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The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

The Student News Site of Christopher Newport University

The Captain's Log

The Captain's Log

A Mixed Bag at CNU’s annual research conference

The students behind the research featured at Paideia
Students presenting at one of Paideia’s poster sessions, photo courtesy of CNU OCPR

CNU students from all disciplines will soon showcase their extensive research initiatives at this year’s Paideia conference. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA) will host the annual conference on April 5.

“We are very excited for this year’s Paideia,” said OURCA Director Dr. David Salomon in an email to The Captain’s Log. “More than two hundred Captains will present their research and creative activity in a variety of oral presentations, posters, and performances. The conference is our opportunity to showcase and celebrate the great work of our students.”

Lydia Osborne ‘24 is a Communication major with minors in health medical and wellness studies, Psychology, and Digital Humanities. Osborne’s submission to Paideia was her final paper for Dr. Joseph Sery’s class, Communication in Contemporary Topics: Health and Medicine. Dr. Sery reached out to Osborne this semester and encouraged her to apply to Paideia with the paper. 

Osborne’s research submission is focused on research on communication in women’s sexual health. It reshifts the focus from sexual health in terms of reproductive health to women’s pleasure, sex lives, and women’s sexual dysfunction.

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“These are issues that there’s a huge lack of communication within the medical community, as well as, just like common everyday vernacular. People don’t really talk about things like this,” said Osborne. “So I thought it would be an interesting area of research or communication.”

The research stemming from her final paper allowed Osborne to learn about the disparities in sexual care between men and women. This allowed her to educate colleagues on the information she was learning. However, it left her somber seeing how little research was done regarding the lack of attention to this issue.

“There were the same handful of researchers that I had found with the same names, which is just really disappointing that this isn’t a common area of inquiry,” said Osborne, who was anticipating this disappointment.

“I think there is a lot of research about women’s sexual health related to birth and reproduction,” Osborne added. “There’s not a lot in terms of women’s quality of life and sexual health. And that, I think, is a reflection of our culture.”

Osborne’s research project and presentation are bringing to light these gaps in women’s sexual health studies. 

 “[Sex] is a controversial topic. It shouldn’t be. Sex is a really normal part of life. And I think we should be able to talk about it,” she said. “I was worried to kind of embark on this research because I knew I would have to talk about it and other people would read it. I was kind of afraid that it’s just kind of taboo. But that is why I should be researching it and that is why I should be talking about it and why I should be presenting.”

Osborne will be presenting from 1:00-1:50 pm at Paideia on April 5.


Sevi Devender ‘25 is a Psychology major. Devender is well-versed in research.

Research is 100% my path at CNU and through psychology I was able to find it,” he said. “Since I started research in the Fall of 2022 I’ve just been busting my tail working at it hard and it’s been paying off.”

Devender has picked up three research opportunities that he will be presenting at Paideia this year. Those include: Does Problem-Solving Ability link with Emotional Intelligence to impact Emotional Regulation via the FAB? The Influence of Marijuana on Memory and the Fading Affect Bias: A Diary Study, and most recent research titled Decoding Hospice Experiences: AI Analysis of Qualitative Factors Facilitating and Hindering Care.

Decoding Hospice Experiences: AI Analysis of Qualitative Factors Facilitating and Hinder Care differs from the other project as its area of study is Thanatology is a scientific discipline that examines death from many perspectives, including physical, ethical, spiritual, medical, sociological, and psychological.

“I find research like this extremely intrinsically rewarding. It’s the coolest thing ever to do, especially when the results roll in and I feel like I’ve made a small little contribution to the academic world. It gives me purpose” said Devender.

Devender also noted that through his hospice project, he has become familiar with the inner workings of hospice care and its increasing relevance in America. The project uses AI which is a new tool in the research field that Devender now has experience with. 

Two of Devender’s projects are based in the lab which can result in lots of physician time that he dedicates to working and researching. 

“I think it’s really important that if you’re going to do something like this that you make it a labor of love, that’s really the best way to make it all feel worth it,” Devender said. “It would be an immense pleasure if I could. I would like to continue research inside of a graduate program, but even if I fall short there, I am sure that my experience with undergrad research has impacted my college years enough to always be a part of me.”

Sevi Devender will be presenting from 12:00-12:50 pm and be featured in two of the poster sessions at Paideia on April 5.

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