OVU students share research

VIENNA – More than 120 Ohio Valley University students presented the results of their research on various projects during Wednesday’s spring research day.

Christine Parker, director of university communications and associate director of admissions, said the research day takes place twice each semester.

“The purpose is many fold,” she said. “It gives students experience in putting together presentations and making presentations of the work they are doing is vital to the career mastery, which is a huge focus at OVU.”

Parker said it also encourages interdisciplinary work because students from all degree programs at OVU participate in the research day. They can set up poster board presentations or Power Point presentations.

Gordon L. Wells, chairman of the school of mathematics and science, said the disciplines represented in the research day range from Bible to chemistry to education. Some presentations involved research from two disciplines.

The research day has grown as officials have worked to get more people involved, Wells said.

“We cut the number of projects some because one faculty concern was we had so many disciplines involved and so many classes, some students were doing three or four presentations,” he said. “This semester we made a concerted effort to allow double duty presentations. A student might be doing a project for multiple classes with a twist.”

Wells said double duty presentations allow students to investigate multiple aspects of the same subject.

Some instructors require students to participate in the research day while it is an option in others.

One presentation that was an example of a project covering two disciplines was by Keith Sweitzer, a freshman, who is a member of the university’s lacrosse team.

“Mine involved lacrosse balls and how best to clean them after they have been used a lot,” he said. “I’m a double major in biochemistry and biology and I had to do a project for my physics and chemistry classes. So I applied physics in the testing portion and chemistry in the cleaning portion.”

Sweitzer said he found the best cleaning turned out to be those that were cleaned in dishwashing detergent. His research found the balls cleaned with that method were closer to the velocity of a new one compared to those washed by other methods.

Reilly Movor, a junior, said she has been able to improve her public speaking.

“I am able to present to a large group of people,” she said. “Practice makes perfect, practice helps nerves, so I appreciate being able to do this each semester and improve my public speaking.”

Movor, a human services major, said her presentation was for her research design class. Her topic was “Stress Levels of Adoptive Parents of Special Needs Children.”