Tuesday night, Chapman faculty gathered to present their research and recruit student researchers to assist them with their projects at the annual Faculty Research & Creative Expression Expo put on by the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Professors from nearly every college on campus discussed their research with students. Research topics this year were incredibly varied, and explore everything from restaurants’ pricing models to how architecture constructs belonging on college campuses, from geochemistry lab work with arsenic to how laughter affects hospital patients’ recovery times. This wide variety of interesting and nuanced topics shows how open Chapman is to research, and that any student can find and participate in research that excites them.

Argyros School of Business’ Dr. Christina Nistor was present to discuss her theoretical research about pricing and quality relationships between restaurants and their suppliers. More generally, Dr. Nistor is looking at how businesses structure their relationships with their wholesale suppliers, specifically at long-lasting relationships where restaurants are comfortable with requesting very specific types of food from their suppliers, for example, cuts of fish for a sushi restaurant. The goal of this research has many real-world applications for restaurants and a general understanding of business relationships.

Associate Dean and professor in Attallah College of Education Dr. Michelle Samura was there with a student researcher to present their work on the architecture of belonging. Their research investigates the relationship between spaces on campus and student feelings of belonging, looking to understand how different spaces enhance and facilitate that belonging. Rather than measuring belonging, they are looking to define it, most commonly as a sense of connectedness, determined by the context of each individual situation, how individuals identify themselves and their intersections, and how that affects their feelings of belonging in various campus environments. Dr. Samura’s research could be used to create new facilities where students feel a greater sense of belonging, and therefore have fewer social or psychological elements impeding their education.

Schmid College’s Dr. Christopher Kim had student researchers from his KEG (Kim Environmental Geochemistry) Laboratory out presenting their research with environmental exposure to arsenic. One student is working with simulated gastric fluid extractions to see how much arsenic is staying in the body after each encounter. Another student is working with nanoparticles and arsenic, which has the potential to have tremendous effects in how we understand the environmental processing of arsenic. A lot of the work relates to the remediation and containment of different contaminants and carcinogens, which has wide-reaching possibilities for the future of both health and environmental sciences. Students in Kim’s lab feel very lucky to have a chance to create their own process and see their projects through, and they encourage students to research. “There’s something to appeal to everyone, so jump right in!”

Dodge College’s Frank Chindamo presented his work time through Skype! His research is an attempt to prove whether the colloquial saying that “laughter is the best medicine” is true. He and his team have created the app LaughMD as a tool for people in the hospital to access funny content. Student researchers help patients use the app, then collect data about the patient’s feelings and medical progress after using humor as medicine.

There were so many more professors there talking about their research. Dr. Douglas Fudge had students from his lab there talking about their work with hagfish locomotion, slime, and anesthesia. There was also a representative from Dr. L. Andrew Lyon’s lab detailing their research with nanoparticles, specifically noting their work in designing soft nanoparticles for use in artificial platelets and drug delivery. A research team was there to discuss the recent political swing in Orange County from red to purple. A representative from the American Statistical Association was present to talk to students about Datafest hack-a-thon and career day, and encourage investigation into a career in statistics. Even the Center for Undergraduate Excellence’s own Dr. Julye Bidmead was there to discuss her research on Voodoo and American popular culture’s obsession with a fictionalized view of it.

There is a vein of research out there for everyone, and this event proved just how much of it is happening on our very own Chapman campus.

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