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Research Month Highlights Student and Faculty Scholarship

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Students and faculty showcased their academic and scholarly achievements during St. John's University’s annual Research Month on the Queens and Staten Island campuses in April.

The Queens campus celebration featured lectures, poster sessions, presentations, roundtable discussions, and workshops. Students and faculty at the Staten Island campus held a series of presentations from April 11 to 21.

“The very high quality of the research conducted at the University characterizes our deep institutional commitment to excellence,” said Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., Provost. “The research activities of our students and faculty provide greatly needed answers to important questions.”

To emphasize the collaborative nature of their work, students and faculty at the Queens campus presented their research posters together in a single session on April 7. Participation was up 20 percent over last year, with 205 posters displayed at the Taffner Field House representing the research of more than 500 students and faculty.

The “Heart” of Research Month
“Today, we celebrate student and faculty research—which is at the very heart of Research Month,” said Simon Geir Møller, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences and Senior Vice Provost. “Research Month as a whole demonstrates how our work makes an impact beyond this campus. Our research affects society.”

Tina Wines ’16G presented research on singing. She was diagnosed as a child with vocal nodules; her experience with voice therapy influenced her decision to pursue a master’s in speech-language pathology. “Not a lot of research has focused on the cool-down methods singers use to return their vocal cords to speaking range,” said Wines. “As someone who has been singing since I was young, I wanted to look at how these methods affect the speaking voice.”

Undergraduate environmental studies majors Michael Andranovich ’16C and Joseph Costa ’17C are both working to map the correlation between heavy metals in water samples and incidents of prostate cancer on Long Island, NY. The students hope to continue to collect enough data to publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students also delivered oral presentations on April 7. Ozanam scholar Kristiana Nelson ’16C framed her remarks with an important statistic: “By the year 2030, 20 percent of the elderly will be living in long-term healthcare facilities.” She developed an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) research project, entitled “Intergenerational Programming: A Model in Nursing Home Care,” which explored the problem of depression among older people in those facilities.

Varied Disciplines, Side by Side
A new event this year was the Public Lecture, delivered by Abu Serajuddin, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, on Wednesday, April 13. He discussed the work he and his students do in the Industrial Pharmacy Innovation Laboratory that he instituted at St. John's to develop novel drug delivery systems.

The 27th Annual Grants Reception, held on April 12, celebrated faculty whose research draws external funding. The special honoree was Olga Hilas ’03Pharm.D., Associate Professor, Industry Professional, in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for $944,138 to be used to implement new SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) training into the curriculum for St. John’s students who are preparing to be health professionals. 

At the Staten Island campus, students’ oral presentations and performances took place on April 14. The week culminated with record-breaking participation at the student poster session and the Vice Provost Research Awards, where eight students won accolades, on April 21.

“We celebrate research in all its forms—through scholarship, community partnerships, and student presentations—and we put different disciplines side by side,” said Robert Fanuzzi, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of Civic Engagement and Public Programs, Staten Island campus. “When students present their research in one forum, you have special insight into how the different arms of our St. John’s education work together. That’s why we love Research Month.”