Third annual Celebration of Faculty Research makes complex topics accessible
Making education accessible is perhaps, technically, easier than ever. Today, we have all kinds of tools to share information and fact-check articles to ensure we’re getting the facts. But the challenge comes in when experts try to distill difficult topics into something that’s engaging and easy to understand for a general audience.
IU Northwest is always looking for ways to share our research with the community in relevant and accessible venues. One of the ways the university promotes easy-to-digest, "bite-sized" education is through the annual Celebration of Faculty Research.
This year’s event took place on April 8 and featured 11 presentations from distinguished IU Northwest faculty across all disciplines. There was truly something for everyone in the lineup, from talks on public art to research on healthcare and education.
Each presentation takes only eight minutes to view, but the presenters use that time to really pack a punch. Chidiebele Constance Obichi, assistant professor of Nursing, used her brief time to bring to light important issues facing minority healthcare workers during the pandemic.
Obichi discussed problems of discrimination, burnout and hostility that only increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. Her study looked at workers from Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia, most of whom were high-salaried employees.
But despite making good wages, in most cases, these workers still felt singled out and targeted at their place of employment.
"Identifying challenges provide opportunities for stakeholders to improve the well-being of this population," Obichi said in her presentation. "Organizations should implement a psychologically safe environment where this population can openly discuss vulnerability and stress." (View Obichi’s presentation)
Like Obichi, assistant professor of Anthropology Margaret Pollak presented research that looked at issues facing minority groups. Her work centered on the lifestyles of Indigenous Americans.
"I spoke with individuals who lived part of their life in a reservation setting about life changes that they encountered moving to Chicago," Pollak said in her presentation. Her work focused mostly on the changes in diet.
She revealed that after moving to the city, many of her interviewees’ diets shifted to include foods higher in sugar, fat, and grease. Although food was technically more accessible, there were few resources for families struggling to purchase food.
Pollak concluded that Native community support and cohesion, in the form of food sharing, went a long way making the move to urban life sustainable. (View Pollak’s presentation)
Though each presentation was vastly different, they were connected by a dedication to outstanding research. IU Northwest is proud to showcase a slew of top-tier faculty members who are doing impressive work in all disciplines.
Each year, university faculty collectively publish 150 journal articles, do 100,000 hours of community service, and put $900,000 of external funding to good use. What’s more, all this incredible research is completed while also teaching classes and helping students grow and thrive.
Although a short eight-minute presentation can’t get into the nitty-gritty details of a particular research project or how it impacts the community, these bite-sized pieces of knowledge inspire listeners to look deeper into important topics that we face today.
Who knows—maybe celebrating the wonderful IU Northwest faculty with short presentations will be what sparks someone’s curiosity to become the next scholar, healthcare leader, or change-maker.