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      High-Impact Practices

      Fair Showcases Widener's Dedication to High-Impact Practices

      High Impract Practices

      High-Impact Practices

      Undergraduate and graduate students present posters at the High-Impact Educational Practices Fair on April 11.

      Widener University’s commitment to high-impact educational practices was celebrated at an annual fair on April 11.

      At the High-Impact Educational Practices Fair, undergraduate and graduate students lined Lathem Hall to present 32 posters.

      The event offered a clear snapshot of the various student projects, service-learning activities, research, study abroad opportunities and pre-professional experiences that span across all fields of study and disciplines. High-impact practices, a core teaching principle at Widener, allows students to dive deeper into their field of study through collaboration with peers and faculty.

      Industry Collaboration

      High Impact Practices Fair

      Industry Collaboration

      Anna Swyers, a junior chemistry major, presented at the High-Impact Educational Practices Fair about her research conducted on the mass spectrometer that was loaned to Widener by Extrel Corporation.

      Anna Swyers, a junior chemistry major, and Erik Smeltz, a senior chemistry and chemical engineering major, presented about the unique opportunity they have to collaborate with Extrel Corporation, a leading manufacturer of research and process mass spectrometers, an analytical tool that measures the masses within a sample.

      “Extrel loaned Widener one of its academic models of a mass spectrometer,” Swyers explained. “We are working with Extrel to develop manual labs for undergraduate students and providing Extrel with feedback since they are building this machine geared toward academics.”

      In a lab course led by Associate Professor Shirley Fischer-Drowos, students have been learning how the instrument works and then developing applications for it to be used.

      The goal of the partnership is to develop and incorporate new academic active learning activities and provide students with an opportunity to do research directly on a novel apparatus that is being designed for academic institutions. The students provide feedback to Extrel on a regular basis.

      In research projects, Swyers has been analyzing scents, while Smeltz has been analyzing e-cigarettes.

      “I’ve been looking at floral scents to see what is really in perfumes,” Swyers said. “Perfumes are supposed to be made out of essential oils – the purest come straight from the plant – but essential oils are not required by law to list what is actually in them.”

      The experience will better prepare students like Swyer for either graduate work or entry into the workforce.

      “This is something we will all have to do in industry – look for the pros and cons of instruments before buying,” Swyer said. “Being able to use a mass spectrometer and build those connections is great.”

      Biographical Timeline

      Madgean Barosy, a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program, presented a case study highlighting the use of a biographical timeline, a multipurpose tool that is used within interdisciplinary care teams to help create a linear representation of an individual’s life. This linear representation is a map that outlines an individual’s medical history, education, possible traumatic instances in order to identify gaps in treatment which can allow the care team to then create meaningful interventions and treatment plans.

      “This is a practice that I would like to do in the future,” Barosy said. “I look at work places now, and places that I’ve worked in the past, and I see how relevant this tool is and how effective it could be in helping to design treatment plans for clients. This is definitely something that I plan to implement when I have my own practice.”

      Barosy worked with Associate Professor Beth Barol, director and associate dean of the Center for Social Work Education, to present her work. Barol has utilized biographical timelines throughout her career in social work and teaches a course on the subject.

      “I wanted to present on this topic because I definitely see Dr. Barol’s vision and I would like to be an extension of that vision and really support this timeline and its effectiveness,” Barosy said.


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