On Wednesday, Feb. 20 Keene State College faculty had the opportunity to showcase the scholarly and creative work they have been working on for the past year at the fifth annual Celebration of Faculty Research. Faculty, staff and students gathered in the Marion Wood Room of the Mason Library, surrounded by a variety of posters, journals and books.
Dean of the Mason Library Celia Rabinowitz hopes this event allows those on campus to view work they otherwise may not have been able to learn about.
“I think faculty within the departments often are aware of what their colleagues in the department are doing,” Rabinowitz said. “But we don’t have that many opportunities for faculty to see what their friends and colleagues outside the department are doing.”
Some of the work that was being presented and shown included a feature that Associate Professor and College Archivist Rodney Obien contributed to titled “Robert Munford: Too Long Under the Radar”, articles by the chemistry department and information about the trip to China some faculty took last semester related to poetry. Administrative support for Student Conduct Caroll Lothrop also presented her research on why some students adapt well to college life, and some do not.
“I talked to some faculty, staff and alumni to see what their opinions were about what made a difference between a good and not so good transition,” Lothrop said. “I also did a focus group and surveys with 17 student leaders to get their ideas about what made the difference and what they thought we should do.”
Lothrop’s work revealed that faculty and staff believed students who made a good transition had a faculty member they felt connected to, while student leaders believed students who adapted well had connections with their peers and activities on campus.
“I think it’s important for the campus to hear what the students had to say. This event is one way I can get that information out,” Lothrop said.
Another presenter at the celebration was Director for Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Research George Smeaton. Smeaton conducted research on three different tests of students’ critical thinking to determine the differences, the advantages and the disadvantages associated with each one. Smeaton hopes this research helps inform any future decision making about what tests to use.
“It shows us some alternatives into what we’re doing right now,” Smeaton said. “That test [being used right now] is really hard to be scalable to a large number of students because it takes so many hours to score just a set of 20 tests. Another one could easily be administered to a large number of students.”
Attendees of the event were interested to see all the different research and work being done around campus. Interim Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research, Audrey Arsenault was in attendance.
“It’s always fascinating to see all the extraordinary work that our faculty are doing,” Arsenault said. “It ties into a lot of the support that we try to provide to our faculty. I try to make it every year. It’s nice to be able to support them and the work that they do.”
This celebration will be held again next year and is open to anyone who would like to attend.
“We really want to encourage students to come, everyone is more than welcome,” Rabinowitz said. “We like to do something that’s different, but informal, that’s just an opportunity for everyone to get together.”
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at