18th Annual Arts, Research and Scholarship Symposium

By Seamus Feeley
May 9, 2024


On Tuesday, April 29, academic spirit replaced the gymnasium’s athletic atmosphere as poster boards crowded the court’s floor. This was Cabrini’s 18th and final Arts, Research and  Scholarship Symposium.  

A student presents a prepared speech, a mandatory aspect of all projects.

The symposium asks students to conduct social experiments as part of their research, but this year had fewer subjects due to lower enrollment. Still, the students turned out excellent work.  

Students and the symposium

Students were asked by their facilitators at the beginning of the spring semester to create a thesis around an area of research that interests them. They would then present their findings in oral and poster presentations. Numbers were crunched. Graphs were analyzed. And projects were ready to be presented. 

When setting up their poster boards, project stations were split into rows of psychology, science, sociology, criminology, and communication. 

In one row, issues surrounding mental health, the next could range from fossil records to the study of micro bacteria.  

Justin Uruchima, senior in criminal justice, described the symposium as an opportunity for people from different majors to gather and share what they’re passionate about. He said it’s interesting to see different “material” compared to his. Uruchima’s project was titled “Gender and race and support for the death penalty.” To find his answers he reached out to students to fill out a survey, but said, “It was difficult because Cabrini was closing down.” 

Aichata Coulibaly, senior in sociology. “There are very few kids on campus, so finding enough students to do the survey was difficult.” She aimed to get over 150 responses on hers but only received 78, though several other students said that was a lot compared to their responses.  

When noting how this symposium was different compared to last year, Coulibaly said, “this one is a lot smaller” but “feels a lot more intimate.”  

Coulibaly’s project, “Social Isolation and Academic Achievement: Unanticipated Impacts of the COVID-19 Shutdowns of 2020,” delved into the correlation between college students’ academic achievements and the isolation experienced during Covid’s Pandemic. 

A facilitator’s view 

“I’m really proud of the work they did this year,” said Lab Manager Daniel Dye, who helped “strategize” and “execute” students’ research for biology and chemistry with the help of equipment such as “high performance liquid chromatography.” 

Dye said, “Definitely you feel the fact that this is the last one but it’s also a celebration. This is what the symposium is; it’s the celebration of the work we put in and the impact we’re going to make in society when our students graduate.” 

Lab Manager Daniel Dye (center), acknowledging a student’s work.

He added, seeing the students research their “passions” is the best part of the symposium. “Especially with one of my students, Brian Fuller, he was so passionate about his research in immunology. He said he wanted to do this for the long term, and so he’s going to get his doctorate degree in immunology. He’s applying to programs, and I know he’ll get in.”  

Dye loves to glimpse the future the symposium offers. The hard work students do here is the hard work they want to do for the rest of their lives. The symposium nurtures “skills” students will need when chasing those ambitions. “A big part of research is presenting your information well, connecting with an audience, potential funding for grants, this helps them practice that.” 

“For me,” he said, “it’s a celebration of pride in our work, in our purpose, and our mission of Cabrini.”  

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Seamus Feeley

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