by Christina Hansen
With student representatives from all nine departments of the college, the 2012 annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference on April 5 showcased more than 220 posters with the latest student research. Many of the projects displayed were completed for classes, while others students worked on their projects separately with a mentoring professor.
Joseph Seeley, a history major, said, “This is a really neat opportunity for students to present their research – to make what we do at the library or in the classroom more presentable to the student body.” Seeley conducted his research on how tigers are perceived differently depending on the culture. Using newspapers, official documents, and images, he discovered that historically in Japan tigers were symbols of fear.
Ashley Kuroiwa, a psychology student, investigated whether there is a correlation between personality and preference for a PC or a Mac computer. She found that while there wasn’t a significant correlation between personality and computer preference, the majority of people own PCs but would prefer a Mac if they had a higher income level. “This was my first experience conducting research,” Kuroiwa said. “It was fun because we got to do our own thing. There was a lot of freedom in it, and we got to use a lot of creativity.”
Natalie Gilbert, a social work student, presented a project she had been working on for a year. Titled, “All the Single Ladies: Influence of Attachment on Female Dating Styles,” Gilbert’s poster described three dating styles women frequently fall into. The “Leaky Buckets” as Gilbert described them, are often flirtatious and enter into relationships easily. “I imagine they have a bucket that they’re constantly needing to fill with validation,” Gilbert said. The second group, called the “Lock and Key,” is much more hesitant to enter into a relationship. “They’re looking for just the right fit,” Gilbert explained. The third group she called “Add Water and Stir.” Gilbert explained, “They are very confident that they can form a relationship that will work out.”
Joseph Bryce, an anthropology student, displayed the work he completed this past year with the anthropology program. Each summer a group of students excavates a site called Wolf Village, and then the students spend the fall and summer compiling their findings. “We each focus on a different thing,” Bryce explained. “We each ask our own question, and we each do the research. It’s a really good opportunity.”
At the luncheon held in honor of the students and their mentors, anthropology professor John Hawkins encouraged students to continue in their academic efforts. “This is the beginning of your work – not to stop, but to push forward,” Hawkins said. He encouraged students to become familiar with the literature associated with their area of research and to then transform their research into a paper that could be presented at a professional conference and published in a scholarly journal. “Don’t go it alone,” Hawkins advised students. Hawkins encouraged students to continue working with professors as mentors and to attend a graduate school where there is a professor interested in their area of research.