Forensics and Race - Teaching Diversity in a Physics Lab (Phys-111: Our Universe: Forensics Lab)

Gregory Braun, Ph.D.
Mentor: Ginger McKenzie, Ph.D. (Education)

Photo of Dr. Greg BraunAs the importance of diversity becomes more significant to the University's Jesuit mission, it becomes the responsibility of the faculty to address these issues in the classroom. Diversity is part of the Xavier University mission to "form our students intellectually, morally, and spiritually, with rigor and compassion, toward lives of solidarity, service, and success". Because physics attempts objectivity and detachment from society, this provides a challenge. But, the course Physics and Forensics offers a strong connection between science and society, and so is well-suited to adapting to teach social issues. I decided to look primarily at racial diversity, and hoped to show that the detachment from society provides science with an objectivity that serves to avoid the racial prejudices so common in our society. Through the process, I learned both what does and does not work well. While the overall student response was mediocre, I do believe that important issues were brought to the minds of the students. Within the limitations of the physics laboratory class, I am satisfied with the results of the project.

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Modern Physics in the Spirit of the Jesuit Tradition

Justin J. Link, Ph.D.
Mentor: David Mengel, Ph.D. (History)

Justin J. Link, Ph.D.Modern science has a tendency of being presented as the existence of facts found in nature. The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of the greater good is often not considered in the light of the search for fundamental truth. As technology continues to grow, impressively opening windows to new areas of research not previously realized, one must take into consideration the impact on society as a whole. It is here at Xavier University that we can create the environment that is "dedicated to engaging and forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually, with rigor and compassion, towards lives of solidarity, service and success." With the topics presented in Modern Physics, excellent opportunities arise to illustrate the ethical and moral implications inherent in this pursuit of knowledge.

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Building Electronic Circuits to Help Our Community

Haider Raad, Ph.D. Haider Raad, Ph.D.
Mentor: Minerva Catral, Ph.D.

As technology continues to evolve and open new areas of research and academic disciplines, one must take into account the impact on society as a whole. In exploring ideas for the IMP project, I thought that the laboratory experiments in PHYS 243 (Circuit Analysis Laboratory) and the required final project for the lecture part (PHYS 242) offered splendid opportunities in engaging students to grow their spirit of solidarity, compassion and service, and that they can demonstrate this by implementing projects dedicated to help those in need in our local community.


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Supporting Undergraduate Women in Physics and STEMP Fields Now and Throughout Their Careers

Laura Wessels, PhDLaura Wessels, PhD
Mentor: Supaporn Kradtap Hartwell, PhD (Chemistry)

Jesuit education seeks more than just intellectual learning, focusing on the development of the “whole person.” Apart from supporting students in acquiring knowledge in their disciplines, I believe that preparing students for their future by caring about their personal endeavors is an essential task. “Cura Personalis” is an important mission of the Jesuit education. I would like to support those of disadvantaged status who experience imposter syndrome, gender bias, socioeconomic disadvantages and racism. Although I have no solutions to end the struggle or even level the playing field, I have tried to forewarn our students so that they can forearm themselves.


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