Forward Thinking Research Symposium

Each year, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) showcases the exciting research being done at Marquette. In celebrating research across campus, the ORSP Forward Thinking Research Symposium provides opportunities to learn more about work being done in other disciplines and fosters professional skills for students. Unlike traditional conferences, where researchers convey the results of work that has been completed, the Forward Thinking presentations focus on projects that will take place in the next 6–12 months 


MU Faculty, Staff and Students came together for year's event, on Tuesday Nov. 30th from 1:00-4:00pm. 

  • More than 20 research teams gave five-minute oral presentations of their projects.  A list of these projects and their recordings are below. 
  • Congratulations to the three oral presentations receiving the highest scores from voting done at the event and receiving $500 awards:
    • POSITIVE THINKING TRAINING INTERVENTION FOR NURSING STUDENTS TO FOSTER RESILIENCE - Dr. Abir Bekhet, Dr. Denise Matel-Anderson (Nursing), Alexandra Rominger, Alexis Dart, Joshua Sherf, Herman Cano, Karen Nakhla
    • DEVELOPING A CHURCH-BASED MENTAL WELLNESS PROGRAM THAT MEETS THE NEEDS OF UNDERSERVED CONGREGATIONS - Dr. Stephen Saunders, Dr. Lindsay Holly (Psychology), Dr. Stephen Jenks, Alexandra Bowling, Madeline Buchanan, Patrick Sheehan, Sarah Aaron, Izabella Guzek
    • SAVE THE LIFE, SAVE THE RELATIONSHIP: CONVERSATIONS AFTER SUICIDE-RELATED DISCLOSURES - Dr. Catherine Puckering, Dr. Scott D'Urso, Dr. Jaime Robb (Communication), Drew Bailey
  • Representatives from some of Marquette's Centers and Institutes on campus, listed below, were on-site to share information about the work they're doing; be sure to check them out!



The Below are the lists of oral presentations and a link to each room's recording. 


Ballroom A Teams Meeting Recording  (virtual attendees)      
(First Listed)
(First Listed)
Dept. Title
1 Elinore Hope Young Kim Communication Rooted in Family: The Effects of Family Communication on Political Interest and Internal Political Efficacy
2 Sayeda Farzana Aktar Roger  Smith Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability Center Enhance Device Accessibility and Reliability: A Machine Learning-Based Approach
3 Alexis Ruffi Kim  Whitmore Nursing Understanding the Respite Care Experience of Latinx Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)
4 Eric Miller Henry Medeiros Electrical and Computer Engineering  Keypoint-Based Gaze Tracking
5 Samantha Juedemann Brooke Mayer Civil and Environmental Engineering Disinfection of Virus-Laden Surfaces using UV light
6 Alexandra Rominger Abir Bekhet Nursing Positive Thinking Training Intervention for Nursing students to Foster Resilience. 
7 Jennifer Wendling Julia Azari Political Science Lacking Confidence? American Attitudes about Political Institutions 
8 Ganhua Lu Walter Bialkowski Computer Science Empowering Those Who Seek to End Hunger through Collaboration and Innovation
9 Alex Booton Daniel Zitomer Environmental Engineering Rapid Water Recycling
10 Justine Nguyen Chelsea Cook Biological Sciences Investigating the role of gut bacteria on social behavior in the Western honeybee
11 Lana Koutah Kim  Whitmore Nursing Development of a volunteer-based university model for respite care
Ballroom D Teams Meeting Recording  (virtual attendees)      
(First Listed)
(First Listed)
Dept. Title
1 Emmanuel Kwarteng Mumin Cebe Computer Science Permissioned Blockchain-Based Decentralized Firmware Update for Implantable Medical Devices
2 Max Herteen Gabriel Velez EDPL Emerging From COVID-19: Young People's Health, Well-being, College Transitions, and Developmental Trajectories
3 Meghan Bennett Jacklynn Fitzgerald Psychology Yoga as Exercise for Veterans with PTSD: Examination of Neurobiological Markers
4 Kazi Zawad Arefin Daniel Pinto Physical Therapy MindCare : A Brief Action Planning Approach to Mental Health Management
5 Lin He Piyush Saxena Computer Science Multidimensional Stress Assessment from Facial Videos using Remote Photoplethysmography
6 Alexandra Bowling Stephen Saunders Department of Psychology Developing a Church-Based Mental Wellness Program that Meets the Needs of Underserved Congregations
7 Nishi Ravi Sarah Knox Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology The Application of Western Psychotherapy in South-Asian Therapists’ Home Countries
8 Kaley Davis Jacklynn Fitzgerald Psychology Emotion Monitoring and Conflict Resolution in Trauma-Exposed Individuals
9 Masud Rabbani Anik Iqbal Computer Science mAID: A Mobile-based Tools for Autism Improvement using Demographic Data with Advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
10 Drew Bailey Catherine Puckering Communications Save the life, save the relationship: Conversations after suicide-related disclosures. 
11 Sophia Bertrand Sam Nemanich Occupational Therapy A mobile health (mHealth) solution for studying hand motor function in children with motor disabilities 
12 Jiachen Ma Sheikh Ahamed Computer Science Multimodal affect learning with efficient Time-Sync-Comments (TSCs) Pipeline



 New for 2021

Although previous years focused on (virtual or real) poster presentations, this year’s Forward Thinking event centers on brief oral presentations of research projects. Here are highlights of the major changes:  

  • Researchers will make five-minute oral presentations — “elevator pitches”  of their work. Presentations can be accompanied by up to three PowerPoint slides. Presenters will need to be available Tuesday, November 30th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. 
  • Presentations should emphasize WHY this work is important, with less attention paid to the HOW, that is, the details of a particular methodology.  
  • We strongly encourage student researchers on the project to do the oral presentation, to help further their presentation skills and articulation of the work in a quickly digestible format. 
  • Projects will be judged on three criteria. Monetary awards return again, with $500 going to the three top projects.  
  • Posters are not required, but may be set up in the AMU reception area to allow for further discussion after the oral presentations.   
  • Marquette has a rich tradition of sponsoring academic centers and institutes that further education, promote research, and inform policy and service activities. To promote their missions and programming, several centers and institutes will have tables set up in the reception area.    
  • ORSP will provide information on upcoming funding opportunities of interest to disciplines and career levels across campus. 

Full details of this event can be found in the 2021 Forward Thinking Research Symposium Guidelines.


Important Dates

  • Mid-September – Guidelines posted on ORSP website
  • October 15 – Deadline to submit Letter of Intent to Participate form is 4:00 pm
  • November 15 – Deadline to submit presentation is 4:00 pm (See Presentation Submission link below, in Important Links section.)
    • Information needed to complete the form includes: name, email address and department (faculty) for each member of the project team, title, brief description (2-3 sentences), keywords (3), PowerPoint slide of poster (no more than 3 slides; .ppt file format) and if displaying a supplemental poster.
  • November 30 – Day of Event 
    • 12:00 – 12:45 Set up poster (if applicable) 
    • 1:00 – 1:10   Welcome and Introduction
    • 1:15 – 2:45   Oral Presentations 
    • 3:00 – 4:00   Reception and Poster Presentations
  • December 3 – Award winners announced

Important Links

  • Guidelines
  • Letter of Intent to Participate (expired)
  • Presentation submission  (deadline November 15th)
  • If planning to attend the Symposium (either virtually or in person), please RSVP via Eventbrite.

If you have any questions, please contact Averia Flasch or Erin Folstad in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.