CoSA Showcases Impressive Breadth of Student Research

The annual April tradition of Ursinus’s Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) is one that showcases the dedication and countless hours that our students put into research projects throughout the year. The event was held across campus on Thursday, April 25.

Classes were postponed for the day so faculty staff, and students could attend talks, poster presentations and performances from hundreds of students across the disciplines. This year, the main atrium of the Innovation and Discovery Center was lined with research posters while presentations and performances could also be found in Olin and Bomberger halls, the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, the Berman Museum of Art and more.

CoSA is an opportunity for students to share their research and creative work with the whole campus. In addition to building the campus intellectual community, the presenters have the opportunity to take on a new role as teachers.

The day included 390 unique student participants (with some involved in multiple events), 185 poster presentations, 29 Bonner leaders who reflected on their experiences, seven performances, and much more.

Among the presentations:

Health and exercise physiology major Julianne LaRosa shared her research on the relationship between professional hierarchy and gender in U.S. hospitals and how that can impact patient safety. Her look into the social-structure of surgical units and the power dynamics among male surgeons and female nurses led to some alarming conclusions that risk of infection post-surgery can be increased due to a lack of respect and communication within the operating room among the professional staff.

LaRosa’s CoSA research is something that she hopes to continue looking into in the future while taking what she has learned already and putting it towards a future career in healthcare management.

“Healthcare quality is really important to me and knowing about what I’ve learned is going to be so helpful to me as I go into this field,” she said.

Throughout the day topics across the sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences were tackled with passion.

Nicole Dalasio presented information on the distinct and important difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance. She spoke about self-advocacy, myths and stereotypes, and the dangers of the mischaracterization and misrepresentation of autistic individuals.

Taking a look into both history and literature, Joe Makuc drew parallels between Shakespeare’s portrayal of sexual coercion and government corruption and the Brett Kavanaugh hearing of 2018 during a presentation about Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and abstinence.

Vice President for Community Engagement Heather Lobban-Viravong introduced a new CoSA event celebrating the projects funded earlier this year through Inclusive Community Grants and Fellowships.

The presentations included: a trip to the United Nations by Sisters in Spirit and the Melrose Center for Global Civic Engagement; the One Book, One Ursinus team sharing the experience of the Ursinus community reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and Cyn Ercole ’21 discussed the LGBTea Time series and shared successes of the program along with plans to continue and expand in the future. –By Mary Lobo ’15 and Monique Kelly