Research Symposium showcases projects of all types


More than 60 students across campus will be showcasing their projects at this year’s Research Symposium, to be held Tuesday, April 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Brehme Conference Center in the Centennial Center.

The symposium will include projects of all topics, ranging from math and science to Spanish, psychology and musical performance.

“Many professors on campus really encourage their students to participate,” Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program Dr. Diane Chambers said.

The students summarize their work on a poster and take questions about their project.

The participating students have gone to several “poster training sessions” meant to condense all of their research into a form quickly understood and appreciated by spectators. One of the 29 total projects will be by senior English major Jessica Kincaid. She will present on the adaptation of Little Women from a book to a movie and the respective feminist views held by each.

“I think the movie is more feminist than the novel,” Kincaid said.

Senior psychology major Angela Mahoney will present in two separate projects. One joint project with senior nursing major Debbie Carmany will cover an oral history of WWII. It will include a video featuring veterans and wives of veterans, which they presented for their senior thesis project.

Mahoney’s second project with junior psychology majors Amanda Maxwell and Katlynn Stoll will explore correlations between maternal stress and child age during a co-constructive task.

The Research Symposium was was meant to “move us beyond the head-learning into actually doing something with what we’re learning, and this is an opportunity to showcase that kind of work,” Chambers said.

The symposium was originally a series of presentations in which one student would show their work after another. It now resembles “a science fair,” according to Mahoney. Each student has a poster and some additional visual displays such as videos or live performances.

“I like this one better because there’s less pressure,” Mahoney said. “People can walk around and look at your posters if they feel interested. I did also like the other way because I feel like you could better communicate to people who might not at first be interested in your project.”

“Students spend hours interviewing and then analyzing their interviews and data,” Dr. Lauren Seifert, professor of psychology and chair of the Institutional Review Board, said.

The symposium is “a real celebration of you all and the excellence you have in your scholarship,” Seifert said. “I think the best thing about this day is that we get to celebrate what fantastic students we have.”

The event was officially named “The Fourth Annual Malone University Undergraduate Research Symposium and Festival of Student Achievement.” It was  put on by a program committee chaired by Dr. Chambers and made up of College of Theology, Arts and Sciences Dean David Nathan Phinney, Drs. David Hahn, professor of mathematics, Mark Jakowski, associate professor of education, Susan McDevitt, instructor of nursing and Seifert.

The projects showcased are submitted via e-mail to the committee and then reviewed and approved.

“I have to give Dr. Chambers and Dr. Hahn a lot of credit for coming up with this,” Seifert said. “It’s a nice event to have while everyone has spring fever and senioritis.”

Dave Carmany  is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.

Categories: Features

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