Public 4-Year Schools

William Paterson University’s Undergraduate Research – The Power of Experiential Learning

A biology student and her professor track a nearly extinct bat population. A business student researches college student debt while a psychology major creates a program for Paterson children using art for team building. This is just a glimpse of the array of undergraduate student research taking place at William Paterson University in Wayne.

“We are dedicated to providing students with a wide range of experiential learning opportunities—including participation in faculty-mentored research and other scholarly or creative activities. These experiences can be life-changing for our students, preparing them for future success in their careers or graduate study,” says Kathleen Waldron, president.

About 50 percent of William Paterson students participate in career-related external learning experiences such as internships, clinical rotation, or student teaching before graduation. Undergraduates also can become actively involved in research and scholarly and creative activities with faculty, leading to presentations at regional, state, or national conferences, publication in scholarly journals, and awards and recognition.

Chemistry major Jason Codrington is one of William Paterson University’s many students who participate in faculty-mentored research.

Each spring, William Paterson sponsors the Explorations Program, a series of events and activities showcasing the outstanding research, scholarship, and creative activities of University faculty and students. The following are highlights from among many projects by undergraduate students.

Chemistry major Jason Codrington ’17, working with chemistry professor Jay Foley, is developing computational strategies to design nanomaterials for solar-to-chemical energy conversion. Jason, who plans to pursue a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry and computational biophysics, presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting and the ACS National Meeting. His research was published in Nature Photonics and ACS Photonics.

For more stories about William Paterson, scroll down:

Pre-College Summer Youth Programs Recognized by Hispanic Outlook on Education in its List of Top 25 Summer Programs Across the Nation
Hosts New Summer 2017 International Youth Program through the School of Continuing and Professional Education

Celebrates 50th Anniversary of its Nursing Program
New Research on Couples Finds that Women Perform More “Mental Housework” – Keeping Track of Their Partner’s To-Do Lists – than Men

Biology major Sirai Ramirez ’17 is working with biology professor Jaishri Menon to research how cellular organelles and different molecules affect tail regression in tadpoles. Sirai, who plans to attend medical school, won the first-place STEM award in biological sciences for her presentation at the Emerging Researchers National Conference.

Biology major Julia MacDonald ’17, working with biology professor Lance Risley, used acoustic bat detectors to research whether federally threatened northern long-eared bats use High Mountain Park Preserve as a habitat, presenting at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference. The Nature Conservancy, which administers the preserve, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which monitors endangered species, are interested in her findings.

For her social sciences honors thesis, communication disorders and sciences major Tonee Burley ’16, working with Africana world studies professor Danielle Wallace, studied whether Eurocentric beauty standards affect perceptions of African American women with varying skin complexions and hair textures. She is enrolled in the University’s master’s program in communication disorders and sciences and plans to pursue her PhD.

Earth science and secondary education major Randall Sanders ’16, working with environmental science professors Nicole Davi and Michael Griffiths, helped develop science curriculum for Paterson seventh graders using Great Falls National Historical Park as a resource. He and Alyssa Apryasz ’17 received the Geology Society of America’s Best Student Paper Award. The connections he gained led to an environmental science teaching position at Passaic Valley Regional High School.

Psychology major and art minor Michelle LeGrand ’16, working with psychology professor Bruce Diamond, created “Doodle and Dots,” a program for Paterson students using art for team building and stress reduction. Currently pursuing a dual master’s in art therapy and mental health counseling, Michelle earned first place in the Northeast Regional Honors Conference student art show competition for her ceramic sculpture designed to bring awareness to human trafficking.

Accounting and financial planning major Stephanie Spies ’17, working with marketing professors Chen-Ho (Mike) Chao and Bela Florenthal, studied financial literacy and student loan debt among two- and four-year college students, presenting at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference and the Northeast Regional Honors Conference. Stephanie is part of the University team that earned first place at the Financial Planning Association’s 2016 National Financial Planning Challenge.

Nursing major Jessica Couper ’16, working with nursing professor Jill Nocella, researched maternal satisfaction among birthing mothers who used midwives versus physicians. Jessica, who plans to become a nurse midwife, received widespread recognition for her research, which she presented at numerous regional and national conferences including the National Nurse Practitioner Symposium; hers was the only undergraduate abstract accepted.

William Paterson University Pre-College Summer Youth Programs Recognized by Hispanic Outlook on Education in its List of Top 25 Summer Programs Across the Nation

Hispanic Outlook on Education recently announced its list of Top 25 Summer Programs across the nation, and William Paterson University’s Pre-College Summer Youth Programs implemented by the School of Continuing and Professional Education were included. The selection process focused on Hispanic Serving Institutions that offered programs for Grades K to 12, exposure to college-level material, emphasis on STEM/STEAM, and the degree to which programs incorporated a hands-on approach to promote learning rather than lectures. The WP Pre-College Summer Youth Programs were recognized for achieving success in each of these areas.

Over the past decade, Pre-College Programs have grown from the original Summer Jazz Workshop, Writing Institute, and a few other courses to a full set of Summer Academies focused on the Sciences, Arts and Communication, College Preparation, and more.

William Paterson University Summer Youth Program students use a 3D printer.

The WP Pre-College Program for High School Students immerses students entering grades 9 to 12 in a unique university summer experience from July to August. Participants may choose from more than 60 exciting programs, and stay in the residence halls or commute. The WP Pre-College Program gives students a sampling of different career possibilities in order to discover their abilities and talents, and explore the career paths that best fit them. William Paterson also offers combination College Credit and Non-credit Programs for cohorts of high school students who have completed their sophomore and/or junior year.

Middle School Workshops for students entering grades 6 to 8 in September are designed to stimulate pre-teen and teen imaginations and creativity. In addition, the Summer Life on Campus Program offers a unique summer day camp for students entering grades 4 to 9. A typical week includes well-supervised enrichment and academic workshops, indoor and outdoor activities using University facilities, and a weekly field trip. Working parents often select this program to place their children in a safe, well-managed environment where both academic and recreational activities are offered. The program runs Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., from late June to early August.

William Paterson University Hosts New Summer 2017 International Youth Program through the School of Continuing and Professional Education

William Paterson University’s School of Continuing and Professional Education (SCPE), through a new partnership with Interstudio Viaggi, looks forward to welcoming a new group of about 200 international high school students and staff from July 5 to August 10, 2017. Interstudio Viaggi (ISV) is based in Milan, Italy and operates worldwide international youth travel packages throughout the year for credit and non-credit programs. Although their students are primarily from Italy, there is also representation from additional European countries.

ISV students and staff will live in WP residence halls, dine in the campus café, access sports fields and facilities for recreation, and attend classes during the day. Students will decide to register for an ESL course, or select from the WP Pre-College Summer Youth non-credit courses. ISV will also arrange for weekly afternoon field trips to New York City, and the students will travel for 3 nights to Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

The partnership with ISV and William Paterson University has been established in a 3-year Agreement, with both organizations looking forward to the long-term benefits that can be achieved through this exciting international collaboration.

Representatives from ISV will visit our campus in late April to work out final details and logistics. SCPE will arrange for introductions to members of the WP community – including staff, faculty, and students – to be sure that the summer program begins on a strong foundation.

William Paterson University Celebrates 50th Anniversary of its Nursing Program

William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., which offered its first baccalaureate degree in nursing in 1966 and has grown to be a leader in nursing education in New Jersey, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its nursing program.

“We are proud of our long history and the outstanding reputation of our program,” says Kathleen Waldron, president of William Paterson University. “More than 3,600 health professionals have graduated from William Paterson’s nursing program. Our highly-trained faculty, building on their own clinical experience, are demanding of their students and have helped them obtain some of the top nursing positions in the region.” William Paterson alumni are employed at nearly every major hospital and medical center in New Jersey and beyond.

William Paterson University nursing faculty, staff and students celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary.

In 1970, the first nursing class with a baccalaureate degree graduated from William Paterson College. Today the program includes a master of science (MSN) with concentrations in the areas of adult gerontology, family practice, administration, adult nurse practitioner, education, and family nurse practitioner. In 2010, the University established its first doctoral degree program, the doctor of nursing practice (DNP), to provide the advanced practice nurse with preparation for leadership roles in health care.

