By Frank Radosevich II
April 19, 2013
Violence levels in video games, how high temperatures affect zebra mussels and the efficacy of cleaning solutions on bacterial growth were among the dozens of undergraduate student and faculty research projects showcased at Bradley’s 21st annual Scholarship Expo.
Sponsored by the Office of Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (OTEFD), the event highlights the best of undergraduate research and creative endeavors from all five of the University’s colleges. Held in the Renaissance Coliseum, the event coincided with Undergraduate Research Week and featured 90 posters completed by nearly 200 students.
At an awards ceremony following the expo, Dr. Jeffrey Bakken, dean of Sponsored Research and Bradley’s Graduate School, said he was impressed by the quality and quantity of academic research on display.
“The knowledge, expertise and passion exhibited by all students presenting was absolutely incredible,” he said. “I’ve observed many presentation in my life and these were some of the best I’d ever seen.”
Awards were presented to undergraduate students from each college. Winning the President’s Award were international studies majors Laura Doolin and Mikalynn Katlack for their research on epistemic communities along the Spanish-Portuguese border. The Provost’s Award went to chemistry majors Kyle Morgenstern and Katie Fox for their work on the antibiotic activity of delta-lactones.
Many students presenting research said it was important to partake in research at the undergraduate level. Doing so prepares students to present their research in the format used by many academic conferences and offers them a forum where they can discuss ideas with faculty and fellow students.
Hannah Bush examined the organizational culture of a wedding decorations business in the Midwest and studied how the company’s centralized decision-making and treatment of male employees influenced how the business was managed. She said conducting interviews and reading academic literature helped prepare her for attending graduate school.
“Starting your research as an undergraduate is extremely valuable because you’ll have a head start in graduate school,” said Bush, a senior organizational communication major. “You’re going to know the ropes a little better.”
OTEFD Interim Director Kim Willis MA ’04 said not only does the expo recognize excellent work by students under the mentorship of faculty members, it also exposes students to new areas of academic study.
“Participating in the Scholarship Expo is a great way to expand the boundaries of the classroom,” Willis said. “Students are researching in labs, conducting field interviews or traveling to conferences for their projects. They are doing academic work that’s not confined to the traditional classroom setting.”