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      Student Project Day

      Widener Students Share Academic Research, Internships and More

      student project day 2018

      Social Sciences

      Olivia Krawtchuk, a senior psychology and sociology major, shares a poster about her year-long internship at Resources for Human Development on Undergraduate Student Project Day on April 27.

      Widener undergraduate and graduate students showed the outstanding work they’ve done throughout the academic year at Undergraduate Student Project Day and the Graduate Research Symposium.

      A tradition at Widener for nearly two decades, the presentations are an opportunity for the campus community to see first-hand the fruits of the reading, writing, thinking and experimentation the presenting individuals have done.

      Internships Turn into Jobs

      In Kapelski Learning Center, College of Arts & Sciences students and faculty filled halls and classrooms to share Social Science presentations on April 27. Olivia Krawtchuk, a senior psychology and sociology major, presented a poster outlining her year-long internship at Resources for Human Development’s Mainstay residential program.

      Krawtchuk explained that during the first semester she shadowed a therapist, who worked with the residential homes' male population. During the second semester, she taught yoga, meditation and breathing exercises to some of the men and staff.

      “I learned how holistic healthcare is really important,” Krawtchuk said. “It is not just about therapy, but is about integrating the men into the community and helping them learn how to deal with things in a different way.”

      Following graduation, Krawtchuk will work for Resources for Human Development’s youth program and begin a master’s program in the fall.

      From Pediatrics to Geriatrics

      Nursing students presented research from across the health care spectrum in University Center.

      Janine DeGiosafatto, a junior nursing major, researched the impact of dog therapy on pediatric cancer patients. Her interest in the topic is a direct outgrowth of conducting a clinical rotation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s oncology ward.

      Despite concerns that contact with dogs would increase the risk of infection for these patients, DeGiosafatto’s research found no direct correlation of infection due to the canines. Instead, the dogs “improved the quality of life for patients, especially around new diagnoses or invasive procedures,” said DeGiosafatto.

      DeGiosafatto said Student Project Day is a great opportunity to “see what my peers are working on and why they chose their projects.”

      Sean Farrell, a junior nursing major, agreed. Farrell researched the effectiveness of music therapy on post-operative pain management, in light of the country’s opioid crisis.

       “I want to change the mantra of the standard of care for pain management, to not just feed people drugs,” Farrell said.

      Farrell found that having patients listen to music (classical, instrumental, and other forms) for short but consistent periods each week, led patients to report less pain and have lower heart rates, blood pressure and anxiety levels.

      Across the University

      In other corners of campus, students shared equally interesting undergraduate projects.

      Students in the School of Business Administration worked with Rock Solid Security and WuTap Inc. on business start-up plans. The owner of Rock Solid Security attended the presentation Friday and reported that his business was growing – having just become an LLC and securing another client.

      In the School of Engineering, groups of students shared research ranging from upgrades to Schwartz Center’s indoor track and field house to improving traffic in Philadelphia.

      Similarly, the School of Human Service Professions offered topics ranging from elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes to culturally responsive pedagogy.

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