Brown Bag Lunch Research sessions kick off Sept. 13

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Story by Bella Utley, Contributing writer

The Brown Bag Lunch Research sessions for this academic year began Sept. 13, and seven faculty members will present throughout the year at the “Love of Learning” research sessions.

According to a press release from Murray State, this gives presenters a chance to show their research and scholarly activities to colleagues across disciplines in order to learn something new.

“I very much enjoy going to the source… and figuring things out,” said Bill Mulligan, professor of history and first presenter at the sessions.

Mulligan said he does research to understand the world we live in better. He said history is the best vehicle for him to understand the diversity of humanity and human society.

“It has been more taking what [historians] know and seeing how it can help others answer other questions about the past,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan said it is difficult to determine the exact length of his research projects as the varying topics tend to overlap.

“I’ve been interested in [George] Washington and his role in founding our country for many years,”  Mulligan said. “ I’ve been working and thinking on this specific presentation for about two years, and this is the third version.”

Mulligan said his presentation style has developed over the years into a more conversational and storytelling approach. He said this reaches a wider range of audience members.

“I’ll read some and talk over some–there will be a written text with footnotes because I am working toward publishing this,” Mulligan said.

Kevin Qualls, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, will present on Oct. 27.

Qualls has been working on several research projects, however, the topic he is leaning towards presenting covers intellectual property rights.

Qualls said presenting to fellow scholars will cover topics that deal with transformative use of copyrighted songs, pictures and stories.

“This is important because there are people on campus who have intellectual property,” Qualls said. “Who’s to say someone could steal your work and then sue you?”

Qualls said there is no clear law to intellectual property. He said his research will expand the knowledge of the laws, which will lead to a more stable work environment for students and professors.

“I don’t think we here at Murray State know enough about what one another are doing,” Mulligan said. “We are all so busy.”