Students' Research, Capstones and Creative Accomplishments Recognized
From across the Schools, creativity and curiosity were on display in an annual multi-event recognition of students’ research and creative accomplishments on April 23 in the Barone Campus Center. Four events showcased Fairfield students’ research and creative accomplishments: the Research & Creative Accomplishment Symposium and Core Writing Symposium, Senior Nurses Capstone Presentations; and the 15th Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session.
Research & Creative Accomplishments Symposium and Core Writing Symposium
Hundreds of students, faculty and staff dropped in at the symposium, which featured 31 projects from a range of academic courses, including Econometrics, Justice in the Developing World, Vertebrate Zoology, Independent Study and more.
Students each worked with their professors to create a research project in a field of interest. Several students who traveled to Nicaragua based their projects on fieldwork there, including exploration on issues of violence against women, elementary education, malnutrition, and literature on sexual orientation and gender identity. Other topics explored included climate change and its impact on conflict in isolated areas of the world; the effect of poverty on graduation rates; integrating music into the elementary classroom; temperamental and cognitive risk factors for anxiety; and many more.
Senior Nurse Capstone Presentations
Upstairs in the Oak Room, 66 senior nurses were prepared and excited to discuss their projects, all of which grew out of their work at local hospitals. Students were encouraged to evaluate the clinical environment in terms of learning needs—the patient’s, the patient’s family, or the nursing staff. Then the student was to devise a practical method to communicate that information that was useful, durable and clinically relevant. Projects varied from evaluating patient satisfaction and providing education on preventing pressure ulcers to fall prevention and the importance of silence for healing.
“Faculty and staff all agreed that this year the quality of the nursing student capstone projects was outstanding,” said Dr. Meredith Kazer, dean of the School of Nursing. “Moreover, students presented their projects with a high level of eloquence and professionalism. I am so proud of the 75 Baccalaureate nursing students who will be graduating from Fairfield this month and am confident that each and every one of them will make substantial contributions to our healthcare system.”
Sigma Xi Poster Session
Members of Fairfield’s chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, also presented their research projects later in the afternoon in the Barone Campus Center. This year’s event featured 61 projects involving 110 students in scientific research in the fields of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, engineering, environmental studies, mathematics, nursing, physics and psychology.
Just a few sample titles from some the various projects show a wide range of interest and exploration:
“Do You Think I’m Sexy: An Observational Study on the Breeding Suitability of Two Rare Amur Leopards”
“The Effects of Hypolimnetic Oxygen Deficiency on Fish”
“Zinc and Copper Analysis of Ribbed Mussel Pallial Cavity Fluid”
“Laparoscopic Surgery Wound Closure Device”
“Historical and Mathematical Overview of Einstein’s General Relativity”
“Atmospheric Whistlers and Sferics”
“The 15th Annual Sigma Xi Research Symposium was our most successful one to date!” said Dr. Shannon Gerry, assistant professor of biology and this year’s Sigma Xi president. “Many of our students received Hardiman or Lawrence scholarships to conduct their research. The quality and diversity of the research presented attest highly to the strength of our programs.”