Undergraduate Research: Driving success in student activities

May 2, 2011

Bradley University’s 19th annual Student Scholarship Exposition recognizing student research and project production is the capstone of National Undergraduate Research Week. More than 150 undergraduate and graduate students exhibited 81 different projects.

Natalee Runyan, a senior public relations major from Manito, Illinois, represented the Department of Communication at the Exposition. For her study, Runyan analyzed two years’ worth of student responses on the Late Night BU programs. Late Night BU is a monthly event that provides students with late-night alcohol-free programs.

Data and other feedback from surveys indicated that coordinators could focus on improving the attendance of males and members of the Greek community, in particular. Runyan said April’s Late Night BU, which focused on extreme sports, was designed to target these populations; the program offered sumo wrestling, indoor paintball, and human bowling, and was catered by local restaurant The Fieldhouse.

Runyan is personally invested in her project; she is one of the five coordinators who create and plan the Late Night BU events. “I completed this project because it will help future Late Night BU coordinators as they develop their plans for future events,” Runyan said. She noted that the research project also satisfied her independent study which she conducted with faculty mentor, Dr. Margaret Young. Dr. Young, who has been with Bradley University since 1996, teaches in the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts and specializes in speech, journalism, advertising and public relations classes.