Baruch Students Explore Pressing Issues in Creative Inquiry Presentations
June 10, 2020
Baruch students from a variety of majors delved into critical and timely topics—from Covid-19 to mental health treatment barriers—for Creative Inquiry Day, an annual event celebrating the strength and diversity of undergraduate research projects.
Co-sponsored by the Baruch Honors Program and the College’s Bernard L. Schwartz Communications Institute, the event typically brings together more than 250 students presenting approximately 125 projects. This year—due to distance learning—Creative Inquiry Day moved to a virtual platform, featuring students’ research presentations, along with an informative, threaded discussion for each project to offer participants direct feedback.
Visit: Creative Inquiry Day Online to view projects in the arts and humanities, natural sciences, and psychology; comment in the box provided, and congratulate students on their work
“The Creative Inquiry presentations offer a showcase for the recognition of student projects that help build a culture of inquiry-based coursework, mentorship, and pipelines for scholarship,” explained Meechal Hoffman, director of the Schwartz Communications Institute.
Baruch Honors Program Director Jody Clark-Vaisman added, “This year’s Creative Inquiry Day Online demonstrates the resilience of Baruch’s amazing students and faculty who were able to continue their research and complete poster projects during the challenges of COVID-19. While fewer in number, they are mighty in spirit. We are honored to be able to make their work available to the Baruch community.”
Learn More: Students Explain the Stories Behind Their Projects
- Presentation: Covid-19: What You Need to Know – Brandon Callahan (‘20), Natan Mulad (‘20) “It was our mentor, Dr. [Chandrika] Kulatilleke [associate professor of chemistry], who approached us about presenting Covid-19 at Creative Inquiry Day. My partner, Natan Mulady, and I decided on answering the most common questions in our presentation, what is this virus, how does it infect us, is there any treatment, etc. Our biggest challenge was verifying information. We reviewed primarily peer-reviewed scientific literature and constantly added or amended portions of our poster as new studies were published,” said Brandon Callahan, Ad-Hoc Pharmaceutical Law major.
- Presentation: A Simple Reminder: The Dosage Tracker – Kate Milashevich (‘22), Dobrushe Denburg (‘22), Fu Dong (‘21) “This idea came up when we were given a ‘medical innovation’ assignment in our Medicinal Chemistry course with Dr. [Eydta) Greer. We were asked to brainstorm something simple and 3D-printable, relevant in the healthcare field. To approach this, I tried to think of day-to-day difficulties that we, or people who we know, run into. Difficulty with ‘juggling’ medications and dosages came up as I had recently been on a rotation of Percocet and Ibuprofen; I woke up with pain during the night, and forgot what I was up to in terms of my next dose. We assumed that forgetfulness and the challenges of calculating and counting hours, would be prevalent in post-surgery and short-term illness patients, as well as the elderly. We worked to design something that would take the ‘thinking’ out of it and came up with the Dosage Tracker,” said Dobrushe Denburg, a Biology major.
- Presentation: The Haunting Parallel Amid Government Responses: The Tlatelolco Massacre & Covid-19 Pandemic – Chelsea Wepy (‘21) “The main purpose of my poster was to highlight the parallels between the governmental responses to the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico and the Covid-19 pandemic in America. The more research I conducted on the Tlatelolco Massacre , the more similarities I saw in the feelings of uncertainty and confusion of the Mexican people during that time, compared to the feelings of many American’s today as we face the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Chelsea Wepy, who majors in Entrepreneurship with a Minor in Environmental Sustainability & Spanish-English Translation.“I felt the poem ‘Memorial de Tlatelolco’ by Rosario Castellanos, the Mexican poet and activist, exemplified these feelings particularly well and that the English translation would resonate with Americans now. My goal was to instill hope in the American people during this time of great crisis through the words of Castellanos, who wrote the poem in 1968 following the Tlatelolco Massacre. Her words highlight confusion and fear, and also served as a voice of hope for the Mexican people in a time of great uncertainty,” Wepy added.
- Presentation: Willingness to Receive Mental Health Treatment Can Help Underrepresented Groups – Victoria Capalbo (‘21), Nicole Wu (‘22), Joshua Woode (‘20) “As an I/O Psychology major, it has been instilled in me to learn about the cross-cultural differences that impact interactions in the modern workplace. As the modern workforce becomes progressively diverse, individuals need to be sensitive to the many individual differences among groups,” said Victoria Capalbo. “My interest in the ‘willingness’ of underrepresented groups to receive mental health treatment stems from this larger overarching theme of diversity and difference. Dr. [Nicholas] Sibrava, professor of psychology and my mentor, initially approached me with the opportunity to evaluate barriers to mental health care treatment,” Capalbo explained. As I conducted more research on the subject, ‘willingness’ as a potential variable stood out to me. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know that one of the biggest hurdles in the journey to recovery is that initial willingness to receive treatment. Because of my personal experiences, as well as my interest in individual differences, I wanted to evaluate how people differ in their willingness to receive mental health care treatment based on different factors, such as therapist-patient race matching,” she said.
“This study was developed over the course of the academic year, prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, the study got approved around the time that quarantine went into effect. As a result, the results of the study may very well be skewed due to this historical event; people are more anxious and depressed now vs. prior to the pandemic. In the fall, we plan to collect more data, at which point we will do a detailed comparison to figure out if the pandemic had an effect on our results. For example, we will analyze the results to see if they were skewed significantly,” Capalbo added.
About Creative Inquiry Day
For the last seven years, a group of faculty and administrators collaborated to organize Creative Inquiry Day, a Celebration of Student Research and Creative Inquiry. The effort originated in the desire to cultivate more course-based opportunities for students to participate in research and experiential learning, according to Nancy Aries, professor and academic director, Baruch Honors Program. “Strong collaboration between faculty and staff with a passion for undergraduate learning has sustained it.”
Aries said new collaborations this year included Dollars & Sense, Baruch’s award-winning student magazine, which shared its project on the Harlem Renaissance, and the Jerome L. Schulman Memorial Poetry Prize, which made its first, second, and third-place poems available.
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