The University’s annual Celebrate Gannon event marked the culmination of a year’s worth of scholarship, research and academic accomplishments for more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students across Gannon’s two campuses.
Students at Gannon’s Ruskin campus participated for the first time, presenting both in-person at their inaugural celebration and via satellite to the Erie campus. Projects covered a range of athletic training, occupational and physical therapy topics such as “The Effect of Thermal Ultrasound on Muscular Flexibility.”
“This is a true interprofessional collaboration day to celebrate what Gannon University is all about!” said Stephanie Adams, DHSc, Celebrate Gannon chair for the Ruskin Campus and assistant professor of occupational therapy. “The students are already doing wonderful things within the community and for the profession. I can’t wait to see what they do next year!”
This enthusiasm for the students’ work was shared by area business leaders representing 10 local Erie employers who attended to network with students and explore experiential learning opportunities.
View a video on the Celebrate Gannon experience.
“It’s nice to see so much innovation and out-of-the-box thinking,” said Jeff Willis ’11, advanced lead engineer, Wabtec Corporation. “Some of these students could be real game changers in the future.”
Some of the groundbreaking innovation presented at the event included an autonomous snow-removal robot developed by an interdisciplinary team of engineering students. The award-winning robot simultaneously removes snow while laying a salt solution, as well as uses infrared sensors and an advanced navigation system that the students are looking to patent as they develop the robot further with the goal of bringing it to market.
Criminal justice students showcased their talents with technology, using GIS mapping to conduct research on walkability and safety for grade school children traveling to and from five local schools, the physical conditions of those routes and potential safety concerns. The students’ semester-long research project is now being implemented by the schools to enhance safety for the children.
Using this experience to impact the Erie community was also the goal of students presenting on behalf of Gannon’s McNair Scholars Program for the first time, following their semester-long leadership course on conducting and presenting research. The Program prepares first-generation and under-represented students for doctoral studies through research and scholarship by pairing students with a faculty mentor who guides the scholars through intentional curriculum in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“I enjoyed presenting because research is something I love to do,” said psychology major Zy’Anne Grady. “Having resources like this help further my academic career and is a breath of fresh air, and being able to show people what I did is an added bonus.”