Ranging from the Barbie doll as gender warrior to writing therapy for adolescents, research by Gettysburg College students and recent graduates gained national attention this spring.
Six members of Gettysburg College's classes of 2010 and 2011 presented their work at the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ithaca, N.Y.
Psychology and writing major Eric Kozlik '11 compared the effects of two different systems that help adolescents by having them write about traumatic events. His mentors were psychology Profs. Kathleen Cain and Mimi O'Neill and English Prof. Kathryn Rhett.
"Because of Gettysburg's success rate with having papers accepted and published, our students stand up well at this international conference," said English Prof. Jack Ryan. "Their sessions are well attended, they receive thoughtful questions, and they are poised and prepared when they present and respond."
Student-faculty collaboration on research is a major priority for Gettysburg College. This was the third consecutive NCUR attended by Gettysburg students. "In 2009 we sent five students, and in 2010 we sent 11," Ryan said. "Acceptance is competitive; therefore, our overall record is solid."
"Gettysburg College students have the opportunity to present their research to a large group of their peers from all over the world," Ryan said. "This year, 3,200 students attended the conference."
Students also gain the possibility of publication of their work in the conference's proceedings, which are produced annually by the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In 2009, Gettysburg College student Jeremy Arnold had two articles published and Annela Levitov had one; in 2010, Amy Meros had a publication. This year's publications have not been announced.
The conference also exposes students to significant speakers. This year, Branford Marsalis, world-renowned saxophonist, described his own growth as a professional. Author Libuse Binder discussed "Ten Ways to Change the World in your 20s." Author and academic David Campbell presented his research on classic Mayan civilization. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think and director of the Cornell Food and Brand lab, examined the psychology of college students and food.
The conference took place March 31 through April 2 at Ithaca College.