Are you a biology major with an artistic touch, or an art major with an appreciation for science? Did you know about the career of medical illustration? Within the last decade, three Oglethorpe students have chosen to pursue this challenging career, and the rewards have been well worth the hard work.
Nobles Green ’03, an award-winning senior medical animator for Nucleus Medical Media, creates medical animations for a variety of clients, including pharmaceutical companies and TV shows like Dr. Oz and Oprah.
“I’ve always liked art and science growing up,” he said. “For a while I just wanted to pursue an art career, but the more I learned about biology… there was something that made me interested…There’s a lot of problem solving, so far as knowing what your client wants and knowing how to visualize what they’re saying, what scientific theories they want to express.”
Sarah Duff ’12 also works for Nucleus Medical Media, as the Production Assistant for Legal Medical Art at Nucleus Medical Media. Nobles was integral in Sarah’s decision to enter the medical illustration field.
“He visited my senior year [at Oglethorpe] and I asked him what he did,” she said. “He gave me a chance to tour the company, to look around and see what it was like. Then in August, Nobles emailed me to tell me there was a job opening.”
Similarly, Katie Dale ’10 who was a double major in biology and art, found Nobles to be of great assistance in her quest to work for Nucleus Medical Media.
“All I did was contact Nobles,” she said, “and he was helpful and so nice, and he got me an internship… I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field though I wasn’t sure specifically what. I didn’t actually declare a major until the end of my junior year… one of my [golf] teammates was looking into [medical illustration] because she was an art major, and she told me I should look into it and I thought it was perfect for me. I didn’t have to give up my love of art, and I could still be in a science field!”
Nobles himself credits the decision to pursue medical illustration largely to Associate Professor of Art Alan Loehle.
“He’s been very encouraging, very helpful all throughout Oglethorpe,” said Nobles, “so I did all the mandatory classes with him as well as some individualized [classes]… I like to help OU students out, [and] every time Loehle tells me about someone I try to help them out, give them a tour.”
Thanks to faculty and alumni, these graduates have found a place in the competitive world of medical illustration. As Sarah advises, “Don’t be scared around alumni because they’re going to want to help you succeed..I’m so lucky to have this job because I absolutely love it.”
As Commencement approaches, there is something I can’t stop thinking about: the moment when I will walk on stage and be “hooded” in front of hundreds of spectators. This simple act signifies and rewards numerous hours of research, writing and editing, all done in the name of a thesis for the Honors Program. In spite of all the time and dedication the process has required, every time I look at my 49-page thesis, I know that the work has been worth it.
The Honors Program is an opportunity for students to further challenge themselves intellectually, both within and beyond the classroom setting. Honors students participate in several cross-disciplinary classes, forging closer relations with peers and faculty from various disciplines who share a common enthusiasm for learning, while developing their own interests and initiative.
“The thesis-building years are not for the faint of heart!” says fellow Honors student Lindsey Mitchell ’13. “The level of research and writing that is required is excellent practice for students who are interested in pursuing higher stages of academia, and therefore it is very rigorous.”
“The skills you get are pretty amazing,” adds Jef Palframan ’13. “You get to do your own thing… plus, you get to work one-on-one with three PhDs who have something to do with your field.”
“(The program) allowed me to bridge different fields of interest (political science, political theory, and political philosophy) to answer a question that is important to me,” said Samantha Flynn ’13. “I plan to expand this thesis into a book after graduation.”
Samantha’s thesis, “Invocatio Dei: The Competing Roles of Religion and Secularization in the Polarization of American Political Culture,” was inspired by the question, “What is the cause of the venom in party politics today?”. The answer, she argues, is found in the role Christianity plays in American politics.
“I specifically focus on the evolution of the modern Left, from its origins in Massachusetts Bay Puritanism, through Progressivism, and into modern liberalism,” she explains. “I contrast American secularization (which I argue is actually not happening) with European secularization, and reject modern theorists’ interpretations of why secularism happens with a return to Tocqueville.”
Jef’s thesis, “Lifting the Veil of Violence: The October Crisis, 1970” looks at “an event that changed the concept of sovereignty in Quebec.”
“There are two sides (to the crisis), but if you break the violence down, there’s more than English versus French,” he says. “We’re not against violence as long as that violence is used in the means of the state. When that violence goes against norms, we shy away from it.”
Lindsey’s thesis, “Discovering the Paths and Effects of Time Travel through Science Fiction,” has both academic and creative components.
“The creative portion is about two men who travel to a nearby section of the universe to photograph the way a certain cluster of stars looks in current time,” said Lindsey. “Eventually, the fatalistic nature of time travel catches up to them, (and) the two men are forced to abandon their missions and society, traveling forever forward in time until it is safe for them to return to the Earth. The academic portion is a series of essays attempting to explain the choices I have made within the research available to me. I represent certain areas of thought in the short stories, and the essays are my way of defending and breaking down the difficult theories so that they are understandable to someone who has not spent months researching as I have.”
My own thesis, “Horror-Comedy: The Chaotic Spectrum and Cinematic Synthesis,” debunks the idea that comedy and horror are disparate genres. By looking at common reactions, plots, and characters in movies, I’ve come to conclude that horror and comedy lie on a spectrum that consists of how threatening, plausible, and likable the characters, monster, and plot are. The Honors Program has added to my Oglethorpe experience in some astounding ways, and it is my hope that other students will participate in the future.
“The Honors Program is an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to dive into a wide variety of specialized topics that are not usually offered as full-length courses,” said Lindsey. “I would say anyone who has a passion for the process of learning would be an excellent candidate.”
