At the end of each semester as part of Scholars Day, upperclassmen can present original research as a capstone project for their degree either in the form of a slideshow presentation or a poster.
Most students are presenting this as their college senior project but some are juniors looking to get a step ahead. The day helps students brush up on their communication skills and presentation skills, and is an all-encompassing review of their time at Newman.
Students who chose to do poster presentations line the halls of Bishop Gerber Science Center. Lauren Keith, Erin Schueller and Tyson Detwiler were some of those students at the recent Scholars Day.
They chose to research palliative care and present their findings. The nursing students centered their research around the importance of educating nurses about palliative care and the importance of starting palliative care early.
Keith and Schueller both work in long-term care units, which sparked the interest in the topic. Part of their research was done for the class itself but countless hours were spent researching to complete their project and create their poster.
The team of three agreed that they worked well together, which helped move the project along. Detwiler mentioned their main struggle was “coordinating the communication between the teacher and proofing, and going back and forth multiple times, trying to get the timing right to where we get it all done in time for today.”
The group was thankful they worked well as a team and communicated clearly throughout the whole process.
Schueller said, “I think the three of us worked together pretty well. And we had a pretty good outcome overall, I would say. I like the design of our poster. I think it looks really nice and I think it will draw people in. So I think communication was a big thing that we all did well.”
Kimberly Giesen gave a solo poster presentation about understanding an individual’s culture and everything that culture encompasses.
Giesen is a nontraditional student studying education. She said she’s been thankful for her professors at Newman throughout her time in the program.
“Instructors understood as a nontraditional student, I have a full-time job during the day. I have a family. I have a special needs child,” said Giesen. “So they really understood that and were willing to work with me when I might have let a deadline pass here or there. And they were really wonderful about understanding everything that goes on outside of Newman’s campus. We’ve got other lives besides just being students.”
Giesen chose her topic in the middle of January, implemented the topic into her student teaching during the semester and presented the results on Scholars Day. She was most surprised to find that not only her students were unaware of their heritage and culture but also their parents were unaware, she said.
The presentation marked one of her last steps before graduation and Giesen said she’s looking forward to completing her schoolwork. “It’s been a stressful semester. … I’m ready to be done. I’ve worked hard for this,” she said.
Art and theater students typically present their Scholars Day pieces in the De Mattias Fine Arts building. Art students Ximena Name and Victoria Connelly gave presentations to a panel of judges in the hallway of De Mattias where their artwork was hung.
Name had two bodies of work, graphic design and fine arts. After giving her presentation, Name said, “I was very nervous before it happened, but now that it’s over, I kind of want to go again.”
She shared her thoughts on her graphic design work and the ideas behind her fine art explaining the restrictions clients create for her graphic design work versus the freedom she feels when creating fine art.
Name explained, “I know my art. So I feel that in a way, it’s easier to talk about something that I made, that I did and that I know and came from my mind and my emotions rather than researching a topic or something like that, which is usually the case with presentations.”
Both artists have had their work on display since Final Friday.
“I was both nervous and excited because I knew that my work was going to be exposed,” said Name. “People are walking this hallway all the time and I didn’t know what people were going to think. But it makes me really happy that I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and I’m proud of myself. So it’s very exciting. It’s a new experience. I definitely enjoyed it.”