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Student Research Highlighted by 'Transformations'

Student Research Highlighted by 'Transformations'


SUNY Cortland will recognize the strong academic work of its students during the 21st annual “Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference” on Friday, April 28.

Transformations features dozens of projects from undergraduate and graduate students. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Old Main. Light refreshments will be available between 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Dorothea Kreig Allen Fowler ’52, M ’74 Grand Entrance Hall. Classes will be in session as normally scheduled.

“It’s a great way for us to showcase our undergraduate research and the faculty who mentor them,” said R. Bruce Mattingly, SUNY Cortland’s dean of arts and sciences and Transformations Committee chair. “It’s an exciting year this year because we’re returning to our roots. The original Scholars’ Day was always held in Brown Auditorium and we’ve been in Sperry Center for the last four or five years. It worked out better this year for us to have the event in Old Main, so we’re excited about that.”

Student-led presentations and poster sessions follow a keynote address by Michael J. Bond '75, M.D., a member of the College’s Academic Hall of Fame who serves as medical director of Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Orlando, Fla. A pediatric dermatologist, Bond has influenced the practice of his field and was the only pediatric dermatology consultant to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for 20 years.

Bond’s talk, “From Here to There,” will take place from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Brown Auditorium.

“We always look forward to having an alum come back,” Mattingly said. “More often than not, when they tell their story, you find out that part of what was so great about their experience when they were at Cortland was that they had opportunities to get involved in research. It’s powerful for them to come back and share that with our current students who hear about the experience this alum had and not only that, but what they were able to go on and do after they left Cortland.”

Among this year’s research topics, representing a variety of academic departments, are:

  • “Usage Profile of Cardio Machines at the Student Life Center: the First Step to Turning Human Power into Electricity”
  • “Reviving the Art and Science of Azul Maya Ceramics”
  • “Examining the Gender Wage Gap”
  • “An Examination of How the Portrayal of Psychopaths in Comedic and Dramatic Movies Align with the Clinical Definition of Psychopathy”
  • “White-Tailed Deer and Invasive Earthworms: How Do They Affect New York Ecosystems?”
  • “Language as a Tool for Empowering Individuals with Disabilities”

A complete list of presentations may be found on the Transformations website.

Three concurrent sessions run from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., 3 to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at various locations in Old Main. Poster sessions run from 2:30 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 4:30 p.m. in the Colloquium and in the second-floor atrium.

Established as Scholars’ Day in 1997, the event was renamed in 2012. In addition to members of the campus community, the event is regularly attended by students and educators from local high schools, elected representatives and the Cortland community at large.

“What we did do was make this an event that celebrates student research,” Mattingly said. “What you won’t see is just faculty presentations. Obviously, they are involved through their mentoring and leadership, but over the years, that has really caught on. This is really known as a student research conference.”

The Transformations Committee also includes Martine Barnaby, associate professor of art and art history; Connor Berg, assistant director of Corey Union; Philip Buckenmeyer, department chair and associate professor of kinesiology; Patricia Conklin, professor of biological sciences; Lisa Mostert, technology support assistant, campus technology services; Charlotte Pass, associate professor of literacy; and Kimberly Rombach, department chair and associate professor of childhood/early childhood education.

Support for Transformations is provided by the President’s Office and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. The Student Alumni Association provides volunteers.

For more information, call 607-753-4312 or contact the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office