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The 2019 Graduate Research Symposium

By Jacob Cavender

The Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium hosted many exciting and potent topics ranging from social sciences to animal studies. Regardless of the field of study, the students’ enthusiasm for their research was evident, and when talking with the researchers it was clear that they were personally invested in their projects. Many of these students are also tackling modern problems.

Nicole Benson worked in the Washington, PA area to help homeless citizens alleviate chronic pain without medication. This work is aimed at reducing opioid usage and addiction in low income areas. The methods used mainly involved techniques seen in physical therapy clinics, which focus on joint movement and flexibility to reduce pain. The people who visited the clinic every week as prescribed noticed very significant reduction in pain and improved quality of life.

Another researcher on the social front was Chantel Wilks. Her research focused on the consequences of subtle discrimination against marginalized groups, also known as microaggressions, on children in schools. The results that she found showed that microaggressions have a serious and negative impact on developing children. She stated that her research would need more data to make conclusive findings but being educated on other cultures and their backgrounds is important for everyone, especially teachers.

Within the medical field, Diana Delgadillo worked with cats that had Feline Keratitis, which is a disease that can lead to serious eye damage. Most of her research focused on identifying the specific strain of disease within the ocular cavities in order to better treat the animals. She stated that many of the cases involved the Burkholderia stand, which allowed her to choose the initial treatments as ones that would target this strain.

Overall, the research symposium showed the true talent and ambitions of the many student researchers involved. Many of them enjoyed the symposium and thought it was a good way for people to see the kinds of research that graduate students are doing.  They believe that it could be especially helpful for undergraduate students who are considering the Duquesne University graduate programs.

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