May 14, 2015 at 5:15pm

Product of Research

The end of the academic year is a time of reflection in terms of recognizing the efforts of student work. Those efforts were featured during Millikin University's Celebrations of Scholarship (COS) on April 24. The day of scholarship provided a public forum for people to hear and see the results of Millikin students' creative projects.

Multiple disciplines of research and discovery were covered across Millikin's campus representing the College of Arts & Sciences, Fine Arts, Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. The event also featured the 22nd COS Poster Symposium held on the second and third floors of Shilling Hall.
Among the diverse topics was the English Language Center's (ELC) presentation on "Enhancing Cross-Cultural Awareness," held in Shilling Hall. The presenters included international students Hyunsuk Jung, from South Korea; Coraline Beau, from France; Mouna Boutra, from France; and Yuliana Gomez-Canturias, from Peru.

The students presented their findings of interviews conducted in their American Studies course. Their project focused on cross-cultural awareness through a comparison and contrast of American culture and the cultures of France, Peru, and Korea.

Attendees learned perspectives on noteworthy similarities and differences between various cultures. Many of the values the international students presented on included family, religion and hard work.

"I thought their presentation was professional, and the fact that they were able to present in their second language was very impressive," said Julie Lauper, Millikin English Language Center adjunct faculty member. "I thought it was interesting how they were able to analyze their research and reflect on it."

Brandy Barter-Storm, interim director of the English Language Center, added, "They gained a deeper understanding of true American culture. They also saw how some of the values don't always match-up with reality. I think this was a great example of Performance Learning because they had so many steps to go through leading up to the presentation '€“ it's very authentic."

In the Leighty-Tabor Science Center, John Blakeman, a graduate student in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) nurse educator track at Millikin, presented on "Prodromal Myocardial Infarction Symptoms Experienced by Women."

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, and myocardial infarction is a significant contributor to sickness and mortality in women. The purpose of Blakeman's review was to identify studies that describe prodromal symptoms in women and to examine this body of evidence in order to make recommendations and provide findings with significant implications for nursing.

When asked about having the opportunity to present, Blakeman said, "I think it's tremendously important especially in nursing. Dissemination is sort of that capstone at the end of the research process. So many times students perform all the steps of the research, but they never get to disseminate, and being able to actually present gives those students practice."

Blakeman currently works at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Ill. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Millikin University in 2013, and earned several awards during his undergraduate tenure including the Dr. J. Roger Miller Leadership Award and the Scovill Prize.

In January 2015, Blakeman released his first book, "Learning from Patients: My Life as a Student Nurse."

Blakeman added, "For me, this is my fifth presentation at Celebrations of Scholarship and all of those presentations have helped me build my ability to present. Having so many people that are interested helps you see the change that you can make."

Later in the day at Shilling Hall, student Ramey Sola, a junior human services major from Champaign, Ill., presented an introduction to her James Millikin Scholar (JMS) project called "Barks for Books."

"Barks for Books" is a program that will partner with Dennis Lab School to allow children to read to therapy dogs in order to improve literacy skills.

"In result, it will hopefully improve literacy skills as well as emotional and behavioral attributes," said Sola. "I'm interested in this particular research because I aspire to get my social work license, and I would like to use therapy animals in the field that I'm working in to provide services to my clientele. Being able to incorporate all these passions into one project would be a great experience."

In terms of how the program is applied, Sola says, "Dogs don't convey judgement and they can't correct a child if they make a mistake while reading. The children don't have that fear of making a mistake to begin with and that in itself reduces anxiety."
Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper said Millikin's Celebrations of Scholarship is "our way of inviting everyone to see and hear from students who have accomplished a lot in their time at Millikin, and have gone far above and beyond traditional classroom learning because of our commitment to Performance Learning."
Poster Symposium