A Diverse Success
By Norman Geary
Media Club Reporter
On June 6, the Central Penn Summerdale Campus hosted Research Exhibition Day, in the ATEC lobby, from 3-5 p.m.
For the exhibition, students created posters to visually represent research topics and answer questions presented by a panel of judges. The judges used a rating system based on the content and the visual quality of the posters.
Each poster had to reflect the topic of diversity.
The event was designed not only to educate students but to inform exhibition attendees about how each student’s poster reflected a topic related to that student’s major, and reflected diversity, organizers said.
“This day is a wonderful culmination of a lot of help from different departments,” Judith Dutill, Central Penn’s instructional design technologist, said. “A real cross-campus collaboration.”
Dutill and Emily Reed, Central Penn’s research librarian, took the lead working with faculty the deans identified.
“The marketing and security departments also helped assist with materials for the event,” Library Director Diane Porterfield said. “We had additional help from faculty and admissions, and … career services, in our judging for the contest.”
A good showing
Eight posters were displayed at this event.
“Students with Physical Disabilities and Inclusion on College Campuses,” by occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students won first prize – and $100.
Students used the American Occupational Therapy Association website to find case studies about occupational therapy students who have a mental, physical or social disability, and evaluated their possible strengths and weaknesses in the workforce.
“We used EBSOhost to search, using key words to relate our topic to occupational therapy and diversity,” according to Jennifer Torelli, occupational therapy assistant major. “This project opened our eyes to accessibility on different college campuses and realized there is always room for improvement.”
Caitlin Cragle and Allison Miller, also OTA majors, agreed.
“Health Care Practitioners with Disabilities,” with OTA students Felicia Miller and Morgan Brubaker, won second place – and $75 – and the honor of Audience Favorite, plus $25 for that distinction.
OTA was well represented at the exhibition. Another poster/project was “Impact of Mental Health Disorders on Academic Performance,” which stated that anxiety and comorbid mental disorder leads to poor academic performance in all ages, races and other categories of students across their lifespan, as compared to individuals with no mental-health disorders.
“We looked at peer reviews and sources to find articles relating to anxiety disorders and their correlation to academic performance,” Sharon Pitcavage, OTA, said “We looked at possible treatments, such as occupational therapy treatment. We learned more ways our future occupation can help others.”
Lauren Steo, OTA, assisted.
Another school perspective
Hangying Ni presented “School Culture: Do You Perceive It?” Ni’s presentation won third place, and $50.
School culture is a set of historically transmitted norms, values, beliefs, ceremonies and rituals. Ni’s research indicated that a positive school culture significantly improves students’ achievements.
“I chose this topic to explore (so that) if students don’t feel the same way as teachers and leaders do, leaders need to make a change for students to perceive school culture,” Ni, an organizational leadership student in the master of professional studies program, said.
Pieces in a pod
The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College featured “Diversity in Podcasting.” Club members’ goal was to educate viewers and impress the judges. Their poster showed that podcasting is an affordable way for communications students from any culture to launch careers in mass media.
With this research, the media club displayed in visual form how podcasting has made media accessible to people across cultures and how to use podcasting to launch their careers in media. They also presented information on starting a podcast series, as well as showing how affordable startup can be — only $600 to launch a podcast project.
Media Club President Christine Hoon presented “Get Your Red On,” providing information from the American Heart Association, such as why a large number of women are dying from heart disease. Hoon also represented the media club by assisting with the podcast project.
“Occupational Therapy Across Nations” was also presented.
Judging by the reaction –
Judges reacted positively to the project presentations.
“I was impressed with the topics chosen by the students. Many research topics related to their fields that they are studying,” judge Kristin Fike, Central Penn’s internship coordinator, said. “Their research will ultimately help make an impact in their fields. The time that they put into the exhibition was noticed.”
Dutill opened the competition to her Communications 450, Propaganda and Policy, class. Two of her students, Hoon and Yuliani Sutedjo, both communications majors and media club members, presented “Smoking Campaign Ad: Propaganda or Persuasion?” The poster presentation educated viewers on ads from smoking campaigns about how dangerous smoking is. The campaign was to encourage people to stop smoking.
“I was involved in the planning process and collecting resources,” Dutill said. “Additionally, my COM450 class participated, and I think the event is a great opportunity for students to show their hard work.”
Judge Curtis Voelker, a Central Penn admissions counselor, added, “As a judge for Research Exhibition Day, it was inspiring to see the hard work, dedication, and passion each student brought to their specific topic presentations related to the theme of Diversity.”