Our senior students talk about their research.


Istudied the relationship between musical training and academic achievement incollege students by surveying 90 students at Saint Joe’s about their experiencewith learning musical instruments via duration, parental involvement, andcognitive functioning. 

Previousresearch has shown that playing a musical instrument is correlated withacademic abilities and may increase based on duration of training. Parentalinvolvement is also important in that it sparks motivation in one’s practice.Finally, musical training has been shown to be correlated with reading andwriting abilities. Interestingly, my research contradicted the previousfindings, in that my study found no significant relationship between playing amusical instrument as a child and current academic performance, no significantrelationship between parental involvement and currently playing a musicalinstrument, and no significant relationship between age of beginning to play amusical instrument and number of musical instruments played today. 

Perhapsmost interesting is that playing a musical instrument was actually negativelycorrelated with writing abilities. This is important firstly because itcontradicts previous research in the field, and secondly because it is comingfrom a school without a music program. Therefore, the students would have to beself-motivated to continue playing their instruments without the added supportof a music program. Future research could be done at schools with musicprograms to see if this makes a difference in the results that could impactmusic education or training programs.


My researchexamined gender differences and the way these differences affect the wayundergraduate students perceive and evaluate their bodies. I believe that thisresearch is incredibly important as it shines a light on the way undergraduatestudents, specifically at Saint Joseph’s College, feel about their physicalappearance. 

It is no secretthat we live in a society that is increasingly becoming almost hyper focused onwhat being beautiful means. Media, magazines, and even television have adoptedthe idea that a large part of our self-esteem should be centered around beingaesthetically pleasing to others, something that we cannot and should not haveto live up to. It is my hope that through my research and through futureresearch on this topic that we can find ways to reduce the dissatisfaction thatstudents are reporting about their bodies and increase feelings of bodysatisfaction, self-esteem, and promote the idea that our worth is so much morethan our bodies and that we are enough just as we are. 


Myresearch tested whether or not a certain dewormer, Ivermectin, was stilleffective in treating the sheep infected with T.colubriformis atPearson’s Town Farm.

Thisresearch helped determine that Ivermectin was no longer effective and that newdewormers would need to be used to combat parasite infestation. Parasites canlead to weight loss, diarrhea, protein loss, and even death, which can bedetrimental to the business at the farm.

YuPing Hu

Myresearch aimed to developa better understanding of the temperatures andrelative humidity (RH) conditions for the formation of various phases of ferricsulfates. Samples were made by adding 0.6 grams of 96 percent H2SO4into 4 grams of saturated ferric sulfate (or different amounts with the sameratio) and putting them into various humidity buffers and moderating atdifferent temperatures to give various hydration phases. The products were thenexamined by gravimetric analysis, UV-Vis Spectroscopy, FT-IR, and Raman.

Rhomboclaseis the most stable phase of hydrated ferric sulfates. It’s synthesized atvarious temperatures and humidity conditions. The color of rhomboclase variesfrom milk white to a pale yellow or pink. Mikasaite is synthesized by heatingFe2(SO4)3·xH2O in the oven at 200°C for at least three days. Both kornelite and pentahydrate can be synthesizedat 95 °C in NaI (RH 23) for 1–2 weeks. The phases of ferric sulfate interchangeas the conditions change. Kornelite at room temperature turns to rhomboclase.

Theresearch provides more knowledge on Martian regolith and thus contributes totoday’s ongoing studies of hydrated ferric sulfates. 

Shannon Simpson

My research wasabout perceptions of and attitudes toward gender violence, sexual violence, andthe LGBT community. Some survey questions asked about bystanderinformation, such as violence they have witnessed among friends or actions theymight take in certain situations. They also had to rank their agreement ordisagreement with common rape myths and statements about LGBT persons on ascale.

This researchmatters because these topics are important and controversial topics on allcollege campuses. It is important to get an understanding of students’perceptions of these topics on our own campus. With this knowledge, SaintJoseph’s can research further into these topics as they relate to the college,implement more effective education and awareness of these issues, and createpolicies for addressing these issues. This research is also needed becausepeople deserve to be treated with respect and have their voices heard. Manyincidents across all college campuses go unreported, so it is time to break thesilence.