Extreme politics, extreme fear, and acting out the angst of joblessness: Annual EMU Graduate Research Fair on March 26 features array of fascinating student projects

by Geoff Larcom, Published March 22, 2012

Who am I? Where have I been? What do I have to offer?

Such are the difficult questions one asks when dealing with job loss and having to conduct a search for new employment.

Amanda Graziola, a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University, helped area job hunters work through these issues last fall during a workshop she presented in partnership with the Michigan Works! office in Ypsilanti.

She used a blend of interactive theater and creative drama exercises to help participants reflect on their experiences relating to job loss and the piercing anxiety of joblessness. The exercise sought to build confidence and a sense of self awareness.

Graziola will discuss the experience of creating and leading the workshop and ways to measure its effectiveness during her presentation at EMU's 14th annual Graduate Research Fair, to be held at the Student Center the afternoon of Monday, March 26.

Grazioli's presentation, entitled, "Moving Forward by Playing Back: Using Drama to Unpack the Experience of Joblessness," will be among 214 oral or poster presentations at the research fair. She will discuss her project at around 4 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. She is the third presenter in one of the 3:30 p.m. sessions.

The Graduate Research Fair is EMU's annual celebration of graduate student scholarly and creative work. Students share oral and poster presentations of theses, dissertations, internship experiences and other scholarly course projects. The fair begins Eastern's annual "Week Of Excellence," a series of celebratory events culminating with the Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, March 30.

This year's Graduate Research Fair features 214 presentations - 147 oral and 67 poster presentations. The event involves 245 students and more than 90 faculty mentors. Presentations include all five of EMU's colleges and 28 academic departments and schools. The event spotlights the excellent mentoring relationships between faculty and students at EMU.

A sampling of the other research fair presentation topics includes:

  • "Distribution of Reproductive Female Bats Along an Elevational Gradient in the Monongahela National Forest."
  • McCarthyism: Extreme Politics."
  • "Extreme Fear: Justifying Adults' Fright of the World Wide Web."
  • "The Ten Stereotypes of Disability in American Cinema."
  • "The Most Significant Factors that Affect Interior Design in Saudi Arabia."

The event begins with presentations at 12:30 p.m., with various sessions running throughout the afternoon.

The event concludes at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium with the 2012 George Liepa Sigma Xi lecture. Dr. Jeanette M. Hasse will give a talk entitled "Nutrition Strategies to Improve Organ Transplant Outcomes."

Hasse is a renowned researcher and clinician specializing in transplant nutrition at Baylor University Medical Center. She is also a former graduate student of the late George Liepa, a longtime, highly respected EMU professor of human nutrition for whom the speaker series is now named.

All presentations and the lecture are free and open to the public. For more details and a list of the presentations at the research fair, see the website at http://gradschool.emich.edu/events/grf/grf.html



Geoff Larcom



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