GMercyU Students Participate in Honors Conference

March 25, 2019
GMercyU Psychology students after presenting their independent research at the 2019 SEPCHE Conference

Gwynedd Mercy University students took part in SEPCHE Honors Conference on Saturday, March 23. In all, 19 GMercyU students spanning a variety of majors and disciplines presented 21 research projects. 

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) is made up of eight independent colleges and universities in the Greater Philadelphia region. The consortium collaborates on academic and development programming through events like research conferences, career fairs, and panel discussions.

Below is the list of GMercyU partipants and their research:

Kaitlyn Lutz, Gwynedd Mercy University, Violin
Carol Evans, Gwynedd Mercy University, Piano

“Bach to Rock” is a mashup of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach and a Michael Jackson Medley by Lindsey Stirling. This arrangement transitions from the baroque time period to the 80s. The Michael Jackson Medley includes fan favorites such as “Beat it,” “Billie Jean,” and “Smooth Criminal.”

Giavanna Feinstein, Gwynedd Mercy University
Comunicando Efectivamente (Effective Communication)

Effective communication is critical to positive engagement with others, and the ability to communicate between cultures is particularly important in an increasingly global world. This presentation will discuss research on cross-cultural communication, highlighting both
verbal and nonverbal strategies. I will also discuss my own experience with learning to communicate more effectively with individuals from another culture.

Vanessa Litzenberger, Gwynedd Mercy University
Benefits of Nurturing Relationships

This presentation will share findings from an ongoing project that focuses on the physical and psychological effects of social relationships. Specifically, I will explore the research on the characteristics and benefits of nurturing relationships and reflect on a project where I applied this learning to my own experience.

Emily Maurer , Gwynedd Mercy University
Effects of Exercise on Mental Health

This presentation will analyze the effects that exercise has on happiness. Research has found a number of factors can affect mood, with exercise consistently identified as an important determinant of happiness. Interviews with personal trainers and individuals committed to regular exercise will be used to illustrate the positive impact exercise has on mental health.

Raquel Davis, Gwynedd Mercy University
Time To Go: Reflections on The Desire to Travel

This presentation will explore why people have the desire to travel. Theory and research on the psychological effect of traveling will be explored in the context of my personal experience. Specifically, I will reflect on a series of trips where I connect with others on the reasons and benefits of taking time to visit new places.

Monet McGorda, Gwynedd Mercy University
Demand for Occupational Therapy

The demand for occupational therapists is rising, with job growth expected to increase 27% from 2014 through 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This presentation will share findings from in-depth interviews exploring the responsibilities, education, and practice of Occupational Therapists. Discussion will focus on sharing how undergraduate college students can take steps towards becoming a professional in the desired field.

Macy Sturkey, Gwynedd Mercy University
Living Life to the Fullest: How Spontaneity Can Improve Mental Health

Living life following the same schedule and activities daily has the ability to result into depression. This presentation is both a personal and academic exploration of how spontaneous and novel activities can improve one’s overall mood. Within the context of discussing my own personal experiences, I will explore how committing to engaging with new, unplanned activities can improve mental health over time.

Laura Lazovich, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Importance of Social Support During the College Years

This presentation will share the methodology and preliminary findings on a research study examining support systems in the college years. Differences based on living status will be highlighted, comparing differences in level of support reported by resident versus commuter students. The association between support and academic performance will also be explored.

Alexis Reyes, Gwynedd Mercy University
Searching for Home

Home is often thought of as a physical structure where people reside, often with family. This presentation is an academic and personal journey to explore the concept of “home.” Focus will be on the different ways “home” is defined, experienced, and created through personal history, culture, and art. Discussion will also explore how environments can be shaped to meet the need for home.

Ada Opara, Gwynedd Mercy University
“Self”: Exploring Identity Through Storytelling

This presentation will share methodology and reflection from in-depth interviews exploring identity by way of storytelling. The goal is to examine what leads to a person’s self-awareness, among all ages, and hear the moments individuals “found themselves”. Findings will highlight what it means to identify one’s self and the importance of identity.

