Emory & Henry senior Colt Pierce to pursue PhD program after graduation

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Our Emory & Henry 2020 seniors are preparing to graduate and change the world.

After graduating from Emory & Henry College in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography, Colt Pierce will be heading into the Geography PhD program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university is ranked 20th in the world and the Geography program is ranked as the top Geography program in the nation. 

“When I was first admitted into the Geography doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, their first remark was how obvious Emory & Henry has prepared me to engage and express in various fields of thought,” says Pierce. “I owe a great deal of my accomplishments to the several professors who have taken the time to ensure my success.” 

Pierce has spent a considerable amount of time during his undergraduate years researching how deviant ideologies arise in society by using geographic spatial theories through the lens of music. In May and June 2018, he spent time in Norway focusing on white supremacy, satanism, and nordic paganism in black metal music. He conducted interviews with several bands and observed Norwegian culture and interactionism. Several of the graduate programs to which he applied were very excited and impressed by his research, which he will be using for his honors thesis and the focus of his PhD research.  

In addition to this research, Pierce was heavily involved on campus. He completed an internship research project with Housing & Residence Life as well as served as a Village Community Advisor. Pierce was also a member of the Honors Program, Blue Key Honors Society, Phi Gamma Mu Honors Society, Gamma Theta Epsilon Honors Society, president of the Hermesian Society, and captain of the men’s cross country team. 

“I believe the most important factor that has shaped my experience at Emory & Henry is the interpersonal relationships professors craft with their students,” adds Pierce. “My advisor, Dr. Davis, has continually challenged me beyond what I thought were my own capabilities, and has given me numerous opportunities to improve myself not only as a student, but also as a member of society.” 

After Pierce obtains his PhD, he hopes to conduct research throughout the world to understand how music impacts our perception of place and the surrounding environment. 

  • Colt Pierce
When I was first admitted into the Geography doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, their first remark was how obvious Emory & Henry has prepared me to engage and express in various fields of thought. 
- Colt Pierce

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2252-libraries-at-emory-henry-receive-grant-funding"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.jpg" alt="Kelly Library at Emory & Henry College" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2131,2130/10958_20150505_EHC_4013.rev.1647460156.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2131" data-max-h="2130" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2252-libraries-at-emory-henry-receive-grant-funding">Libraries at Emory & Henry Receive Grant Funding to Support Health and Diversity Education</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Funding was recently received for the School of Health Sciences Library in Marion to build a Diversity in Health Collection as well as the Frederick Thrasher Kelly Library in Emory to develop a tool to assess diversity from the Network of the National Library of Medicine. <a href="/live/news/2252-libraries-at-emory-henry-receive-grant-funding" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/735-koch-uncovers-the-inequalities-of-food"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.jpg" alt="Shelley Koch" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/38/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,492,2136,2630/6049_Shelley_Koch-2.rev.1552061534.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2136" data-max-h="2138" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/735-koch-uncovers-the-inequalities-of-food">Koch Uncovers the Inequalities of Food</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Dr. Shelley Koch has released her third book, <em>Gender and Food: A Critical Look at the Food System</em>. The book looks at different aspects of food and how it is affected by gender inequalities. <a href="/live/news/735-koch-uncovers-the-inequalities-of-food" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg" alt="From left to right: Moderator Dr. Michael Puglisi of Emory & Henry College, Dr. Dean Sprinkle..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/921,0,3059,2136/6043_Mid-Appalachian_Higher_Ed_Summit.rev.1551899402.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2138" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian">Emory & Henry College holds Mid-Appalachian Higher Ed Summit</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> For the first time in the Mid-Appalachian region, leaders of nine higher education institutions gathered to look at the state of higher education, demographic and economic trends, and workforce and career development needs in the region. <a href="/live/news/717-emory-henry-college-holds-mid-appalachian" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>