View from Hill: Student Scholar Showcase Preview

Crime & Social Media, Gender norms among research being presented at 53rd annual Student Scholar Showcase.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - More than 230 research projects will be shared this weekend at the 53rd Annual WKU Student Scholar Showcase (formerly known as the Student Research Conference).

Seniors Hannah Hennessey and Alexander Wilds are getting a preview of what Saturday’s Student Scholar Showcase will be like answering questions at the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences poster event.

“That will give us a chance to explain why it’s important. What the point of it was and what can be done with it in the future,” said Alexander Wilds, WKU Senior.

The research, conducted by these forensic psychology majors, involves two timely topics: Perceptions of police and the effects of social media on individuals.

“Essentially we’re looking at those who consume crime social media and those who don’t consume crime social media and how they feel about police presence in their area, how they feel safe in their area,” said Hannah Hennessey, WKU Senior.

More than 500 people were surveyed using the platform prolific.

“What our research found will not fit as a blanket statement across all police departments but it would be applicable for different departments and law enforcement agencies to cherry-pick from the things that we find,” said Wilds.

Senior Ashton Lyvers will be presenting her research on gender norms.

“I’m basically taking the idea of gender expression and measuring the relationship that it has with how we feel respected from our peers,” said Lyvers.

It’s a topic she’s always felt strongly about.

“I hated the idea of gender roles because I was always a huge tomboy as a kid and I didn’t want it to be a thing,” said Lyvers. “I just wanted to be able to kind of like exist.”

Ashton examined how men and women rate stereotypical traits on a positive-to-negative scale.

“I hope my research can bring that to light that males can show empathy and compassion and emotion and that doesn’t take away the fact that they are male,” said Lyvers. “Same way that females can show masculine traits and that doesn’t take away the fact that are female.”

Lyvers collected data from 300 individuals through Qualtrics. She presented her findings in Frankfort earlier this month and will attend a national conference in April.

The Student Scholar Showcase will be held Saturday at Downing Student Union.

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