A Capitol Approach to Research

Five College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University students and their faculty advisors presented results of their scholarly research at the "Private College Scholars at the Capitol" program Feb. 25 at the Minnesota Capitol rotunda, St. Paul.

The event celebrated the research and creative scholarship of students from Minnesota's private colleges. Many of the posters described faculty/student collaborative studies of issues of importance to state planners and policy makers.

The students and faculty advisors representing CSB and SJU at the event included:

  • "A Personality Profile of Dick Cheney," by SJU senior Patrick Barlow, an English and psychology double-major from Natick, Mass., and CSB senior Jaclynn Beier, a psychology major from Big Lake, Minn. The study not only offers an empirically based framework for understanding Cheney's leadership style as vice president, but offers insight into Cheney's apparent inability to relinquish his leadership role and continued attempts to influence the political debate. Their advisor is Aubrey Immelman, associate professor of psychology at CSB and SJU;
  • "Does the Augmented Solow Model Still Largely Explain Variations in Income Per Capita?" by SJU senior Michael Schwieters, an economics major from Melrose, Minn. This study analyzed differences in per capita income between countries and concluded that older economic models using data from 1990-2005 still largely explain international variation. His advisor is John Olson, professor of economics at CSB and SJU and chair of the department;
  • "Scientific Methodologies Applied to the Creation of a Saint Benedict Handmade Paper," by CSB junior Ellory Eggermont, an art major from Fargo, N.D. The main purpose of the project was to research prairie plants from the Saint John's Arboretum and the Saint Benedict's prairie to create a handmade paper that signifies the Benedictine ethic of environmental sustainability. Her advisors are Rachel Melis and Scott Murphy, assistant professors of art at CSB and SJU;
  • "The Politics Putins Make: Leadership in Russia from Mikhail Romanov to Dmitri Medvedev," by CSB senior Nicole Hochsprung, a history and political science double-major from Alexandria, Minn. The project sought to analyze Russian political leaders, from the Romanov family (which reigned from 1613 to 1917) to current President Medvedev. Although Russia's most recent leaders would like the world to see them as contrasts to its autocratic past, the project exposes them as prey to the same cultural and institutional handicaps as their predecessors. Her advisor is Claire Haeg, assistant professor of political science at CSB and SJU.

A total of 25 posters from 34 liberal arts undergraduate students from Minnesota's private colleges had the results of their research and creative scholarship on display at the event.

The Minnesota Private College Council was the primary sponsor of the event, which was organized by a statewide committee of faculty that included Marcus Webster, professor of biology and director of undergraduate research at CSB and SJU. Each college selected and sent its own students and posters to the event.

Learn more about undergraduate research at CSB and SJU 

March 12, 2010