Students Show Off Research in Undergraduate Conference

From Introspective Art to the Depths of Biology

By Marcus Del Valle

Though the College of Staten Island has been the butt of many student complaints, the 15th annual Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance showcased the diverse talents and genius of our student body, on April 21. This shows just how much opportunity is overlooked on our campus.

With studies ranging from the attempt to discover the chemical make-up of a rare, yet useful, protein to artistic depictions of evil human behavior as personified demons, the conference invited the student body to see the different kinds of work that can spring from a college education.


Photo Credit: Marcus Del Valle

Held in 1P, conference participants were set up in a fashion which resembled a glorified science fair. Equipped with trifold board visuals and elevator pitches, students provided The Banner with insight into their research while complaining about the withering endurance of their feet from standing all day.

The CUNY systems grants opportunity to students who otherwise do not have any and often opens the door to brand new experiences. Though the campus has many complaint worthy moments, certain students are choosing to focus on their goals, rather than their complaints, and CSI accommodates gloriously.

NaV1.7 is a sodium ion channel which has many benefits to the human body. It is highly expressed within muscle movement, heart beat coordination, as well as pain response.

Photo Credit: Marcus Del Valle

Photo Credit: Marcus Del Valle

Pablo Llerena, a CSI junior, took on the challenge of trying to discover the chemical make-up of this very useful protein.

“This little jump in the chart proves that I expressed the protein and that’s great news. During more trials we will be able to express the protein more and use it in things like medicine and pain relief research,” he said.

Another student studied the progression of our police force and pointed to evidence of it militarization.

“I don’t want to throw away progress but I don’t condone people being hurt,” he said.

The student asked The Banner to not publish his name.

Through this study however, the student found that the American police enforcement follows the same model as the military.

By visiting police seminars the researcher witnessed the training programs for our military and our police force have little differences between them.

The researcher was asked their opinion on the recent and increasing incidents of police brutality nationwide.

“I tend to lean more towards the right [politically] but I don’t want to be a part of the complacent part of the community,” he said.

Photo Credit: Marcus Del Valle

Photo Credit: Marcus Del Valle

Even when the study focus was similar to other research, the work manifested completely differently.

Sabrina Bragerton-Nasert and Ryan Nieves both looked at the importance of understanding human behavior though took completely different routes to doing so.

Bragerton-Nasert’s study focused on the left field of vision bias and what it tells us about human behavior.

“We as human naturalistically exhibit behaviors that we don’t realize are significant to understanding variability in the social behavioral realm,” said Bragerton-Nasert.

Bragerton-Nasert concluded by saying that if we focus on the study of things we do every day we can learn a lot about why we do what we do.

Nieves, an art student, chose to look at human behavior in a more artistic, and what he called, a “realistic” way.

“I wanted to turn people who act like monsters into real monsters,” Nieves said.

Taking behaviors like child molestation, turning a pedophile into a demon named Pedophalus, Ryan focused on the evils of what people do and wrote descriptions of the demons that point to the pain inflicted on their victims.

By drawing grotesque demon visages, he expressed just how evil and disgusting the actions of men who take advantage of woman really is.

“Basically I want to show people as they really are,” he said.

All of these students came from different walks of life and took the chance to pursue what it is they found interesting and how they could turn it into something positive.

A group of students took their study to an elementary school where they found issues in language development.

Jocelyn Philips and Damelsa Hatmil found that SRT scores, a game based system test used to study language learning, had no significant correlation with actually learning a language.

“Our study with help future kids with Specific Language Impairment find a program that will better help them,” said Philips.

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