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Five students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will take their research to a big stage—inside the Madison capitol—at the 20th Annual Research in the Rotunda showcase taking place March 6.

The event provides an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to showcase their subjects and discoveries in poster displays. Attendees including students representing the 13 Universities of Wisconsin four-year universities, many of their faculty advisers, staff, administrators from campuses and state legislators.

Following is a list describing this year’s featured projects conducted by the UWO student researchers:

  • Student Researcher: Olivia Klessig, senior communications studies major from Howards Grove; Faculty Adviser: Ryan Allred, Communication Studies; Title: Does this Count as Phubbing?: The Role of Bias and Attributions on Perceptions of Phone Usage During Face-to-Face ConversationsAbstract:  Several studies have concluded that phubbing (described as phone “snubbing” when favoring a smartphone versus a companion) negatively influences communication. Using Attribution Theory as a framework, the present study explored the parameters of phubbing using a 4-condition experimental design. Findings demonstrated that individual biases and attribution errors influence perceptions of phone usage during face-to-face conversations.
  • Student Researcher: Juan Padilla Mendez, senior biomedical science major from Milwaukee; Faculty Adviser: Maria Graf, Nursing; Title: Racial and Ethnic Concordance between Latino Patients and Health care Providers in the American MidwestAbstract:  This study analyzes the role of racial concordance on America’s healthcare disparities, specifically within the Midwest Latino community.  Our findings indicated the need for a diversified American healthcare workforce.
  • Student Researchers: Lorena Reid, senior psychology major from Fond du Lac, and Makaylee Stewart, senior psychology major from Menomonee Falls; Faculty Adviser: Justyna Olszewska, Psychology; Title: Ideal College in Current Students’ PerceptionAbstract:  The purpose of this project was to discover UW Oshkosh students’ needs in higher education. We conducted a focus group where we identified students’ expectations in relation to their experiences with in-class teaching, campus infrastructure as well as on campus dormitory living conditions. These results were also supported by empirical evidence.
  • Student Researcher: Kaleb Walter, sophomore economics and finance major from De Pere; Faculty Adviser: Marianne Johnson, Economics; Title: Richard T. Ely’s Census of Public UtilitiesAbstract: Almost everyone relies on public utilities. This makes it important to understand the historical evolution of their economic organization. I reconstruct Richard T. Ely’s census of public vs. private utilities (1890 to 1930) and use regression analysis to identify which state demographic and economic characteristics were associated with higher rates of public utility ownership.

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*Feature image: Then-UWO senior Baylee Tkaczuk shares her research with Chancellor Andrew Leavitt during the 2020 Research in the Rotunda at the Wisconsin State Capitol.