RC Student Conference Presentation: Costume design

by Marcus Stewart on March 31, 2015

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The first week of March, Roanoke College senior Emily Edmonds was able to present her research at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga, TN.  Emily did her work under the Fine Arts department. Emily’s research topic focused on costume design in The Importance of Being Earnest, a play by Oscar Wilde. She decided to pursue research with Dr. Ruhland because of her interest in costuming and her desire to pursue it as a career after graduation.

Emily really enjoyed being able to work with a professor while doing her own research.

“Jennie Ruhland is an amazing teacher and I absolutely loved working with her. Her advice throughout the whole process was so meaningful and helpful. I had to revise and edit my project a bit, but even her criticism was constructive and I learned a lot from it. I learned so much more than I ever could have in a class-room so I am really thankful for the experience.”

When asked about the conference Emily says:

“It was different than I expected. My project wasn’t what is traditional of research presentations so it was nerve-racking because I didn’t know what to expect. Plus, I presented my work in a design competition so that added another unique layer to the experience. Honestly though, once I got set-up and everything was prepared, then things went super smoothly. I sadly didn’t place in the competition, but it was great experience and I’m glad that I entered my work and was able to receive feedback from the judges on how I can improve.”

For anyone considering doing research at Roanoke, Emily says:

“Do it!! I think people get intimidated by the thought of presenting research, but it’s such a valuable experience and a great way to learn how to make your research stronger or clearer. If you put a lot of hard work and planning into something, don’t be afraid to put your work out there. Also, don’t let yourself be limited by thinking research can only be done in certain fields. I am a Theatre major who presented a research project about costuming that I worked on and analyzed for a long time so just because your interests aren’t in the sciences, doesn’t mean that should stop you from pursuing research. Definitely get as much one on one time with the faculty here as possible because you will learn so much. Even if it’s just an independent study, it’s still definitely worth doing.”

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