Contemporary Concerns and Technology Examined at Student Research Day

By Ryan Traylor and Joanie Harmon

The 6th Annual Student Research Day (SRD) at California State University, Dominguez Hills showcased the work of undergraduate and graduate students. On Feb. 24, more than 100 students shared their oral and poster presentations on a range of topics that represented issues most on college students’ minds.

“Students’ presentations reflected a broad range of contemporary concerns such as HIV prevention and sexual health, and also timely topics such as the use of on-line technologies to support virtual education activities,” said associate professor of sociology Matt Mutchler , who mentored three of his students through oral and poster presentations.

Cheryl Jackson- Harris, professor of health sciences, judges Scott Matsumura’s poster presentation on, “Rounder Than Usual: Why Are Our Children Overweight?”

Mohammad Eyadat, associate professor, information systems and operations management, and chair of the event’s organizing committee, said that the research done by students on- and off-campus creates more opportunities to build and strengthen relationships between CSU Dominguez Hills and local communities.

“The topics of the presentations reflect the high quality of student learning outcomes,” said Eyadat. “According to the judges’ evaluations and recommendations, as well as feedback from the audience, SRD supports the goals of our university by continuing to encourage student involvement in research and scholarly activity as an essential part of their learning experience. Also, it has become a learning tools [that encourages] our students to continue their research and pursue graduate studies.”

Several students turned their attention to career aspirations and their immediate environment for inspiration.

Heather Karuza, a graduate student majoring in education, works with the Leadership Learning Community, a research institute at CSU Dominguez Hills. Her oral presentation “Implementing Diagnostic, Rescue Assignment, Translations and Story Problems (DRTS): An Intervention Model Used Among Middle School Math Teachers to Increase Student Achievement” was selected as one the  winning entries. Karuza also displayed her poster on “Virtual Learning Environment: A Catalyst to Sustainable Professional Learning Communities,” which she created with Ruth Gamboa-Brooks. They were mentored by Dr. Anthony Normore, associate professor of graduate education.

“[Student teachers] didn’t have enough technological skills,” Karuza said of her findings. “They need to be social to learn and use the internet as a learning tool.”

Anthropology majors Jasmine McElroy and Diana Ochoa presented their poster, “A Survey of Cultural Perceptions of Waste and Waste Management at CSUDH,” as mentored by Ana Pitchon, assistant professor of anthropology.

“Even though students are aware of the environmentally appropriate ways to dispose of their waste, they don’t behave [that way],” said McElroy, who observed patterns of waste disposal among residents of University Housing. “My observations contradicted the survey results.”

McElroy, who is planning to earn her doctorate in environmental studies, said that she hopes to establish a common waste disposal practice across campus starting with her fellow students in the dorms.

“I recycle on my own,” she said. “It’s hard when you do it and you see that no one else does it; it seems like you’re not making much of a difference. You want to push it so that everyone is helping and realizing we’re the younger generation and we’re going to soon be in control of our country. We need to start enacting these practices so that way, our future has a positive outlook.”

Graduate student Kimberly Hughes and associate professor of graduate education Anthony Normore, celebrate her successful delivery of “The Reality of Charter and Autonomous Schools: A Critical Review of the Literature.”

Graduate student Kimberly Hughes and associate professor of graduate education Anthony Normore, celebrate her successful delivery of “The Reality of Charter and Autonomous Schools: A Critical Review of the Literature.”

Psychology majors John V. Gibson, Chaka Dodson and Shane Wilson presented their findings on HIV in African American communities in a poster titled, “The Dual Aspects of Stress in Relation to Medical Adherence in HIV+ African American Men,” which was mentored and authored by Karen Mason, professor and coordinator of the clinical psychology program.

“African American men represented the largest number of new cases of HIV,” Gibson said.  “And getting stressed out contributes to more African American men getting HIV.”

Brenda Riddick, adjunct professor of political science, has served as a judge at Student Research Day for the last two years.

“We look for their comprehension of the data presented and significance of the research,” she said on the rating system for Student Research Day. “We also look at their creativity in what they did with the research and how they answer questions from the judges.”

This year’s SRD winners scored the highest in their presentation sessions:

•    Brittany C. Tillman, biology: “The Effects of Dietary Supplements on Reducing Ethanol Induced Oxidative Stress”

•    Celso Jaquez, anthropology: “Olmec Shamanism: Transformation and the Legitimized Right to Rule”

•    Alexander Spradlin and John Bunce, psychology: “Virtual Friendships: A Study of Digital Media Usage and Empathy”

•    Masoomeh Farah Cheraghi, public administration: “A Comparison Analysis of Factors that Influence the Attitudes Toward Abortion and Capital Punishment in the United States”

•    Bree Nguyen, accounting and finance: “Venture Capital Growth in Southern California: The New Silicon Valley?”

•    Justin Battle, computer science: “Intelligent Network Security Using Genetic Algorithms”

•    Kevin Norman Teodoro, business administration/information systems security: “The Impact of Risk Management on the Success Rate of IS Development”

•    David Kim, Kristine Nakama, and Amy Noble, occupational therapy: “Experiences of Combat Veterans Upon Re-entrance into the Civilian Society”

•    Dehra Lopez, Jeanine Mattijetz, and Mandy Kusumoto, occupational therapy: “Exploring the Relationship Between Persons with Visual Impairments and Their Guide Dogs”

•    Kisha Turner, English: “’Beat it Out the Frame’: Challenging Black Masculinity in Hip Hop”

•    Amber Chavez, communications: “Exploring the Link Between Wireless Mobile Device Use and Separation Anxiety”

•    David Marks, humanities external degree: “From the Will to Wessex to Arkham: Lovecraft’s Geophilosophical Debt to Hardy”

•    Ruben Medina, physics: “Improving KAON Identification with CLAS”

•    Alex Keleman, biology: “The Efficacy of Combination and Metronomic Therapy of Gemcitabine and Sunitinib on Pancreatic Cancer in Vitro and in Vivo”

•    Kacie Deters, biology (Poster): “Association of Haplotypes of MAPT Gene with Alzheimer’s Disease and Quantitative Neuroimaging Phenotypes”

•    John V. Gibson IV, Chaka J. Dodson and Shane Wilson, psychology (Poster): “The Dual Aspects of Stress in Relation to Medical Adherence in HIV+ African American Men

Laura Robles, interim dean, College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, established the event six years ago when, as a faculty member, she felt that students ought to have an event that encompassed all disciplines across campus and where their research could be presented and recognized by a wider audience.

“SRD is now part of our campus culture and is supported by students, faculty, staff and the administration,” said Robles. “The event gives students a chance to present to their peers and to experts in the field. Our students gain research experience and presentation experience that makes them more competitive for graduate and professional school as well as the workforce.”

For more information on Student Research Day at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.

Ryan Traylor is a communications major and an intern in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

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