Posted April 22, 2014

Students across disciplines present their research

Joseph V. Labolito
Biology major Abdulrahman Nazif presents his research on the development of chick pecten oculi and retina.

Typically, research presentations are thought to be reserved to select majors and schools, such as education and the sciences. However, the Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Works Symposium (TURF-CreWS) presented topics from scholars universitywide at its 21st annual event.

Students from all majors and backgrounds visited the Howard Gittis Student Center April 10 to present their faculty-supervised research and creative projects through live presentations, posters and performances.  

Topics ranged from studies about teaching methods to theater performances. One student, Victoria Marchiony, even focused on hipster culture.

Marchiony’s project, “Individualism in the Hipster Generation,” examined particular behaviors—such as self-denial, aggressive irony and cultural appropriation—often associated with “hipsters.” She studied how those behaviors can be attributed to “color-blind” whiteness, or disregarding people’s racial characteristics. Marchiony notes that her research would not have been possible without the support of her advisors Assistant Professor Brooke Duffy in the School of Media and Communication and Associate Professor Matt Wray in the College of Liberal Arts.

“Producing scholarship is winding, arduous and emotionally taxing,” Marchiony said. “I would never have been able to navigate the roller coaster had it not been for my amazing support group of mentors who pushed me forward, inspired me and soothed my anxieties that everything was about to fall apart.”

Marchiony hopes her research gives her an academic edge when she applies to graduate school, but says that regardless her experience really fed her desire for a challenge outside of the classroom.

“If nothing else, it was an amazing growth experience to have gone through both as a scholar and as a young person who started this process in search of a challenge,” she said.

Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Emily Moerer notes that TURF-CreWS is not only beneficial for student researchers, but also for students looking to participate in research in the future.

“This event helps student-researchers by providing a venue in which to publicly present and defend their work, and it allows less-experienced students the opportunity to see what research really looks like,” she said.

Additionally, Moerer notes, the benefits of TURF-CreWS affect all aspects of the Temple community.

“Undergraduate research is not only happening in science labs, but also in the library, in dance studios and archives, and in the nearby community, as well as around the world,” she said. “It has a significant impact on the Temple community when faculty, staff and students can see what Temple undergraduates can achieve under the mentorship of our faculty.”

—Lindsey Murray