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Public Relations
Posted: Monday Apr 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Nearly 250 Saint Vincent College students will be showcasing their research and other academic accomplishments for the public at the College’s Ninth Annual Academic Conference from 2:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the entrance atrium and adjoining hallways of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion on the campus of Saint Vincent College, Latrobe.

This year’s Conference will feature works by students in the areas of the natural sciences, social sciences, computer science and humanities. While many students will share their work through posters and displays, others will present their work in panel sessions and performances. In addition to the displays in the Science Pavilion, senior artwork will be on display in the Saint Vincent Art Gallery in the Carey Center and at the Saint Vincent Gristmill, and music performances and poetry reading will be presented in the Luparello Lecture Hall.

The Conference is designed to communicate a fuller appreciation for the intellectual dynamic that lies at the center of academic life of Saint Vincent College.

Among the more than 175 academic projects are these:

  • A Rube Goldberg Breakfast – A short video produced for the Communication course in Post-Production, the requirement of the assignment was to create a sequence in which editing was the primary focus. In this two-minute film, a Rube Goldberg Machine (a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation) must accomplish its task (pouring milk into cereal) before the main character finishes his morning routine.
  • J.M. Smucker Company Strategic Plan – Chelsea Skonezny and Rachael Revitsky will be presenting their strategic plan for the J.M. Smucker Company that they developed for a course in Business Policy and Strategy that includes a full analysis of the company’s mission and vision, strategic objectives, implementation and evaluation.
  • StickFlick – This project by Brendan Bartko is an app built for the Android Operating System that runs on any Android smart phone or other device. It is designed to allow a user to modify a stick-person in a frame-by-frame fashion with the final goal of creating a digital flip book that mimics the animations that students sometimes create in paper tablets or notebooks.
  • An Intern’s View of the Coroner’s Office – Crystal Barrett secured an internship with the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office to further her medicolegal knowledge and experience and as a step in becoming a forensic anthropologist. 
  • Artificial Skin – The development of artificial skin to treat wounds or burn victims places stringent demands on materials. By using the example of artificial skin, a poster by Caitlin Sawyer for her engineering class will exhibit the advantages and disadvantages of different materials used for artificial skin and tissue engineering. There is also a section looking at the use of spider silk in artificial skin.
  • Effects of Tempo and Volume Upon Anxiety – As a psychology research project, Michael Kaufman, Kacie Graham, Kelsey Rodgers and Kerry Tittinger manipulated the volume and tempo of a musical piece to ascertain their effects on anagram puzzle performance and anxiety.
  • Valerian as a Stress Reliever – Root extracts from the flowering plant, Valerian, have been reported to reduce stress. In her biology research project, Katelyn Wolff hypothesized that Valerian root extract, and hesperidin (a chemical constituent of Valerian) would reduce stress symptoms and improve cognitive memory performance in rats following exposure to a stressor.

Dr. Timothy Kelly, professor of history, and Dr. Michael Rhodes, associate professor of biology, are co-chairs of the conference.

Admission to the conference and presentations is free and open to the public.


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