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Bloomfield College Students Present Their Research at 2024 National Conference on Undergraduate Research

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Ciara E. Donaldson ’24 and Brian Binoti ’24 presented their accepted research at the 2024 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

Bloomfield College of Montclair State University graduating seniors, Ciara Donaldson ’24 and Brian Binoti ’24, were recently invited to present their accepted cross-disciplinary submissions in the humanities, arts and science at the 2024 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 8-10, 2024, held at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California.

Donaldson, a game design and game programming dual major with a minor in professional writing, submitted a proposal titled, “Deconstructing Nature Metaphors: Women’s Representation from Shakespearean Era to Contemporary Narratives,” that she developed from a paper for her Language and Society: Western Rhetoric in Contemporary Use class taught by Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Fiona Harris-Ramsby, PhD.

“This was my second experience presenting at NCUR, yet I was still really nervous,” said Donaldson, who has plans to pursue a master’s degree focused on intellectual property law. “Thankfully, it went very smoothly. I was especially excited that I was able to easily answer all the attendees’ questions about my research where I had explored characters in Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida, as well as characters in the 2017 movie Mother!, and how women have been metaphorized as nature from Shakespearean times to the present day. It gave me a great confidence boost, realizing how much I actually know about my topic.”

Binoti, a computer science major who will be pursuing his Master of Science degree in cybersecurity this fall at Montclair State University, presented his accepted proposal titled, “Ethically Integrating Aspects of Human Consciousness into AI Systems, Emphasizing Respect for Human Dignity and the Complexity of Human Cognition,” that he developed from a paper he completed for his class, Literature Film and Theory: Beyond the Blue and Red Pill: Exploring Consciousness and AI, also taught by Harris-Ramsby.

“I examined how the media portrays AI and technology, and the growing number of AI-related privacy violations that persist in both the U.S. and abroad. I also explored significant concerns surrounding how AI-produced data is being used to make both large and small decisions based solely on certain keywords, without the benefit of human consideration,” said Binoti. “This conference presentation was so fulfilling. Knowing that people came to learn from me and that my research will continue to be shared, makes all those hours of research really meaningful. Expanding my experience with public speaking, in an unknown space and in front of new faces, was also a valuable growth opportunity.”

Harris-Ramsby expressed admiration for her students, saying, “Ciara and Brian represent exactly the sort of students who make Bloomfield special. They are bright, curious and committed. They care deeply about the world and how they can contribute to it. I’m very proud of them.”

The 2024 NCUR attracted 4,300 undergraduate research presenters and supporters from across the country, from across all disciplines and from all higher education institution types. The conference theme was “Engaging Minds. Empowering Students. Are You Ready?” It is recognized as the largest symposium of its kind in the world, promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity through the annual conference for undergraduate students.