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Pictured are students at Point Park's 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference. | Photo by Sarah Collins Cunningham

Point Park University students who conducted research this fall got the opportunity to present their work Dec. 6 at the Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Conference held on campus.

The students, all majoring in psychology, behavioral science or global cultural studies, did literature and methodology reviews on a wide range of topics (see full list below)- from phenomenological studies on public harassment, phobias and jealousy to extensive analyses on cross-cultural beauty, sexuality and how schizophrenia and psychosis are portrayed in films.

These students will continue conducting research on their topics into the spring semester and will present their final results at Point Park's Humanities and Human Sciences Symposium in April.

Approximately 100 people attended the conference, which featured Steen Halling, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at Seattle University, as the keynote speaker.

"This conference allows for us to celebrate and admire student research. The room was electrifying as everyone moved from poster to poster asking questions, getting into discussions and so on," explained Robert McInerney, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology.

"My favorite part of the evening was talking with parents about their son or daughter's hard work and achievements," added McInerney.

Halling connected qualitative research with poetry in his presentation, "The Phenomenon as Muse: On Being Open to 'Friendly Invasion.'"

"The notion of openness as an aspect of phenomenology is vital. It's fantastic that this form of research is being widely explored and celebrated," said student Alexander James Porto regarding Halling's speech.

Porto, a senior psychology major concentrating in child psychology, focused his research on "Phenomenological Responses to Architectural Environments."

Christina Wisniewski, also a senior majoring in psychology with a concentration in child psychology and a minor in business management, researched "The Potential Therapeutic Aspects of Nature: A Phenomenological Study."

"The Undergraduate Research Conferences helps us a lot as students. We are able to show to faculty, family and friends all of the diligent work we put into our research," she remarked.

The evening wrapped up with Wisniewski and senior psychology major Nicholas Moran being inducted into the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.

Student Research Titles

  • McKenna Adams: "The Walking Empty: A Discursive Analysis of Serial Killers"
  • Dania Adams-Peterson: "A Qualitative Study of Micro-Aggressions within Interpersonal Relations"
  • Alexandria Bright: "An Exploration of Improvisational Movement of "Non-Movers": An Ethnography"
  • Kyle Broadright: "Beyond Male and Female: The Phenomenological Flow between Sex and Gender"
  • Keith Christman: "A Phenomenological Study of Perseverance through Hardships"
  • Brittany Dean: "A Qualitative Study of Losing a Parent at a Young Age"
  • Kelcey Garner: "Experiencing God: A Phenomenological Approach to God Consciousness in Salat"
  • Kerry Glova: "Offender Re-entry: A Phenomenological Understanding of Metanoia"
  • Taylor Goska: "A Phenomenological Account of Grief and Loss"
  • Brittany Harper: "A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of Schizophrenia and Psychosis as Presented in Film"
  • Meghan Harris: "A Qualitative Study of the Love of Dogs"
  • Corey Henning: "A Qualitative Study and Discourse Analysis of Obesity"
  • Calla Kainaroi: "A Silent Phenomenology: Difficulties in Verbal Expression"
  • Kylie Lichtenstein: "A Discourse Analysis of Cross-Cultural Beauty and Sexuality"
  • Brenda McGrath: "A Phenomenological Account of Phobia"
  • Natasha Moss: "A Phenomenological Study of First Generation College Students raised by Single-Parents"
  • Jeremy Northup: "A Phenomenological study of the Liminal Self"
  • Allison Oczko: "A Qualitative Study of 'Alternate' Sexualities"
  • Kelly O'Toole: "A Phenomenology of Adults with Learning Disabilities"
  • Alexander James Porto: "Phenomenological Responses to Architectural Structures"
  • Alexandria Quarture: "A Phenomenology of Cat Calling/Public Harassment"
  • Haley Rohlf: "A Phenomenology of Secrets"
  • Jennifer Schupp: "A Qualitative Research Study of Chronic Disease"
  • Angela K. Stutzman: "A Retrospective Phenomenological Account of Interpersonal Relationships in Early Recovery From Substance Abuse"
  • Alexis Troll: "A Phenomenological Study of Jealousy"
  • Shelah White: "A Qualitative Study of Higher Education and Preparation for Success"
  • Ian Whitehurst: "A Discourse Analysis of Heteronormative Interpersonal Relations in Media"
  • Christina Wisniewski: "Potential Therapeutic Aspects of Nature: A Phenomenological Study"
  • Natalie Zivic: "An Ethnography of Mainstreamed Children with Special Needs"
Undergraduate Research Conference 2014


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