More than 100 students took part in Newman Scholars Day, which took place from 9 a.m. to noon, May 6 in Eck Hall and the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus. It was an opportunity for students to show what they have learned during their academic careers.
Scholars Day presentations are a final requirement for a student’s graduation and part of the Newman Studies Program curriculum. It is an important part of the Newman curriculum because it allows students the chance to present in front of an audience a major project that encompasses years of study in their field. Students may collaborate on projects, and presentation of the research may take a variety of forms, including formal academic panels, poster sessions, creative readings or exhibits, video compilations or other means.
The event featured presentations on a variety of technical topics, such as “High Fidelity Simulations and Nursing Students” and “Effective Energy Function for Penetratin in Comparison with the Umbrella Sampling Method.” Projects also included summaries of service project capstones, senior art shows, theatre performances and results from student teaching special projects.
Several research projects targeted health care topics, like “The Effects of Kangaroo Mother Care on Birth Weight of Newborns” by third semester nursing students Stephanie Ford, Bailey Davis and Michelle Marchese.
Kangaroo care is “skin to skin contact” between a newborn and mother or newborn and father. The practice gets its name from a kangaroo mother which keeps its baby in its pouch close to the skin. The nursing students chose their topic to educate people.
“We found lots of studies around the world but few in the United States. It’s not wide implemented in the U.S. because we tend to me more focused on technology but this is so cost effective,” Ford said.
“A baby is placed in a diaper and on the chest of his or her mom or dad, the direct skin,” Marchese explained. “It does a lot of good things for baby and it decreases mom’s risk of postpartum depression and it increases bonding between baby and dad.”
“The studies that we look at focused on whether Kangaroo Care increased premature or low birth weight babies and it did,” Davis said.
Newman senior pre-med student Brandon Gollhofer did a research project on IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) at Newman University.
“I’m going to med school and will encounter these types of diseases in my career so it’s nice to get a feel for who suffers from this disease because with a list of only symptoms to go by, you have to figure out a way to treat it.” Gollhofer said. “My project helps raise awareness to this issue and it’ll help me as I practice medicine.”
For Newman senior Kayleigh Renfro, doing her study on the effects of gold mining on communities in Guatemala pushed her to overcome challenges through creative thinking.
“I’ve learned how to get creative because a lot of the methods that I was looking for…didn’t really exist…I had to pull from four or five different sources to figure out what to do next,” Renfro said. “There was no guideline to follow so that was fun.”
Scholars Day ended with a panel discussion focused on the Gerber ASC International Initiative, by Emily Simon, Diana Stanley, and Brandi Boese, and sponsored by Professor of History and Director of International Studies Cheryl Golden.
Newman University Scholars Day is presented at the end of each fall and spring semester.