Research

ResearchHands-on research opportunities abound for students in many fields at Alvernia. Working closely with faculty members who are active scholars in their areas of expertise, students engage in actual field research, publish papers and present findings at national conferences. Here’s just a sample of recent projects:

Student Daniel Kwasniewski ’13 presented “Using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for the Analysis of Additives in Carbonate Beverages, Enhanced Water, and Energy Drinks” at the American Chemical Society Meeting in New Orleans. The study, co-authored and presented with Rosemarie Chinni, Ph.D., associate professor of Chemistry/Forensic Science, focused on using HPLC to detect and quantify the amount of caffeine and other B-vitamins in various drinks.

Ph.D. student Tracey Brown presented “A Meta-Analysis of Tribal Court Structures and Procedures across Tribal Judicial Systems in the United States” at the 50th Annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Meeting, Dallas. This paper, co-authored and presented with Peggy Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., CTS, chair of the Department of Psychology and Counseling, explored the structure and policies of tribal courts in civil and criminal cases. Punishments used, and roles of prosecutors and defense attorneys were discussed.

Amanda McGettigan ‘13 and Daniel Kwasniewski ’13 worked with Rosemarie Chinni, Ph.D., associate professor of Chemistry/Forensic Science, to co-author “Detection of Mercury in Natural Waters in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Using Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.” The paper discusses using CVAAS to determine the extent of mercury contamination in 16 natural waterways throughout Berks County. It was accepted for publication in the Journal of Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

Maya Najarian ’13 worked with Rosemarie Chinni, Ph.D., associate professor of Chemistry/Forensic Science on a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy project and co-authored “Temperature and Electron Density Determination on Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Plasmas: A Physical Chemistry Experiment” that was published in the Journal of Chemical Education. The paper discusses a laboratory procedure that can easily be incorporated into a Physical Chemistry lab course.

Ph.D. student Tracey Brown presented “Institutional Review Boards in Doctoral Level Programs with a Focus on Leadership Programs” at the International Leadership Association Meeting, Denver, Colo. The paper, co-written and presented by Peggy Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., CTS, chair of Department of Psychology and Counseling and Tufan Tiglioglu, Ph.D., director, Ph.D. Program in Leadership, described the relationship of IRBs and Doctorate of Leadership programs. Both procedural and curricular issues were discussed.

Alvernia criminal justice student Thomas Hall ’13 presented “Restorative Justice Through the Arts” at the 50th annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Dallas, Texas. This paper, co-written and presented with Peggy Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., CTS, chair of Department of Psychology and Counseling, explored the importance of arts in restorative justice including descriptions of programs that provide arts and art therapy for juvenile offenders.

Did you know?

A National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study found that participating employers and recent college graduates agreed on the necessity of out of the classroom experiences. The study emphasizes the importance of providing students with important knowledge and skills but also experience putting that knowledge and skills to practical use in "real-world" settings.

Did you know?

Seventy-six percent of participating employers put "teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings" at the top of their list of desired capabilities in new employees, according to a National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise study. These are among the skills fostered by real-world learning experiences.

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Service learning is a method of providing personal and academic development through work with established nonprofit organizations in the community. It is an avenue to introduce students to a professional environment without the extensive commitments of an internship.

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Service learning provides ideal real world learning opportunities. According to SmartBlog on Leadership, doing volunteer and service work for a non-profit organization that is connected to your major or academic program of study helps develop leadership skills, expands your perspective of the world, allows you to discover new skills in a safe environment, and develops a larger network of real world contacts to draw upon once you graduate.

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Service learning can take you outside of your comfort zone, giving you an opportunity to work with new challenges, people, politics and interpersonal dynamics. It also offers new perspective on priorities. Hanging out with people who have had different life experiences encourages you to tackle challenges from different angles. Julie Zolfo, founder of Make Success Matter said that she volunteered for six weeks at the schools in New Delhi, India.

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"Alvernia's Career Development Center works with students to find avenues for employment, internships, co-ops, career exploration, resume development, and graduate school options. Center staff help students assess their options and identify their own "brand" to complement their life after Alvernia.

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A recent career fair at Alvernia attracted more than 55 employers who were seeking to hire employees, co-ops and interns for their organizations. Career fairs like this one are fertile ground for students seeking real world learning opportunities and to reap the benefits of such as employers look to to hire staff members who have honed their skills and abilities via practical experiences in real situations.

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Since its inception, Alvernia has offered real world opportunities with an emphasis on service and careers that help those in need. Field experiences in areas like criminal justice, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, health care science and teacher training among others provide our students with rich learning opportunities to test drive what it's like to work in that profession.

Did you know?

In a recent American Association of Colleges and Universities survey of 302 employers, 79 percent said institutions of higher learning should emphasize helping students apply what they learn in real-world settings, and 66 percent said that completing an internship or community field project would help prepare students for success.