Briar Cliff University Holds Honors Lecture Series

December 6, 2022

Briar Cliff University hosted its honors lecture series Sunday, November 20. The lecture series, hosted by the Honors Society, allows professors to provide presentations to the Siouxland community regarding their research. This year’s presenters were Dr. Bodhisattwa Mondal, Assistant Professor in Biology at BCU, and Dr. Michel Harman, Professor in Psychology at BCU and Director of BCBA Clinic.


“This is my dissertation work. There has been a lot of research that connects estrogen and cancer,” said Dr. Mondal. “Estrogen is mostly found in the females, and they think of breast cancer or ovarian cancer.” 


Dr. Mondal’s research also discusses estrogen and metabolism, being able to breakdown food and nutrients in the body and how that can relate to cancer. Diet and the consumption of different antioxidants can help and rescue some metabolism imbalance.


“Our work is part of prevention, public health, and the difference is medicine is trying to stop it, we are trying to prevent it.” 


Dr. Harman presented on two behavior analytic investigations inspired by responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the beginning of the pandemic, people raised questions and concerns over certain policies. The framework of the policies and how they were written were the focus Dr. Harman studied alongside his students. 


“It’s not because of political affiliation or age. My research suggests it has to be how the policies were framed,” said Dr. Harman. “Were they framed as orders? Or framed as suggestions?”


Dr. Harman and his students’ research showcased data and reactions and how different framework impacts people’s reactions. He also works as a clinician and works primarily with individuals that at times have difficulty complying with rules. 


“It was an investigation, very applied, very clinical to develop teaching strategies to help people learn to wear facemasks, to tolerate wearing this aversive thing,” said Dr. Harman. “We didn’t force them, they actively chose actively, we got a lot of cool qualitative outcomes as well.” 


The honors lecture series is open to students and members of the community to share research and projects they have dedicated countless hours towards.

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