Loras symposium celebrates student, staff research

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Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 5:29 pm

With classes canceled today, students gathered to learn about their Loras College counterparts’ research.

The inaugural Loras Legacy Symposium: Presentations of Research, Creativity and Service Accomplishments featured 183 student presentations, 28 faculty presentations and nine student films. It celebrated the best of Loras’ liberal arts tradition through academic achievements.

“It’s great to display what we’ve been doing,” said Mike Pudlo, a senior who is a marketing and business management major.

He worked with about 30 classmates in Loras’ business marketing research class to conduct research on Hut No. 8. Students divided into a qualitative, quantitative, analysis and presentation groups to offer suggestions to the Dubuque consignment store’s owner, Michelle McDonald.

“It was very enjoyable. They were a great group of students,” McDonald said.

The students recommended the business expand its social media presence, be aware of competitors and reach out to the college market.

“The market for our age group is growing,” said Melissa Kula, a senior who is a finance, marketing and public relations major.

McDonald, a 1994 Loras graduate, said she felt like the students validated the direction she is taking her business. Hut No. 8 expanded to Twitter and Instagram.

The students presented their marketing research during a poster session.

Another group discussed poetry with middle-schoolers.

“We wanted (the class) to be very engaging, interactive and relevant to the seventh-graders,” said Molly Cain, a senior majoring in English literature and secondary education.

Cain collaborated with eight other Loras students in an English methods class to teach an innovative and interactive poetry unit to seventh-graders at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School for six days. They were engaged with technology and hands-on, small-group activities that allowed them to experience literary elements.

Ben Savory, a senior majoring in English literature and secondary education, said he hoped to instill in students a love of poetry and knowledge of its forms.

While the Loras students taught, they learned life lessons as future teachers.

“The benefit of consistently going in with a positive and enthusiastic energy,” Savory said.

The first-ever event was made possible through a donation from Monsignor James Barta, a 1952 Loras graduate and former Loras president. Students seemed pleased with the inaugural symposium.

“Now we have a day for the community to see what Loras is doing,” Savory said.

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