Undergraduate research events showcase student excellence

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ABINGTON, Pa .– Students involved in undergraduate research projects at Penn State Scranton and other regional college campuses and local universities had the chance to present their research projects at two annual academic events this month , both of which have taken place virtually due to the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.

The Penn State Scranton Annual Undergraduate Research Fair and Exhibition has once again been hosted as a virtual showcase for the second year. Any undergraduate student could submit their scholarly research and creative work through oral presentations, posters, gallery exhibitions, or artistic performances.

There were seven research categories: Nursing: health and aging; Nursing: injuries and illnesses; Nursing care: prenatal and pediatric; Science; Social science; Technology; Oral presentations; and the University Libraries Information Literacy Awards.

The Undergraduate Research Fair and Exhibition officially took place April 5-9, but anyone interested in seeing the projects can still do so through the event’s website at https://sites.psu.edu/ugrwebshowcase2021/.

The 10th Annual Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium was virtually hosted by Penn State Scranton from April 19-22, culminating with a live event on Thursday April 22 – Earth Day.

Students from the Abington, Brandywine, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill and Scranton Penn State campuses attended, as did students from Keystone College, the University of Marywood and the University of Scranton. Participation in this event was by invitation only, with the invitation coming from the research advisers of each participating school.

Research projects in the fields of the arts and human sciences; Biological sciences and health; Physical sciences, information sciences and engineering; and social sciences and business were emphasized.

Gregory Jenkins, professor of meteorology and atmospheric sciences, geography and African studies at Penn State, University Park, was the guest speaker.

“Today is Earth Day,” he said at the start of his presentation. “We have a real responsibility to protect what we have. “

Jenkins gave a comprehensive overview of the global environmental issues associated with the ever-increasing waste generation of the human race; the impacts of garbage dumps on communities; global warming; air pollution; micro-plastics and pollution of beaches / oceans; and the COVID-19 pandemic; and how these issues correlate with environmental justice, social justice, and health and death rates in poor communities around the world.

He also spoke about the qualities that make a successful seeker, including open-mindedness, passion, humility, willingness to fail and try again, to be a genuine learner and seeker and d ” have a lifelong mentor.

Jacqueline Shea McLaughlin, associate professor of biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, told students: “Your research matters; you have to use your voice. Today you, the students, presented your research – it should never leave your heart, your mind or your voice.

Marwan Wafa, Chancellor of Penn State Scranton, congratulated all participants and their teachers.

“Research can offer you essential opportunities to gain knowledge… and can help you clarify your choice of degree program,” he said. “I wish you all the best, and I believe you are all winners.”

Those who may not have had a chance to see the symposium can view the projects on https://sites.psu.edu/symposiumshowcase21/.

The students who won in their categories at both events are below.

Penn State Scranton Undergraduate Research Fair and Web Exhibit

Category 1 – Nursing: Health and Aging

  • First place: Megan Lucey, “The Future of Wearable Health Technologies”
    • Educational advisor: Michael Evans
  • The second place: Francesca Rizzo, “Changing BMI Scales”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans

Category 2 – Nursing: Injuries and illnesses

  • First place: Nicola Giordano, “Sleep for better health”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans
  • The second place: Emily Scarfo, “The Effectiveness of a Nurse Examiner in Sexual Assault”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans

Category 3 – Nursing care: Prenatal and pediatric

  • First place: Ashley Lapiers, “Results of Breathing Techniques During Labor”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans
  • The second place: Heather Slimak, “Effect of a COVID-19 Environment on Childhood Obesity”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans

Category 4 – Sciences

  • First place: Patrick Dougherty, “Methane: Biosignature of extraterrestrial life on planets orbiting the dwarf star M”
    • Educational advisor: Asif ud-Doula
  • The second place: Aditya Chakrabarti, “Exploring the relationship between mass and radius of white dwarves”
    • Educational advisor: Agnes Kim

Category 5 – Social Sciences

  • First place: Erika Wheeler, “Loneliness and Video Conversations During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
    • Educational advisor: Laura Nathans
  • The second place: Emily Mattes, “Compare and contrast the perceived resilience among those who have experienced trauma directly or indirectly through sexual violence”
    • Educational advisor: Renae McNair

