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York College’s Inaugural Graduate Research Day Showcases Robust Programs

May 19, 2021
Victor Taylor, Director of Graduate and Nontraditional Programs, posing for his picture in front of the track.

The event, the first of its kind specific for graduate students, highlighted unique research from healthcare to business and education.

The evolution of graduate programs at York College of Pennsylvania has been part of an ongoing investment in lifelong learners, says Victor Taylor, Director of Graduate and Nontraditional Programs. In addition to new degree options for graduate students, York College also rolled out a high-flex format that allowed students to learn both online and on-campus, an option that proved valuable even before the pandemic.

To showcase the work of the many graduate students, the College launched its inaugural Graduate Research Day on April 22, 2021. While the College has hosted an Undergraduate Research Day for many years, Taylor says, the president and provost felt that it was time to offer graduate students a similar opportunity.

“There is a lot of value in graduate student culture and research,” Taylor says. “Highlighting their work with faculty mentors opens up the doors to interdisciplinary collaboration and learning from one another in ways we might not have been able to before.”

A range of research

From business to healthcare and education, graduate students from across the York College campus submitted work for the Graduate Research Day. Much like the undergraduate presentation, graduate students had posters on display the week leading up to April 22 so that people could view their work in an online gallery.

The evening of April 22 was organized as a virtual conference, with students sharing their research in a roundtable discussion. “It’s a great opportunity to get feedback from your peers because, in many cases, the research is presented in different stages,” Taylor says. “Presenting it in a conference format gives students an opportunity to not just share their work, but to continue to learn.”

Professor Peter Levy, history and political science, the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Professional Activity gave the keynote address on finding a research topic. Students presented a range of research for the event. A Nurse Practitioner student looked at acute jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes. Two students in a public policy class examined SAT test-optional policies for colleges across the nation and how that impacts college admissions. An education student submitted research on trauma-informed writing in an 8th grade language arts class.

Taylor says each project was unique to the graduate student who presented it while providing an opportunity to enlighten those in other disciplines.

“The College recently has been recognized for having a robust and growing graduate program,” he says. “Creating this event at this time made sense, and it’s an opportunity I look forward to working on in the coming years.”