GCU research seeks to solve global problems

April 03, 2017 / by / 0 Comment
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Students from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers show a mobility board they engineered.

Story by Laurie Merrill 
Photos by Slaven Gujic

Self-applied emergency devices for wound care, reducing hypertension through targeted exercise, a new app to improve student-wide communication.

These were among 10 projects that 42 Grand Canyon University students presented at Friday’s Research Symposium in Antelope Gym.

The projects are significant not only because they represent students applying specialized knowledge to create solutions for today’s problems.

Dr. Antoinette Farmer-Thompson, vice president of  GCU’s Center for Institutional Effectiveness

They are also significant because the researchers toiling together at GCU, a private Christian university, have a shared goal: To improve the lives of others.

“The presence of Jesus in the classroom and on the campus is making a difference,” GCU President Brian Mueller said at the symposium held Friday in Antelope Gym.

The quality of the work also impressed GCU Provost Dr. Hank Radda.

“Students, you are doing tremendous things,” Radda said.  “It’s so heartening.”

Organized by Dr. Antoinette Farmer-Thompson, vice president of the Center for Institutional Effectiveness, and  Charisse Spence, program manager, the symposium allowed students from a number of colleges and clubs to showcase their projects.

The projects included:

Antimicrobial Screening of Sonoran Plant Compounds

  • College of Science, Engineering and Technology/Honors College
  • The aim of the research is to evaluate and characterize antimicrobial properties from Arizona’s Sonoran Desert plants to address the need for agents to work against drug-resistant bacteria and fungi.

S.M.U.R.F. (Smart Urban Fabrics) 

Two of 10 students who presented research projects at GCU’s symposium.

  • CSET
  • Students are researching factors that affect the quality of life and environment at GCU. Information is collected via sensors, organized in a database, statistically analyzed and visualized in simulations. Researchers plan to experiment with electromagnetic propulsion and more advanced virtual reality.

Servant Leadership Development Center 

  • Colangelo College of Business/Honors College
  • Students are developing a proposal to launch the center and develop a program, curriculum and unmatched experience for students to develop their leadership skills.

Motorized Platform to help Ruby Saunders

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/CSET
  • Club members have designed and constructed a platform to help Ruby’s mobility. Ruby is an adopted child from Africa who has cerebral palsy and multiloculated hydrocephalus.

Purpose Plan Initiative

GCU’s research initiatives riveted the symposium audience.

  • Honors College
  • Working with the traditional PDF version of the “Purpose Plan” document, students have created an interactive phone app intended to increase student-wide communication of various opportunities, and thereby improve student retention.

Self-Applied Emergency Device for Initial Wound Care

  • CSET/Honors
  • Students have purchased and built a 3D printer and created to-scale human skull replicas. They are expanding to create the wound devices, which they believe will help Third World populations.

Impact of Daily Exercise Compared to Exercise on Alternating Days on Post-Exercise Hypotension

  • CSET
  • Studies show that roughly 1 billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension and an average of 7.1 million die from it yearly. The goal of the research  is to explore and create a superior exercise prescription to reduce the global issue.

The College of Fine Arts and Production’s Digital Design Club, CSET’s Forensic Science Society and the College of Nursing and Healthcare Professions’ Sports Medicine Club also presented recent accomplishments and future pans. 

“Each year it gets better and better,” said Stan Meyer, GCU Chief Operating Officer. “The future is bright for GCU.”

Contact Laurie Merrill at (602) 639-6511 or laurie.merrill@gcu.edu.


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