Ramapo celebrates student research during Scholars’ Week

Photo courtesy of Ramapo College of New Jersey

This week marks Ramapo’s ninth annual Scholars' Week, and on Tuesday, April 13, a session was hosted for all student poster presenters via Webex. The students were put into breakout rooms by their school and then given time to answer questions about their research.

Posters were made in a variety of disciplines from all of Ramapo’s schools. In the school of Humanities and Global Studies, students Courtney Alonzo, Phillip Pillari, Lauren Storch and Natalie Tsur discussed their works, with support from their faculty mentors.

“Conversations like this kind of go beyond just philosophy,” said Tsur, relating her work, “Reading Aristotle through a Retrieval and Historical Lens,” to the modern day. “They’re very much conversations that we have constantly in our culture when someone’s past resurfaces, and we find that it’s controversial or problematic.”

Pillari discussed his findings in “State Suppression: State Religion as an Explanatory Variable for Religious Intolerance.”

“What I further found is this is not just an Islam issue,” Pillari said, noting that he saw many statistics which conflated presence of Islam in a country with religious intolerance. “You could, in theory, look at all countries that have state religions of all kinds and see, okay, do all countries with state religions have an issue with religious tolerance?”

In Contemporary Arts, poster topics ranged from using design to conceptualize different sciences to looking at student feelings of security with a rise in mass shootings. Students Jennifer Holland, Tatiana Mehos, Sean Morgan, Dan Opitz, John Slocum, Sela Stazzone and Grace Velarde had their work featured.

“It was a project for our class,” said Velarde on her work “Elastic Electron Scattering from Methane Molecule.” “We wanted to experiment more with the sciences and STEM and the medical field, so we wanted to test our potential and challenge ourselves to make a visual regarding research, and making research come to life.”

Representing the Social Science and Human Services school was Cory Fichtenbaum and Lina Gershovich, who were asked how doing their research enriched their educational experience.

“This experience contributed so much to my education,” Gershovich said. “I got first hand exposure to research in a field that I’m interested in which is advocacy and women’s rights.”

The school of Theoretical and Applied Sciences featured nine presentations from a myriad of individual students and groups. 

“All the environmental science classes I’ve taken led me to be able to do all this research and really apply this research,” said James Liao, who worked on “Patterns of Forest Tree Mortality Following a Native Insect Outbreak in the New Jersey Highlands.” 

Three students from the Ansfield School of Business shared their work: Pratistha Adhikari, Lumana Shakya and Eric Sorger.

Despite the virtual environment’s challenges, all of these students and more have been able to prosper in conducting interesting and eye-opening research. Many shared the sentiment of finding new interests, learning new ideas and being glad they’d work with their professors of choice. 

For those who could not attend, all posters and oral presentations are available on the Scholars' Week page.