Research Projects

Student Scholarship Recognition Day (SSRD) is held each spring to celebrate the exemplary scholarship and creativity of Willamette University students. Students work directly with faculty members or design and conduct their own research throughout the year.

Featured Projects

Here are a few projects that exemplify the wonderful research students from the Studio Art department have done over the years.

Abstract: In this research, I seek to understand variance in public school meal participation trends across the United States since the 2013-2014 school year, when implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act began in earnest. More broadly, I study how effective the Federal Government is at implementing broad operational changes in a decentralized school system. To do so, I conduct interviews with nutrition and health decision-makers in demographically different school districts, looking for the following explanations of how implementation variance may crop up: 1) Palate & Diet, 2) Social Navigation, 3) Student Body Demographics, 4) Legal Decentralization, 5) Autonomous Actors.

Jacob Saiki (2016)

Abstract: Western culture values autonomy and creative individualism, sometimes at odds with the structural influences of religious institutions and legal and bureaucratic systems that American society was founded upon. I propose that biomedical knowledge and the ways technology is implemented at the end-of-life have fundamentally changed “American” cultural meanings and practices associated with death and dying, thus redefining the end-of-life options that are available. I will demonstrate that the legal and medical alternatives in end-of-life care are not sufficient to satisfy diverse agentic, emotional, or physical needs. In particular, access to alternatives such as assisted death confirms patterns of social stratification in American society.

Joelle DeLong (2015)

Abstract: Text will go right here...

Emily Buchi (2018)

Additional Research Projects

These are all the projects the Studio Art department has presented at SSRD in the last few years.


  • Newcomers in the City of Salem: Research on Local Immigrant and Refugee Services - Brenna Anderson, Michaela Carter, Karen Espinoza, Johanna Jaervinen, Kathleen Lively, Greth Lyon, Terry Manpearl, Hania Marien, Madeline Mertens, Kari Millstein, Paige Morrisey, Peter Oaks, Olivia Orosco, Salome Paul, Shannon Ross, Kelly Toledo, Phoebe Wagner, Elle Wilson (Independent Research)


  • Tackling Social Determinants of Health within a Portland Neighborhood Through Community Organizing - Mandy Carson (Independent Research)
  • The World of Medical Interpreters - Veronica Ewers (Independent Research)
  • The Non-Cancer Cluster of West Salem: Unanswered Questions - Juilanne Johnson (Independent Research)
  • Preserving What is Already Gone: Ghost Towns of the Southwest - Emily Buchi (Colloquium Grant)
  • It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings: Combating Fat Shaming and Its Repercussions - Natalie Zhang (Colloquium Grant)
  • Intangibles: Identifying the Non-quantifiable Outcomes in AVID at a Salem Area High School - Graham Healey (Independent Research)
  • Cultural Competency Continuing Education Legislation - Sumaiya Khan (Independent Research)
  • An Ethnography of Unpreparedness - Jaide Farr (Independent Research)
  • The Center for Hope and Safety: An Evaluative Ethnography - Cassidy Linden (Independent Research)
  • Marion County Maternity Case Management: An Analysis of Subjectivity and Subversion - Naomi Morgan (Independent Research)
  • Does One Size Fit All? An Analysis of ¡Cuídate! Sex Education Curriculum in Marion County, Oregon - Anya Rogala (Independent Research)


  • Who "We" Are: Connections Between Conceptions of Citizenship and Education for African Americans and the Deaf in Antebellum New England - Colleen Smyth (Independent Research)
  • "Nothing But An Exclusion Order:" The Legality of Japanese Internment - Theodore Wu (Independent Research)
  • La Tragedie des Harkis (The Tragedy of the Harkis) - Aubrey Means (Independent Research)
  • The Parable of Blindness - Nick Shea (Independent Research)
  • Understanding the Career Aspirations of Elementary School Students at Bush Elementary - Kacey Ota (Independent Research)
  • Sexy Work: Straddling the Line Between Service Work and Sex Work - Kalie Weninger (Independent Research)
  • Alternative spaces for Community Formation - Dan Valenzuela (Independent Research)
  • The Space-Crime Continuum: A Critical Analysis of Crime Mapping in Salem - Annemarie Manhardt (Independent Research)
  • A Tale of Two Homelands: The Story of a Belgian American (From the Top of the Calendar) - Hania Marien (Colloquium Grant)
  • Whitman's Chicken's; A Willamette Colloquium Grant Experience - Olivia Mancl (Colloquium Grant)
  • Public Opinion on Physician-Assisted Suicide; Media Representations of Brittany Maynard and their Impact on the Right to Die Movement - Nicole Piechocki (Independent Research)
Willamette University

Studio Art

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Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
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