Symposium Puts the Focus on Student Scholarship
For Thomas Goetze ’17, one of the more than 200 St. John Fisher College students who participated in the Student Scholarship and Creative Work Symposium, the daylong event was an opportunity to showcase the results of his research efforts, while speaking to the invaluable nature of engaging in such work.
During the symposium, which was held on Friday, April 28, the psychology major and biology and sociology minor delivered an oral presentation on research he conducted on weight stigma. While he participated in a poster session during the Eastern Psychological Association conference earlier this year, the symposium was his first chance to deliver it in a presentation form. After graduation, Goetze plans to work in a psychology-related occupation and continue his research on weight stigma while awaiting an officer commission as a behavioral scientist in the United States Air Force.
“I can say without any doubt that my research experiences at Fisher are invaluable; sharing research gave an upperclassman like myself the opportunity to show underclassmen what you can do at Fisher,” he said. “The opportunities are endless if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.”
That’s the exact message that Dr. Kristin Picardo, director of the Center for Student Scholarship, Research, and Creative Work, hoped faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners who attended the symposium would receive.
“The symposium allowed students to see the diversity of work they engage in at Fisher, to share their individual passion for their areas of study, and to learn to value how each contributes to our overall body of knowledge,” Picardo said. “We hope this provokes new thinking and provides an opportunity for students to see how their work impacts that of another student’s—to see the interconnectedness.”
In addition to showcasing research across disciplines, the symposium featured undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level research.
Tessa Kelly, a third-year doctoral student in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, presented on a research collaboration with Drs. Matthew Zak and Kelly Conn. The poster discussed results of a survey of middle and high school students’ literacy and knowledge as it relates to over-the-counter medications. Honors student Casey Cuthbert ’17 delivered a poster presentation on why the French madeleine cookie is the best representative of French culture, conducted through Dr. Sebastien Lazardeux’s French Culture through Food course.
While Kelly and Cuthbert studied two very different topics, both said the experiences gave them skills that will serve them well in the future.
“I have truly enjoyed being able to participate in the entire research process, from writing and submitting a proposal to the Institutional Review Board and analyzing the data from the surveys to creating a poster and having the chance to present this information,” Kelly said. “It was a great opportunity to improve my writing, analytical, and communication skills.”
Cuthbert, a marketing and finance major with a minor in communication, agreed.
“Knowing that I have the ability to conduct research and present it to my peers is a life-long skill that I will take with beyond my Fisher years,” said Cuthbert, who will serve as the assistant vice president in the health care operations department at First American Equipment Finance upon graduation. “This experience helped prepare me for future projects in my professional career.”