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Student Research Poster Competition Winners / Abstracts - Social Sciences

Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana
Musediq Ajomagberin and Katherine Recio
Bronx Community College

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world, and it has become a big business in the United States as more states legalize its use for medical purposes. Physicians in Colorado can recommend marijuana use for pain control, and this allows patients to apply for a state license for marijuana purchase from a state licensed dispensary. States such as Colorado and California collect millions of dollars for marijuana through annual licensing fees and sales taxes. In contrast, states like Kentucky have a no tolerance policy for marijuana, with harsh penalties for marijuana sales or usage. California supplies the country with one half of the illegal marijuana, which amounts to a $100 billion national cash crop. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spends more than $10 billion dollars to seize illegal marijuana. The confusing status of conflicting local, state, and federal laws on marijuana use and its health effects are addressed.


The Rise of Violence in Children
Valerie Alexander, Sabrina Formoso, and Catalina Martinez
Manhattanville College

This project seeks to find why there is so much violence in schools, and the things that can be done to stop and/or prevent it from happening. In this project we will ask kids if they have ever been bullied and how it made them feel. To find ways to prevent this ongoing problem, this research compiled feedback and information about bullying. We will answer our main question, Why does bullying continue to happen even though most of us were taught the effects of bullying by teachers, parents, and/or administrators? The majority of the time bullies have problems that they keep inside, and the effects of these deep-seated problems are later let out on innocent individuals.


Economics of College
Nathena Brown, Najua Baaith-Mercado, Zainab Bakrin, and Zipporah Ross
Monroe Community College

The overall objective of this project is to compare the cost of attending different colleges (2-year, and 4-year public and private institutions) with the earnings of respective graduates from the different types of institutions. This is a relevant topic because as individuals become college bound, educated decision-making on how to best invest in one’s own higher education becomes important. This topic required data collection on college attendance and cost from various colleges and universities, along with research from academic journals on college cost and earnings after graduation based on major and the college attended. Tables and graphs were used to analyze data. Our research supports our hypothesis that a student’s major and grade point average are more important to career earnings than the type of school attended.


Using Artwork to Treat Patients with Psychological Disorders
Cristino Chavez and Nicole Alexander
New York Osteopathic College of Medicine

Trauma has become a major issue in children and adolescents, and in many cases art is used to express their emotions. In this experiment we will examine children and adolescents and their reactions to pictures and questions. Each will respond to questions to the best of their ability, and the behavior and reactions displayed in the artwork will be analyzed. Both age groups will be asked the same questions and will be shown similar pictures of traumatizing situations; this will allow us to discover how and what they feel toward the subject. We will be able to identify individual personality type based on the response to questioning. In the future this can be used to treat people with psychological disorders who are in need of treatment but have no means of verbal communication.


Interpretation of Facial Expressions
Menatallah Elkoush and Omnia Elkoush
New York University

A teenager’s interpretation of emotions frequently conflict with others. Are differences misinterpretations or merely subjective interpretations? Children, teenagers, and adults were shown twenty images of faces that had distinct expressions. They were each asked to look at images and state the first emotion that was evoked. No set answer was expected. Similarities and differences were recorded and tabulated. Younger children responded immediately and had similar responses; teenagers had the fewest similarities in responses and adjectives for images; and adults had more similar responses than teenagers, but not as many similarities as the younger children. We conclude that teenagers do not misinterpret facial expressions, but rather have different interpretations. Most disagreement came with negative emotions.


Cyber Bullying: The New Way to Bully?
Alezandra Guillen
LeMoyne College

The purpose of this project is to determine whether cyber bullying is more common than traditional bullying because of the availability of social networking sites. Cyber bullying is an aggressive act toward another using an electronic medium, while traditional bullying is direct intimidation or mistreatment of a weaker person.

To determine the type of bullying, an anonymous survey about bullying was administered to 200 students in an urban high school. Results of this survey contradicted the hypothesis that cyber bullying is more prevalent than traditional bullying. Of the students who have access to one or more social networking sites, less than half claimed that they have been cyber bullied. However, over half of the students surveyed believed that cyber bullying was easier than traditional bullying. Another notable result of this survey was that more than 50% of students surveyed claim to have been bullied through cyber, traditional, or both means.


Does Facebook Replace Books? An Examination of Facebook and Student Achievement
Kevin Guzman
Mercy College

Students all over the world use Facebook to socialize with friends and family. What effect does the world’s largest social networking service have on a student’s grades? The purpose of this research is to examine the correlation between Facebook use and student achievement. Five-hundred Ossining High School students were chosen at random to complete an anonymous questionnaire. All responses were carefully calculated and organized. Average study time and grade point average (GPA) were compared between frequent Facebook users and non-frequent Facebook users. These comparisons displayed a clear negative correlation between Facebook use and academics. Frequent users had lower GPA’s and spent less time studying than students that did not use Facebook as often. According to the data collected at Ossining High School and the research found in past studies, it is concluded that frequent Facebook use can take a toll on a student’s academic success.


Food for Thought: Harmful Food Additives
Muizz Salami, Jorge Cardenas, and Justin Torres
New York University School of Medicine

The consumption of unhealthy food is a very prominent issue in New York City. Eating unhealthy food can bring deadly additives into the body—additives that were made to preserve the food from decay or give it color for a fresher look. This research addresses the problem of food additives, and educates people about the many dangers they pose. We believe that informing the public will help them to make informed choices that prevent them from choosing foods with dangerous additives. We created a survey that inquired about people’s eating habits, and provided a short information section to educate participants. Afterward, we verified whether their learning about food additives changed their eating habits. After our survey, people left feeling that they were more informed about food additives, and on average, they reported that they would avoid the dangerous additives. This research proved our hypothesis.




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