Why wait until graduate school when you can turn your ideas into action today? Undergraduate research is thriving at Buffalo State. All students—from all majors and all class years—are encouraged to participate in faculty-mentored original research, scholarly, and creative activities on the topics that matter the most to them.
Sarah Caputi majored in philosophy and urban and regional planning. She graduated with a B.A. degree in May 2013, and plans to attend graduate school.
Sarah’s project, Persons, Plans, and Potential: Regionalism and Flourishing In Western New York, consisted of integrating her two majors with an eye toward analyzing the ethical implications of urban planning policy in Western New York. Sarah relied on work from Plato, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Martha Nussbaum, Kevin Gaughan, and others, to examine regionalism as an approach to urban planning. She also considered alternatives such as localism, cosmopolitanism, and Aristotelian community building. The intent was to evaluate whether one method will better promote individuals’ ability to flourish.
Brandon Franks is a physics major and will graduate in May 2014 with a B.S. degree. After graduation he plans to earn his master’s in physics.
Brandon’s research, Electro-Optical Effects Of LuFe2O4 Thin Films, centered on the investigation of high quality multiferroic lutecium iron oxide, LuFe2O4, thin films on crystal substrates of magnesium oxide and sapphire to understand the electro-optical properties at various temperatures. He discovered that the thin films display strong electro-optical effects in applied electric voltage up to 200 Volts at 170 K, but these effects were very weak at other temperatures. The electro-optical results will be published in a peer-reviewed article.
John Guzda graduated in December 2012 with a degree in Social Studies Education. He is teaching Secondary Social Studies in New Orleans beginning in August 2013.
John traveled to a Ghana for a two-month teaching experience. While teaching, he engaged in action research to evaluate a classroom management technique where the teacher utilizes existing student power structures to decrease behavioral disturbances. John presented his findings in Seattle, Washington, in November 2012 at the International Assembly conference held in tandem with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference.
Stephanie Kahn will graduate in May 2015 with a dual degree in metals/jewelry and dietetics with minors in sociology and creative studies. After graduating, she plans to use her dietetics degree to help others by joining the Peace Corps or another similar program.
Stephanie’s research, the Exploration Of Enameling: Forms and Processes, expanded on existing contemporary enameling techniques on metal, focusing on the technique, plique-à-jour. Using a mortar and pestle, lump frit glass was ground and specific colors were created to be used in her final piece. The process involves suspending small particles of glass into pierced areas of the metal and then through successive kiln firing, the enamel is built up. After the space has been filled the glass is then ground down to be flush with the metal. By the end of her research, Stephanie was able to create the neckpiece titled, Evolution.
Abigail Spoth is an Honors College student who plans to graduate with the B.A. degree in music in May 2014. She hopes to pursue graduate study in the discipline of music theory. Abbey’s research, Something Old, Something New: Stylistic Interaction In Béla Bartók’s Twenty-Seven Two- and Three-Part Choruses, explored the intersection of tradition and modernity in the music of the great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945). She applied a variety of methodological approaches to a work composed at the height of his powers, the Two- and Three-Part Choruses. Abbey produced a series of formal analyses that illuminated seminal techniques of twenthieth-century modernism. She was also able to make a significant ethnomusicological contribution by locating several original folksong sources, collected by Bartók himself in travels throughout Eastern Europe, that inspired sections of the work.
Jaclyn’s study, The Impact Of Animated Television Shows On Verbal Aggression, examined the influence of verbal aggression in animated television programs on subsequent verbal/symbolic aggression. Participants watched either a verbally or non-verbally aggressive show and then completed a puzzle task that was either unsolvable (frustration task) or easy to solve. Finally they were provided with some questions regarding the television show, the puzzle task, and ratings of the researcher. She found no differences in aggression across either the television or frustration task groups.
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