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Kendra Aucoin poses next to her poster at the Academic Forum
May 23, 2024



Curry students recently gathered in Katz Gymnasium for the annual Academic Forum, where they presented their research, creative portfolios, and other culminating projects to the College community.

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Over 70 posters were displayed with a wide range of topics across all majors and stages in the iterative process of discovery and inquiry. These presentations emphasize the significant mentorship and collaboration between faculty members and budding researchers and creators at Curry.

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Students carefully chose their semester-long topics, drawing from personal interests intertwined with their academic pursuits. Senior Kenda Aucoin, a Public Health major with a double minor in Biology and Sociology, dove into postpartum depression (PPD) and its effect on mothers in the United States. In her research, she looked at the underlying causes of PPD and what resources are readily available and accessible to understand the need for better quality care.

Drawing from her experiences as a daycare teacher, Aucoin found that much of her focus has been on children, and wanted to shine a light on the strong women who bring those children into the world. “Researching and understanding postpartum depression can help us use our voices to inform policies, advocate, understand and develop effective interventions, all while raising awareness about maternal mental health.”

On a similar subject, Master of Science in Nursing pursuant Brett Mordas presented on his topic, Childhood Vaccinations: Waivers and Education, due to a recent uptick in preventable childhood illness in the United States. In his findings through literature reviews and critical appraisals, a common misconception among parents included a low awareness of vaccine importance. According to Mordas, it’s crucial that parents receive short, tech-based educational interventions to increase vaccination rates and overall childhood health.

Sophomore Communication major and Graphic Design minor Ashlyn Meader created a series of postcards using the Adobe Creative Suite that encourage action to end the genocide in Palestine. Using the colors of the Palestinian flag, and creatively detailed with spots of ash to represent the destruction, the piece gave off a “watermelon vibe.”

“In various online campaigns, people have been using a watermelon as a symbol of Gaza support, since it has similar colors to the Palestinian flag.”

Meader focused her energy on something that would have a significant impact, and chose to design Postcards for a Cause to raise awareness for the international tragedies.

Senior Justin Santiago, a Sport and Recreation Management major, member of the Curry men’s soccer team and lifelong lover of sports, researched the presence of club sports in America and its potential harm on youth sports.

“I found that due to an increase in youth club sports, many community programs have been shut down,” he said. “This has led to many children being left out due to increased registration fees, lack of community events, and an increased presence of club sports.”

In addition to student creativity and dedication, Curry faculty are also instrumental cornerstones to Academic Forum success. Faculty sponsors, as chosen by the students, discuss potential topics, provide support, constructive feedback, and more.

“My academic advisors and professors at Curry have continuously supported me and my career goals by pushing me to be a better version of myself,” said Aucoin. “Curry has allowed me to develop critical thinking skills, time management, and a lot of personal growth over the last four years.”