WCU Research Day highlights student, faculty work

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
West Chester University’s semiannual Research Day allows students and faculty to showcase the work and research being done through both visual and oral presentations. (Nancy Gainer)

West Chester University’s semiannual Research Day allows students and faculty to showcase the work and research being done through both visual and oral presentations. (Nancy Gainer)

WEST GOSHEN — West Chester University’s semiannual Research Day gives students and faculty the chance to proudly discuss the hard work they have been doing for any given amount of time.

The day-long event took place on Tuesday in the Sykes Student Union. The spring 2016 semester event featured guest speakers, presentations and awards.

“This is an opportunity for the faculty and students to get together and talk about the research, the scholarship and the activities they have engaged in,” said Gautam Pillay, associate vice president of research at the university. “We have a variety of poster and oral presentations about research projects that are conducted by the faculty, by students working with faculty and we also have some special speakers invited from our faculty.”

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Research Day kicked off with the three guest speakers: Eleanor Brown, Michael Antonio and Kristen Crossney.

Brown, of the Psychology Department, discussed emotion regulation for children in an economically-difficult environment, including academic underachievement and social-emotional issues.

Antonio, of the Criminal Justice Department, talked about student research experiences associated with Voices4Peru in the economically-deprived region of Ventanilla, Peru.

Lastly, Crossney, of the Geography and Planning Department, spoke about rural homeownership in the Commonwealth and its impact demographically.

“They were talking about their research, and even more specifically, they invited their students who work with them to talk about what they gained, what they learned and what they accomplished working on it as a truly collaborative research project with the faculty and they can share their experiences with the other students and faculty in the audience,” Pillay said.

Throughout the ballrooms in Sykes, over 50 students and faculty members displayed posters of their work for any and all to see and discuss.

“The creative work and the creative force that is going on here is something that is pretty unique and pretty breathtaking,” Pillay said.

Along with the visual displays, oral presentations of another 25 research projects were also given.

As part of the event, students are recognized for their work with a Student Research and Creative Activities Award.

“Every year, we give out up to five awards to undergraduate or graduate students for their accomplishments in research recognized by our faculty,” Pillay said. “Those five student research award winners gave invited presentations.”

This year’s winners are Sean Brady, Brynne Fitzgerald, Joseph Jordan, Beatrice O’Hara and Corin Stratton.

Pillay, who organizes the semiannual event, is continually amazed at the research and work being done in the West Chester University community.

“It’s extremely fascinating to see the breadth of research that goes on in a comprehensive, regional university like West Chester,” he said. “We have so much exciting work going on. That’s why we want to showcase and highlight what’s going on in terms of research in every discipline.”

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