Manhattan College’s third annual Research Scholars Presentation Day on Sept. 18 was bigger than ever before, as more than 65 students from all academic disciplines took to the podium to report on a summer of inquiry and experimentation. Each student exhibited a refined skill set and scholarly prowess thanks to the close mentoring of faculty members.
Although there was a wide range of topics, from the Higgs boson project to monetary policy to the portrayals of women in advertising in the 1950s, each project helped advance the student scholar in his or her intended career path.
“The relationship between the student and faculty here is something that is very special in the Manhattan College community,” said Rani Roy, Ph.D., assistant vice president for student and faculty development, in her opening remarks. “Faculty have spent countless hours with students working on research, on posters and on preparing oral presentations. And this can be seen in every session in the quality of presentations. These mentorship relationships have a great impact on the students, and as a recent Gallup Purdue report indicates, can lead to better engagement at work and their future careers.”
Mark Lounello ’16, an MBA student, researched the benefits of student-run businesses on college campuses with faculty adviser Carolyn Predmore, Ph.D., professor of management and marketing. Lounello, who hopes to start his own business one day, developed a strategy and marketing plan that integrates existing services on campus and keeps with Manhattan College’s status as the first Fair Trade Certified College in New York City. The business would sell Fair Trade Certified products such as apparel, food and personal care items. With the help of Manhattan faculty and administration, he hopes to get the business up and running by spring 2016.
“Students will gain real-world experience running a business unlike some internships where you end up just taking coffee orders from the team,” Lounello says. “So this would be fully hands-on by running a business, which offers experience you can’t get much of at most colleges.”
Like so many students bound for graduate and professional schools, Freda Tei ’16, a biology major, was looking for a solid research experience with a trusted faculty member. She conducted a survey on bivavles collected from Orchard Beach, N.Y. with Ghislaine Mayer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. After discovering the presence of a human intestinal parasite in her samples, her suspicions about the cause were verified when city officials closed the beach due to sewage contamination in late August.
“It was amazing working with Dr. Mayer — she really knows what she’s doing, and she helped me a lot,” says Tei, noting that she feels more prepared as she applies to medical school. “If you’re going into the research and medical fields, you need hands-on collaboration and mentorship to get started.”
For some, the day served as practice for a larger event, as most students attend and present at academic conferences during the academic year. In fact, four students that participated in Manhattan College’s newest program, the Lasallian Research Scholars, will participate in the International Symposium on Lasallian Research at Saint Mary’s University Center in Minneapolis later this month.
“As I reflect on this summer, it has become clear to me that each student demonstrates leadership in their department and among their peers,” Roy says. “I see in them our future leaders in every discipline and in every career.”
Read more about research opportunities at Manhattan College.