Academic Festival Showcases Student Research

Students discuss their research at the Academic Festival.

News Story: May 8, 2013

Sacred Heart University debuted a new Academic Festival this year. “We included senior capstone projects, the honors symposium and the annual undergraduate research poster session all in one event this year,” said Suzanne Deschênes, associate professor of biology and director of the honors program, who co-chaired the event with Professors Marlina Slamet and Keri Matthews. The Academic Festival had an excellent turnout with current and prospective students, faculty and members of the community all in attendance.

Mariela Mihaylova ’13 spoke about common infections and preventions in her presentation titled, “Hospital-Acquired Infectious Disease in Intensive Care Units.” Mihaylova, a Stamford native, works as a medical laboratory microbiologist at Stamford Hospital. “The Academic Festival is rewarding,” Mihaylova said. “I put an entire semester’s worth of work into this presentation.” Mihaylova listed central bloodline infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections as the most common diseases acquired while in the hospital. “The best ways to prevent infectious disease at a hospital is hand washing and using sterile equipment,” she added. “It’s important to share prevention information with the public.”

Another senior, Alexa Wrinn from Southington, presented on “Prison Programs and the Public Perception of Ex-Convicts.” Wrinn looked at how individuals in the work place feel about ex-convicts who have completed a “rehabilitation sentence versus an institutional sentence.” After surveying Sacred Heart University students, Wrinn discussed her project findings. “I found people were significantly more comfortable with a rehabilitative sentence, which included prisoners participating in job training and educational programs,” she said. “The traditional prison sentence proved more difficult when it came time to integrate back into society.”

“We get to show our work to the students, faculty and the community,” said Melanie Crotti ’13  from River Edge, N.J. Crotti noted that her project titled, “ Demographic Characteristics of Gambling Awareness” will be a continued study here at Sacred Heart University.

Deschênes hopes to continue to expand the Academic Festival in future years. “We want more students and members of the community to attend. We hope to get more graduate students involved to present their work.” All five colleges within Sacred Heart University were represented in the event this year. “We want the community to see the wonderful work that our students here at Sacred Heart are doing,” Deschênes concluded.

To view additional photos from the event, click here.