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UNIVERSITY SHOWCASE Students praise YSU Quest research event



Published: Thu, April 8, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



All presenters this year were students.

By JoANNE VIVIANO

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Casey Annico of Boardman said Youngstown State University suffers from an unearned negative image.

On Wednesday, he was doing his part to help change that by presenting his psychology project at the 15th annual Quest event that showcases student research.

"People give YSU a hard time," said the senior psychology major. "I think this is an excellent way to show that there are a lot of intelligent and wonderful people here at the university.

"I've met students here who are probably smarter than people who go to Ivy League schools."

Annico is one of 255 students who presented 148 research topics at the one-day event.

A change this year

New this year was that presentations were solely from students, said Dr. Jeffrey Dick, an associate geology professor who serves as director of undergraduate research and the Quest event. In the past, faculty also have presented research.

This year's topics ranged from terrorism and the war in Iraq to community policing to a floating concrete canoe and sex in the movies of Alfred Hitchcock.

Noelle Kauffman of Poland, a graduate student of history, presented a piece on historical editing and research as related to the anti-slavery papers of the Western Reserve.

She said it's important to keep an event like Quest alive.

"Especially in the Valley," she said. It brings out all the talents and everything YSU students have to offer. ... There are a lot of things here you wouldn't expect."

'Valuable experience'

Junior art education major Angela Speece of Ellsworth was part of a group that presented geological research from the small Bahamian island of San Salvador. Her task was to study the tides.

"I learned so much that I never would have gotten the chance to do," she said. "It was a valuable experience."

Four senior electrical and computer engineering seniors showed off the robot they made for an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers competition later this month in Cleveland.

The unit has a conveyer belt with magnets designed to pick up steel balls and drop them in a basin. It also features a claw for retrieving a brass ball from a 16-inch dowel.

"It prepares you for working in the field when you graduate, for working with others," said Eric Montgomery of Lake Milton.

Kristin Wiand of Warren said participating in Quest also helped the group see the progress of other students.

"We've never been aware of what other divisions were doing," she said. "This was a neat way to see them go into detail and see what they're doing," she said.

Dr. Tony Atwater, YSU's provost and vice president for financial affairs, said the event is part of his overall plan to focus on undergraduate research.

"What I'd like to do is make it crystal clear to all undergraduate students that it is important to get involved in research," he said. "A wise man once said, 'There is nothing new in the world, just the undiscovered.' Research is about revealing the undiscovered.

"It is also about making life better for all of us and helping us have a better understanding of the human experience. That's what all of us are doing here today."




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