Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
On Tuesday, Cedar Crest College had its ninth successful Health, Wellness and Research
Conference, which gave students and their mentor faculty members a chance to display their research to the college community. The success of the conference comes from the culminating efforts of an executive committee of CCC’s Dr. Kathleen Boland, Valerie Donohue, Dr. Micah Sadigh, Suzanne Weaver, and Patricia Field. Many other faculty, staff, and students assisted in diverse ways.
“It’s a great time for students to show off their research and their hard work and we are very thrilled about the turnout. It’s a great event for the students. This is all about the students,” expressed Dr. Boland. The conference was held on all three floors of Tompkins College Center (TCC). This year’s theme was “Global Health: The Role of Women in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.”
CCC President Carmen Ambar expressed her thoughts on the conference. “I think that whenever you do an event like this it brings the college together in a communal way to talk about the two issues that we care about here at Cedar Crest, health and wellness and global issues.”
Upon entering the third floor of TCC, Dr. Boland greeted the visitors with a smile, along with a goody bag, filled with an array of health and hygiene related items to complement the theme of the conference. Also in the lobby entrance were the corporate sponsors of the conference, KNBT Bank and Capital Blue Cross, which had staff who shared information and education on their respective products and services.
The melodies of the Theoretical Trio could be heard throughout the conference. Three CCC faculty members make up the singing trio with Drs. Audrey Ettinger, Amy Reese, and Patrick Ratchford.
“We dedicate this performance to the Cedar Crest music department,” said Theoretical Trio member, Dr. Ettinger The third floor also housed over 40 poster presentations by CCC students, along with acknowledgments to their respective faculty mentors. First place winners were Cristina Cardenas, Tara Fikes, and Jennifer Preston. Their poster was titled “Molecular Analysis of Teratogenic Effects of Minocycline in Developing Chick Embryos.” Second place went to Lauren Brunei, Karla Daniel, Louisa Fletes, and Jessica Rodriguez. Their poster was titled, “Are Mind-Body Interventions Effective in Improving Psychological and Quality of Life Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors?”
The third place winner was Katie O’Donnell. Her poster was titled, “Length of Stay Effects on Re-hospitalization.” “I’m surprised because there are so many people here and they have a lot of interesting research, so I’m really proud that I won,” said O’Donnell, after winning her third place ribbon.
Honorable Mention went to Sara Barscheski, for her poster presentation titled, “Violent Video Game Enjoyment and Frustration-Influence of Game Difficulty and Personality.” On the same floor, just around the corner, Elizabeth Ortiz’s communication classes took over Alcove B with an exhibit titled “The Media Doesn’t Affect Me and Other Urban Legends: How women and men are influenced by media representations. A diverse look at how women view themselves through the eyes of the media was a prominent theme. Students used art, video, magazines, crafts, and games to create a fun, learning atmosphere.
Alcove A contained various other exhibits that displayed other clubs’ research and provided an in depth, but fun education session to each visitor that passed by their area. The Student Dietetic Association provided a healthy display of fresh veggies and fruits in their “Nutritious Niblets” exhibit, while the Healthy U students offered paraffin hand baths. One could also have their body fat analysis performed by the Fitness Center Staff of CCC. Health Network Labs offered glucose and cholesterol screenings, while Lehigh Valley Diagnostic Imaging gave bone density screenings.
One of the highlights of the third floor was the Lehigh Valley Therapy Dogs. Susan Hartle, a volunteer at LV Therapy Dogs was with “Nellie”, a goldendoodle, and four more of her therapy dog friends roamed the floor with their respective volunteers, greeting visitors, and waiting for the next person to pet them.
Hartle says, “Their main job is just to bring joy to people. They visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and special events. It’s been proven that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure and relaxes people.”
On the second floor, many more clubs had a chance to advocate their research, as well as solicit students to join their respective group. The Commuter Awareness Club greeted the visitors with a fun display on the “Health Benefits of Water,” and handed out free aluminum water bottles, which became a popular item at the conference.
The dance team put on a performance in Samuel’s Theater titled, “As We Are One,” for the senior dance project, which was about the four lobes of the brain, expressed through movements and patterns in the dance. The first floor brought relief to the stressful end of semester by offering free massages from massage therapists of the “Healing Hands” Bethlehem facility.
Several workshops went on throughout the conference, such as Christine Nowik’s writing classes’ “Social Media’s Impact on the Lives of College Students.” As part of their research, the students abstained from social media for 30 days to see the difference in its effects on their lives.
Nowik stated, “These students were in my Writing I class and the challenge came out of something that one of my students wrote about it in one of her journals. They recorded a lot of positive outcomes from the challenge. One of my students reported having an F in a class at the beginning of the challenge and now has an A in the class.” Other workshops centered on horticulture therapy, by Kelly Austin, and Zimbabwean women fighting against HIV/AIDS, by Melody Nyoni.
The 1867 room of TCC welcomed CCC keynote panel speakers Drs. John Cigliano, Sandra Leh, Wendy Robb, and Micah Sadigh. Another keynote panel speaker was CCC social work professor Suzanne Weaver. They spoke about “Global Health: The Role of Women in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.”
As the ninth annual Health, Wellness, and Research Conference came to a close, students seem to agree that the day was a success.
“I thought it was very educational and broad in the subjects that it covered. There was a little bit for everyone,” said Daniella Mendez, junior chemistry major. Tatiana Ballreich, senior biochemistry major said, “It’s really a good experience for students to share information with the college community.”
“I thought it was a good experience. Everything that was presented was very diverse and it was all encompassing of a liberal arts education,” said Caitlin Billow, senior chemistry and forensic science major.