Pacific University's Senior Projects Day Embodies Higher Education

Pacific University held its annual Senior Projects Day at the Forest Grove Campus on Wednesday, April 22, in which undergraduate students presented their senior capstones to professors, peers, family members and friends.

Held in classrooms, auditoriums and other spaces throughout campus, nearly 320 students provided individual snapshots of work that truly matters to them in the areas of arts and humanities, business, education and learning, natural sciences and social sciences. A seemingly endless range of topics took the form of discussions, slideshows, short films, works of art and poster presentations that demonstrated both the didactic and experiential facets of a Pacific University education through the collective eyes of the Class of 2015. Following is a just a sample of the 2015 senior capstones

Applied Science major Taylor Schad '15 presented research about the possible toxicity of artificial surface athletic fields that contain crumb rubber made from ground-up recycled tires.

Studio art major Stephanie Abraham '15 collected photo images and information of passengers on Tri Met bus line 57 to explore the social boundaries that exist on public transit.

Journalism major Scott Sharp '15 presented scenes from a video documentary he produced that chronicles the lives of three former drug addicts.

Social Work major Hailey Leslie '15 proposed an evidence-based community engagement model for aiding homeless individuals with underlying mental illnesses through the burgeoning tiny house movement.

Bryan Stander and Huyen Tran '15 provided insight into the emerging medical field of bioinformatics. Stander created a computer program to better understand how DNA can be used to store data for future reference and research. Tran implemented and analyzed algorithms in an effort to assist the scientific world in the development of new antibiotics.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry major Madeleine Ottosson '15 examined the effectiveness of bioswales, or landscape elements, to help remove and filter silt and pollutants from water runoff before it enters rivers, lakes and streams.

Exercise Science major Michael Wettig '15 presented a poster documenting an evidence-based nutrition and fitness program he developed to improve the health and wellness of firefighters, a group whose leading cause of death while on-duty is sudden cardiac arrest. Wettig worked with the Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove fire departments to conduct baseline fitness tests and will conduct follow-up tests to measure the implementation of the programs.

Computer Science major Troy Zuroske '15 created an application for Google Glass, GlassRx, to assist those taking multiple prescriptions with proper drug identification as well as other features.

Spanish major Carlos Esparza '15 analyzed the evolution of Spanish language dialect in the United States as influenced by Anglo-Saxon culture. Esparza recently received a Fulbright award to teach English in Mexico.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015