Research on campus beneficial to students

By Courtney Bottazzi

Contributing Writer

Many students spent last summer in Lewisburg working alongside their professors to further their learning experience. Subject matter, experiments and research varied across the board as students took on projects and studies. Not only did the students break new ground in their chosen fields, they also came one step closer to answering that ever-present question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Various departments were represented on campus this summer as University students explored different areas of research pertaining to their respective interests.

Computer science engineer Aurimas Liutikas ’12 worked on an Apple application for the University during his time on campus.

“I was working on the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad application for University students and visitors. It [will be launched] sometime this fall. It has such features as campus map, Bucknell Directory and dining menus,” Liutikas said.

“It was really exciting to get hands on experience with a project that involves the entire Bucknell community. I got a great feel of [what] a real-world job is going to be like as I had to deal with Bucknell administration, testers and team members (my professor),” Liutikas said.

When Liutikas applied to the University, one of the possible application questions was how to bridge the University community with the world. Liutikas hopes that students will be able to better bridge the gap between the University community and the surrounding world.

An important part of summer research on campus is the opportunity students have to explore their interests and learn to apply them in a real setting. Ally Hopper ’11 also hopes to bring the knowledge she has gained from her summer research project to the world within and beyond the bubble.

“I was doing research with Professor Flack in the psychology department, helping him with his research on sexual assault as well as getting a head start on my thesis proposal for this year,” Hopper said.

Music and religion were also prominent subjects being studied this past summer on campus.

“My research this summer was focused on John Coltrane’s musical development post-1965 and how his spiritual studies effected this development. Almost all of his music in this two-year period—he died in 1967—was spiritually oriented and is linked into the various religious and spiritual traditions he studied, including but not limited to Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and some forms of Cosmology,” Nick Horner ’11 said.

Summer research projects at the University give students a chance to pursue knowledge in a chosen field that may one day help them decide their plans for the future, as well as connect them more so to their surrounding communities today.

“[Summer research] has given me the chance to develop a keen understanding of this music and to solidify a path of scholarship that I may be taking into my graduate studies. Likewise, knowing this biographical information and musical repertoire has allowed me to communicate more effectively with artists and scholars within the jazz realm,” Horner said.

Hopper agreed and is grateful for her experience and is excited for what the future may hold.

“By doing research over the summer and continuing with it during the school year, I’ve begun to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’m not sure that I necessarily want to continue on with research in psychology as a career path, but I am hoping to get a job where I can apply my knowledge of sexual assault on college campuses and in the real world,” Hopper said.

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