Student Success Shines at Academic Celebration

Student Success Shines at Academic Celebration

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jhoan (Esteban) Osorno ’17, Carli Varmette ’17 and Kathryn Wells ’17
Jhoan (Esteban) Osorno ’17, Carli Varmette ’17 and Kathryn Wells ’17

To see photos from the event, click here.

The College’s annual Academic Excellence Celebration brings together students from Siena’s schools of liberal arts, business and science to share work and celebrate their accomplishments with the community. This daylong event highlights student research with a presentation session and honors the achievements of  Saints with an afternoon of honor society inductions and awards.

Brittany Drollette ’16, a political science major and Bonner Service Leader, worked with her faculty advisor, Dr. Jesse Moya on her project, “Culturally Relevant Education and Medical Practices for Indigenous Bolivian Youth.” She presented her research to the large crowd in the Sarazen Student Union’s Maloney Great Room.

Stemming from her experience interning in Bolivia as a coordinator of a women’s empowerment program for a local high school, Drollette decided to focus on the failing state of sexual and reproductive health among women of developing countries. Her research looked at the sexual health education in Bolivia and the importance of its incorporation in indigenous culture, particularly the Aymara and Quechua tribes.

“It pushed me so far outside my comfort zone working with these young girls. For me, understanding how much education connects the students and how a teacher who is understanding and is really willing to meet the student where they’re at, that is something that is so important to me. This experience brought that all together and made me realize that this is not just an issue that’s happening in Albany where I’m serving (as a Bonner Leader), it’s happening all over the world and it’s something I want to continue doing for the rest of my life.”

Drollette’s passion and dedication to service has led her to the AmeriCorps City Year program where she will work with inner city students in Miami after graduation.

Siena’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) brought together students from each of Siena’s Schools for the interdisciplinary research program TeamBILD (Big Issues and Leading-edge Discovery). Funded through a grant from the William Randolph Herst Foundation, TeamBILD students examine “big” issue topics with the support of faculty mentors from each of the three Schools.

Jhoan (Esteban) Osorno ’17, Carli Varmette ’17 and Kathryn Wells ’17 worked together on their research titled “Addiction Through Three Different Perspectives.” With the help of Dr. Karen Boswell, Dr. Ashley Provencher and Dr. Rachel Sterne-Marr, the students set out to develop an interdisciplinary definition of addiction through the lenses of biology, psychology and economics.

“I learned so much I never thought I would have the opportunity to learn about economics as a biology major,” said Wells. “Esteban and Carli really brought different perspectives and opened my mind to new ideas that I hadn’t considered. I think the approach we each took really complemented our research and enabled us to develop a comprehensive view.”

The Celebration’s events brought together research in physics and apple orchards with body-esteem and baseball to show that Siena Saints receive an interdisciplinary education that provides customized research opportunities for all students.