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SPA Hosts Inaugural Undergrad Research Conference

By Adrienne Frank

Sonia Tabriz discusses her project,

Sonia Tabriz discusses her project, "Lethal Rejection: Fiction Writing as an Invaluable Window into the World of Crime," with a judge. (Photo: Adrienne Frank)

Thirty-seven students from the School of Public Affairs showcased their original research on everything from education to the environment during the inaugural SPA Undergraduate Research Symposium, April 24.

The students, including nine freshmen and sophomores, gave brief presentations on their work before a panel of faculty judges. The research was divided into three categories: Congress and political participation; education, environment, and healthcare; and justice and civil society.

Carmen Apaza, adjunct faculty member and judge, said the students’ work was creative and ambitious. “The high quality of papers promise great scholarly contribution in the near future. It was an honor to serve as a judge at this great conference.”

In the hallway of the Ward building, students also discussed their poster presentations – on topics as varied as the cigarette tax and social attitudes toward punitiveness – with staff and faculty, including SPA dean William LeoGrande.

This year’s winners are:

Best Paper, Congress and Political Participation
Ryan Korn: “How to Survive a Political Sex Scandal”

Best Paper, Education, Environment, and Healthcare
Josh Hattem: “Why NOT Plagiarize? A Study of Behavioral Controls in College Students”

Best Paper, Justice and Civil Society
Nicole Bazik: “Internet News Consumption and Social Capital”

Best Paper, Freshman-Sophomore
Kaitlyn Ewing: “The American Government: Representative or Not?”

Best Poster, Freshman-Sophomore
Kelsey Stefanik-Sidener: “The Impact of Chronic Illness on Opinions Towards Universal Healthcare”
Best Poster, Junior-Senior
Sonia Tabriz: “Lethal Rejection: Fiction Writing as an Invaluable Window into the World of Crime”