ST. THOMAS – Students had the opportunity to showcase their skills in information gathering, data collection and extrapolation during Research Day on Thursday.
The University hosted its 4th annual Research Day, an activity aimed at allowing the public to view the results of research conducted by UVI students and faculty on a variety of wide-ranging issues that affect the community, such as intimate partner violence, impact of social media on VI Caribbean Culture in the 21st century, youths and gangs, medical marijuana in the U.S. Virgin Islands, stress and marital satisfaction as it relates to relationship satisfaction, the effect of employment and academic achievement, the relationship between depression and academic performance in students at UVI, and influences that contribute to the rise of gang violence within our schools.
Bonnie President, an undergraduate student from the College of Science and Mathematics, conducted her research and presented her findings on sophorolipid production using candida bombicola. She said the experience was a “great” one for her and she encouraged other students to venture into the world of research.
“Doing research is always a great experience simply because you learn new skills that are going to help in your future career. I loved this experience and I enjoy doing research,” President said. “I learned about ‘sophorolipids’ and ‘candida bombicola,’ both of which I had absolutely no clue about before I began. It’s a learning experience and I encourage other students to give it a try.”
Ayishih Bellew from the Eastern Caribbean Center was part of the Research Day committee and she outlined the purpose of the event.
“Research Day is part of the strategic plan for 2017. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to do research and showcase research they are involved in,” Bellew said. “The UVI Research Day gives faculty, staff and students the ability to reach the community with some of the research UVI is involved in. Each class, school and center submitted research.”
Bellew said participants were also being judged on their posters and presentation.
“We also have a contest going on for best student poster and presentation. They are competing for a $500 award. Judges are taken from a pool of faculty and staff involved in the research,” Bellew said.
The winner has not yet been announced.
UVI Research Day was spearheaded by the Vice Provost of Research and Public Service, Frank L. Mills.
“On Research Day the entire Virgin Islands public is invited to see exciting research that is taking place in all the colleges and schools of UVI,” Mills was quoted as saying in a press release. “We aim to expose high school teachers, counselors and their seniors to the fields of study that could inflame the seniors’ interest in a profession.”
Research Day activities were held simultaneously at the Sports and Fitness Center on the St. Thomas Campus and at the UVI Great Hall, Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. There were approximately 52 participants on St. Thomas and 28 on St. Croix.