Dominican hosts Scholarly and Creative Works Conference

For Victoria Grajeda, Jihye Kim, Ben Mages, Deena Reyes and dozens of graduating seniors, master’s degree students and Adult Degree Completion students at Dominican, the inaugural Scholarly and Creative Works Conference on campus Thursday and Friday, April 23-24, was an excellent opportunity to highlight their research in an academic showcase.

The conference opened Thursday with an address by Dominican University of California President Mary B. Marcy in Angelico Hall. A talk by Tricia Rose, professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and Director of Race and Ethnicity in America, followed President Marcy’s address.

Tricia Rose specializes in 20th century African-American culture and politics, social thought, popular culture and gender issues. She is the author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994) and Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy (2003). Black Noise won several awards including an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. She has been awarded such prestigious fellowships ad the Princeton University's Afro-American Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellowship and the American Association of University Women Fellowship.

More than 120 Dominican students presented a collection of presentations, posters, art work, and dance and choral performances by Dominican’s graduating undergraduate seniors and graduate students throughout campus.

CLICK HERE for the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference website.

Victoria Grajeda, a Psychology major, presented her thesis “The Relationship of Cell Phone Usage to Personality and Attention" on Friday in Guzman Lecture Hall. Her research concept is so intriguing that a graduate student in Pennsylvania contacted her and will be referencing her at his presentation at the American Psychological Association conference (APA).

“My objective is to help others realize that there is such thing as cognitive overload. I want to bring the reality of too much cell phone usage to light,” Victoria says. “My research is currently being analyzed, and so far I have multiple findings, which I will reveal at the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference.”

The inspiration for Victoria’s project to study cell phone usage in this culture came from attending a lecture in February in Dominican's spring author series by psychologist/happiness expert Dr. Christine Carter and after watching a guest appearance by comedian Louis CK on Conan O’Brien’s late night television show.

“Louis perfectly highlights how afraid our generation is when it comes to being alone. We constantly use our cell phones as a coping method so we can never truly be by ourselves or be completely in the moment with our emotions,” Victoria says. “This is why I picked the specific personality components of neuroticism and withdrawal for my study because I believe they directly relate to this idea.”

Jihye Kim is an international student from South Korea who is interested in forensic psychology.  In elementary school, she was a class representative who admits she participated in the bullying of other students. However, as her leadership and social skills matured, Jihye wanted to know more about bullying.

In her thesis “Leadership and social skills of childhood bullies and victims” inspired by a childhood based study by Harvey, Buckley, Heames, Zinko, Brouer and Ferris, Jihye’s research focused on adults that she hypothesized lacked both leadership and social skills, and bully as a means to avoid loss of popularity. She had 128 participants, ranging in ages 19-45,divided into four subgroups of 24 bully leaders, 31 bully followers, 47 victims and 26 control group. They answered some demographic questions, two social skill questionnaires, two leadership skill questionnaires, and the reason why they were involved in bullying.

“An Oneway ANOVA revealed that significant differences were found in leadership scores in adulthood among the four bully types,” says Jihye, who plans to present her research at the 95th Western Psychology Association (WPA) Conference in Las Vegas April  30-May 3. “Post hoc tests using Tukey’s HSD revealed bully leaders have significantly higher leadership skills than each of the other three groups. However, no significant group differences were found in either the friendship scores or social skill measures. Furthermore, victims had much higher ability to recall bullying incidents than the bully leaders and bully followers.”

Ben Mages, a Graphic Design major, always has been interested in fantastical worlds and drawing fantastical scenes. His image “Melancholy” is pictured to the right of this story.

“My objective was to communicate the world of my story through visual art,” Ben says. “I took a few scenes from the pages of the story and expressed them into a more conventional art medium.  Using mostly digital tools and Photoshop, I reenacted different parts of my story in my art.”

Ben’s senior thesis, entitled “A World Disturbed,” is on display in the San Marco Gallery in Alemany Library alongside classmates Glynnis Morrison and Maggie Hibert from April 23 through May 18.

“My goal for this project is to draw the attention of others and create interest in my story,” he says. “It has helped me become a better artist and express my art in a more aesthetic manner.”

Deena Reyes' passion as an educator is reading. After more than 25 years of classroom experience she believes the key to student success is the ability to read effectively.

With her research project "The Effects of iPad Apps on Student Achievement in Literacy for Children in Second and Third Grade," Deena sought to determine if digital tools such as the iPad and apps could be effectively used in intervention literacy programs for elementary students.

"I found that with careful attention to specific parameters, iPad apps based literacy instruction can be very effective in improving student achievement at the lower elementary level," says Deena, a graduate student in the Department of Education who earned her Masters in Education at Dominican in December.

"After eight weeks of intervention using the iPad literacy apps, all of the students showed some improvement.  However, the target group who additionally participated in the after school intervention program showed significant improvement and began to perform at grade level.  My study provides additional quantitative research for educators to consider as they move forward in meeting the challenges of literacy education in the 21st century."

CLICK HERE to see a full list of presenters/presentations at the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference.


April 10, 2015