Seven SESP Students Present at Undergraduate Expo

Seven SESP Students Present at Undergraduate Expo

Seven SESP undergraduates were selected to present research at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition on May 21. The students are seniors Elizabeth Nick, Morgan Purrier, Emily Roskey, Emily Srisarajivakul, Heather Polonsky, Sharona Sernick and Joshua Swenson.

The exposition was planned as a celebration of original research and creative projects by Northwestern undergraduates. “It has been another impressive year in the world of undergraduate research at Northwestern,” says Provost Daniel Linzer.

Emily Roskey

Senior Emily Roskey delivered an oral presentation about her research project, "Self Identity and Global Concern in University Students." In her talk, Roskey described her research investigating whether students who identify with a shared group membership are more likely to be concerned about global climate change. She also gave advice on the need for maintaining flexibility when conducting research overseas, since she met with several challenges while gathering data in Italy.

The remaining students presented posters in the Louis Room of Norris Center, and they discussed their research findings with visitors to the exposition. Following are summaries of the students’ topics:

Elizabeth Nick, "Adolescent Coping: Associations with Age, Family Functioning and Depression"
This senior honors thesis investigated how adolescents report coping with stress and the relationships among coping style, age, family functioning and depression. Adolescents reported using adaptive coping styles more often than maladaptive styles. Faculty adviser: Alissa Chung 

Heather Polonsky, "Local Wellness Policies: A Recipe for Healthy Schools?"
This honors research project examined the impact of the Local Wellness Policy mandate in three areas: school curricula, nutrition policies and body mass index for children. While schools had strong physical education curricula, nutrition policies did not change significantly, and obesity actually increased. Faculty advisers: Diane Schanzenbach and Elizabeth Barden

Morgan Purrier, "Online Filler-Gap Dependency Formation and That-Trace Effect"
This study was intended to show that the online WhFG dependency formation process is sensitive to the so-called that-trace filter: the wh-movement from right after the complementizer that is illicit in English. Faculty adviser: Masaya Yoshida

Penelope Peterson and Sharona Sernik

Sharona Sernik, "The Effect of Jewish Religious Observance on College Women's Perceptions of Marriage"
Sernik's study examined how varying religious observance in Jewish women affected their perceptions, plans and expectations of marriage. The research showed that recent changes in marriage and the transition to adulthood are mostly applicable to non-observant young women. Faculty adviser: Regina Logan

Emily Srisarajivakul, "Hallyu - Korean Popular Culture's Effects on the Perceptions of Masculinity, Interracial Dating Practices among American Students"
This senior honors thesis explored perceptions of Asian American male masculinity and perpetuation of stereotypes of Asian American males. It looked at the impact of Korean dramas and pop songs on the behaviors and opinions of university students. Faculty adviser: Jinah Kim

Joshua Swenson, "Faith Development and Personality: Faith Development, Openness to Experience, and Ego Development"
Swenson’s honors thesis investigated the interrelationship between personality and religious faith development in adults. Openness to experience and ego development both positively correlated with higher stages of faith development.Faculty adviser: Dan McAdams

On June 1, all 13 senior honors students will be presenting their research projects from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third floor of Annenberg Hall. The SESP honors program is an opportunity for students to gain firsthand research experience and engage in a mentor relationship with a faculty member.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/23/12