Two FLCC Students Present at SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference

FLCC Students and Faculty at SUNY SURC 2024
Suzanne Oyston, Emily Relyea, and Mark Worrell at SUNY SURC 2024.

FLCC students Suzanne Oyston and Emily Relyea were among 46 students from across the State University of New York (SUNY) system selected to make oral presentations at the 10th annual SUNY Student Undergraduate Research Conference (SUNY SURC) 2024. This year’s event was held at the University of Buffalo on April 15 and Suffolk County Community College on April 26.

SUNY SURC brings student researchers and faculty mentors together for academic activities, including student presentations, poster sessions, a keynote luncheon, and workshops. Most of the student researchers at the conference were from four-year institutions, making Emily and Suzanne’s participation particularly noteworthy.

A panel of FLCC faculty and staff organized by Professor Mark Worrell met with both students to prepare them to present alongside upper-level SUNY peers. Reflecting on the event and the support provided by FLCC, Emily said, “SURC was a fantastic opportunity, and I’m so grateful that my research was chosen to present. Dr. Worrell was a huge help, and I appreciate all he did to help me and Suzanne.”

The panel consisted of Prof. Theresa Gauthier (Mathematics), Prof. Delia Ackerman (ASL Coordinator—Humanities), Prof. Richard Cook (VAPA), Prof. Christine Parker (Science/Technology), Alicia Marrese (FLCC Library), Prof. Daniel Groom (Mathematics), Prof. Charles Hoffman (Mathematics), Prof. Andrea Cornett (VAPA), Barbara Senglaub (Instructional Specialist—VAPA), Christine Dow (Student Success Coach—AACTS), Dustin Stalnaker (Student Success Coach—AACTS) and Mark Worrell (VAPA).

Emily presented research on “Health Care and Insurance Costs and Their Effects on Medicare Recipients with Cancer.” She developed this project from work completed in Dr. Worrell’s ENG 101 class in Fall 2023. In her research, Emily argues that urgent Medicare reform is needed to address the soaring cost of healthcare in the U.S.

Suzanne spoke on “Raising Standards of Language Access for Deaf Children.” She developed her research project from previous work completed in her ENG 103 course with Prof. Meg Gillio in Fall 2023. Suzanne’s research discusses the academic, social, and emotional impact of language deprivation. She advocates for more collaboration with the Deaf community as essential to breaking barriers and supporting language fluency.

Being selected and participating in SUNY SURC was a memorable learning experience for both students. After the event, Suzanne said, “I am so grateful I was able to be a part of SURC 2024 at the University of Buffalo. I was inspired by the many student researchers in varying fields and to see so much learning and passion in the projects.”

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