Best student work displayed at annual project showcase

May 2015

Guests entering the Cayan Library recently were greeted not by books, but by what looked like a dune buggy. But students weren’t hopping rides across campus. Instead, the buggy, technically a Baja car designed, built and maintained by members of the SUNY Poly SAE Baja Club, greeted all those who attended the 2015 Student Project Showcase on April 3. The event is an annual culmination of what students have been working on all throughout the spring semester.

Student project showcaseDisplays stretched from the entrance of the library to the very back of the ground floor, each one manned by a student eager to show off their project and discuss how their particular topic, based on work done in class, helped them discover more about the topic at hand—and about themselves.

Communication and Information Design (CID) major Alex Szentgyorgyi sat beside a monitor depicting his graphic design work. It ranged from flyers, to magazine covers, designs for billboards, and even an educational video telling people more about nanotechnology.

“Design is fun,” Szentgyorgyi said. “I’ve always been an artistic person and I took studio art in high school. I did all the traditional parts of the medium—oil painting, acrylics, etc.—and I think that today, modern day art is primarily done graphically.”

Through the CID major, Szentgyorgyi says he was exposed to video production and loved every moment of it. While he says modern-day demands call for less traditional art and more graphic design art, he hopes that the skills he has honed over the course of the program, and the passion he has brought to them, will benefit him in the work world that lies ahead.

“I hope it allows me to be more flexible when it comes to the creative process. That’s very important,” he said. “Anyone can learn how to use a program, but not everyone can grasp how to be creative. And that is, no matter where I am working, what I want to bring to the table.”

Sabrina Brown, working with fellow students Shannon Daily and Rebecca Brandt, presented a research project entitled “Mothers wishes for their children’s future: Cross-Cultural Comparison in the context of AAI (Adult Attachment Interview).”

Comparing mothers in the U.S. and Japan, interviews were conducted that asked one question: “What are your three wishes for your child, 20 years from now?” A colleague gathered the Japanese data for them, and after all 66 mothers were interviewed, the students took the responses/dialogues they received and began to categorize them. Finding responses that were along similar lines to be cataloged together, the group managed to boil the categories down from 15 to 5.

“What we found was that, no matter the cultural differences, the majority of mothers in any culture want the best for their child,” Brown said. “The overall well-being of their child is what’s important to them.”

For Brown, this interview and research, and the ability to cull valuable information from it, is a vital experience that she feels will be able to take with her in her future career.

“I want to be a social worker and a family counselor,” she said. “This gives me a great background in parenting across cultures. The characteristics in culture all play a role in who you become.”

When asked if her research gives any new perspective to the age-old discussion of how important a role environment plays in who a child becomes, Brown says she believes environment plays a role on the parent and how the parent interacts with their child.

“Think of a refugee coming to the United States and how their life is in that environment will affect how they are around and to their child,” she says. “Think of the Great Depression and the effect it had on most families, on their economic situation. Those strains take effect, families can fall apart, and that plays a role into the interaction with the child.”

Lindsey Croneiser and Amy Woodworth, both accounting majors, were tasked with taking an existing company and to identify a problem within that company, making recommendations on how to improve it based on their analysis. The company they chose was Panera Bread. Using databases they were able to access from the Cayan Library, as well as further research into the company online, the duo was able to gather plenty of information and find some interesting areas for improvement.

“There wasn’t a lot of options for people with allergies, we found,” said Croneiser. “There also wasn’t a lot of protein or low-calorie options in the food currently available.”

“To me, this was all new, as I’ve never been to a Panera before this,” said Woodworth. “One of the strengths of Panera, we found, was having everything done fresh. They make their own dough and truck it in every day. Not all restaurants do that.”

Both agreed that with the processes of research and analysis they’ve put to use for this project, they could do the same with any company, opening up multiple options for them in the business world ahead.

Showcase winners were:

Health Sciences & Business

Sarita Ruiz for her presentation “Sarita’s Food Truck”

Advisor: William Langdon




Edcel Gates, Gabriel Stinebrickner, Evan Hala & Joseph Rabben for their presentation “ASCE Steel Bridge Design”

Advisor: Steven Wei



Arts & Sciences

Sabrina Verdgeling & Sasuauna Taylor for their presentation “Coded Children’s Family Drawings”

Advisor: Kazuko Behrens


Each winner received $50 and a certificate of accomplishment. Winning project displays were exhibited at the annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 8.