Research Day an opportunity to showcase, collaborate

A student presents her research to other students

Faculty and students will showcase the creative and insightful research projects they have undertaken this year during Pacific’s annual Research Day, held in conjunction with the Pacific Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference.

The events are Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presentations will be set up in Innovation Commons, located on the first floor of the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center. Lunch is provided, and the first 100 attendees will get a Starbucks gift card.

For undergraduates, the conference is a key part of the research process.

“It helps them close the loop,” said Lydia Fox, director of undergraduate research. “There's doing the work, and then there is really understanding it enough to communicate your work. When they try to synthesize it in a way to explain it to others, it really solidifies the learning.”

The oral and poster presentations undergraduate students have submitted for the Pacific Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference are wide-ranging:

•    Molly Westlake, a Conservatory student, is examining the history of Black opera and the first Black-composed opera to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 2021;
•    Kayleigh Guyon, a Speech Language Pathology student, is exploring current clinical practices and philosophies regarding neurodiversity-affirming practices across health and education professionals; and
•    Taylor Lam, a biology student, is collaborating with the Dugoni School of Dentistry on research regarding oral pathogen antimicrobials from a traditional Chinese medicine mushroom.

Research Day includes work by both faculty and graduate students.

“It allows students to see different types of research at Pacific and it allows faculty to learn more about each other’s research,” said David Ojcius, assistant provost for research. “There are many collaborations that begin when faculty learn about others with a similar interest. We hope that this catalyzes collaborations.”

Research Day poster presentations this year include:

•    An analysis of microplastics in commercial food and personal-care packing products (Mandy-Tanity Brinkmann, Huy Ngoc Nguyen and Daniel Hui, doctoral students in the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program);
•    Differences in immune responses among men and women to chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory condition (John Huang, Xiaoyuan Han, David Vang, doctoral students at Dugoni School of Dentistry, in collaboration with students from Stanford University and University of California, Davis); and
•    Reasons for the lower percentage of women and LGBTQ people in science-related degree programs or jobs (Jeffrey Miles and Stefanie Naumann, professors of management and organizational behavior in the Eberhardt School of Business).

Their abstracts are posted in Scholarly Commons, a digital repository where Pacific students and faculty can publish their research and creative works. 

It is especially beneficial for undergraduate students, providing the first-time many will have their work published online.

“They can add that to their curriculum vitae when they apply for graduate school or for jobs,” said Ojcius. “It’s a permanent record of the work they performed here, which they can point to in the future.” 

Students and faculty members with questions about conducting research or ideas for future projects can contact the research office, which recently moved to the third floor of the library.