Seniors on parade: Showing and telling

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Seniors on parade: Showing and telling

Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

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Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

Michael DiMaria / Staff Writer Katie Eschbacher gave her presentation on literature-driven reviews at the 2013 Senior Symposium.

Students, professors, families and friends gathered in the Wool Ballrooms on April 23 for the 2013 Senior Symposium.

The Senior Symposium is an event that gives graduating seniors the opportunity to present their capstone research, demonstrate the culmination of their major interests and reflect on how their work and their SLU experiences have changed them as a person.

Students explained how these projects have formed them as a student at SLU and how they will carry their research into their selected fields after graduation.

The three types of presentations displayed were poster or artwork presentations, oral presentations and creative presentations.

The poster presentations were set up in a way similar to a science fair, with poster boards standing on tables that lined the ballroom. Attendants were able to browse the selection of projects, and seniors discussed their work with anyone who chose to stop and talk.

The oral presentations were roughly 20-minute talks about a project, with a question-and-answer period at their conclusion.

The speeches were more formally organized and were sometimes accompanied by a slideshow.

Creative presentations consisted of 20-minute performances of music or theater. These were less prevalent, but provided a very different experience from the rest of the projects.

It was easy to see that senior presenters were very passionate about their topics and excited to be at the symposium.
Nina M. McDonnell, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, demonstrated a project titled “Perceptions of Stress and Mental Health in a Sample of Black Men.”

“It was actually a secondary data analysis [originally about physical health]…so I went through the data and coded it for mental health,” McDonnell said when talking about her primary role in the project.
College of Education and Public Service student Jana Bersted gave a presentation titled “Birthright Capstone: Crisis Pregnancy and Healthy Relationships.”

She stated that a lot of her personal experiences with different clientele inspired her choice for a capstone focus.

“I have my own individual clients, as well, and so that is why immediately… I realized that, yes, this was an issue,” Bersted said.
Another project titled, “Hops” by Gabriele Geerts, a senior in the Doisy College of Health Sciences, focused on Geerts’ study of hops and the creation of her own beer.

Her presentation was part of a final project for a Culinary and Medicinal Herbs class.

She looked at where hops tend to exist georgraphically, along with the temperature, climate and other agricultural concerns involved with growing hops.

Her crafted beers focused on the different flavors that various hops can contribute to a brew.

“The Collapsible Guitar” by Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology students Michael Bronk, Genevive Dunlap, Michael Weiler and Landon Wineinger featured a working guitar that came apart and could fit in a standard carry-on bag on a plane.

The original aim of the project was to develop a foldable guitar that maintained its tuning before and after folding.

Maria Smith gave an oral presentation for her capstone entitled “Dr. King (Scholarship) Done Wrong,” talking about how the scholarship has undergone detrimental changes and fails to uphold the legacy of Dr. King. She argued that the current state of the scholarship negatively impacts the University.

“We all want to provide support for the program so students have a better opportunity to learn who [Dr. King] was through a required class,” Smith said when asked about the main objective of her capstone.

A town hall meeting was held, discussing this issue and trying to work out possible solutions for the revising the scholarship.

“We are really focusing on the social justice aspect of it,” Smith said.

The symposium closed with a reception for the seniors and their families.