Independent Public Mission Schools

Georgian Court University: Focus on Undergraduate Research

GCU student researchers examined recycling habits by collecting survey data from their peers on campus, in commuter areas, and in residence halls.

From exploring the enzymes that affect human energy to investigating campus recycling habits, Georgian Court University student researchers are tackling a broad range of STEM topics. More than 15 projects were the focus of GCU’s April 2017 Academic Excellence Night event, which included science and math presentations, as well as research from holistic health, education, soil health, psychology, literature, dance, and other disciplines.

The GCU Department of Biology, for example, shared findings from their research of recycling awareness and practices. Students Brint Barker, Joseph Burgard, Moshe Spatz, and Menachem Gobio sought to answer the question, “Does knowledge lead to action?” The group, mentored by biologist Louise Wootton, Ph.D., discovered that commuter students were more likely to buy recycled products and that all members of the community—faculty, students, and staff—find it easy to recycle on campus. That turned out to be one of their key findings. “Knowledge does not predict compliance,” the researchers concluded, “but convenience does.”