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Undergraduate Research Day

More than 110 students in disciplines as diverse as anthropology, biology, sustainability studies, dance education, political science, media studies, and mathematics presented their original research projects as part of Hofstra’s Undergraduate Research Day on Thursday, May 10, 2018. 

Student researchers – the most-ever to participate in the annual event – as well as their faculty mentors were on hand to discuss their work, which represents a culmination of months of advanced study, preparation, and revision.

“My research helped me develop certain skills which will translate well to my future professional and academic career,” said James Eager’18, a sustainability, geography, and global studies major whose project focused on the effect of climate change on urban environmental inequality. “I gained more hands-on experience that directly relates to what I hope to study and eventually work on in the future — urban and regional planning. Presenting my work at Undergraduate Research Day helped me learn how to translate some of these complex social, economic, and environmental topics into a more easy-to-understand synopsis to share with those who stopped by.”

He noted that his faculty advisor, Dr. Jase Bernhardt, assistant professor in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability, offered advice on how to approach his topic, find resources, and offered feedback on early drafts.  “My project developed and changed a fair bit over the course of the year in scope and direction,” said Eager. “Dr. Bernhardt was immensely helpful in supporting me and offering guidance with each change or obstacle in the process.”

Said Dr. Bernhardt: “James has a clear passion for social and environmental justice, which enhanced his research into urban renewal and gentrification.” Eager’s research will be submitted for publication and earned him distinction as a graduate with honors.

About 90 research studies were presented at the event, held in the Student Center Multipurpose Room, on topics including:

  • Examining the Credulity of the ‘Thirteen Tribes’ Narrative of Long Island’s Prehistory – Scott Ferrara’18, anthropology
  • Elemental Profiling of Gunshot Residue with Total-Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (TXRF) Spectroscopy – Maureen Oliva’18, chemistry
  • TBVOT: Machine Learning Algorithms for Predicting Successful Television Series – Mariana Maroto’18, engineering
  • Dealing with Waste on Campus: A Look at Plastic Bag Use at Hofstra University – Lauren Morgan’18, sustainability studies
  • Celebrities, the Media, and the #Me Too Movement – Sarah Mendoza’18, media studies
  • ADA Accessible Subway Stations in Manhattan – Christina Paccadolmi’19, global studies and geography
  • The Trump Administration’s Constitutional Challenge to Sanctuary Cities – Natalie Mishkin’18, political science
  • Equity Among All: The Collaboration Between College Students and Adults with Disabilities – Ariana Brisport’18 and Erin Doherty’18, dance education
  • Racial and Gender Bias Against the Victims of Violent Crimes – Wesley Reed’18, psychology
  • Tree Canopy Changes on Long Island: Are Current Conservation Efforts Effective at Protecting and Growing Urban Forests? – Penelope Ramos’20, biology

“Undergraduate research projects connect students’ education to their chosen fields, whether they are accepting great job offers or pursuing advanced degrees at leading institutions around the country,” said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Neil H. Donahue.  “This event has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years because our students have recognized how valuable the pursuit of original study and research, under the guidance of faculty mentors, is to both their professional and personal lives.”

This year’s Undergraduate Research Day greatly surpassed last year’s event, which drew 80 presenters.  In the fall, faculty researchers will present their scholarly work at the annual Faculty Research Day on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.

Watch the Instagram story and see photos from the event:

Undergraduate Research Day 2018

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