Students in Niagara University’s Honors Program presented their research on a variety of topics as part of the annual Niagara University Undergraduate Research Conference on April 29. The event highlights much of the faculty-guided undergraduate student research that takes place behind the scenes at Niagara.
The conference began with panel presentations on topics including alternate unemployment regression model; the impact of literature on women, sex, and political life in 1790s Philadelphia; and the effect of COVID-19 on workplace relationships, attitudes, and behaviors; and continued throughout the afternoon with poster presentations.
“Students at Niagara have the rare opportunity to work individually with a professor on their own original research,” said Dr. Michael Barnwell, professor of philosophy and director of the Honors Program. “In fact, all honors students work, at minimum, for an entire year with a professor. The result is that they make significant contributions to their fields as undergraduates. Not only is this a great benefit to society in general, but it gives our graduates a significant advantage when applying for jobs or graduate schools.”
For her history of math class, Julie Myers investigated the legacy of mathematician and educator Dr. Etta Falconer and her lasting impact on the mathematical community.
“I was drawn to her because her main life goal was to promote confidence and participation for younger African American women to pursue degrees and careers in STEM,” Myers said.
Zoe Gavin’s experience working in a nursing home over the past summer inspired her to research ways to educate seniors on the use of telehealth. Working with the Niagara Falls Housing Authority, Gavin was able to ascertain the extent of the need and to develop a brochure that can help seniors become more comfortable using that technology.
“I centered my project around the needs they have and how I can meet them,” she explained, noting that she hopes her work will expand beyond just telehealth and encourage seniors to embrace the use of technology in other aspects of their lives.
Nia Robinson wanted to learn more about why health inequalities exist in America, specifically in regard to the high infant mortality rate for Black women, and learned that mental health and poverty were leading causes. She hopes this research can inform policymaking to improve health outcomes for African American women.
“I want to show people we can make a change,” she said.
Angelo Catalano’s poster presentation on the influence of liberation theology on social movements in Mexico and Brazil was the culmination of four years of research on the topic, he said.
Other posters detailed research on the development of an oral therapeutic for intracellular lead removal using Cholestosome technology; data analysis in Esports; unemployment during the COVID pandemic; bias and costs in professional sports; using war and violence as a political tool; and the relationship between college professors’ teaching styles and the motivation of their students.