CCU Swain Scholars present gun violence research papers at multiple conferences
Durham is a public health major from Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nordeen is a biochemistry major with a minor in psychology from Asheville, N.C., and Sumpter is a public health major from Hemingway, S.C.
"Each year, the Swain Scholars are responsible for conducting needs assessments to determine health problems and concerns in Horry County," said Sharon Thompson, professor of public health and coordinator of the Swain Scholars program. "This group decided to analyze gun violence and advocate for safer communities."
The students' research has been compiled into three different analyses, and a specific analysis is presented at each conference. The first analysis, The Impact of Gender on Gun Violence Beliefs and Perceptions, was presented at the International Global Health Conference last month. In mid-April, research titled, An Analysis of Knowledge and Perceptions of Gun Violence and Gun Policy in The Southeast, will be presented at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research.
Their final research piece, titled An Analysis of Perceptions and Personal Experiences of the Gun Violence Public Health Crisis, will be presented at Council on Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill (POH) April 27-28. During this conference, undergraduate researchers have the opportunity for their work to be heard on Capitol Hill. Only 10% of applicants are accepted to present their research at POH.
"It's an incredibly well-respected research conference so it has really felt very exciting and rewarding to know that we've been given the opportunity to be a part of such a small number of students who are able to present their work there," said Nordeen. "A lot of time and work has gone into our research, so it's very validating to know that there is interest in what we've done."
Swain Scholars work with CCU faculty and community agencies to research health-related issues and implement community health programs. These students are selected from top undergraduate students in CCU's psychology, sociology, public health, biochemistry, biology, exercise and sport science, and chemistry programs. The students receive scholarships up to $5,000 per year for a total of four semesters, funded by the late Kenneth E. Swain, a CCU benefactor and retired Myrtle Beach pharmacist who founded the program in 2009.