holly Murdock, Utah State University

SESSION B 11:05-11:20AM
Boyer Conference (2nd floor), Alumni House

The central purpose of this research was to explore the effects that high school design had on student success. Society is starting to value mental health just as much as physical health, especially in our younger generations. It is important to consider the physical aspects of school design, but it just might be even more beneficial to focus on the impact of design on the mental health of students. Every student should feel valued by society, but instead many students are being stigmatized by the physical state of their high school and community. The goals of this research are to help define student success, recognize the impact that thoughtful interior architecture and design can have on those occupying a space, gain perspective from high school administration and faculty, and bring awareness to the public about the importance of investing time and money into high school design. This research focuses primarily on three high schools in Utah from varying districts that have either a remodel or renovation in the past five to fifteen years. The literature review for this project played a large part in proving the significance and need for this kind of research dealing with educational design. The methodology for the research is categorized into two parts, online data, and physical data. The online data consisted of researching the statistics of each school before and after the remodel or renovation. The statistics dealt with quantitative data such as enrollment and graduation rates, test scores, and overall school ranking in the state. The online data also provided images of schools both before and after the remodel/renovations to give a visual that otherwise would be difficult to describe in words alone. The physical data consisted of interviews with administration members from each school. The interviews and images of the schools provide qualitative data, which in the field of interior architecture and design can arguably have more importance than quantitative data alone. Their interviews gave important insight into how the interior design and architecture of a building affect students as a whole. The outcomes of this research project yielded the following; the definition of student success is shifting from solely academics to a goal of helping students feel prepared for real-life challenges. There was little to no difference in the statistics from each school before and after the remodel/renovation. There is always room for improvement in school design. There is little to no collaboration between faculty and administration during the design process involving schools. The new designs don’t affect faculty motivation to come to school, as their motivation comes from helping students. Students take more pride in their schools when they are beautiful, unique, and innovative. Well-designed high schools provide greater opportunities for flexibility, collaboration, and socialization.

Shards of History: Piecing together the Early Qur’an
Garrett Maxwell, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Kevin Blankinship, Brigham Young University

SESSION B 11:25-11:40AM
Boyer Conference (2nd floor), Alumni House

The background of the earliest layer of the Quranic corpus remains shrouded on account of its laconic style and exegetical opacity. One of the most recent scholarly attempts to bring some measure of clarity is the Corpus Koranicum project that seeks to establish a chronology of Quranic surahs by quantitative means, and in doing so, provide a scaffolding on which to construct a linear narrative of the Quran’s literary and theological development. Following the lead of scholars such as Nicolai Sinai, my research focuses exclusively on the very earliest group of surahs identified, known as the ‘Early Meccan Group I,’ comprising fifteen brief surahs that are notoriously difficult to decipher. By resorting back to the most fundamental levels of analysis such as grammatical address, I have attempted to delineate a cogent sub-chronology of this earliest group of surahs, as well as identify and decipher any plausible hints as to the historical or biographical context of these revelations. Sinai has called for as much, acknowledging that the chronological ordering of the text based on quantitative considerations needs to be done in parallel with “the reconstruction of a plausible theological and literary trajectory” (Sinai, 2017). In this paper, I will lay out my findings. By attending to formal features of Quranic stylization and intratextual resonances, I will offer several possibilities for sketching in broad strokes the prophetological arc of the early Quran in a logically efficient manner. I will also propose that Q 102 evidences a rupture from the rhetorical style of the earliest layer of recitations, and triggers developments in charismatic prophecy that begin to emerge in Q 81, which build on the incipient prophetology of what I argue are the earliest accounts of prophetic commission in the corpus, namely Q 93, 94, and 108. Lastly, I will highlight the thorny questions that this study has raised which demand further attention.


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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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