Fairfield University
| April 2016 | Fairfield University News Channel

Students Impress at Research and Creative Accomplishments Symposium

This past Wednesday, students presented projects at the Research and Creative Accomplishments Symposium, the 16th Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session and the Senior Nurses Capstone Presentation. Fairfield University offers the opportunity for students across all schools to present their research on long-term projects ranging from research papers and scientific experiments to art exhibitions and performances. 

Dr. Mary Frances Malone, associate academic vice president for Academic Affairs, said, “This event is a chance to celebrate the extraordinary work our students have composed with the motivation of contributing to academic excellence. Undergraduate and graduate students completed their projects, some of which were funded through Lawrence and Hardiman scholarships, under the supervision of faculty or staff members.

The morning session, held in the Oak Room, showcased graduate and undergraduate student research across all schools. The Sigma Xi Poster Session took place in the afternoon. Sigma Xi is the national scientific research society. Students present projects in the fields of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, engineering, health studies, mathematics, physics and psychology. To conclude the day, nursing students presented their projects as part of their capstone course focused on transitioning into the nursing field. 

Below are some of the unique projects that students presented: 

Brianna Nunes, a senior nursing student, presented, “Under Pressure,” on the need for nurses to be more informed about pressure ulcers stemming from various medical tools. She implemented this project for the surgical intensive unit at the VA hospital. 

‌Frank Segreto and Monica Sciacca, both seniors, studied the disturbance of Atlantic Rainforests in Brazil using bioacoustics. By taking recordings at two locations, one in a “disturbed” area and one in a more remote area, they were able to confirm that the undisturbed location had more activity, i.e. more species diversity. 

Seniors Anna Cruz and Hang Tran presented a project on how to help improve nutrition in Connecticut. Their goal was to educate low-income families that can’t always find access to healthy food and to prevent obesity and improve the knowledge of nutrition. Cruz and Tran said the project was a “great experience and definitely helped children’s health for the future.” 

Angela Sammarone, a senior English student, compiled research for her project, “On the Threshold She Paused: Doors in Wharton’s The Mother’s Recompense and The Decoration of Houses.” Her research focused on the symbolism of doors in two of Wharton’s works. Sammarone’s thesis proved that doors are not only space in a room, but also a transformative and gendered area that shows growth and experience, while weighing consequences relating to logic. 

Justine Ferrara ’18 and Michelle Pleban ’16 presented work they did in the University’s garden, planting organic vegetables in the 3,000 sq. ft. garden across the Dolan School of Business. This year alone they were able to harvest roughly 700 pounds of different fruits and vegetables including squash, zucchini, peppers and garlic. Once harvested, they were given to University Dining Services.  

Dolan School student Lauren Falkanger ’16, a marketing major, presented a health studies project on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising and its impact on health care. She studied the immense market for pharmaceuticals and the companies that use a variety of methods and tactics to entice consumers to ask providers for prescription medications.

Tony Phantharangsy ’16, Christopher Calitri ’16, Michael LoTurco ’16, Vincenzo Moretti ’16, engineering students, presented their work at Sigma Xi on active and passive noise cancellation as it applies to ordinary household appliances, such as vacuums. The team worked to design a smooth airflow path that will cut down on turbulence and insulation. An adaptive filter will take in the noise that the vacuum makes, create an anti-noise and emit it through a speaker to cancel some noise. The research will continue next year with a new team of engineering students.

By Nicole Kowalczyk ’16

Pictured top to bottom: Students present at Sigma Xi; ‌Frank Segreto and Monica Sciacca present their research on biodiversity in Brazil; engineering students senior design capstone, "active and passive noise cancelation for ordinary household applicances."


Last modified:  Thu, 21 Apr 2016 10:04:00 EDT


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