From stem cell research to Chinese city designs, EMU student research shines through at Undergraduate Symposium April 1
YPSILANTI – If you want more information about the pros and cons of stem cell research or the elements of Chinese city designs, EMU students have it. In addition, there are more than 100 other topics for discussion at the Eastern Michigan University Undergraduate Symposium Friday, April 1, 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in McKenny Union.
The public is invited to this free event that will be celebrating 25 years of excellence in student research and creative academic achievements.
There will be 137 oral presentations and 55 poster displays on topics as diverse as using video games as persuasion to the impact of aging and disease on the family.
"Our Undergraduate Symposium is one of the oldest in the country," said Linda Pritchard, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences." Student presenters demonstrate the research and creative strategies from their chosen fields. Such direct, hands-on learning develops skills and understanding that go beyond the classroom."
The event envisioned by the late EMU Provost Ronald Collins had a modest beginning, said Prichard. Only 17 students in the College of Arts and Sciences participated 25 years ago. This year, 216 EMU students, mentored by 127 faculty, are participating.
One of those students is Bettina Bell. She's a 21-year-old senior from Ann Arbor, who was a symposium participant last year.
"The symposium gives me an opportunity to share research with other students and faculty," said Bell, a health administration major, who will present, "A Comparative Needs Assessment on the Infant Health Status in the Chicago Communities."
As an intern at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bell worked with the March of Dimes last summer to raise awareness about the infant mortality rate in Chicago's Cook County. That county, she said, has one of the largest African-American populations in the United States.
"Infant mortality is high in the African-American population," said Bell, who used 2002 data from the Chicago Department of Health to assess infant death for 13-19 year-old mothers in Chicago's south and west sides.
"Some 23 percent of teen pregnancies resulted in infant mortality," she concluded.
Bell raised awareness through the "It Takes a Village," program, which provides preventative education about pre- and postnatal care to reduce infant mortality factors of premature birth and low birth weight.
She plans to return to Chicago this summer to do a follow-up study to see how the program has impacted infant mortality rates of teen births.
"The change is probably marginal," she said. "With improved communication, perhaps 10 percent has changed for the better."
Bell plans to graduate from EMU this April and will pursue a master's degree in health administration at either the University of Michigan or the University of North Carolina. Her eventual goal, she said, is to become CEO of a hospital such as Johns Hopkins.
For more information about the symposium, contact Wendy Kivi, event coordinator, EMU Undergraduate Symposium, 734.487.3198 or log on to www.emich.edu/symposium/index.html
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.