By Lauren Beeman
The QU communication seniors presented two semesters worth of research on Wednesday, April 26.
Each senior was responsible for finding a topic of research, conducting the research and then presenting the final results in the form of a 25-page paper. The posters summarized the research projects and gave students a chance to share their results.
The research posters were on display in the main lobby of Francis Hall starting at 2:00 p.m. Interested individuals were able to travel from senior to senior and ask respective questions regarding the presented material.
During the fall semester, the senior students began their studies through a required class known as research methods. Students learned different ways to collect and gather data relevant to their topic of interest and then surveyed students around QU’s campus.
In the spring semester, QU communication students take senior seminar as a followup to their work in research methods. In “senior sem,” students use the skills gained from the previous semester in a real life setting.
Senior student, Evan Powell, decided to focus on alcohol consumption and academic success for his presentation.
“I was trying to think of a major thing around campus, and a major problem is people drinking,” Powell said.
Powell’s research ultimately showed that while alcohol consumption and poor grades are not directly correlated, QU students found alcohol to be a major problem on campus.
Out of the 125 surveys Powell issued, 117 were able to be used toward his project and are thus represented in his overall conclusion.
Anna Oakley, another communication student focused her research on changing attitudes toward Welfare recipients after hearing a personal testimony.
Oakley was drawn to the topic after hearing about a similar research done on a podcast called “This American Life.” She then showed a testimonial video about a local woman who relies on food stamps and medicaid to a roomful of QU students. In the video, the woman talked about her experiences on Welfare.
Before the start of the video, Oakley handed out a pre-test to participants. Following the video, she handed out a post-test and gaged her engagement and results from the difference between the two.
When asked what she would do differently, Oakley said she would have liked a larger sample to survey.
“It would be fun to get a room full of 200 people to take the survey…you can’t view these results as totally flawless, but none really are,” Oakley said.
Another participating senior, Nate Perez focused his research on athletes who play the same sport year round and the number of injuries they experience as a result.
When asked what advice he would have to offer future communication students regarding this project, Perez had a few pearls of wisdom to offer.
“Get started early and really be aggressive on getting those surveys out,” Perez said.