St. Olaf News

 

Students to present research at state capitol

Scholars at the capitol

Kristell Caballero-Saucedo ’13 (left) and Stephanie Villarreal ’13 will present their research at the Minnesota State Capitol February 19. Photo by Duy Ha ’14

St. Olaf College students Kristell Caballero-Saucedo ’13 and Stephanie Villarreal ’13 will present their research at the Minnesota State Capitol February 19 as part of the Private College Scholars at the Capitol event.

The 10th annual event, organized by the Minnesota Private College Council, seeks to show state legislators and the governor the breadth and depth of undergraduate research at the state’s private schools. Students will have the opportunity to meet with legislators individually and discuss their research.

Caballero-Saucedo and Villarreal participate in St. Olaf’s federally funded TRiO McNair Scholars Program that helps low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented  undergraduate students develop the academic skills necessary to succeed in graduate school. The students, with support from their faculty mentors, completed a 10-week project during the St. Olaf TRiO McNair summer research program last year.

At the capitol, Caballero-Saucedo and Villarreal each will present a professional poster describing the research methodologies used and the implications for future research. The two will join students from around the state in demonstrating the important role of undergraduate research in educational and professional development.

Caballero-Saucedo’s research, titled “Colombia’s Raizal People: The Complexity of Created Identity,” delves into the contested meaning of Raizal identity and the political consequences their identity has on preserving ethnic culture.

Villarreal’s “Exploring the Development and Sustainability of Social Capital in Local Communities” examines the effectiveness of the Growing Up Healthy programs serving Latino populations in Rice County.