Graduation Research Fair iPadOur senior students talk about their research.

Meghan Bradley

I studied the relationship between musical training and academic achievement in college students by surveying 90 students at Saint Joe's about their experience with learning musical instruments via duration, parental involvement, and cognitive functioning.

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

Perhaps most interesting is that playing a musical instrument was actually negatively correlated with writing abilities. This is important firstly because it contradicts previous research in the field, and secondly because it is coming from a school without a music program. Therefore, the students would have to be self-motivated to continue playing their instruments without the added support of a music program. Future research could be done at schools with music programs to see if this makes a difference in the results that could impact music education or training programs.

Chantel Cote

My research examined gender differences and the way these differences affect the way undergraduate students perceive and evaluate their bodies. I believe that this research is incredibly important as it shines a light on the way undergraduate students, specifically at Saint Joseph's College, feel about their physical appearance.

It is no secret that we live in a society that is increasingly becoming almost hyper focused on what being beautiful means. Media, magazines, and even television have adopted the idea that a large part of our self-esteem should be centered around being aesthetically pleasing to others, something that we cannot and should not have to live up to. It is my hope that through my research and through future research on this topic that we can find ways to reduce the dissatisfaction that students are reporting about their bodies and increase feelings of body satisfaction, self-esteem, and promote the idea that our worth is so much more than our bodies and that we are enough just as we are.

Heather Eaton

My research tested whether or not a certain dewormer, Ivermectin, was still effective in treating the sheep infected with T.colubriformis at Pearson's Town Farm.

This research helped determine that Ivermectin was no longer effective and that new dewormers would need to be used to combat parasite infestation. Parasites can lead to weight loss, diarrhea, protein loss, and even death, which can be detrimental to the business at the farm.

Yu Ping Hu

My research aimed to develop a better understanding of the temperatures and relative humidity (RH) conditions for the formation of various phases of ferric sulfates. Samples were made by adding 0.6 grams of 96 percent H2SO4 into 4 grams of saturated ferric sulfate (or different amounts with the same ratio) and putting them into various humidity buffers and moderating at different temperatures to give various hydration phases. The products were then examined by gravimetric analysis, UV-Vis Spectroscopy, FT-IR, and Raman.

Rhomboclase is the most stable phase of hydrated ferric sulfates. It’s synthesized at various temperatures and humidity conditions. The color of rhomboclase varies from milk white to a pale yellow or pink. Mikasaite is synthesized by heating Fe2(SO4)3·xH2O in the oven at 200 °C for at least three days. Both kornelite and pentahydrate can be synthesized at 95 °C in NaI (RH 23) for 1–2 weeks. The phases of ferric sulfate interchange as the conditions change. Kornelite at room temperature turns to rhomboclase.

The research provides more knowledge on Martian regolith and thus contributes to today’s ongoing studies of hydrated ferric sulfates.

Shannon Simpson

My research was about perceptions of and attitudes toward gender violence, sexual violence, and the LGBT community. Some survey questions asked about bystander information, such as violence they have witnessed among friends or actions they might take in certain situations. They also had to rank their agreement or disagreement with common rape myths and statements about LGBT persons on a scale.

This research matters because these topics are important and controversial topics on all college campuses. It is important to get an understanding of students' perceptions of these topics on our own campus. With this knowledge, Saint Joseph's can research further into these topics as they relate to the college, implement more effective education and awareness of these issues, and create policies for addressing these issues. This research is also needed because people deserve to be treated with respect and have their voices heard. Many incidents across all college campuses go unreported, so it is time to break the silence.