On May 5, more than 120 Newman University senior students showed the Newman community the best of their research, scholarly and artistic work at the Spring 2017 Scholars Day.
Scholars Day, which is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters, is the culmination of students’ research or creative work during their time at Newman. It is the capstone activity of an undergraduate education at Newman, and is a requirement for graduation under the Newman Studies Program, the university’s innovative approach to the “core curriculum.”
The day allows graduating students to present a major project that encompasses years of study in their field, and receive feedback from faculty and other assessors.
Each student must identify a faculty mentor, who agrees to approve and guide the student through research that reflects the student’s major field of study and personal interest. Students may collaborate on projects. Presentation of the capstone project may take a variety of forms, including formal academic panels, posters, creative readings or exhibits, demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, video compilations or other means.
Many students presented their work with posters and presentations in Eck Hall. Fine Arts students’ portfolio work and presentations were presented in the De Mattias Fine Arts Center. Several students presented or had already presented their work at various locations off-campus.
Nancy Dahlinger, MSEd, assistant professor of occupational therapy was the chair of this semester’s Scholar Day.
The Spring 2017 Scholars Day included about 70 poster displays, more than 35 presentations and 20 performances centered around healthcare, communications, theology and more.
Senior nursing major Tara Greiving said her project focused on dogs helping children with autism. “The dogs are expensive, 15-thousand to 20-thousand dollars. They start them when they are eight weeks old and the training takes 18 months to two years,” Greiving said.
“We learned that kids respond so well to animals and that over the course of many, many years a parent can spend thousands and thousands of dollars on medications and therapy (for their children with autism),” Senior Sarah Poe said. “When you think about the money, yes a dog is expensive however you’re not medicating the child, not filling them full of chemicals…dogs eventually make the situation better.”
Senior business majors Juan Ramirez and Haley Williams teamed up on a project to research genetically modified organisms, or GMO, and addressing hunger issues in Africa.
“The reason we chose this is the fact Africa is one of the largest continents but it’s also the most underdeveloped and poorest,” Ramirez said.
“It was interesting because all the things you see in the news…is GMO’s are bad but that’s not really true. It was interesting to get the full picture instead of just a brief snippet,” Williams said.
Ramirez said he discovered that Monsanto owns a huge share of the sustainable agriculture market but believes the company plays a role in helping African farmers. “What they do for the farmer, that is improving the GMO process, is they are providing the education and their data to help crops that become more efficient and resistant to climate change or pesticides,” Ramirez said.
Among the some of the other topics were:
- School Age Children lack of Sleep Leads to Obesity Risk
- The Vaccine Quandary
- Structural Analysis of the Mutations of Acid Alpha-Glucosidase and its Association with Pompe Disease
- Keeping Up With Kindergarten
- Mary Queen of Scots & Elizabeth I
- Music Therapy in the Depressed Geriatric Population
- The Embodiment of Frida Kahlo
- The Kill: The Death of Laci Peterson
- Newman STEM Outreach Development Project
- Philosophical Inquiry on the Distinction between Animals and Man
- Auditing Apollo Shoes Company
- On Paternalism and Piety
- Dinnertime in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse
- Recognizing Human Trafficking in the ED
- Music Therapy in the Depressed Geriatric Population.
The essence of Scholars Day could be captured by the quote which appeared in the May 2017 program schedule.
"That only is true enlargement of mind which is the power of viewing many things at once as one whole of referring them severally to their true place in the universal system, of understanding their respective values, and determining their mutual dependence."
-Blessed John Henry Newman (The Idea of a University)