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Students present research findings at SURF

Elon students had an opportunity to share their research with peers, faculty and other members of the campus community April 25 during the 14th annual Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). Details...

Nearly 120 students presented posters, PowerPoint presentations and research from a variety of academic disciplines, including political science, psychology, biology, and computer science. In addition to introducing students to scholarly research work, SURF gives students the opportunity to have their findings presented at national conferences and published in academic journals.

The day began with a special College Coffee at the Center for the Arts, where students discussed posters displaying their research with peers and faculty members. Art students also displayed their ceramics, paintings and other works.

Cristina Mayer examined CNN's breaking news coverage of the 2005 terrorist attacks on British subways. Mayer found that journalists sometimes departed from their tradition roles when reporting the story. "Sometimes journalists used personal references when reporting the story, and sometimes used unconfirmed sources and reports," Mayer said. She also found the same to be true of the BBC's reporting of the incident. "What's ironic about that is that just before the attacks, the BBC had issued guidelines to its reporters about speed versus speculation," said Mayer, who conducted her research under the direction of faculty mentor Brooke Barnett.

Parker Turner was interested in post-9/11 security at America's airports, so his research focused on whether the heightened safety measures have truly made flying safer. Turner, working with faculty mentor Hunter Bacot, filed Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain figures from seven of the nation's busiest airports on items confiscated by security personnel from 2003 to 2005. Turner found that the busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, confiscated just 405 items from the more than 41 million who boarded planes at theh airport in 2004. Meanwhile, Los Angeles International, which had 28.9 million passengers in 2004, confiscated more than 2301 items.

Turner also found that passengers have not stopped flying because of increased security measures. Each of the seven airports he surveyed reported an increase in passengers from 2003 to 2004.

Andrea French combined her love of golf with her research on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). French, guided by faculty member Honglin Xiao, used GIS technology to map out the top 50 golf courses in the U.S. By combining the golf course data with GIS data about population, she was able to determine that most of the top courses are located in metropolitan areas in the Midwest or northern states. French believes this is because courses in those areas are not open year round, like many courses in the South, and therefore do not suffer the wear and tear Southern courses are subjected to.

Asked where she would build a top 50 golf course, based on the data she accumulated, French said she would look for a "metropolitan area near the coast that doesn't yet have a top 50 course. The Tidewater area of Virginia is an example. There, you have a lot of residents, but you also have vacationers."

This year's student presenters included the following:

Melissa Apperson
Melissa Askins
Peter A. Bellezza
Rachel Blakeslee
Kathryn Bradley
Caitlin Brilhart
Charity Bumpass
Ryan Carpentier
Laura Christian
Colleen Clark
Samantha Conte
Erin Culp
Kaitlyn Day
Montesia C. Deas
Jacqueline Del Giorno
Benjamin DeLoose
Brian T. Delsandro
Rachel E. DeWitt
Rebecca Dickson
Sarah Dollard
Elizabeth Downing
Neal Dugre
Elizabeth Easterly
Samuel Eisen
Nicole T. Eldridge
Adam Frank
Andrea French
Allison Genco
Crystal Gentry
Britten Ginsburg
Lindsay Gonzalez
Brian Grady
Joshua Guske
Brandon J. Hale
Katherine Hart
Rachel Hetu
R. Rebecca Hewitt
Rachel Hinson
Bridget Holmstrom
Christine E. Hopewell
Ian Hull
Eric Hydrick
Laura Iannacone
Maria Interiano
Bettina C. Johnson
Julie Kenneally
Tiffany King
Megan Kipp
Sarah Klein
Sara Knowlton
Emily Koerner
Michael Koslow
Christine Kostura
Erika M. Lamanna
Matthew Lardie
Abbey Lepley
Brooks Martin
Jon Maggio
Cristina Mayer
Cynthia McCollum
Stephen McCoy
Kristin McDonough
Katherine Michaud
Lindsay Miller
Marissa Morris-Jones
Danielle Morrow
Sarah A. Moser
Charles Mueller
Kate Mysak
Ted O'Hanlan
Kathryn Olsen
Jenna Onusko
Jennifer Papillo
Amy E. Parker
Calandra Plattner
Christina M. Pompeo
Heather Porter
Ryan Quinn
Lauren E. Rappaport
Elizabeth Rice
Sarah Robinson
Genevieve Romanello
Akane Sakata
Monica R. Salvo
Kristin N. Sanders
Bianca Sassine
Summer Schlesinger
Rebecca Schrier
Canden Schwantes
Elizabeth Shandley
Andrea M. Spaeth
Asami Sudani
Whitney Taylor
Jessica Townsend
Kyle Troester
Gwendolyn Turner
James Turner, IV
Svetlin Tzolov
Nolan M. Wildfire
Margaret Williams
Christopher Woods
Jessica J. Young

Faculty mentors included the following:

Kyle Altman
Janna Anderson
Andrew Angyal
Tom Arcaro
Hunter Bacot
Elizabeth Bailey
Andrea Bender
Brooke Barnett
Anne Bolin
Connie Book
Lee Bush
Hui-Hua Chang
Matthew Clark
Jeffrey Coker
David Crowe
Rich D'Amato
Stephen DeLoach
Brian Digre
Cynthia Fair
Victoria Faw
Heidi Frontani
Michael Frontani
Matthew Gendle
Jim Goodman
Eugene Grimley
Eric Hall
Juliane Hammer
Lynn Heinrichs
Lynn Huber
Charles Irons
Pam Kiser
Angela Lewellyn-Jones
Christopher Leupold
Maurice Levesque
Greg Lilly
Paul Miller
Christine Nemcik
Linda Niedziela
Drew Perry
Lisa Ponton
David Powell
John Reilly
Jean Schwind
Glenn Scott
Gabie Smith
Kerstin Sorenson
Bird Stasz
George Taylor
Thomas Tiemann
Brant Touchette
Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler
Scott Windham
Honglin Xiao
Suzan Zuljani-Wasik

The Undergraduate Research Program Advisory Committee includes the following:

Karl Sienerth, Director, Undergraduate Research Program
Gabie Smith, SURF Program Co-Chair
Brooke Barnett
Crista Coles
Cassandra DiRienzo
Michael Fels
Paul Miller
Linda Niedziela
Christine Nemcik
Lee Nickoson-Massey
Bird Stasz
Scott Windham

David Hibbard,
4/25/2006 6:02 PM