ShowCASE Day, an event dedicated to celebrating the arts, scholarship, and engagement of students and faculty, was held Tuesday in the Campus Center Ballroom.
The event included projects and research from students and faculty involved in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Public Management, College of Law and La Fetra College of Education.
Shabana Khan, a graduate student in the leadership and management program, presented a research project, “Leadership Traits and Emotional Intelligence of Muslim Females: Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” which focuses on answering the question of why women are not obtaining leadership roles that they are qualified for.
“This project is my passion project,” Khan said. “I am very interested in female leadership, we all know females are underrepresented.”
Khan’s research found that a woman’s tie to her familial obligations were often put before her career, and that female supervisors tend to secure their spot and provide absolutely no encouragement to any fellow female coworkers trying to succeed as well.
Another major factor in Khan’s research was something known as the ‘Glass-Ceiling Phenomenon,’ which is a tactic used by organizations that puts a woman on top only to see her fail.
“If the woman fails and cannot do the position, they just see failure,” Khan said. “We need to abolish this kind of phenomenon, women are capable. If we fail at one time, that does not mean we are not capable. We have the ability.”
Jane Beal, associate professor of English, wrote a book explaining an early 14th-century medieval literature poem, as well as another book explaining how to teach the poem in an academic setting.
The poem Beal wrote about tells the story of a man who has a dream vision. The man has a pearl which he loses while asleep in a garden, where he dreams of a woman dressed in pearls telling him to trust in God to heal his pain.
“Suddenly we realize as readers that the pearl is a beloved woman who has died and that he’s been grieving her loss,” Beal said.
The woman in his dream prayed for him to have a vision of heaven, of which he does while in the dream. The man sees heaven and an impaled lamb that symbolizes Jesus Christ and the suffering He died on the cross for. The man commits his pearl to Christ and sees the Lord as his friend in the end.
“If he remembers Christ suffering, he could be comforted in his own,” Beal said.
Krystal Smith and other colleagues contributed to a project that provided book backpacks – backpacks that students are allowed to take home, which hold about four books on different topics to learn from, to students at the Child Development Center in the Fairplex.
“The research does show a strong correlation with children who read at home having higher education in successful classrooms,” Smith said.
The books provided are on subjects such as woman empowerment, multicultural families, and same-sex marriage.
“They had books originally but they were from the 1990s and when you look at books like that, they are very limited in their family values,” Smith said.
Smith estimates that there are anywhere between 150 to 200 ‘book backpacks’ available for students, and that about 50 percent of them are currently checked out.
Katrina Hagewood, senior biology major, worked on bacterial endophytes in orchid systems with both students and professors Stacey Darling-Novak, professor of biology and interim biology chair, and Todd Lorenz, assistant professor of biology.
Hagewood and her colleagues tried to establish the relationship between the seedlings in the orchids and the bacteria. They tried to see if the absence of gram positive bacteria would have any effect on the growth. The plant was stunted at the root and did not form the first leaf.
“This is the first part,” Hagewood said. “We’re writing a grant right now to hopefully get more money to do more antibiotic treatments in different [orchids] and start knocking out gram negative bacteria instead of gram positive.”
Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.