Research and Awards Presented at Religious Studies Conference

This year, five undergraduate students majoring in Religious Studies were featured at the Religious Studies Undergraduate Research Conference and Awards Presentation.

Two of the five students, Addison Bordine and Emma Pittsley, presented their research and senior thesis. Pittsley’s thesis, “The Student’s Path to Developing a Social Enterprise,” focused on the ground work in planning an organization to support interfaith families. Through her work, she hopes to set an example for future students who have an interest in social enterprise. Bordine’s thesis was on the “Re-enchantment of the World or Straightforward Secularization: The Changing of America’s Religious Landscape and the Rise of SBNR.”

Also speaking at the conference were other special guests from Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo College, and Western Michigan University.

In addition, three students were presented with the following awards at the conference:

Elise Robinson receiving award
Elise Robinson receiving the Robert T. Anderson Award with Department of Religious Studies Chair Arthur Versluis.
 


Senior Elise Robinson won the Robert T. Anderson Award. Presented by the Department of Religious Studies, this award honors an outstanding Religious Studies senior.

Shelby Vandermel receiving award
Shelby Vandermel receiving the Julia Johnson Student Award with Department of Religious Studies Chair Arthur Versluis.
 


Senior Shelby Vandermel won the newest department award, the Julia Johnson Student Award in Religion and Ecology, which was created by Julia Johnson, who graduated from MSU in 2015 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. This is the first year the award was presented.
 

Emma Langschied
Emma Langschied receiving the Nick Rashford and Jake Folio Award with Department of Religious Studies Chair Arthur Versluis.
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Sophomore Emma Langschied won the Nick Rashford and Jake Folio Award. Presented by the University, this award recognizes undergraduate academic achievement and works to strengthen the academic credentials of the recipient.

Also during the event, Langschied and senior Maddy Averill were inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa, the honor society for Religious Studies and Theology.

Maddy Averill
Maddy Averill being inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa with Professor John Keune.


The Religious Studies Undergraduate Research Conference and Awards Presentation was held on April 14 at the MSU Museum Auditorium.