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Milligan to host its 4th Annual RISE Above Conference

From Staff Reports

Milligan College will host its 4th Annual RISE Above Conference on Thursday, April 20, from 2 to 8 p.m. in Derthick Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

At 7 p.m. in  Wilson Auditorium, Dr. Shauna Nefos Webb, a Milligan counseling and psychology professor, will deliver a lecture titled “I Got Here as a Student First,” highlighting the narratives of African American athletes at an NCAA Division I STEM Institution, which she says “run counter to the negative and largely inaccurate portrayal of black college athletes that the media tends to perpetuate.”

Milligan’s RISE Above conference is an opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines and majors to present their mentored research. It is also a chance for faculty members, other students and interested individuals from the community to hear about various research topics.

“RISE Above offers students an opportunity to practice their communication skills related to sharing research,” said Dr. Joy Drinnon, director of undergraduate research and professor of psychology at Milligan. “It also is a chance to encourage other students to engage themselves in a research project through our special call for papers for the 2018 conference.”

Among the students presenting their research will be junior Amanda Largent and senior Lucy Gaudiano. Largent conducted a research on the influence of political bumper stickers on people’s perceptions of others.

“I found out that people assume a lot about someone’s personality and likability just based on who they vote for,” said Largent.

Gaudiano did her research on unaccompanied alien minors from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala). She studied their journey from the border to the courtrooms and how the U.S. can galvanize long-term policies to address and protect the dignity and life of a child.

“I am excited to present my research because I am eager to share the stories of these children and give them a voice,” said Gaudiano, who will give her presentation in Spanish.

This year also will include presentations from Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan students.

For more information about the RISE Above Conference, visit