Annual Quest day showcases SUNY Oswego’s diversity

OSWEGO, N.Y.–A walk through the Marano Campus Center or the Shineman Science Center during SUNY Oswego’s annual Quest day will uncover a variety of students, faculty and staff from all academic backgrounds and concentrations showing off their long-term scholarly research or creative projects with the college and local community.

This year’s event, held on Wednesday, saw students, faculty and staff from the university’s four academic schools present on topics ranging from science research to social issues to artwork.

Seniors Hannah Cooper, a biology major from Buffalo, and Megan VanVorce, a zoology major from Binghamton, presented their research on the effects of Warfarin, a blood thinning medication, on chick embryos at the Quest poster session.

Cooper and VanVorce spent a semester researching the project with the help of assistant biology professor Poongodi Geetha-Loganathan as part of their developmental biology class, VanVorce said.

Megan VanVorce presents her research on the impact of blood thinners on chicken embryos at the Quest poster presentation Wednesday in the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena. (Photo by Natalie Brophy)

Cooper said the effects of blood thinner on human fetal development have been discovered within the last 10 years. She said they wanted a more visual representation of the effects, so they injected chicken embryos with Warfarin in order to study the effects.

According to Cooper, the mortality rate for human fetuses exposed to blood thinners is 60 percent.

“This is my fourth year here and I truly feel like this semester has shown me the most science,” Cooper said. “There’s only so much you can learn in a classroom. When you’re doing hands-on work in a lab, dealing with live embryos, it was truly an amazing experience.”

“I’m just very proud of our work,” VanVorce added. “It has helped me to see how much I really have learned throughout my educational experience here and to be able to put it to work and show it off to people is a bonus.”

Room 114 in the Marano Campus Center was full of art students showing off their work. Senior graphic designer major Cassandra Kaiser displayed her Batik creations, an Indian art form that uses wax and dye to create designs on pieces of cloth.

Batik artwork (Photo by Natalie Brophy)

Kaiser was able to afford the materials for her project, such as the cloth, dyes and a wax-melting machine, due to funding from a school of communication, media and the arts grant. She began working on the project at the beginning of 2017, but said it can take years to master the art form.

“I am under the guidance of a few professors, but they don’t really know much about it,” Kaiser said. “I’ve really been learning about it the whole time.”

Students were also able to present research on social issues. Senior gender and women’s studies major Deanna Buley discussed her research about LGBTQ equality through public policy, including housing discrimination, homelessness and medical discrimination.

According to Buley’s presentation, 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.

Deanna Buley gives a presentation about LGBTQ discrimination Wednesday at Quest. (Photo by Natalie Brophy)

Buley said she began her research at the beginning of the spring semester and it took about a month and a half to put her presentation together.

At the end of the presentation, Buley opened the floor to discussion and questions with the audience members. 

“I’m glad a lot of people came,” Buley said. “I’m glad to see people were so engaged.”

In addition to presentations, Quest hosted three planetarium shows at the Shineman Center’s planetarium, a debate between SUNY Oswego and SUNY Brockport students about hate crimes on college campuses and stress relief activities.

The Day of Imagine was a program sponsored by SUNY Oswego’s art department with the goal of promoting “the spirit of hope, peace and community” by giving people a place to relax through drawing, said graphic design and illustration professor Amy Bartell.

“We wanted to create a low tech, no stress environment where people could come draw, reflect on their hope for our world and spend some times with friends and make new ones,” Bartell said. “Literally that’s what’s been happening all day.”

There were more than 100 presentations throughout the day, in addition to approximately 50 poster presentations in the poster session.