In a vibrant display of academic prowess and dedication to their field, senior nursing students at Springfield Technical Community College on April 17 presented their research posters to the campus community.

This event marked the culmination of their undergraduate journey at STCC. The research posters were their senior projects, making up 10 percent of their final grade.

The forum at the Ira Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons (Building 19) echoed with enthusiasm as students eagerly shared their findings with peers, faculty and visitors. They answered questions about the research topics, which spanned a wide array of health care issues and reflected the diverse interests and concerns of the budding nursing professionals.

Nursing student Salman Nadeem was part of a team that developed a poster focusing on the impact of social media on teens in Springfield.

“We found that increased use of social media correlated to negative mental health outcomes like anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues,” Nadeem said. “We found a strong correlation and we also found there’s not enough research being done at the moment. Going forward though it seems it’s getting more attention. It’s getting more recognized as an issue.”

From exploring innovative approaches to patient care to delving into the intricacies of healthcare policy, each poster encapsulated months of rigorous investigation, analysis and critical thinking.

Student Yvette Turgeon spoke for a team of students who worked on a poster examining pain management and pediatric oncology. The issue touched the class personally. Student Kristen Racine-Melendez’s child was diagnosed with leukemia in August.

Their research looked at the use of opioids to treat pain experienced by children with cancer.

“There’s a big stigma around opioid use because of addiction, and whether or not that child would carry that into adult. A lot of parents are afraid to treat their children’s pain with opioids,” Turgeon said.

Students examined various uses of opioids as well as alternative therapies.

“It hits home for us, because this is something we’re actively living, not only as a parent, but as someone coming into the nursing field,” Racine-Melendez said.

Under the guidance of their professors, senior nursing students navigated the complexities of research methodology, data collection and interpretation, emerging as confident scholars ready to contribute to the advancement of nursing practice.

Visitors engaged in lively discussions with the presenters, probing the nuances of their research and offering valuable insights.

Among the standout projects was a study examining childhood asthma in underserved communities. Another poster delved into prevention of chlamydia in girls and young women ages 14-20 living in Springfield.

“Chlamydia is very prevalent in Springfield, which is the city with the fifth-highest number of cases with chlamydia in Massachusetts,” said student Ruby Matamoros, who lives in Springfield. “It has no symptoms in women so it’s very easily undetected.”

Adeline Coates-Cooney and her team of classmates worked on the topic of preventing hospitalizations of children ages 5 to 10. Young children have a high rate of hospitalization due to asthma, she said.

“There are rules for schools,” she said, describing measures to reduce risks to children. “They have to have certain cleaning products and HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters to make sure the air quality is up to par. They can’t have buses idling, waiting for students, because that increases the pollution.”

The research provided a platform for students to hone their presentation skills and articulate their findings effectively—a crucial aspect of professional development in the health care field. By communicating their research with clarity and confidence, these students demonstrated their readiness to become leaders and change agents in nursing practice.

The event also highlighted the collaborative spirit and supportive community at STCC, where students are encouraged to explore their passions and pursue excellence in their academic pursuits. Faculty members played a pivotal role in guiding students through the research process, fostering a culture of mentorship and academic rigor.

For many seniors, this event symbolized the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, as they prepare to embark on the next phase of their professional journey.

Director of Nursing Lisa Fugiel said the research presentations were a testament to the exceptional talent and dedication of our senior nursing students. This spring marked the first time since pre-COVID days that the students were presenting in person.

“Our senior nursing students showcased their research projects on various health topics affecting the Springfield area,” Fugiel said. “Each poster highlighted actionable insights on how nurses can proactively prevent or minimize these health issues within our community.  Their commitment to advancing nursing knowledge and improving patient care is truly commendable. We are confident that they will make significant contributions to the field of healthcare in the years to come.”

Interested in applying to STCC? Visit or call Admissions at (413) 755-3333.

About Springfield Technical Community College

STCC, the Commonwealth’s only technical community college, continues the pioneering legacy of the Springfield Armory with comprehensive and technical education in manufacturingSTEMhealthcarebusiness, social services, and the liberal arts. STCC’s highly regarded workforcecertificatedegree, and transfer programs are the most affordable in Springfield and provide unequaled opportunity for the vitality of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1967, the college – a designated Hispanic Serving Institution – seeks to close achievement gaps among students who traditionally face societal barriers. STCC supports students as they transform their lives through intellectual, cultural, and economic engagement while becoming thoughtful, committed and socially responsible graduates.