On Thursday, April 15, students with a research project presented their research projects during Northwestern’s annual Celebration of Research.
“The Celebration of Research event provides a forum for Northwestern students to showcase their scholarly and creative work,” vice president for academic affairs Dr. Phinney said.
A variety of majors participated in this day.
Karissa Meier is a theatre education major who based her project on the theatre department’s production of Sweat, a play that discusses the economic, political and racial turmoil of a Pennsylvania factory before and during the recession of 2008. Dr. Robert Hubbard served as her advisor.
“My goal with this project was to make the economic turmoil of the early 2000s accessible to a college-aged audience who were all children at the time and likely didn’t understand what their parents may have been going through,” Meier said.
Kitrick Fynaardt is a mathematics and computer science major who focused his project on esports and mathematical game theory. He was advised by Dr. Kim Jongerius.
“I wanted to find a link between the popularity of particular esport games and their level of complexity,” Fyndaardt said. “After calculating the complexity for every game, I plotted them along with the average minute audience of the largest event for each game. I ran a regression test on each graph to see if complexity was a sufficient predictor for popularity.”
Kelsay Parrott is a youth ministry and biblical studies major. She focused her project on trauma and pastoral care. Dr. Jason Lief advised her project.
“The research took a look at the differences in how we view God to how it impacts trauma survivors. It also dove into Christology and how that can impact survivors as well,” Parrott said. “The study was focused on figuring out the why and how trauma-informed care is important to the thriving and growing church.”
Psychology major Mia Hoogeveen presented on posttraumatic growth and religious coping styles and how these styles affect depression, life satisfaction, and mental and physical well-being. Dr. Laird Edman advised her.
“Presenting this information helped me explain my results to more people and why they are important,” Hoogeveen said. “I also gained experience in answering questions about my topic for the Midwestern Psychological Association conference later this spring.”
Psychology major Noah Hop researched and presented the effects of a busy lifestyle on optimism across a lifespan. Advised by Dr. Edman, Hop looked into the psychological effects of busyness.
“The results of the study indicated that age plays no role in differing levels of busyness and optimism,” Hop said. “Locus of control significantly predicted busyness but did not support the age constraints of the hypotheses. “
Ultimately, students were excited to share something they are passionate to campus, to showcase a small part of their knowledge with attendees and to display the benefits of research.
The process starts with a call for projects. Once a list of compiled projects is put together, instructions are sent out regarding creating a poster and submitting the final result.
Director of the DeWitt Library Greta Grond played an important role in the background of this event.
“Once [the topics] are approved, we prepare the posters for printing, converting them into another file type and uploading them to a printing service,” Grond said. “While we work on the posters, we’re also creating the online site, making sure data is in correctly.”
After all the preparation work is done, the big day arrives. Sometimes students’ work is shared beyond the NW community. The online component makes this possible.
“The most downloaded project is one from 2019’s Celebration titled “External Catheters and Reducing Adverse Effects in Female Inpatients”, and it’s been downloaded over 5,000 times, with most traffic being driven to it by Google,” Grond said. “It’s pretty rewarding to see student research being shared and used like that.”