Ben Winters, Advertising Manager
Last Thursday, the Hunt Union Ballroom as well as the entire top floor of the building was packed to the brim for the Student Research and Creative Activity Day. This was an opportunity for students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as professors and others associated with the college, to display their work and research.
There was a wide variety of topics presented, ranging from nature of the research, the purpose of the research and the topic. It was a unique opportunity to see what students on this campus truly care about. The event was bustling with spectators ranging from community members, faculty, visiting faculty and researchers, students and more. Researchers were excited to discuss their findings. Many of these projects were worked on for an entire academic semester or more, and students did it as part of a variety of independent studies.
Justine Marinello, a sophomore Early Childhood Education Major concentrating in Mathematics, examined notebooks and documents from the Oneonta Normal School along with students Stephanie Spellman, Kaitlyn Castle and faculty member Dr. Toke Knudsen, in order to compile a collection of how math was taught in years past.
“It’s important for us as students here to know the history of the college and how it’s evolved,” Marinello said. As an aspiring math teacher, Marinello also looked to this research’s implications for the future both personally and more globally, saying, “Specifically in the education field, being aware of the way things were taught in the past can help you form your own personal teaching philosophy. Looking back is so inspiring: from 1915 to now, we’ve accomplished so much. It gives me hope that the generations to come will be able to achieve so much more in their educational careers.”
Student Victoria Gander headed the Dollar-A-Day project that was being shown in the ballroom. Gander reached out to the campus community and challenged people to live below the poverty line for 30 days along with her in order to gain appreciation and awareness about the epidemic of poverty in our culture. After facilitating this project, she compiled results about the effect it had on participants. Gathering comments from them in the form of a Blackboard forum, Gander noted that “the participants became more educated on the existence and impact of poverty, developed a more open mindset, and learned to better budget their spending, distinguishing personal needs and wants.”
The day was complete with a presentation by keynote speaker Hal Luftig. Luftig, a SUNY Oneonta alum, is one of the leading producers in the theater business in New York and around the world. He was the lead producer in the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots and holds credits for Broadway hits like Legally Blonde, The Elephant Man and revivals of Evita and The King and I just to name a few. He spoke to the researchers and all of the attendants during lunch in the Hunt Union Ballroom, which was set up Banquet style, before attendees resumed viewing the student exhibits.
The Student Research and Creative Activity day was full of students and faculty excited to display their research and work on a variety of topics. This culmination of hard work was a celebration of the diversity in thought and disciplines found at SUNY Oneonta and the global implications of it can be endless.
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