Students and faculty presented their diverse research projects for ShowCASE – Celebrating the Arts, Scholarship, and Engagement Week – Monday in the President’s Dining Room.
Organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the presentations were part of ShowCASE’s week long activities to promote student, faculty and staff community engagement, arts and innovation.
Presenters varied from faculty, capstone projects, students from senior thesis classes, and graduate programs.
Nine presenters from different groups showcased topics varying from health, incarceration, poverty, and more.
Sarah Dunn, director of research and sponsored programs and associate professor of kinesiology, said it was the first time students were invited to present their work or scholarship during ShowCASE week as part of the University’s effort to be more inclusive.
“CASE week is an all inclusive opportunity for students and faculty with grant award funding to update the community on where their progress,” Dunn said.
The University has partnered with the William M. Keck Foundation to create technology-intensive research experiences.
This model has helped aid in retention efforts and graduation rates within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines Dunn said.
Christine Broussard, professor of biology, led a presentation titled, “Expanding the CURE: Broadening Participation in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences in STEM.” showcasing a 3D printed bone as a hands-on experience for students in anthropology, funded by the William M. Keck Foundation.
Broussard’s research group included Dunn, assistant professor of kinesiology, Kanya Godde Chrisco, assistant professor of sociology, Margaret Gough, assistant professor of sociology Roy Kwon, and assistant professor of chemistry Vanessa Preisler. The group was given a $3,000 grant from Keck to use over three years in order to offer more classes with research components. The goal is to include more research in curriculum across departments.
Their research included looking at student retention and overall grade point averages. They plan to present their research at an upcoming fall conference in Denver for the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities.
Because of the Keck partnership, students in STEM disciplines have been offered new technology to use as well as the Core-based Undergraduate Research Experience, a program that provides opportunities for students to receive advanced mentoring in an internship setting.
“Because of the program, I had a mentor to guide me through the process and a school that provided me with the needed materials to learn and understand,” said Luis Vargas, a senior kinesiology major with an emphasis in health and human performance.
Dunn worked with Vargas as a mentor and walked him through the process of completing his research project.
“Being in the program, students don’t need to go out of their way to find an internship,” Dunn said. “They can get all the research experience here including the mentorship the program now offers.”
Gehan Shalabi and Natalie Winterburn, both senior kinesiology majors in the CURE program, presented their research project on the positive impact of exercise for breast cancer survivors.
Their data included 50 participants who exercised at least three times a week and rated each week by feelings of stress, fatigue and anxiety.
Flora Wong can be reached at email@example.com.