Student and faculty research at Mount Royal

The third annual Student Research Day took place on Mount Royal's Main Street on April 2. There were 209 registrations and a total of 264 participants.

The third annual Student Research Day took place on Mount Royal's Main Street on April 2. There were 209 registrations and a total of 264 participants.

The main goals of Student Research Day are to give students the opportunity to present their research to an audience and create awareness of the varying types of research that students at Mount Royal are undertaking.

"Being able to stand up in front of other students, faculty and the public and share what you have been doing creates real excitement about the work while it helps to really cement the lessons learned," says Jerri-Lynne Cameron from the office of research.

David Cloutier a second year student working with the Faculty of Teaching and Learning had the opportunity to present on "Participatory Action Research" into how technology can empower learners.

"It has given me an opportunity to showcase, celebrate, and add to the perspectives that make up my learning. Enabling students to take a leadership role in their learning," says Cloutier.

Cloutier's research showed that technology has let us capture the formative part of education-rather than to only focus on the end product. As a result this type of learning becomes more about the journey as opposed to only the outcome. The learning of one student supports the learning of others and opens opportunities for others to build on it.

Alyssa Cheema, a psychology student, examined gender differences in emotional facial expressions. During her research, participants were presented with 150 photos showing different emotional facial expressions and given a rating scale consisting of: happy, sad, angry, contempt, sarcastic, neutral, or none of the above. They were then asked to rate which emotion they thought the picture displayed.

Through the research Alyssa found that females recognized happy and sarcastic expressions more consistently than their male counterparts. Whereas males were more consistent in recognizing angry facial expressions than females. She found no significant differences between sad and contempt expressions. This research is consistent with previous research done on the subject.

"I plan to go to BASICS in Banff and BBSC in Toronto this summer so this was also a great first time opportunity to know what it is like to present research," says Alyssa.

MRU students are achieving exceptional things and are actively participating in knowledge creation. Student Research Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our student scholars and allows us all to share those achievements. Enabling not only participants, but attendees to experience first-hand how they contribute to our identity as an institution.

"Many students though, aren't aware that being involved in the research that is taking place could be an option for them - student research day helps to our students to see those possibilities," says Cameron.

By participating in Student Research Day students are not only able to showcase their research, but also have the opportunity to solicit feedback from the larger campus community including fellow students and faculty. These interactions can inspire others to become involved in their own research projects.

Mount Royal research moments spring 2014

- This April, Mount Royal's Institute for Environmental Sustainability was awarded a research grant of 250,000, including $120,000 from the Canadian Water Network (CNW) to conduct research on the landscape effects of hydraulic fracturing on water and watersheds in Canada.

- MRU student Maria Abrosimova received a Summer Studentship award from Alberta Innovates Health Solutions in the area of Science and Technology. The studentship will help fund Abrosimova's work in medical or health research. In February, Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (AIHS) received 438 applications for Summer Studentship awards. AIHS announced that awards will be offered to 183 of these applicants, for an overall competition success rate of 42 per cent and a total funding commitment of over $1,000,000. All applications were reviewed independently by the Summer Studentship Review Committee. Formal notification of the awards was communicated in April.

- Trevor Day, PhD, Department of Biology, and seven students from Mount Royal presented at the Okanagan Cardiovascular and Respiratory Symposium this past March. While most like conferences only feature leaders in the field (scientists with a substantial track record) present talks, the Okanagan Cardiovascular and Respiratory Symposium was a trainee focused meeting. Most of the presenters were Masters, PhD or Post-Doctoral students - Mount Royal's students were some of the very few undergrads asked to present. Students present on a variety of different topics in the area of biology - Day's research program focuses around investigating integrative cardiorespiratory and cerebrovascular physiology of humans.

Adam Thurston with files from Theresa Tayler - April 25, 2014