March 29, 2023
On Campus

Shared Excellence

New Symposium Connects Honors Students in Region and Features Keynote Address by Entrepreneur Gina Schaefer ‘93

Wittenberg’s first-ever Undergraduate Research Symposium, a new event organized as an effort to bring together undergraduate students from the region to share their passion for excellence in research, learning, and professional growth, will debut Friday, March 31.

The event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning, the Benham-Pence Student Center, and Thomas Library, will feature students from Wittenberg, the University of Mount Union, and Wilmington College, as well as a special keynote speaker, Gina Schaefer, Wittenberg class of 1993, founder and CEO of A Few Cool Hardware Stores.

The morning session of the symposium will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. and feature presentations and poster sessions from life sciences, physical sciences, health sciences, computer sciences, data sciences, and mathematics. Schaefer’s keynote address will take place at 11:30 a.m. in room 105 of the Shouvlin Center. Poster and presentations from humanities, social sciences, languages, and education will be featured in the afternoon session from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Shouvlin Center, the Benham-Pence Student Center, and Thomas Library.

The goal of this first symposium is to bring together undergraduate students doing honors-level research and scholarly or creative projects to share their work in a semi-professional, conference-type environment. The event also looks to give students the opportunity to express the results of the significant time and effort they have spent on these projects, to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of these highly motivated and talented students on a bigger stage, and to facilitate interaction and networking between students in their fields of study with others who will potentially become their professional peers.

While on campus to present the symposium’s keynote address, Schaefer will also be the featured speaker during the Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement-sponsored Tiger Talk Book Club edition, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in room 201 of the Shouvlin Center on Thursday, March 30. Schaefer will discuss her new book Recovery Hardware in which she shares her powerful journey of how she built an innovative business that revitalized her urban community and provided opportunities for everyone to thrive, no matter their past. Recovery Hardware is available to purchase through Schaefer's website.

Passionate about her work, Schaefer grew her business from one to 13 stores, as well as added garden centers and specialty stores, in 18 years. Her stores are located throughout the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, metro areas. Schaefer is dedicated to maintaining a strong corporate culture and has a deep passion for developing urban markets, supporting small businesses, and helping women to succeed in all aspects of the hardware industry. She has tirelessly focused on the "Return to Main Street" movement in her own city of Washington, D.C., to promote ‘Shop Local’ campaigns and community revitalization in urban areas. For more on Schaefer, go to

Schaefer’s Tiger Talk will be held in person and via Zoom. To register, click here

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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