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Kean University

Kean’s Research Days Highlight Learning

Students stand before their research poster boards, explaining their research to Research Days' visitors.

Kean students presenting at Kean's 2023 Research Days. The event returns April 15-17.

Kean University will celebrate research across campuses and academic disciplines when the University’s 16th annual Research Days conference takes place April 15-17.

The University’s showcase of learning and scholarship, at both the main campus in Union and Kean Ocean in Toms River, Research Days will feature the work of 1,253 students and 46 faculty members. Research Days will also be held at Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) in China.

“Research Days is an exciting way that Kean highlights our commitment to academic excellence through the research and creative work of our students and faculty,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “We are thrilled once again to celebrate our active academic community and our focus on the pursuit of knowledge, especially as we continue on the path toward designation as an R2 research institution.”

In addition to student research poster symposiums and presentations, the event will feature a session on urban research by the John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research; a live performance created by faculty at the Department of Occupational Therapy and Theatre Conservatory that explores research on women and homelessness; and a discussion by the Campus Planning and Facilities team about designing the ideal chemical laboratory.

New this year, a Celebration of Faculty and Staff Scholarship will also recognize achievements and recently published books, and present awards for the Faculty Research Mentors of the Year. 

At Kean Ocean, where the focus on April 15 is coastal resilience and sustainability, a panel of researchers will discuss Protecting Human and Environmental Health Through Industry and Scientific Research

Kean Director of Student Research and Innovation Reenat Munshi said Research Days honors the research achievements of faculty and students and provide them with a platform to share their research and creative work with the Kean community. This coveted academic event acknowledges Kean students for their research efforts in their academic discipline. 

“Research Days is a forum for the exchange of knowledge, promotion of research collaboration, and professional development of researchers across various disciplines,” Munshi said. “Student presenters gain valuable experience, which can boost their confidence and prepare them for presenting at external conferences and in their future careers.”

While disciplines and research methods vary, all projects provide similar benefits for students. 

“For undergraduate students, Research Days offers a valuable resume-building opportunity, particularly for those pursuing graduate studies,” said Assistant Professor Camille Sherrod of the Michael Graves College School of Public Architecture. She mentored Zimu Zhou, a third-year architecture major and exchange student from WKU, who researched an innovative building design for migrants.

Adjunct Professor of Psychology Christine Doyle ’99, ’02 M.A. said she encourages students to take part in Research Days to see what others are doing in their field. She mentored graduate student Andres Moreno ’23 of Union, now pursuing his master’s degree in forensic psychology. His research surveyed college athletes about injury-related stress.

Sophomore Keith Fernandez of North Bergen, a computer science major with a concentration in cybersecurity, said he “fell in love with the process of writing and doing research” as a freshman. He will present research on Automated Pneumonia Detection in Chest X-ray Images Using Neural Networks. He was mentored by Associate Professor Daehan Kwak, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Bin Hu, Ph.D. 

“Research Days provides a platform to share our findings with the community and receive valuable feedback. It allows our work to get noticed and talked about,” Fernandez said. 

 Assistant Professor Jun Cheng, Ph.D., of the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, mentored several Kean Ocean students.

“Research Day serves as a milestone for our students,” he said, adding that afterward, students are encouraged to aim for a national level conference and journal  publication.

Kean Ocean Senior Amy Lynn Johnson, an environmental science major from Toms River, worked with Cheng. She will present her research, The Effect of Beach Width in Shore Protection – A Case Study at Ortley Beach, New Jersey.

“My passion is in research,” Johnson said, “and the most important part of research is sharing what you’ve discovered with others.”

The Research Days website goes live on Tuesday, April 16. Research Day takes place at Kean Ocean on Monday, April 15, and Research Days at Kean’s Union campus will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 16 and 17. For more information, visit Kean’s Research Days webpage.