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Abraham Motau, a graduate student in the Geography Department, discuses his research titled "Using Potential for Conflict Index to assess public attitudes and perceptions towards living with elephants in Botswana-the case of Sankoyo village, Ngamiland" with Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia at the Research Days Poster Session in the Mandela Room on April 24.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Students display research at poster sessions
April 29, 2015Tweet
Jennifer Bertollo finds presenting research to be an effective way of spreading knowledge on a college campus.
“(Presenting research) is pretty cool,” Bertollo said, “because I’m able to share what I found, and not just know it in my own head.”
Bertollo was among a lineup of more than 100 Binghamton University students who displayed their work at the Research Days poster presentations. With a focus on sustainability, the event, divided into two sessions, was held April 24 in the Mandela Room.
Bertollo, a senior psychology major, conducted her research with two advisors, Ann Merriwether, a psychology lecturer, and Susan Seibold-Simpson, an assistant professor of nursing. Called “Who Makes Up Your Mind?: A Pregnancy Decision-making Model,” Bertollo’s project examines the relationship between a person’s “locus of control” (how strongly people believe they have control over the situations and experiences that affect their lives) and pregnancy decision.
“(We found that) individuals with a more external locus of control actually tended to choose an abortion more often,” Bertollo said, “and females were actually slightly more external on average.”
Research is a never-ending process, and Bertollo knows that there is always room for improvement. She sees increasing her sample size as a method to gain more accurate results.
“(My research) looked only at college students here, and they were asked about a hypothetical situation,” Bertollo said. “In the future, we would definitely look at a bigger sample, as well as (that) of men because they were underrepresented in it.”
Richard Webster, a junior biology major, also conducted research that is of relevance to college students. His project, “Low Glycemic Index Diet Improves Mental Distress Scores in College Students with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease,” was based on surveys of students who decreased their daily intake of carbohydrates.
“The general results from (a low glycemic index diet) were a decrease in the symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), so less bloating, less heartburn and improved mood,” said Webster, whose advisor is Lina Begdache, a research assistant professor of health and wellness studies.
By reducing their carbohydrates consumption, students in Webster’s study were able to achieve a steady supply of energy throughout the day, with less buildup of gases in the stomach and the esophagus.
Maintaining a healthy diet is a major concern for college students. However, another concern that is less obvious is one that resides in woodsy areas. Amanda Roome’s project, titled “Seasonality and Risk of Infection with Lyme Disease,” rejects the popular notion that people are at the highest risk of infection during the summer months.
“Typically, you would assume that you’re at the highest risk during the summer because people are outside hiking, and they’re really interacting with the environment,” said Roome, a graduate student majoring in anthropology. “But what we’re seeing is the infectivity levels are significantly higher in the fall and in the spring.”
With the help of advisor Ralph Garruto, research professor of biomedical anthropology, Roome discovered that there are many infected ticks along the paths that students frequent, such as the one from the Hillside Community to campus. Students are the means of transport for these ticks wherever they go.
“We’re finding significantly more infection in the (residence halls) than we are in the Nature Preserve,” Roome said.
Roome said presenting research is beneficial, especially if the topic of interest has to do with the location in which it is showcased.
“I think it’s important for people to be able to learn,” she said. “We’re doing something as simple as walking to class, but you should still take a look when you get to class to make sure that there’s nothing crawling on you.”