Lake Erie College promotes undergraduate student participation in research activities. The combination of in-class work with practical application enriches the overall academic experience and enables the student to contribute to their discipline’s body of knowledge.
A Sampling of Undergraduate Research Experiences
Sandra and Rachel Nypaver presented their research, Empowerment through Advocacy and Community Outreach at the Conference on Social Justice at Kent State University after testing their pilot project, Empowering Youth Through Volunteerism (EYTV) at Andrews Osborn Academy. Their research began with a series of projects - course related, independent investigations and internships supervised by Dr. Susan Culotta. Rachel and Sandi were the only undergraduates to include a formal paper presentation.
As an undergraduate, Amber Adache’s education research, titled "La vida bajo las sombras: los niños invisibles de los Estados Unidos (Life beneath the Shadows: The Invisible Children of the United States)” was presented at the 13th Annual Lusophone and Hispanic Graduate Student Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was submitted for publication in Pluma.
Chan Carman spent almost ten months as a protégé intern with Jackie Stevenson, a Lake Erie College Entrepreneur-in- Residence and owner of Spirit of Leadership. This resulted in a presentation given at the European Association of Horse Assisted Education conference in Windsor, England.
The Scholars Program Annual Research Colloquium
The colloquium recognizes and celebrates student research by providing opportunities for students to share results of the research in oral presentations and poster sessions. Recent Scholar Program senior research projects include the following:
BRITTANY N. HAMMONDS
ROBIN I. KOPPLIN
LINNEA JEANNE SWANSON
LAUREN NICOLE BOUCHER
Research Highlights 2011-2012
Clinical Research at the Lake Erie College’s George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center
Fall Semester, 2011
Dr. Pamela Hess, Associate Professor of Equine Studies, working in collaboration with Delia Nash of Kentucky Performance Products (KPP) in Versailles, Kentucky conducted a research feeding trial involving over 20 horses at the Lake Erie College Equestrian Center. The object of the study sponsored by KPP was to compare several characteristics of twenty equine athletes receiving their routine diet or their routine diet plus a dietary supplement developed by Kentucky Performance Products to improve equine health. This was a blind study, so the students were unaware of which horses were receiving the investigational supplement and which were not.
Equine studies students worked on the project in various capacities. Holly Hendershot and Jessica Meyer collected observational data weekly on each horse in the study. Observations of behavior during riding classes included data on calmness, response to rider’s aides, tail swishing, agitation and suppleness in movement. Observations of research horses in the stall included physical characteristics such as weight, body condition and fecal consistency and behavioral observations such as standing quietly, eating hay, tail flagging, pawing and other observed behaviors. Dr. Hess and three Equine Studies students, Bridget Beury, Taylor Graham and Ashley Townsend, checked every horse after every feeding, picking up any leftover grain which was then weighed and recorded. With the study initially starting 22 horses on the project, the total number of feed tubs checked for the project was over 2,520!
The feeding trial ran for 60 days, from September 29, 2011 through November 22, 2011. At the conclusion of the study, the research students assisted Delia Nash and Dr. Hess in collecting fecal samples for pH analysis. The students took "fecal grab” samples directly from the horses every two hours throughout the day, starting at 5:30 am. Students also participated in the immediate laboratory analysis of fecal pH on the samples that were obtained. Delia Nash at Kentucky Performance Products is now analyzing the data for use in their proprietary product research and development.
This study provided a great introduction to clinical research for our Equine Studies students. We greatly value the relationship we have established with Kentucky Performance Products, and their interest in conducting research utilizing our stable of equine athletes and our undergraduate students as research associates. The students worked very hard collecting data for the study, and their involvement has greatly stimulated their interest in the process of research and the methods of scientific inquiry and data collection. Dr. Hess also thanks Mary Pardee of the Equine Studies Department for her interest in developing this study, and working as a liaison with KPP.