Two University of Indianapolis students will present research at the 2018 Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) Conference in Chicago in March. Rachael Walter ’21 (exploratory) and David Kurz ’18 (sport management) will deliver the first interdisciplinary student presentation by University undergraduates at the conference.
“Multilingualism and ADHD – A Humanistic Approach of Investigation” explores the question of whether or not bilingualism or multilingualism offers any benefit for people diagnosed with ADHD.
Gerburg Garmann, dean of the University’s interdisciplinary studies program, noted the significance of the achievement as the University cultivates undergraduate research opportunities.
“After having UIndy faculty at the HERA conference in the past, it’s a great step forward to have UIndy undergraduates present there for the first time,” said Garmann, who also will attend the conference.
“It was obviously a great honor for Rachael, Dr. Garmann and me to represent UIndy. In addition, it puts us into a pressure position to perform at our best,” Kurz said.
Walter said she is excited for the opportunity to participate in the conference and to study research that can potentially change people’s lives. She also credits Garmann with encouraging her and providing opportunities to explore research interests.
“Interdisciplinary studies are really important because you learn to make connections and everything that you do in life can be done more efficiently,” Walter said.
Both Walter and Kurz are enrolled in Garmann’s multilingual class, where they became interested in the cognitive benefits of multilingualism.
“It not only works against symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but also improves memory performance and attentional control. Individuals who grow up speaking or learn two or more languages have a longer attention span, better focus and different ways on approaching problems,” Kurz said.
Both Kurz and Walter appreciate the perspective that interdisciplinary studies offers.
“It is important to see things in a holistic way and to be able to combine subjects. It not only gives more information but also different perspectives about a topic. This can be used in everyday life situations and in the workplace, because it makes it easier to determine decisions and helps with judgment,” Kurz said.
Learn more about interdisciplinary studies at the University of Indianapolis here.
Written by Sara Galer, Senior Communications Specialist, University of Indianapolis. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your campus news.