Undergraduate students at the College of Staten Island recently had the opportunity to present their research to the College community at the seventh annual Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance. The conference featured 75 posters, representing the work of 130 CSI students and their 42 faculty mentors, as well as four performances that spotlighted theater and student musical composition.
Notable posters included a study on the use of medical sensors to keep tabs on seniors’ health conditions in their homes, research on the effects of alcohol consumption and on- versus off-campus living arrangements on grade point average, an examination of the productivity of song birds after spraying for the West Nile Virus, research on the effect that women leaders have on poor women in developing countries, and a study that exposes breast cell tissue to chemicals found on Staten Island, among others.
Susan Holak, CSI Associate Provost and the coordinator of this year’s event commented that she “was amazed by the level of work that I saw across the board.” She added that the conference “is something that brings both divisions of the College [Science and Technology/Humanities and Social Sciences] together –going across the aisle and seeing what everybody else is doing.” Many of the student participants agreed with Holak’s assessment.
Biology major, Sarah Tirro said, “I think it’s a great opportunity to enjoy what other people are researching and also get your ideas out there and get a response from other professors to see how you can make your ideas better.” Psychology major Nicole Lukovsky also felt the sense of academic camaraderie, “I think it’s a really great experience to be here and share with your fellow student peers and see what other students in the school are doing as well.”
Holak noted that an important aspect of the Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance is that it gives students a chance to see what it is like to present their research for the first time. This often serves as a launch pad for presenting at regional and national conferences, and gives these students an experience that is usually reserved for graduate-level students. With the CSI conference under their belts, these CSI undergrads, according to Holak, are not only better researchers, but also stronger candidates for graduate school, once they complete their undergraduate degrees at CSI.