FREDONIA – Several years ago SUNY Fredonia decided to dedicate one day to students research and creativity in hopes they would be recognized for all their hard work.
Office of Student Creative Activity and Research Director Dr. Jack Croxton said this is a great opportunity for students to apply all they have learned and talk to people about it. As a mentor he really enjoyed seeing his own students’ presentations as well Thursday afternoon.
“They did presentations on organizational psychology. They took places they have been and applied what they learned in class to their own individual experiences,” he said. “It has been a great day. It all comes together really good.”
Croxton believes being a mentor is the best part of teaching. He also believes students learn a lot about themselves while doing these projects.
“Students need great mentors to help get them along,” he said. “One on one contact is very important. It has been a great trip from beginning to end. They all start with a great idea and work the whole year to end up here. “
There were several student presenters from 1-6 p.m. in the Williams Center multi-purpose room.
International Studies senior Kelsey Rausch presented Combating Hunger in Latin America, and the Caribbean. She went to a conference in New Jersey with about 60 people from other schools; this really sparked her interest in Latin America.
“I want to work for non-profit South American organizations that deal with poverty and teach women and children to eat properly,” she said. “Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you have to eat badly.”
Vasil Popjanevski a senior in International Studies and Political Science is very passionate about Brazil. He did his presentation about Brazilian hardships.
“Favelas are poor communities illegally built with thousands living in poverty and limited to health and education,” he said. “Rio has big problems with drug trafficking. The drug trade works like a Brazilian mob and controls the Favelas. Right now they are trying to clean things up there.”
Communication Disorders Student Society President Julia Santini is very proud of what she and her fellow members are doing on and off campus.
One main event they do is working with Fredonia Place residents who need young people around to interact with.
“Many have dementia which affects speech and memory. We listen to music and play games with them. It is a great experience for our field,” she said. “We raised the most for Relay For Life and won the Silver Team award. We raised $4,917. 43. Everyone is affected by cancer in some way.”
Theater major Maggie Gilroy knew she always wanted to work in theater, but didn’t know all her skills combined would make her a dramaturge.
“I do all the historical research so everyone can be accurate in their plays,” she said. “It is a really obscure position in an obscure field but I get to take what I have loved all my life and actually find a job for it.”
Communication Disorders and Sciences Graduate Lindsey Farrell got really interested in Cluttering, which is a lot like stuttering.
“There is such little research on it. Cluttering is when you speak too fast and push sounds together,” she said. “I knew one lady who is a Clutterer and she helped me to understand this disability. I felt so bad because she is a very smart woman.”
Danielle Consaul said working with the Days of Service is a great experience she will take with her throughout her life.
The Days of Service helps works in leadership development focusing mainly on WCA and The Salvation Army.
Fredonia for St. Jude’s twins Brittany and Kimberly Hull work very hard on three big events; Up Till’ Dawn, Rock Out For Cancer, and Cans For Cancer. All money goes to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tenn.
Cans For Cancer is today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and deals with area-wide cleanup of cans and bottles.
The keynote speaker of the event, SUNY Fredonia alumni Brian Green, talked about change.
“There is a lot of work in creativity and research so I am thrilled to see them linked together,” he said. “There is a lot of growth in change.”
Green began his speech with a story about his work and how everything he learned at college is connected.
“You need to do three things; focus, flexibility and context,” he said. “When I started out I didn’t have a master plan. My path was to be a rock star, but I am happy where I ended up.”
“As you gain more experience in life you become more diverse. There are more ways you can go and draw from that experience, ” he continued. “Don’t forget what you worked on while you were here.”
President Virginia Horvath said this event is one of her favorite campus traditions.
“You can watch dance and plays but it is rare to see intellectual performances, which take you behind the scenes on what students have been working on all along,” she said. “I want to get more community involvement in the future.”
Vice-President for Academic Affairs Teresa Brown said she really loves the spirit of Fredonia and the culture of asking questions, which everyone does daily around campus.
“This challenges us to go deeper,” she said. “I am so proud to be on campus with students like you who inspire and ask about the unknown.”