Did any of these topics interest you? If so, look for them in the upcoming Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research. Thanks to all of the committee members who have helped these theses form!
During the high school scramble to find a college, I found myself drawn to Oglethorpe for three reasons: it looked like Hogwarts, it was obsessed with community service, and it offered the Core curriculum. The Core, which strives to enrich student experiences with a challenging, cross-disciplinary education, has led to some amazing opportunities for students. Recently, Rebekka Strom ’13 and Samantha Flynn ’13 were among only 40 students accepted to present their papers at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) student conference at Shimer College in Chicago.
ACTC is an international, professional association that seeks to advance liberal arts education by developing and promoting liberal arts education programs (and other programs) which integrate core text courses with the most advanced developments in administration, curriculum, student support services, faculty support, and general education assessment and review.
The ACTC conference gave students the chance to share their papers, which reflected upon and integrated various Core texts, with a group of faculty members and fellow students. Rebekka was able to put her English degree to use in a formal environment, and “to see how Core transcends the classroom setting.” Similarly, Samantha was given the experience of a “dry run at academia,” which is her ultimate career goal.
“What really struck me during the conference was the outstanding quality of an Oglethorpe education,” enthused Samantha. “Other participants in the conference were from Great Books schools and top-tier university names, and yet Oglethorpe’s Core had prepared me to understand, discuss, and critique their papers on a wide variety of subjects. When people met me and asked where I was from, almost no one had heard of Oglethorpe, and yet, by the end of the conference, I had several participants inquire about the nature of Oglethorpe’s Core program because they were convinced it must be a Great Books school.”
“The (conference) solidified my choice in selecting and pursuing a liberal arts education,” added Rebekka. “I was able to interact with like-minded undergraduate students and their support faculty members about core texts and their relevance in 21st century higher education—from Aristotle and Plato to Hobbes and Locke… it was an exciting experience to network with colleges and universities that strive to keep the liberal arts alive.”
Rebekka’s paper, “Remember the Ladies: Individuality, Community, and Equality of Early and Modern Women,” was written for her COR-302 class.
“In [class], we talk a lot about modernity,” she said. “I (looked at) the women of these time periods and contrasted them with what it means to be a modern working woman in 2013.”
Samantha’s essay, “Libido Dominandi: Fulfilling the Presence of the Absence of a Reality,” was written for Dr. Orme’s Human Nature and the Social Order class.
“(My topic) was something I saw in a lot of texts…’The Lust for Power,’ ‘The Will for Power… I tried to link all these (phrases) and make them part of the same dialogue.”
For anyone interested in a similar opportunity, Samantha had the following advice: “Take Core seriously… It was one of the main reasons I came to OU, and this is an example of Core paying off.”
Samantha was extremely thankful to have had this opportunity, and feels indebted to Dr. Knippenberg for sponsoring her and to Dr. Orme and Professor M. Smith for advising her on the content of her paper. Likewise, Rebekka expressed gratitude towards Dr. Knippenberg, Dr. Baube, and the entire Core Committee, as well as to her academic advisors Dr. Chandler and Dr. Hornback. Without their support, and without the Core program, Samantha and Rebekka could not have had this experience.
Like most college seniors—whether they’re budding writers, scientists, researchers, economists, artists, etc.—I want people to read and see my work, to ask questions, to challenge it. In other words, I want to be published. Thanks to Oglethorpe, I now have that chance.
The new Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research is a scholarly, peer-reviewed publication that promotes undergraduate research by preserving and making available the academic and creative inventions from our campus. The Journal serves as both a digital repository of scholarly output and a platform for publishing inventive and original works. Various types of submissions are accepted, including research articles, photography, book reviews, conference posters and more.
“It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve done since starting at Oglethorpe,” said Ashley N. Dawson ’16, one of the first students to be published. “I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl, and the Journal and its supporters made that dream a reality. It truly is an amazing feeling to see your thoughts on the screen, and to know that people are reading them and sharing them with others.”
The Journal was started thanks to the efforts of Anne Salter, university librarian and director of Philip Weltner Library, and Laura Masce, university archivist. While attending a conference at Kennesaw State University, they learned about the idea and the possibility of partnering with the institution. Kennesaw would host the site, and Oglethorpe students would be able to send submissions to their own, separate journal for their alma mater.
“We began getting the faculty on board…and there was a lot of interest,” said Anne. “We were determined to do this.”
Being published is incredibly helpful for a resume, and the process for publication is simple: write your thesis, talk to your advisor, and then submit! A team of editors review the work and inform those who submit of any changes or problems before the work is published. The editors are David Evans, dean and assistant vice-president of library services at Kennesaw, and Oglethorpe faculty: Dr. Charles Baube, professor of biology; Dr. Michael Rulison, professor of physics; and Dr. Linda Taylor, professor of English.
Five freshman honors students, Derek C. Wolter ’16, Ashley N. Dawson ’16, Tali M. Schroeder ’16, Tabitha Clark ’16 and Grace B. Djokoto ’16, have already taken advantage of this opportunity, and the Journal is continuing to take submissions on a rolling basis.
“My article is about Inuit mythology and its influence in a children’s film,” said Tali. “Ms. Salter makes the publishing process very easy, and I would definitely recommend it to those who are unsure of submitting an article.”
“If you are seriously considering graduate school and doing original research,” added Anne, “coming to [Oglethorpe] is a great place to begin that research.”
Attention Oglethorpe students! Why not take advantage of this opportunity? There are many ways to learn more: contact Anne Salter, visit the Journal’s website, or you can even watch Weston Manders’ “This Week in Oglethorpe Arts” video episode that features interviews about the new Journal.