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Students Share Research at Senior Legacy Symposium

At Saint Louis University, undergraduate student research isn’t just encouraged, it’s supported and recognized. That’s why, each spring, the SLU community gathers to see the academic possibilities and contributions of our graduating seniors.

Undergraduate Research Projects

Students are selected to participated in the Senior Legacy Symposium by the University's academic units. They can present research, perform creative works, or share internship or service learning experiences.

Students giving poster presentations are expected to stand next to their work so that attendees can ask questions about the project.

 Nicholas Mercadante, along with a team of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology students, created a vacuum chamber to bring the feeling of space to earth for their senior research project and presented their results this spring.

“We can’t really model the space environment very well in atmospheric conditions. We have to try to mimic the vacuum of space,”  Mercadante explained.

Brittany Balzano, an occupational science/occupational therapy student, focused on how occupational therapy can help veterans adjust to university life, specifically successfully reaching graduation.

Communications sciences and disorders student, Ellen Cook, examined how children learn language while studio art student, Adriana Alexandra Lopez-Ospina, created sculptural and artist books.

Students can also opt to give a 10-minute presentation, followed by a five-minute question and answer session, or to perform a 15-minute creative piece.


SLU students are never alone as they pursue research projects that interest them.

Amir Zakhary, a biology major, found a mentor in Charles Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at SLU. Kirkpatrick mentored and guided Zakhary through his senior project on modeling DNA intercalation in computational systems. For Max Hammond, Karla Scott, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the  College of Arts and Sciences supported him and taught him about teaching a dialogue course, the focus of his senior project.

“She’s the bomb,” Hammond said. “She has taught me basically everything I know about running a dialogue course.”

Learn More About Research at SLU

About the Senior Symposium

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.