Researchers at TCNJ are taking on some of the world’s most pressing issues—obesity, epilepsy, social media and its effect on our kids—but the women and men with the PhDs, the hours of logged lab work and the growing stacks of scholarly publications aren’t always doing it alone or even always initiating the research. Every day, TCNJ students are developing theories and projects on their own and in collaboration with faculty members. Working alongside each other, these students and faculty members are examining everything from real-world applications in the sciences and humanities to theoretical approaches to tackling issues in engineering and the arts. They’re trying to deduce what happened in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, for example, and developing a new arts curriculum that teaches schoolchildren about ecology through lessons on overlooked contemporary artists and works.
“Developing a concept is as different from classroom work as night and day,” says Tim Pfenninger, a finance major who collaborated with two professors on a case study of Johnson & Johnson’s disastrous quality-control problems, which have plagued the company since 2009. “Just the raw amount of time you spend together. It’s a real collaboration. You go back and forth. You ask each other, ‘Should we go down this route?’”
Sometimes those journeys lead to new discoveries or ways of thinking that could one day affect a whole lot of people well beyond Ewing, N.J. Here’s a look at just a few of those student-faculty research teams and the projects that have brought them together.
Click on any of the images below to see their stories: