North Central College students engage in research, presentations, writing contests

Apr 18, 2016

Several North Central College students have engaged in a variety of research, presentation and writing opportunities during the past few months. The topics have spanned business, politics, finance, trade, athletic training, rock stars and more. Here are reports about the accomplished North Central students.

Political conference
Ryan Schuring ’17 carries three majors in finance, business economics and management and a minor in German. He received a competitive national grant from Turning Point USA to participate in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held March 2-5 in Washington, D.C. At the conference, he actively promoted the organization’s principles for free markets and limited government. Speakers at the conference included Republican presidential candidates, U.S. senators and representatives, governors, TV talk show hosts and many conservative voices from all facets of the political arena. “It was truly inspiring to be a part of the democratic process and actively engage with the current and future leaders of the United States,” said Schuring.

In his German classes with Professor of German Gregory Wolf, Dennis and Jean Bauman Professor in the Humanities, Schuring said they would discuss cultural issues in novels and how they relate to today’s issues. “These discussions provided a nice opportunity to talk about the underlying themes that are often brought up in politics… So, it wasn't just a normal analysis of text; it was breaking down related concepts in history and comparing them to today. I attribute my becoming more actively involved to Professor Wolf.”

Economic policy
Nick Parker ’16, who’s majoring in both finance and economics with a minor in accounting, presented a paper, titled “The Recurring Debate: Public vs. Private; The First Debate,” at a section of Issues of Political Economics at the annual Eastern Economics Association conference held Feb. 25-28 in Washington, D.C. His paper was based on an independent study, with faculty guidance by Assistant Professor of Economics Natália Bracarense. His paper focuses on the historic development of economic theory with a specific focus on the major debates that have taken place throughout history between economists.

“This paper highlights the importance of historical specificity,” says Parker. “My paper’s call to action is for economic policy makers to use historic, geographic and political specifics in regards to the countries for which they are making the policies rather than one-size-fits-all policies.”

Research into shoulder injuries
A team of athletic training students—Nate Zarembski ’16, Chris Michaels ’16 and Andrew Houser ’16—presented a poster of their research during the free communications session at the 2016 Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association district meeting held March 9-12 in Wheeling, Ill. Their presentation, titled “A Study of the Relationships Between S.I.N.C.E. Scores, Anthropometric Data, Length of Season, and Shoulder Injury in Baseball Players,” was originally given at North Central’s 2015 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research.  

The students credit Kendall Selsky, instructor of health and physical education and athletic training clinical education coordinator, who helped them plan and conduct their research and introduce opportunities to present their findings.

Business consultants    
Involved with Enactus, Fabian Orozco ’17, accounting major, and Mikaela Cleland ’17, finance and accounting majors, participated in the Specialty Coffee Association Conference held April 14-17 in Atlanta. They attended for educational and networking purposes and on behalf of Enactus’ new consulting relationship with Brewpoint Coffee in Elmhurst. “We wanted to learn more about specific coffee roasters, coffee flavoring, packaging/labeling and sustainable methods of packaging for compostable single-serving cups,” said Orozco. “And we’re always looking for new ways to better the lives of our partners in Guatemala by connecting them to U.S. markets.”

Enactus’ consulting work, including efforts with Brewpoint, advocates for an environment that benefits the community overall and the direct trade coffee from farmers in Guatemala. Orozco says Associate Professor of Accounting Gerald Thalmann “pours his heart and soul” into Enactus and its work, instilling that same passion in his students.

Top award in feature writing
Senior Chronicle writer Troy Kelleher ’16, a double major in English/print journalism and marketing, took first place in feature writing in the Mark of Excellence (MOE) Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. These awards honor the best of college journalism and were presented at a regional convention in Cincinnati. Kelleher bested entries from students at Kentucky State University and University of Indianapolis (schools under 10,000 enrollment). All first-place category winners from 12 regions move on to the national MOE competition in September.
Entries were judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. Kelleher’s winning work was a two-part creative feature about Marissa Allen, singer with the rock band Dead Feathers. Part I and Part II were published on