A Range of Research

Tyler Sandau '12, left, and Nick Tommen '12, right, show off a model boat they built for the Galena Historical Society at the annual Student Scholarship Exposition.

By Frank Radosevich II
April 19, 2012

After spending months researching such diverse topics as solar-powered fruit dehydrators, Chinese practices in obstetric nursing and building model steamboats, students and professors gathered to showcase their work for the 20th annual Student Scholarship Exposition at Bradley’s Renaissance Coliseum.

Sponsored by the Office of Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (OTEFD), the event shows off the best of student research and creative endeavors from all five of the University’s colleges. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students discussed their poster presentations and scholarly work with the campus community and others.

“It’s a unique opportunity for students to present their research or creative production,” said OTEFD Interim Director Kim Willis, MA ’04. “Not only does it prepare them for their future, whether it be graduate school or a career, it’s an important and vital component of their education.”

This year saw the largest exposition yet, featuring more than 130 projects undertaken by some 245 students with 89 professors mentoring the scholars. The exposition highlights a key part of the Bradley’s mission: experiential learning. Through research projects, students apply their classroom knowledge while collaborating with professors on hands-on assignments.


Student Scholarship Exposition

“The students here are the embodiment of experiential learning,” said Dr. Charles Maris, assistant dean of sponsored programs and research.

That emphasis on experiential learning was music to some students’ ears. Presented with the Dean’s Award from the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, nine students won for their musical composition that weaved together their nine pieces of music. The project’s name, Enneapropaedeudodecaphonia, which means nine pieces for the purpose of teaching twelve-tone composition, was as extraordinary as its musical result.

“We could pick and choose any instrument we wanted from our class,” said Alex Moore, a junior music education major who participated in the project. “We had some use violin, cello and piano. We had one use saxophone, flute and trumpet. It just depended on the individual.”

MBA students Dan Dugal and Veronika Koubova carried out a sustainability study on Bradley, looking at its recycling programs, energy and water consumption across the campus and the carbon footprint of its student body. The research team compared the school to other area schools and found several areas where Bradley was doing well and where it could improve.

“We developed a series of recommendations for the University to enhance their sustainability performance that was aligned with their five-year strategic plan,” Dugal said. “In many ways, Bradley is doing very well. They made a strong commitment to LEED buildings, which are highly energy efficient buildings that are helping keep energy costs and their carbon footprint down.”

Other students took an international focus with their research. In his project, David Kraus, a junior studying political science with a minor in journalism, examined the ongoing problem of government corruption in Columbia and the nation’s subdued response to it. He hopes to expand his research to include more countries in Latin America and a comparison to the United States.

“It’s one thing to write a paper but when you actually talk to people about your research, you gain a lot of insight and find out if you have holes in your research,” he said about presenting at the exposition. “It’s a really good experience.”