Just about every student who walks the halls of Seton Hill University (SHU) is required to take Seminar in Thinking and Writing (STW). This class deals with the discussion and writing of topics in the media as well as current events. On Wed., April 27, students from their respective STW classes were given the opportunity to display what they had researched to the SHU community.
Students lined Cecilian Hall behind their booths, which displayed various topics from their research projects. The issues were focused on pressing matters that surround society every day. Topics ranged from addictions to the portrayal of Islam to how divorce affects children to the effect of technology on today’s children. There was a multitude of topics chosen by the students of the STW course; all of the students and their projects took up the entirety of the hall. Sufficed to say, much work went into each of these projects.
Korrin Kovacevic, a freshman, was inspired by her Faith, Religion, and Society class to base her research project on the portrayal of Islam in society today. “We were studying Islam and went on a class trip to a mosque which was really interesting.” To be able to take something learned from one class and use it as a point of research in another is one of many aspects of learning STW helps to enforce.
Other students did their research on current events that have affected different parts of the world. Jay Massiet, a freshman, focused his project on nuclear power reactors, which gives insight into Japan’s ever growing dilemma and the question of whether using nuclear power is a good idea or not. “They’re struggling through power issues … and the real question is if nuclear power is safe or not. I wasn’t sure if I was for or against using nuclear power before I started researching my project, now I’m for it.” By taking a point and arguing it with confident, reliable sources is one of the main points in research papers stressed by STW.
Each STW class had its own way of demonstrating information; some projects were done on posterboards, while others were done electronically. For many of the students, the event was beneficial in more ways than one. Creanna Martin, a freshman, said, “I think that if you learn and are more aware about a situation or a dilemma, it makes you more able to get involved and help support the cause for it.”
Teachers were present with their students as well. “I think it’s nice for them, composition is such a big part of learning here, it’s kind of done behind closed doors. With an event like this, students get to show off what they’ve done, what this generation is interested in, and bring up important media as well as current issues,” said Nicole Peeler, assistant professor of English.
Jess Orlowski, a junior, said, “I think it’s great. It’s taking learning beyond the paper.”
Emily Wierszewski, assistant professor of English and composition was the brainchild for the event. She wanted students to be excited about what they were learning and to be able to show others what they had done. The purpose of the event was to bring students together so they could talk to one another about the topics they had researched and what more they could learn from their fellow students.
“I’m really impressed with what the students came up with…I’ve learned more about what the students researched and I’ve learned more about technology. It’s been really fun to see what they’ve done…” said Wierszewski.