“We take great pride in our program and have come full circle in that we now have two faculty members who are graduates of our DNP program,” says Nadine Aktan, chair and professor of nursing at William Paterson. “Our own graduates are sharing their wealth of knowledge in clinical nursing and education with future nurse leaders.”

Today, enrollment in William Paterson’s nursing program is at 500 students and nearly 15 percent of current students are male. More than 335 are undergraduates; 140 are in the master’s program and 22 students are earning their doctorate. There are more than 50 nursing faculty. The program is affiliated with more than 50 cooperating agencies in the surrounding North Jersey region, including major hospital and medical centers, public health agencies, clinics, and nursing homes.

Last year, the University’s Department of Nursing moved into the newly constructed University Hall, funded in part by the state’s “Building Our Future” Bond Act. A teaching and research facility, University Hall houses 16 general-use classrooms serving a minimum of 4,000 students per semester. Among the nursing program’s specialized classrooms and clinical spaces are six patient simulation laboratories, including the relocated Nel Bolger, RN laboratories, with control and debriefing rooms to provide enhanced clinical training. Adjacent to these impressive labs are three, state-of-the-art nursing basic skills labs.

As the nursing profession and health industry continue to experience growth and change, President Waldron envisions more master’s degrees will be pursued and more qualified, diverse applicants and nurse practitioners will be the norm. “There is such a demand for our student nurses and our academic standards are high,” she says. “William Paterson is well prepared for the future.”

New Research on Couples Finds that Women Perform More “Mental Housework” – Keeping Track of Their Partner’s To-Do Lists – than Men

Men are more likely to remind women of tasks when it personally benefits them, according to innovative studies from William Paterson University and Columbia Business School

Decades’ worth of research on couples points to the disproportionate frequency with which women perform housework as compared to men. But a groundbreaking series of new studies from William Paterson University and Columbia Business School suggests that women also take on more of couples’ “mental housework” – the remembering of daily errands and to-dos.

Janet Ahn, PhD, William Paterson University assistant professor of psychology, co-author of a new study published in the journal Sex Roles.

In a five-study series chronicled in the journal Sex Roles, researchers found that members of both sexes assume that women will do more to help their partners remember outstanding tasks. That assumption, researchers say, ties back to the stereotype that women are communal at their core and expected to be compassionate, nurturing, and generally concerned with others’ needs.

“That assumption – the widely-held belief that women are more inclined to provide mnemonic assistance to their partners – translates into an expectation that they should do so,” says co-author Janet Ahn, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at William Paterson University. “Women feel they have to keep track of both the joint responsibilities in a relationship and their partners’ personal to-dos.”

The trio of researchers, including Ahn, Malia Mason, PhD, professor of management at Columbia Business School, and Elizabeth Haines, PhD, professor of psychology at William Paterson University, then set out to identify the frequency by which men and women issued reminders to their significant others, as well as who benefitted more from those reminders.

Elizabeth Haines, PhD, William Paterson University professor of psychology, co-author of a new study published in the journal Sex Roles.

Their research found that men are far less likely to offer reminders to a partner, and when they do offer such assistance, it tends to be for errands in which they are stakeholders, such as: “He reminded me that the office Christmas party was coming up and that I had said I would buy him a new suit jacket.”

This differs from when women are providing reminders: In these cases, women issuing reminders involved errands that would benefit their partners, such as: “She reminded me about one of my work deadlines.”

“The less selfless the reminder, the more likely that it was issued by a man,” Haines explains. “The results certainly suggest that men benefit more from the collective nature of couples’ mental work than their female partners do.”

The researchers also note that there are risks associated with being the repository for other people’s to-dos.

Becoming overburdened with one’s own and other’s outstanding to-dos may lead to an increase in distractedness and anxiousness, hindering women from performing an ongoing task efficiently, the researchers argue.

Moreover, they suggest that the higher societal expectation for women to be communal may lead them to take on a disproportionate amount of mnemonic work not just in romantic relationships, but in all relationships, including the ones they have at work. Women may be driven to take on more workplace “administrivia,” leaving them less time for more meaningful projects.

“Just as implementing housework carries opportunity costs related to keeping you from being able to complete another task, so too does keeping track of work mentally,” Mason says. “Thinking about a partner’s to-dos means spending mental resources that could otherwise be spent thinking about one’s own needs and responsibilities.”