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Undergrad Research Shines at Annual Expo

June 7, 2024
Lillian Fu
Lillian Fu's project was awarded best presentation at the Undergraduate Research & Arts Expo.

Lillian Fu and Eden Moore were honored for their research at Northwestern University’s Undergraduate Research & Arts Expo, which celebrates the accomplishments and discoveries of undergraduates through poster presentations and curated student panel talks.

Fu’s project, which was awarded best presentation in the “Understanding Identity Formation” panel, looked at the potential health benefits of emotional acceptance––or learning to sit with feelings rather than trying to change them. Her findings suggested that in lab-based trials, the practice activates the parasympathetic system and may offer health benefits for older adults.

Fu, a third year, grew up in Shanghai and Australia and is studying learning and organizational change, psychology, and data science. She has received several research grants, including both Summer and Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grants, and is interested in how honest conversations and empathy can improve relationships and wellness.

Moore, originally from Dallas, studied social policy and legal studies and after graduation in June will be an incoming associate for the Boston Consulting Group. She took third in the social sciences poster presentation category for her work examining the influence of high school mentor relationships on Black Women’s success in college.

Her topic was inspired by her own experience; as a Black student at a mostly white high school, she felt like she could go to her advisor for anything. Her results suggested that mentor relationships positively influenced the college experience, especially when it came to personal accountability and relationship-building.

The Undergraduate Research & Arts Expo is open to the Northwestern community and all projects – even incomplete ones—are welcome. They can include everything from a lab write-up to describing how a creative piece was produced.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to present research, get feedback from peers and faculty alike, practice crucial skills like communicating your findings, and expand your understanding of the scope and nature of academic research,” said director Peter Civetta. “It’s also a great chance to network with other researchers.”

Overall, 16 School of Education and Social Policy undergraduates presented their work at the 2024 Expo. Lilah Shapiro, the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Instruction advised four of them. 

ADRIAN AYALA-PEREZ
Title:
"Teacher Learning Communities: Its Impacts on Equitable Education
Faculty Advisor: Mesmin Destin

ANNA CHEN
Title:
“Favoritism, Stress, and Clout Chasing: Conservatory Experiences of Music Performance”
Faculty Advisor: Lilah Shapiro 

LILLIAN FU
“Acceptance Takes Practice: Emotional Acceptance and Parasympathetic Activation in Older Adults”
Faculty Advisor: Claudia Haase 

NICOLE HEBERT
Title
:“Balancing Act: Exploring the Influence of the Federal Work-Study Program's Impact on College Student Identity, Experience, and Self-Perception”
Faculty Advisor: Lilah Shapiro

LOUIS LEE
Title:
“Greening Pilsen: Mapping Native Plant Species for Equitable Biodiversity and Green Spaces”
Faculty Advisor: Elsa Anderson 

YIYANG LIU
Title: “LGBTQIA+ Identity Exploration and Expression Through Self-Insert Fan Fiction”
Faculty Advisor: Jolie Matthews

EDEN MOORE
Title: ‘They Made it Feel Like Anything Was Possible’: Exploring the Impacts of High School Mentorship on Black Adolescent Girls in Undergrad”
Faculty Advisor: Tabitha Bonilla

GABRIELA PESANTEZ
Title:
“Representation in Voting: The Intersection of Descriptive and Substantive Representation from the Experiences of Black and Latine Communities”
Faculty Advisor: Tabitha Bonilla

KATE ROONEY
Title:
“BDUs to Blazers: The Role of Identity and Interpersonal Relationships in the Transition to Civilian Life”
Faculty Advisor: Lilah Shapiro

RJ SCHECHNER
Title:
"Behind the Swipe: Examining Decision Patterns with Transgender Profiles in Mock Online Dating Simulation"
Faculty Advisor: Alissa Chung

CAMRYN TIRICO
Title: “Sportswashing Revisited: An Analysis of International Relations Principles in the cases of Qatari and Saudi Arabian Investment in Sport"
Faculty Advisor: Ian Hurd

ANNA TRUONG
Title:“Exploring the Impact of Dating App Usage on Mental Health in Adolescents: A Focus on Sexual and Gender Minority Youth”
Faculty Advisor: Stewart Shankman 

WINNIE WANG
Title: “Me vs We: How Attachment Style Informs Optimal Distinctiveness in Relationships”
Faculty Advisor: Eli Finkel

ANNA WITTCOFF
Title: “Innovating Alone, Together: The Impact of Innovation Incubators on Female Founders”
Faculty Advisor: Mindy Douthit

BINHAO WU
Title: “What Makes Me an Ethnic-Racial In-group”: Exploring the Content Underlying One's Ethnic-Racial Identity"
Faculty Advisor: Jolie Matthews

JANIE XU
Title: “Analyzing the Perception of Public School Resource Officers on Social Media”
Faculty Advisor: Lilah Shapiro