Dozens of faculty members, undergraduate students and graduate students presented their academic and creative endeavors throughout the J.C. Williams Center in the third-annual Gallery of Research, Artistry and Community Engagement event Friday, April 9.
GRACE, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featured oral presentations, works of fine arts, research from the natural and social sciences, community outreach projects and projects based on student theses or seminar presentations.
The event also featured a fine art display of holy men and women of color, such as St. Juan Diego and St. Miriam Terisita, to portray God’s salvific grace as it extends to people across cultures, ethnicities and races. The display was inspired by the universality of the Church.
Each participant was required to present his or her work before a small panel of faculty. The presentations were open to and attended by students, visitors and faculty walking throughout the J.C. Williams Center.
Included in the variety of artistic presentations were communication art, fine art, dramatic and sung presentations.
Students Clare Young, freshman history and classics major; Daniel Shemer, junior communication arts major; Jude Young, senior computer science and mathematics major; Mia Doyle, freshman humanities and Catholic culture major; Jacob Muczynski, senior philosophy major; and Maria Shemer, a visiting high school student, presented a dramatic performance of “Champion at Tyburn.”
Written by Clare Young when she was in high school and performed at Saint Paul’s Seminary in 2018, “Champion at Tyburn” is a play of legendary lore about St. Edmund Campion, who is brought before Queen Elizabeth I and offered a position in the Anglican Church in the 16th century.
GRACE also featured research from the sciences.
In the category of Engineering, Mathematics and Science was an oral presentation by students Frances Mehl, sophomore biology major, and senior biology majors Claire Dawyot and Kaitlyn Martuch, under the mentorship of biology professor Dr. Daniel Kuebler.
Their study, “Heterogeneity of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Colonies Found in Human Bone Marrow,” explored the effectiveness of adult stem cells in orthopedic treatments.
Some faculty members participated with oral presentations of community engagement projects, as well as “Last Lectures” from retiring Franciscan University of Steubenville professors Joseph Zoric, professor of economics, and James Harold, professor of philosophy.
In their last lectures, Zoric and Harold reflected on their time at Franciscan University and how it fulfilled their vocations as teachers.
Ava Montes, senior English major, participant and attendee of the GRACE event, said, “It was a good experience. … It was a mix (of) arts and the sciences, which made it attractive to many types of people. People were able to showcase the things they’ve been working on for a long time in a very positive environment. People knew what they were talking about and did such a good job.”