Category 6 – Technology

  • First place: Xinyi Chen, Kaizheng Wang, “Analysis of Stock Price Using the Markov Chain”
    • Educational advisor: Taoye Zhang
  • The second place: William Blaum, Jason Wells and Tarangkumar Patel, “Lawn and Order”
    • Educational advisor: Alan Peslak

Category 7 – Oral presentations

  • First place: Micah Cameron, “Left Behind: How Home and Community Service Providers for People with Developmental Disabilities in Pennsylvania Are Overregulated and Underfunded”
    • Educational advisor: Ana Cooke
  • The second place: Shea Tyler and Jamise Sealey, “Helping ELL Students: A Preliminary Solution”
    • Educational advisor: Jody Griffith

University Libraries Information Literacy Award

Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Excellence in Information Literacy

  • Megan Lucey, “The Future of Wearable Health Technologies”
    • Educational advisor: Michael Evans
  • Christian Toussaint, “Comparing ACL and Achilles injuries in the world of sport”
  • Erika Wheeler, “Loneliness and Video Conversations During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
    • Educational advisor: Laura Nathans
  • Parth Patel and Trusha Patel, “Is Codeless Application Development the Next Big Thing? ”
    • Educational advisor: Marilee Mulvey

Excellence in Information Literacy in University Libraries – Oral Presentations

Panel 1: Healing Arts
  • Session 1, first place: Lauren Sciabbarrasi, “Origami: The Art of Mathematical Reconfiguration”
    • Educational advisor: James Hart
  • Session 1: Finalist: Julia Fessenden, “Being Related Doesn’t Make Us Family: A Review of Family Found in All For the Game and The Raven Cycle”
    • Educational advisor: Kelley Wagers
  • Panel 2: Literacy and imagination
  • Session 2, first place: Micah Cameron, “Left Behind: How Home and Community Service Providers for People with Developmental Disabilities in Pennsylvania Are Overregulated and Underfunded”
    • Educational advisor: Ana Cooke
  • Session 2, finalist: Rachel Veniamin, “Fill in the Blank: A Taxonomy of Dashes in The Roaring Girl by Rachel Veniamin”
    • Educational advisor: Claire Mary Louise Bourne
  • Session 2, finalist: Shea Tyler and Jamise Sealey, “Helping ELL Students: A Preliminary Solution”
    • Educational advisor: Jody Griffith

Eastern Regional Research Symposium Winners

Arts and humanities

  • First place: Jeffrey Alloway, Penn State Schuylkill: “Comparison of Views on the Chambersburg, PA Fire by the Confederates During the American Civil War
    • Educational advisor: Harold Aurand Jr.
  • The second place: Corinne Ellis, Penn State Schuylkill: “Socially Building America: A Rhetorical Analysis of Trump and Biden’s Facebook Posts During the 2020 Election”
    • Educational advisor: Valerie Lynn Schrader

Biological Sciences and Health

  • First place: Emily Scarfo, Penn State Scranton: “The Effectiveness of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner”
    • Educational advisor: Milton Evans
  • The second place: Hannah Longacre, Marywood University: “Unmasking the Psychology of Recognizing Emotions in People Wearing Masks”
    • Educational advisor: Vjayachandra Ramachandra

Social Sciences and Business

  • First place: Danielle Guth, Penn State Brandywine, “The Prevalence of ACES in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Population”
    • Educational advisor: Daniela Martin
  • Second place (tie): Bridger Standiford, Penn State Abington: “Recognizing Autism, Anime and Facial Emotions”
    • Educational advisor: Kevin Hsu
  • Mark Chudnovski, Penn State Abington: “Are there any benefits of looping in undergraduate math courses? ”
    • Educational advisers: Rachel Brown and Michael Bernstein

Physical sciences, Information sciences, Engineering

  • First place: Joshua Misiti and Boaz Mokaya, Penn State Lehigh Valley: “Using MATLAB to Model Solar Cell Output”
    • Educational advisor: Harold Scholz
  • The second place: Lingqi Li, Penn State Abington: “Preliminary Thermal Validation Tests for Education Class CubeSats and Classed Flight Computer Tests in Space”
    • Educational advisor: Masataka Okutsu


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