School of Music Students Represented at Undergraduate Symposium

From April 12 through April 16, Duquesne University hosted its 13th annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium, this year as a virtual event due to the pandemic. Sponsored by the Office of Student Research and the Office of the Provost, this event provides Duquesne students with a platform on which they can share their research with the community.

Representing the Mary Pappert School of Music were twelve students from three of our music degree programs:

  • Rachel Anderson (freshman, Music Therapy)
    Research topic - "College, Catholicism, and Social Media"
  • Alyssa Baljunas (freshman, Music Performance - cello)
    Research topic -"Cultural Appropriation or Appropriate Inspiration? Exploring Claude Debussy's Encounter with the Javanese Gamelan"
  • Christopher Cox (freshman, Music Performance - trumpet)
    Research topic - "Developing a Multimedia Interface and Framework for Electrical Biosignal Interpretation"
  • Nina Day (senior, Music Education)
    Research topic - "English Language Learners in the Elementary General Music Classroom"
  • Ryssa Ezykowsky (junior, Music Therapy)
    Research topic - "Mississippi Goddam: Nina Simone's Push for Civil Rights Action"
  • Thomas Houghton III (junior, Music Education)
    Research topic - "The Juxtaposition of the Organic and the Synthetic - The Moral and Aesthetic Concerns Surrounding Vocaloid Music"
  • Noah Kilgus (sophomore, Music Education)
    Research topic - "Dmitri Shostakovich: Composing and Cultural Rebellion"
  • Spencer McNeill (junior, Music Education)
    Research topic - "Ja Rusyn Byl (I Am Rusyn): Household Folk Music as Resistance to Oppression"
  • D.J. Pickell (sophomore, Music Education)
    Research topic - "Learning Language Through Music"
  • Bethany Smith (freshman, Music Therapy)
    Research topic - "First-Person Narrative of a Music Therapy Student's Experience in a Drum Circle"
  • Natalie St. Hill (freshman, Music Education)
    Research topic - "Funding for Music Education"
  • Henry Strobel (junior, Music Education)
    Research topic - "Songs of the Sea and the Sailor: Demystifying British Sailing Culture"

Each of these projects was featured through digital posters, abstracts, and short video overviews on the Symposium website. Additionally, two of these students—Cox and McNeill—were selected to give live oral presentations of their research on Thursday, April 15. Only 25 total students campus-wide received this honor.

Christopher Cox headshot Spencer McNeill headshot

To find out more about each student's work, and to view their individual projects, please visit the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium website.

We are always so proud of our students and their work, and this Symposium highlights one of the many reasons why. Congratulations to each and every one of them for their fantastic work!

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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