Banner Year for Research, Scholarship

A record number of Dominican University of California students are presenting their original research at academic conferences in the United States and Canada this semester.

More than 100 students have been accepted to present their work at academic conferences this spring, including the Western Psychological Association Conference, the Idealist Campus Conference, the Model United Nations Far West Conference, and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Supporting undergraduate research and scholarship has been a priority at Dominican since the institution moved from college to university status in 2000, notes Provost Kenneth J. Porada.

In recent years, the University has introduced a number of initiatives designed to enhance the academic climate of the institution. For example, the Academic Excellence Initiative funds collaborative projects conducted by faculty and students. The Initiative for Class and Service Activities supports faculty and undergraduate collaborative projects focused on community service.

“The academic climate of the University has changed enormously in recent years, and what you are seeing today is the manifestation of the many initiatives we have created in order to support undergraduate research and scholarship, as well as initiatives designed to support our faculty with their research,” says Dr. Porada.

Many of the students traveling to conferences this spring have been awarded grants from the University’s two-year-old Undergraduate Research/Scholarship Travel Fund.  Grants can be used to pay for travel to conferences, as well as for accommodation and meals.

From March 23-24, five Dominican students will attend the Idealist Campus Conference at DePaul University in Chicago. The Dominican group includes students from Dominican’s School of Business and Leadership who will present a project they recently completed on behalf of Tax-Aid, a Bay Area program that prepares tax returns for low-income families free of charge. The students—many of whom have volunteered with Tax-Aid for many years — were asked by Tax-Aid to prepare a ‘best practices’ report to assist the organization as it moves ahead with plans to expand beyond the Bay Area. Tax-Aid’s board of directors recently approved all recommendations provided by the Dominican team. Not only did the research receive rave reviews from Tax-Aid board members, it also helped the students secure highly competitive jobs with Big-Four tax firms when the students graduate this spring.

From April 13-14, five students from the Department of Political and International Studies will participate in the Model United Nations Far West Conference in San Francisco. The conference theme this year is “Reasserting UN Relevance: Defining Its Role in a Changing World.” The Dominican University contingent is representing Israel. The Model United Nations Far West Conference enables colleges to participate in model sessions of the United Nations in an effort to advance the students’ understanding of the principles and means by which international relations may be maintained.

From April 12-14, 86 Dominican presentations have been accepted for NCUR, which this year will be held at Dominican. Participation at NCUR has become an annual event for students from Dominican, growing from eight Dominican students accepted to present in 2002 to 41 students accepted to present in 2006. Students represent a variety of departments, including biology, history, art history, education, art, English, humanities, interdisciplinary studies, political science, and religion. The full list of abstracts by Dominican students can be found here.

From May 3-6, 13 Dominican undergraduate students from the Psychology Department will present at the Western Psychological Association’s annual convention. This is the third year the department has sent students to the conference.  The Dominican students will present their research on a variety of topics, including paternal parenting style and its influence on substance abuse in young adulthood, personality differences between Mac and PC users, and a study into whether adults raised by working mothers are more likely to vote for a female presidential candidate.


Posted March 20, 2007