Skip to main content
Students presenting research

More than 450 students, such as Cameron Baker (right), presented their research at the Graduate School's annual Research Symposium.

Sights and sounds from 2018 Illinois State Research Symposium

There are a lot of reasons to love Illinois State Graduate School’s annual Research Symposium.

It’s a great showcase for graduate and undergraduate students to present their scholarly work to their colleagues and the public. The event is also a perfect example of the special interaction between faculty and students at Illinois State, where seasoned researchers work hand-in-hand with their proteges on projects that apply classroom learning to the real world.

High above the Research Symposium, held in the Brown Ballroom.

High above the Research Symposium, held in the Brown Ballroom.

But what might be the symposium’s best asset? It’s brain candy for the intellectually curious. You can walk 5 feet in any direction in the Brown Ballroom and learn about subjects as varied as which Chicago hospitals are safest for patients, why property battles during the French Revolution relate to today’s political debates, and how colleges are, or are not, making higher education more accessible to students with intellectual and physical disabilities. And that is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

More than 455 students from 26 programs participated in this year’s event, held across two sessions on Friday, April 6, in the Bone Student Center. The symposium encourages cross-disciplinary association and focuses on communicating research and creative activity by having students display research posters and discuss their work with attendees. Also, as part of the symposium, oral and panel presentations of student work were hosted in locations across campus.

Below are some snippets, photos, videos, and social media from the symposium.

Nate Herman in front of poster

Nate Herman

Nate Herman, an undergraduate history major, researched the property battles that occurred during the French Revolution as the country’s feudal system broke down. He specifically studied the life of proto-communist François-Noel “Gracchus” Babeuf, whose push for massive land redistribution led to his execution. The big question facing the French was how to maintain property rights while ensuring the masses could eat. “It reminded me a lot about debates about property today,” Herman said.

Victoria Hinckley in front of poster

Victoria Hinckley

Victoria Hinckley, a master’s student in the Mennonite College of Nursing’s FNP program, looked at the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Peoria County, which was three times as high as the rest of Illinois. Her research focused on bringing awareness of the problem and of the available resources to the three ZIP Codes in the inner city that accounted for most of the cases. “They weren’t aware of their rates of STD,” Hinckley said.

Aleah Bradley and Tanisha Sablan in front of poster

Aleah Bradley and Tanisha Sablan

Department of Health Sciences seniors Tanisha Sablan and Aleah Bradley created a grading system to assess 12 Chicago hospitals for patient safety, using The Leapfrog Group’s ratings. The idea was to assign letter grades to hospitals like health inspectors do with restaurants. The students examined 27 safety indicators, such as the number of infections and patient falls. “We wanted to see how hospitals did on those measures,” Sablan said.

Elizabeth Okrzesik in front of poster

Elizabeth Okrzesik

Elizabeth Okrzesik, an undergraduate student in the Department of Special Education, researched the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and development disabilities into higher education. She was surprised to find how many programs were available to help these students access a postsecondary education, though certainly there were barriers for them to overcome.

Henry Mercier in front of poster

Henry Mercier

Henry Mercier, a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation’s athletic training program, studied what effect parents had on a high school athlete’s decision to specialize in one sport. For example, did parents’ disapproval of their child playing a single sport because of the higher likelihood of injury affect whether that athlete specialized or played multiple sports? Mercier found that parents didn’t influence an athlete’s decision; however, friends and a pursuit of a college scholarship were factors.


Science fair 2.0 #RedbirdScholar #redbirdsetgo

A post shared by Michael Goodman (@mgoodman96) on