Hiram College students have been taking their research and talents on the road this month to as far away as Scotland Neck, N.C. There, senior Jenni Heid and junior Emily Yeckley helped conduct physical exams on captive white-winged wood ducks at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park .
“Students helped capture the birds, record vital information, give complete physicals and later process, evaluate, and record valuable blood information on each [bird’s] health,” says Jim Metzinger ’88, director of Hiram’s James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, who led the students on the learning/outreach mission along with Akron Zoo veterinarian Kim Cook.
Hiram students have long been involved in the data collection effort, says Metzinger. He adds that the practical work experience generates long-term benefits for students. “The experience has helped many get into vet school and this year’s students are no exception to the rule,” he says.
Heid, with a pre-veterinary medicine concentration, has been accepted to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Yeckley, a neuroscience major, has her sights set on the same destination after she graduates from Hiram next year.
“The Hiram College field station has partnered with the Akron Zoo and Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park on a number of student projects, but this one has been the most successful in propelling our graduates into careers in animal science, veterinary science, and conservation,” Metzinger says.
Closer to home, Hiram students Seiji Bessho, Jory Gomes, and Kimberly Morrison joined Merose Hwang, Ph.D., associate professor of history, to present papers on North Korea at Ashland University. At the Fourth Annual John. D. Stratton Nonviolence in Theory and Practice conference, Bessho, a senior double majoring in history and education, presented his paper “Teaching About North Korea.” Gomes, a senior biomedical humanities-public health major with minors in sociology and political science, presented “Fire and Fury: A Dissection of Twitter Diplomacy, Defensive History, and Differential Interpretation of Enemy Rhetoric.” Morrison, a sophomore majoring in history and outdoor education and minoring in both environmental studies and Asian studies, presented “Dissipating the North Korean Threat: Promoting Nonviolence Through Education in the United States.”
Also at the conference, Dr. Hwang led the panel discussion “Teaching Nonviolence through Asian History: An Evaluation of the North Korea Threat.” The panelists discussed five steps of critical historical pedagogy. Learning about nonviolence in this way will help students pursue peace-making practices, build bridges, and impact social and political change, Dr. Hwang says.
“Today, the demand to learn about North Korea is at an all-time high, but to teach on this topic is a challenge when ideas of North Korean threat and violence dominate our popular imagination,” she says.
Finally, at a Choose Ohio First (COF) event in Columbus, freshman Victoria Fallucco presented her poster “Where 2 Turn.” Fallucco’s proposed initiative would provide mental health crisis information to students as they transition to college as well as establish a campus peer mentoring mental health organization.
“Victoria … gave [her] poster presentation to state administrators, including Secretary of State John Husted and ODHE Chancellor John Carey,” says Sandra Madar, Ph.D., director of Strategic Academic Initiatives and professor of biology and biomedical humanities, who joined Fallucco at the conference. The COF scholarship program for STEM students aims to prevent “brain drain” in Ohio.