12/5/2013 1:31:46 AM
Students Hone Skills, Find Passion Through Research
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
By Mary Barrett '14
The Sarazen Student Union was a flurry of activity as Siena students shared their research with the College community during the Summer Research Sympsium. Siena’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) provides students with opportunities to work intensively with faculty on specific summer research projects. CURCA Director Cheryl Buff ’82, Ph.D. said the summer research program is “a good integration of content and theory.”
As the summer unfolded, students uncovered areas of interest and developed skills that will serve them well in their future careers. Economics major Stacey Morris ’14 conducted a cost/benefit analysis of domestic violence programs in Connecticut, research she’s continuing this academic year. “It helped me to see what I want to do after Siena,” Morris said.
Chelsea Needham ’15 spent five-and-a-half weeks in Virginia. She combined field and lab work while studying the ecological interactions between marine invertebrates and an invasive type of algae. “It taught me and prepared me better for graduate school in doing hands-on research,” Needham said. She too will continue her research this semester.
Many students who participated in CURCA’s summer research program recognized the benefits of their work when they returned to school this fall. Accounting major Michael Duffy ’15 studied gun control in the United States. Duffy said the experience helped him become more analytical in the classroom. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Duffy. “I learned a lot and it was good to get close with a professor and work on a topic that I’m interested in.”
English major Shauna Pratico ’14 and computer science major Lauren Mathews ’15 studied cyberbullying within video gaming environments. Mathews said the project helped her learn how to properly conduct research and surveys. Pratico hopes to apply her research by starting a campus club that would work with local high schools to diminish bullying.
Whether they’re finding new areas of interest, honing skills or building lasting relationships with faculty members, students in Siena’s summer research program are positioning themselves for future success and personal fulfillment.
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