Graduates represent Tyndale at academic conferences

Monday, August 24, 2015

This summer, several recent graduates represented Tyndale at conferences in Toronto and Kingston, Ontario. Ksenia Choly [BA Philosophy 2015] and Hope Cunningham [BA Philosophy 2015] presented papers at the George Whalley Conference at Queen’s University, and Nathan Kalk [BA Psychology 2015], Cory LaFlair [BA Psychology 2015], Marleigh McConnell [BA Psychology 2016], Tanisha Morgan [BA Human Services – Social Service 2014] and Keera Anton [BA Psychology 2014] presented posters at the annual American Psychology Association (APA) Convention in Toronto.

At the George Whalley Conference, hosted by Queen’s University, Ksenia and Hope presented their papers alongside graduate students and PhD candidates from universities such as Yale, University of Toronto and Queen’s. The three-day conference honoured the life of George Whalley, distinguished Queen’s professor, World War II veteran and poet. Ksenia and Hope presented their papers on the first day of the conference, which was dedicated to Aesthetics and Romanticism, George Whalley’s areas of study.

Dr. Natasha Duquette, Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean of the University College, also presented her paper “‘Beauteous Dyes’: Variegation in Phillis Wheatley’s Aesthetics.” She says, “I was very pleased with the poise and confidence Hope Cunningham and Ksenia Choly displayed at the George Whalley conference at Queen's university. Afterwards, one of the conference participants who listened to them told me she thought Christian universities in Canada are currently producing better scholars than the public universities.”

Hope’s paper, “The Vital Role of Beauty in Human Progress,” argued that in history, beauty has played an essential role, inspiring and moving people to strive for greater things. She gave the example of Albert Einstein, who would not work on a formula that was not beautiful. Ksenia argued in her paper “Beauty as a Form of Objective Truth: An Exploration of Platonic and Aristotelian Conceptions of Objective Beauty” that the nature of beauty is the same as the good and the true. “There is objective good and evil, there is objective truth and falsity, and similarly there is objective beauty and ugliness,” she said. “Our world has forgotten this, but when looking at Medieval and Ancient conceptions of beauty, and its interaction with truth, it can be seen that all genuine beauty is a reflection of objective truth.”

Psychology graduate Nathan Kalk was one of the Tyndale students who participated in the annual APA Convention this year. He presented a poster summarizing the results of the research study he conducted for his honours thesis. In his study titled “The Effect of Hand Sanitizer on Perceptions of Attractiveness, Social Desirability and Morality,” Nathan explains that there is research to show that washing hands can increase one’s moral judgement and it can also decrease one’s moral judgment if it follows feelings of disgust. Nathan’s study took this research and explored the effect further, specifically asking the question “If hand washing can affect our moral judgement, can it also affect the way in which we perceive others?”

“By presenting at conferences, our students represent Tyndale well,” says Dr. Natasha Duquette. “It is also beneficial for our students to get out from under the Tyndale tent and into secular academe. It …increases the boldness and effectiveness of their scholarly testimony. It also spreads the gospel.”


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