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Scholars at work

Classes might not have been in session, but the Widener campus was bustling with activity on Undergraduate Student Project Day, an annual day featuring seniors’ research held on Friday, April 25. The day before, the Graduate Student Research Symposium featured work by those cohorts.

Undergraduate seniors from a number of different majors offered presentations on a disparate number of subjects in locations throughout campus on Friday.

Students in the fields of science, social science, business, engineering, social work, education, and nursing, as well as continuing studies, gave presentations, showcased posters and exhibits, and presented papers and joint student-faculty research projects.

Graduate students in nursing, social work, education, human sexuality, clinical psychology, and physical therapy gave presentations as well.

Social work graduate student A. Maria Marcelin’s presentation, “Progress and Problems in the Federal Response to Human Trafficking,” examined how law enforcement deals with sex workers. The faculty adviser on the project was Dr. Linda Houser.

She said the federal Violence Against Women Act provides a good framework, but that the federal response to human trafficking in practice leaves much to be desired, with 50,000 to 60,000 women and children trafficked into the United States every year.

“There's really not enough protection for these women who come over here, have little or no documentation, are beaten and drugged and abused and raped and can't really find a place or a person to actually protect them,” Marcelin said.

Graduate student Alexander Gould, in the doctor of psychology program, presented “Widening the Lens: Considering Buddhist Philosophical Tenets Within a Western Psychotherapeutic Context,” and was advised by Dr. Courtney Slater.

“I've got a real interest in Buddhism and psychotherapy and I wanted to see about linking the two more,” Gould said. He said that the concept of mindfulness is prominent in psychotherapy today, but he feels that mindfulness practices are “presented more like a technique, and maybe something is lost by not linking mindfulness practice more with Buddhist philosophical tenets.”

His goal was to connect Buddhist philosophy with mindfulness practice “and psychotherapy practice in general,” he said.