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SURF Day: Not just for science majors

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When students think of SURF Day, Elon’s spring undergraduate research forum, they often think of it as just being scientific research. However, many students proved this to be untrue by conducting research on dance, advertisements and technology. The following are profiles on four SURF presentations.

Lauren Kolodrubetz studied Time Magazine advertisements during the Cold War to see if the war was a prominent factor in the ads. Photo by Julia Sayers.

Name: Lauren Kolodrubetz

Presentation Title: Cold War Cultural Influences: A Content Analysis Study of Time Advertisements

Research Summary: Kolodrubetz looked at advertisements in Time magazine during the time of the Cold War to see how they were influenced by the war. She compared ads during times of high tension and low tension. Her hypothesis was that there would be more ads during the high tension time, however this was found to not be true. The content actually decreased in a steady decline throughout the war, but there was a consistency of pro-American ads.

Inspiration for topic: “I’m an honors fellow and I took a class called ‘Cold War and the Media’ where we had to conduct original research,” Kolodrubetz said. “There was little to no research on this topic so I chose to do it.”

What’s next: “For my honors thesis, I’m using this information and also conducting a three magazine study for the years 1952-1953 on ads involving safety and security,” Kolodrubetz said.

Amy Kenney researched how American students used Facebook as compared to how international students used it and what they use it for. Photo by Julia Sayers.

Name: Amy Kenney

Presentation Title: French and American Perceptions Regarding the Role of Social Media in Their Undergraduate Study Abroad Experience

Research Summary: Kenney looked at how students studying abroad and international students use Facebook – how much they use it, why, what purposes and how it affects their experiences. She found that American students abroad used it to keep in touch with family and friends while abroad, whereas international students used it when they came to America to connect with students at their universities. American students used it much more than international students and felt that it really affected their experiences, since they wouldn’t be able to stay in touch as easily without it. International students felt that it didn’t really make a difference and their experience would have been the same with or without it.

Inspiration for topic: “I’m going abroad to France in the fall and my advisor (Sophie Adamson) helped me come up with the topic,” Kenney said. “Facebook is everywhere so I thought this would make an interesting connection.”

What’s next: “I’m going to study this more while I’m abroad, kind of make it a case study of myself and see how I use Facebook and how important it is for me,” Kenney said.

Elizabeth Cooper did research on whether text and e-mail messages help in supporting young girls in the Alamance Girls in Motion program. Photo by Julia Sayers.

Name: Elizabeth Cooper

Presentation Title: The Effect of Supplemental Support Via E-Mail and Text Messages on Perceptions of Body Image, Self-Esteem and Social Support in 4th and 5th Grade Participants in Alamance Girls in Motion

Research Summary: Alamance Girls in Motion is a face-to-face mentoring program that pairs young girls in Alamance County with girls from Elon University. Cooper added an e-mentoring program to see if it would cause a difference, since face-to-face mentoring for a year doesn’t always maintain a difference later. An experimental group was put in the e-mentoring program, but Cooper found that there wasn’t a significant difference in perceived social support.

Inspiration: “I was a mentor for Alamance Girls in Motion and wanted to come up with a way to help,” Cooper said.

What’s next: “I’m going to continue to help out with Alamance Girls in Motion after the year, probably throughout the summer,” Cooper said.

Krysten Malcolm, an Elon senior, researched muscle activation in dancers. Photo by Julia Sayers.

Name: Krysten Malcolm

Presentation Title: Kinetics and Kinematics of Passé Relevé Balance in Dancers

Research Summary: Malcolm tried to find the pattern of core activity in one-leg balance while trying to pinpoint the muscle activity and body position involved in stability. She compared core muscle activity of trained ballet dancers and untrained counterparts by looking at the kinematic and kinetic measures of core stability. She found that dancers balanced longer in the positions and contract their obliques on the opposite side of the fall direction while non-dancers tended to sway more and contract on the same side of the fall direction. She also found that individuals engage different contraction patterns depending on external disturbance.

Inspiration: “I’ve been dancing for 19 years and wanted to research the methods of dance, specifically ballet,” Malcolm said.

What’s next: “I’m graduating and going to Physical Therapy school at George Washington University,” Malcolm said.


Written by juliasayers

May 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

One Response

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  1. I am a total GEEK for SURF day, so I am SO happy to see you do this nice snapshot coverage! This type of chunking is extremely popular with readers – great work on organizing it in an attractive way. Keep pulling people in!


    May 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

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