Shana Juzwiak, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Effect of Disney Movies on Children’s Psychological Development

This presentation will share findings from an ongoing project that explores how Disney movies affect children’s development. The focus is to research and observe what children may learn from the characters and storylines in a range of popular Disney movies. Discussion will focus on how gender, emotions, and life lessons are portrayed in each film.

Brittany Albert, Alex Kinal, Marissa Novitiski, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Association Between Childhood Parenting and Adult Perceptions

This presentation will share the methodology and preliminary findings from a research study on the association between parenting style and approach to relationships in adulthood. Specifically, college students’ interpretations of ambiguous photos depicting parent-child interactions will be correlated with their self-reported experience with their own parents. Discussion will focus on how childhood experiences with parents can shape how relationships are viewed in adulthood.

Brittany Albert, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Effect of Parent Divorce on Children Trust and Relationships

In the United States, at least 40% of marriages end in divorce and approximately half of American children live in homes affected by divorce. This presentation will examine the effects that divorce has on children’s trust in relationships throughout life. Specifically, discussion will focus on how parent divorce affects children’s trust in relationships with both friends and romantic relationships.

Alexandria Kinal, Gwynedd Mercy University
Understanding and Education on Concussions in Young Athletes

This study will explore concussions awareness in students, parents and coaches. The presentation will focus on protocol for coaches and trainers during a concussion situation and why athletes may not acknowledge or admit experiencing concussion symptoms. Reflections from coaches as well as current and past athletes will be used to illustrate key findings.

Marissa Novitiski, Gwynedd Mercy University
Fear of Dying: The Role of Hospice Care in Coping with Anxiety at the End of Life

This presentation will share findings from in-depth interviews with social workers, chaplains, nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants working in hospice care. Discussion will focus on anxieties about death and how hospice care can increase someone’s readiness to die. The role and experiences of different professionals will also be explored.

Shannon Carroll, Gwynedd Mercy University
Significance of Religion and Spirituality

This presentation will explore different systems of beliefs and share findings of in-depth interviews exploring the importance, practices, and traditions behind one’s religion and spirituality. Findings will highlight the concrete and personal significance behind religion, spirituality, and one’s belief system.

Rosemary Otero, Gwynedd Mercy University
Dangerous Minds and Influential Perceptions

This project will explore how the public responds to different types of crimes and public perception of those that commit the crimes. Discussion will focus on three types of crimes; “common” crimes, mass shootings, and unpredictable crimes. Each type of crime will be analyzed in terms of the psychological effects on the public and perceptions of why the crime occurred.

Jennifer Bateman, Gwynedd Mercy University
Natural Strategies for Enhancing Mood and Energy

This presentation will share research and reflections on ways to enhance mood and energy. Specifically, outcomes from studies examining natural strategies to increase both mood and energy will be discussed. Research findings will be highlighted by a personal reflection on the effect of exercise, reading, and waking up early.

Christina Husbands, Gwynedd Mercy University
Generational Differences in Dating and Communication

This presentation will explore generational differences in dating. Specifically, it will examine how people find and communicate with current or potential romantic partners. Discussion will focus on differences and similarities in how people find and engage with romantic interests over time, highlighting significant changes in the overall dating experience.

Jordan Abelson, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Effect of Ethanol on Alternative Activation of Microglial Cells

This study focuses on the impact that alcohol has on alternative activation of microglia, the brain’s resident immune cell. Microglia were cultured and treated with interleukin-4 and alcohol to analyze the effect of alcohol on the phosphorylation of STAT6. Results show that ethanol partially inhibited STAT6 phosphorylation, suggesting that alcohol inhibits alternative microglia activation by interfering with interleukin-4 signal transduction.

Laura Lazovich, Gwynedd Mercy University
The Importance of a Healthy, Happy Heart

Today, nearly one-third of the world’s population are overweight or obese. This presentation will focus on the importance of healthy lifestyle and self-care to both physical and mental health. Within the context of my own history, I will discuss key findings from the research on the psychological and physical benefits of healthy behavior.

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