University of Findlay Students Present Research Projects Highlighting World New Topics
Three University of Findlay seniors presented their capstone research projects to faculty, staff, and fellow students on Tuesday, Dec. 6. They spent the past semester conducting independent research projects, and today everything was shared with the public.
Andrew Boulton turned his focus to the hot topic of elections, researching “Electoral College and Voting Power.” As a senior political science major, Boulton interviewed students across the campus of Findlay, asking what students knew about the Electoral College, and how it compared to presidential candidates winning the popular vote. He found many students misunderstood the Electoral College, or were simply unaware of what it was. “Everyone looks at the popular vote, but that’s not what decides who becomes President. I was surprised by the knowledge of respondents, and I think moving forward, it should be something that is highlighted more in education,” said Boulton. Boulton’s surveys showed only 53 percent of respondents believed the President was “legitimate” if he or she lost the popular vote.
Majoring in criminal Justice, Abdullah Alshammary presented his research on the “Perception on Effectiveness of Capital Punishment for Murders in the United States.” He determined that capital punishment was an effective way to keep murderers away from the general public, but did not prevent murders from continuing to happen. Alshammary hopes to take this information with him and compare it to research from his home country, Saudi Arabia.
Senior, criminal justice major, Reece Crossin also took on a sensitive news topic in the world today, diving into “Police Use of Excessive Force.” Reece’s research resulted in three conclusive findings:
- An increase in training techniques for de-escalation and dealing with high-stress situations is the most effective way to reduce the number of excessive force cases.
- The perception of police as inherently “bad” is not the thought for a majority of people. Crossin’s research found that most responses from interviews suggested people acknowledge the existence of “rotten apples,” but believe the vast majority of police are law-abiding and morally driven.
- The culture of a given police department has a big impact on the rise or reduction of excessive force by officers.
Political science professor, Robert Postic, Ph.D., is proud of his students’ efforts this year. He highlights a semester of research methods precedes the research capstone, and says that all of his students work independently to conduct their research before presenting. He believes the critical thinking and research prepares his students for success after UF. “It’s critical to not only their student success, but also to their professional success. In graduate school they will be doing research, and this gives them an idea of what research is, and how to do it correctly,” said Postic.
Whether students choose to pursue graduate school or go right into their careers, Postic believes these independent research projects showcase a skillset that employers are looking for. “One of the things employers tell us is that the top skill that they want to see in graduates is critical thinking skills. This reinforces that through planning, research, and creating presentations,” said Postic.