Academic Festival 2016

Each spring semester, Daemenites await the most highly anticipated event of the academic year, Academic Festival. Academic Festival is an annual campus-wide event that is held in mid-April, just a few weeks shy of the summer break. This event gives Daemenites the opportunity to display a variety of thoroughly research-based topics.

On Wednesday, April 20, neither one hall nor building was left deserted. Even the parking lot had shown all evidence that the event was well attended. Each building from Duns Scotus Hall, Wick Center, to the Business Building, was filled with nervous presenters, proud supporters, and well engaged faculty members.

The Lumsden Gym basketball court had its usual rows filled with carefully detailed and informative research presentations along with oral presenters standing in front. The professionally-dressed presenters were attentive and ready to interact with their viewers.

Senior and psychology major Ashley Perez’s topic draws attention to the issues of stereotype threat and academic performance among minority students.  Perez explains her idea to discuss such an intense topic came from an assigned reading she had had to complete as a peer mentor in an IND 101 course.

“I want professors to learn from it because the test instructions can induce stereotype threats,” says Perez. She believes the vocabulary and wording of the test is what negatively impacts students and hinders them from academically succeeding.

“They can word the test differently and reduce the threats,” Perez said.

English major and senior Stephanie Parwulski presented her undergraduate senior thesis project on the ways in which African-American female authors use their writing skills as a source of strength and societal presence.

Parwulski explains, “I’m looking at how writing is a means of empowerment for African American women and specifically looking at Maya Angelou.”

Parwulski, an aspiring writer shares, “Maya Angelou has always been my inspiration. I aspire to be a writer, so I really look up to her.”

Senior and social work major, Joyce Perez discussed the extreme violence among female gang affiliates.  

“My focus is to get teens, most females, to understand why females join these gangs.” Perez’s goal is to find ways to prevent female gang membership in order to better the community and females.


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