By Kayleigh King
At an Inquiry Conference sponsored by the Kennedy Center Tuesday, students presented their research about translation issues, conservation and condom use.
The first speaker Liann Seiter, a sociology graduate student, wished she had a Babel fish while in India.
The fictitious species in The Hitchhiker?s Guide to the Galaxy removes communication barriers between cultures when inserted into the ear.
She talked about the translation issues with survey research in India while studying the emerging adults of Indians ages 18-25 years old.
In designing surveys to determine what Indians believe defines adulthood, she encountered difficulties.
One language spoken in India is Tamil. There is no Tamil word for ?adult?. After researching, Seiter worded the survey questions with a word that means mature adult. However, many young adults interpreted this word to mean a 60 year-old.
The second speaker Rosalie Sharp, an art history major, presented her research on conservation. While studying near Naples, Italy, she recognized a need to conserve ancient remains to preserve historic sites, enrich lives and preserve the past for the future.
?Conservation allows our grandchildren to have a sense of identity,? she said.
The observations she made include non-maintained past conservation efforts, plants and weeds growing on structures and the use of inappropriate conservation materials.
Amber Steorts, a public health major, spoke on behavior change and condom use in East London, South Africa.
She said the goal was to educate individuals about HIV.
By using an influential model that featured education, support and resources at the personal, social and structural levels, she found success in increasing condom use.
Steorts came across a powerful statement from the Treatment Action Campaign that helped volunteers develop HIV prevention education: ?The latent condom is the most effective technology available to reduce the transmission of HIV.?
Steorts said more questions arose at the end of research, just as the presenters concluded.
?As a group, we must continue research and push forth towards answers,? Steorts said.