Student research day

Biannual Student Research Day offers opportunity to showcase projects

student research day
Carson Tinucci explains his research project to another student

Chapman students, staff, faculty and visitors packed the Sandhu Conference Center Wednesday afternoon to view a diverse array of more than 100 student posters representing every college and discipline. Tackling issues such as Homelessness in Orange County and Cultural Markers of Sexual Orientation, this was the first time many students had participated in a poster session.

Psychology major Sabrina Garrido studied “Cohabitation and Marital Instability” for her senior seminar course that culminated with her first poster presentation. She discovered that unmarried heterosexual couples who choose to live together before making long terms plans of engagement etc. experience more marriage instability.

“This was my first big research project I’ve done,” she said. “I want to become a marriage and family therapist and build upon this more in the future.”

Schmid College of Science and Technology Professor, Michael Fahy, Ph.D., said he enjoys attending the poster sessions each year to see what problems students are attempting to solve.

“This is a great opportunity for students to do something independent and self-driven,” Fahy said. “When you give students the parameters and let them be creative, it’s amazing to see the end result.”

Catherine Walsh shows a student her research on Ashtanga Yoga

Senior Jenny Pershon acknowledged that her topic was a unique one. Titled “The Artistic and Anthropological Influence of Lighting Design on Guests at the Disneyland Resort,” it proved to be an ideal subject since her chosen major and minor are technical theater and anthropology. Her research showed that aestheticism of light has a theatrical, social, and economic importance.

“I was able to choose a topic that highlights my love for Disneyland and my passion for lighting,” said the San Jose native. “I’d love to work there one day, but for now I’m a lighting technician at Knott’s Berry Farm and learning a lot.”

Junior biochemistry and molecular biology major Vidal Arroyo’s poster was placed at the end of an aisle, causing many curious attendees to stop. Titled, “DNA Methylation and Obesity in Survivors of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” his research showed the connection between children that received cranial radiation for leukemia who later in life became more susceptible to obesity. This is because the radiation can potentially damage the part of the brain that is responsible for hunger control.

“I shadowed a physician at a hospital and saw this phenomenon firsthand in their clinic,” Arroyo said. “Adult survivors of pediatric leukemia are four times more likely to have severe or life threatening health conditions compared to the general population. But why does this happen to only some patients and not all, and why obesity instead of another condition? That’s the next step of research.”

Hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA), this was the first Student Research Day of the academic year. The second is planned for May 9, 2018. Both events are organized to highlight the breadth and depth of scholarly and creative activity conducted by undergraduate and graduate students.



Stacy Nagai

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