SESP Students Shine at Undergraduate Research Expo

SESP Students Shine at Undergraduate Research Expo

Adriana Stanovici

After months of research, 10 SESP seniors were selected to present their research projects at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition on May 20. Alyssa Lloyd, Victoria Romba and Alex Straley were chosen to give oral presentations. Aria Fiat, Mallory Mattimore-Malan, Erica McLin, Levi Mele, Morgan Purrier, Rose Sloan and Adriana Stanovici were selected for poster presentations.

Three seniors won awards for their poster presentations. Mele took first place in the social sciences category for the afternoon session. His poster project was entitled “The Mormon Effect: Exploring Religion, Family, and Class Influences on Human Capital in an Energy Industry Dependent Community.” Mele’s interviews led him to conclude that Latter Day Saints church involvement may lead individuals to go to college despite the availability of high-paying jobs in the oil fields. His research adviser was Lilah Shapiro.

In the same category, Mattimore-Malan took third for her poster, “Narrative, Professional Identity, and Education Reform: A Qualitative Analysis of Public School Teacher’s Narrative Experience of the Chicago Teacher’s Union Strike.” Her interviews showed that public perception and media discourse influence teachers’ sense of legitimacy during a strike. SESP professor Dan McAdams was Mattimore-Malan’s research adviser.

In the morning session, Fiat took third in the humanities and arts category for “Mind Your Mood: Is Self-Focused, Temporal and Task-Unrelated Thinking Related to the Onset of Adolescent Depression?” Her presentation drew on research she has done for four years with SESP professor Emma Adam. After examining the thinking of teenagers in relation to the onset of depression, Fiat found that non-depressed adolescents reported thinking about nothing significantly more than future depressed adolescents.

Tory Romba

Oral presentations
During the Lunch and Learn oral presentations, Lloyd spoke on “Examining the Political and Economic Effects of a Carbon Tax on Australian Small Businesses.” Her interviews with 36 small business owners in Australia revealed the effects of a new carbon tax to stem climate change. Romba’s oral presentation was on “The Roaring 20s and Sturdy 30s? How Millennials Traverse the Path from 25 to 35.” Her interviews underscored the important psychological and emotional development that occurs during the 20s and 30s. Romba’s research advisers were SESP faculty members Lilah Shapiro and Regina Logan.

Straley’s presentation was entitled “Engaging the Competitive Advantage: Perceived Interpersonal and Inter-Organizational Competition and Its Effects on Employee Engagement.” His survey of 152 employees revealed that inter-organizational competition increased employee engagement while interpersonal competition decreased engagement. His research adviser was SESP adjunct lecturer Gail Berger.

Research topics
Topics for other SESP students selected as poster presenters were as follows:

  • Mattimore-Malan, “Narrative, Proessional Identity and Education Reform: A Qualitative Analysis of Public School Teachers’ Narrative Experience of the Chicago Teachers Union Strike”
  • Purrier, “What (and Who, When, Where and How) Is Coming Out?”
  • Sloan, “Labeled as Disabled? The Effects of No Child Left Behind on Students with Disabilities Rates in Florida Middle Schools from 2000–2005”
  • Stanovici, “Determining the Effectiveness of the Arts-Based Approach in Addressing At-Risk Youth in Bolivia”

The Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition is an annual celebration of original research and creative work by Northwestern undergraduates. The Expo showcases student projects from fields and disciplines across the university.

Captions: (top photo) Andriana Stanovici, (bottom) Tory Romba.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/24/13