Scholarship and creativity

Marlon Washington, right, discusses the Department of Theatre Arts production of ''Fences'' with Dr. Edward Flint.

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April 9, 2010

Almost 100 student projects representing all academic disciplines were highlighted at Bradley University’s 18th Annual Student Scholarship Exposition held today in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center’s performance court.

Sponsored by Bradley’s Office of Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (OTEFD), the event is “a showcase of student scholarly works in research and creative endeavors.” At the event, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students shared oral/demonstrative presentations and poster presentations of their scholarly works with the campus community and others. Sixty-three faculty mentors collaborated on the research with the 162 students involved in the Exposition.

“It is truly just one day outside of taking tests and quizzes where they are actually applauded and celebrated for the work they have done,” OTEFD Assistant Director Kim Willis said.

The students had nothing but praise for the opportunity to showcase their many hours of research and for their collaborative work with faculty mentors.

“I think it is a great thing at Bradley where you can see what everyone else is doing on campus,” psychology major Hayley Skulborstad said. She felt participants benefited from the Exposition because it allowed them to enhance presentation skills.

In her project “Buffering the effects of ostracism: the role of self-affirmations,” Skulborstad focused on how self-affirmations affected the negative effects of ostracism. Ostracism is something, she said, everyone feels at times.

Economics major David Bornfleth, who surveyed 200 BU students for “Consumer Sentiment at a Collegiate Level,” agreed that the Expo offered a great opportunity to see other research being conducted on campus. “It’s pretty cool seeing everybody’s projects. It really shows what BU can do. You get to see what other students are doing.” Bornfleth was excited about showcasing the result of his numerous hours of hard work.

Peoria High School science teacher Dale Beaver, who is a teacher education graduate student, also enjoyed seeing the work presented by fellow students. Upon completion, the results of Beaver’s project “Map Maker, Make Me a Map!” will be published on the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers. Once online, teachers who access the site will be able to use the lesson plans he develops.

Like the other students, Riannah Pouncy felt the Exposition enabled students to see some of the work being done on campus. “I think it’s interesting. I think it’s a good idea.”

Pouncy, who portrays “Rose” in the Theatre Department’s “Fences” production, said some students might not get to see “Fences,” but the Exposition introduces them to the play. She said it takes a lot of research to prepare a theater production, which may not be apparent to the audience. For example, the historical period needs to be researched so the designers and cast can recreate the setting, the characters and the costumes successfully.

Graduate student Amy Biegler, whose project is “Impact of Client Suicide on Counselors,” looked forward to the Exposition because she felt it offered her an opportunity to prepare for her upcoming thesis defense.

Working closely with faculty mentors is beneficial to the students’ success.

Andrew Elliott and Nick Hanauer worked collaboratively with Dr. Joel Schipper and Nick Schmidt from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on their project, “Emergent Behavior Robot.” Elliott said their project would not have been the same without the advice and guidance they received from Schipper and Schmidt. “They helped us get to where we are. We wouldn’t have been where we are if it wasn’t for them,” Elliott said.

“These kinds of projects are good for the students because they can see the instructor in a different environment,” Beaver said.

Through the research, Beaver said the student teacher relationship subsides and a colleague-to-colleague relationship takes over through the general development of the scholarly work and with the tossing of ideas back and forth. “It’s a good collaboration between fellow colleagues.”

OTEFD Interim Director Dr. Anika Bissahoyo said presentations, such as those given at the Exposition, are vital to some students’ future careers. “Depending on what field students go into presenting your work in the form of a poster is something that you do quite a bit.”

This year OTEFD brought back the competition to the event. The winners are as follows:

Business Sciences


  • First place, undergraduate—“Consumer Sentiment at a Collegiate Level”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Evening’s Empire Recording Company: A Business Plan
  • First place, graduate—“Generational Differences in the Workplace: The Impact of Generation Y Entering the Workplace”
  • Second place, graduate—“Post-acquisition cultural integration”


Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences


  • First place, undergraduate—“Ultrasound Speckle Reduction after Coded Excitation and Pulse Compression”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Satellite and Inertial Attitude and Positioning System”
  • First place, graduate—“Using Robots to Help Teach Social Skills to Individuals with Autism: Outcomes of Robotic Platform Investigations”
  • Second place, graduate—“Microwave Transistor (pHEMT) Parameter Extraction and Modeling


Human Service


  • First place, undergraduate—“Correlates of Protein Intake Among Community Dwelling Older Adults”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Microbial Growth in Ground Beef during Different Methods of Thawing”
  • First place, graduate—“Impact of Client Suicide on Counselors”
  • Second place, graduate—“Use of a Clinical Prediction Rule for Low Back Pain by Physical Therapist in Outpatient Settings”


Individuals and Societies


  • First place, undergraduate—“Evaluation of College Student’s Environmental Concern and Apparel Consumption Patterns”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Evaluating Corruption and Economic Development: A Statistical Inquest”
  • First place, graduate—“Ancestor Veneration in Ancient and Contemporary China: Perspectives on the Functions, Variations, and Numinous Dimensions of China’s Oldest Ritual Practice”


Natural Sciences


  • First place, undergraduate—“Formaldehyde Metabolism in Tetrahmena Thermophila: Therapeutic Implications of the FALDH-SFGH Detoxification Pathway”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Characterization of the Tetrahymena Thermophila ART1 Fusion Gene”
  • First place, graduate—“Catalysis by Metal Colloids Synthesized within Silane-Containing Polymers”


Visual, Literary and Performing Arts


  • First place, undergraduate—“A Critical Examination of J.D. Salinger’s ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ and Simon J. Ortiz’s ‘Going for the Rain’: A Struggle for Purpose and Belonging”
  • Second place, undergraduate—“Fences”
  • First place, graduate—“Merging Liminal Identities (in progress)”
  • Second place, graduate—“The Cubist Narrative of James Joyce”


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