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Villanova Match Research Program for First Year Students

Student research at Villanova

**The Spring 2022 projects are listed below. The student application deadline is Friday, November 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. **

 

The Villanova Match Research Program for First Year Students provides opportunities for motivated first-year undergraduates to pursue undergraduate research in the spring semester. Applicants do not need substantial experience and will serve as research assistants to faculty mentors.

If selected for the Match program, students will conduct research for 10 hours per week for 10 weeks for which they are paid $1000. In addition to conducting undergraduate research, Match grantees participate in professional development seminars on resumes, cover letters, oral presentations, and proposal writing during the Spring semester.  

 

Student Application Instructions

For all opportunities presented by the Villanova Match Research Program for First Year Students, please complete the following steps:

  1. Review the research projects listed below and identify a project that interests you. Opportunities, arranged alphabetically by mentor name, are open to all students. You may apply for opportunities outside of your college and major. You may apply for multiple opportunities.

  2. Submit your application directly to the Faculty Research Mentor by mid-November. A complete application consists of the following:
    • One-page resume
    • One-page cover letter
    • Email subject line should contain: Match Research Program Application, LastName
    • Combined into one PDF file
    • File should be named in the following manner: LastName_FirstName_Match Application
       
  3. The Faculty Research Mentor will review your application and should contact you to interview for the position in November or early December.

If you would like to discuss undergraduate research and formulate a plan for becoming involved in undergraduate research at Villanova, you are welcome, though not required, to make an appointment with the CRF team via Handshake.

Students interested in applying for Match projects through the Clare Booth Luce Engineering Scholars Program (CBL-ESP) must follow specific guidelines for completing their applications. Below, please find a summary of the Match projects offered  through CBL-ESP and click on the Application Instructions link to learn more.

Cover Letter & Resume Templates & Tips

* Cover Letter Template.docx
This template outlines a cover letter
* Resume Template CRF Header.pdf
This resume template and action verb list is a good place to begin if you do not have a resume

 

Spring 2022 Projects

Summaries of the Spring 2022 projects are listed below the table

 

    Arts & Social Sciences                
    Professor     Email Department Project Title       
    Judith Giesberg     judith.giesberg@villanova.edu History Conduct Unbecoming: The Civil War Courts Martial Indexing Project      
    Deena Weisberg     deena.weisberg@villanova.edu Psychological & Brain Sciences Using fictional stories to teach science      
    Adam Kuczynski     adam.kuczynski@villanova.edu Public Administration

Transparency as a Value in the Missions of PA Programs      
    François Massonnat     fmassonn@villanova.edu Romance Languages and Literatures  Mapping Contemporary French Cinema      
    Grant Berry     grant.berry@villanova.edu Romance Languages and Literatures  Cognitive strategies in processing language variation      
    Adriano Duque     adriano.duque@villanova.edu Romance Languages and Literatures  Medieval Graffitti at the Great Mosque of Córdoba      
    Rory Kramer, Brianna Remster     rory.kramer@villanova.edu brianna.remster@villanova.edu Sociology and Criminology Assessing the impact of prison gerrymandering on 2020 state legislative redistricting maps      
    Business              
    Shelly Rathee     shelly.rathee@villanova.edu Marketing Influencer Advertising and Consumption of Luxury Fashion Brands      
    Maira Reimao     maira.reimao@villanova.edu Economics Using food competition shows to study preferences based on order      
   
Engineering
             
    Wenqing Xu     wenqing.xu@villanova.edu Civil and Environmental Engineering AEC-Enhanced Biochar for PFAS Sequestration in Biosolids Land Application      
    Kyle Juretus     kyle.juretus@villanova.edu Electrical and Computer Engineering  Securing Circuits Against Unauthorized Access and Modification      
    Gang Feng     gang.feng@villanova.edu Mechanical Engineering Nanostructural Characterization and Nanomechanical Testing of Hard Tissues      
    Deeksha Seth     deeksha.seth@villanova.edu Mechanical Engineering Qualitative and Quantitative Statistical Analysis of Human Research Data      
    Deeksha Seth     deeksha.seth@villanova.edu Mechanical Engineering Integration of sensors to modulate assistance provided in a stroke rehabilitation device      
    Clare Boothe Luce Engineering Scholars Program (CBL-ESP): Please note special application instructions (click on link here)                
    Gang Feng     gang.feng@villanova.edu Mechanical Engineering Fabrication and Characterization of Nano-Architected Ultralight Multifunctional Materials      
    Seri Park     seri.park@villanova.edu Civil and Environmental Engineering Exploring Driver’s Driving Behavior and Performance      
    Xun Jiao     xjiao@villanova.edu Electrical and Computer Engineering  HDForest: Ensemble Hyper-dimensional Artificial Intelligence (AI)      
    Nursing              
    Sunny G. Hallowell     sunny.hallowell@villanova.edu Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Inclusive Clinical Advocacy, Responsible Education - Virtual Gaming Simulation (ICARE-VGS)      
    Guy Weissinger     guy.weissinger@villanova.edu Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Adolescent Mental Health and Suicide Prevention      
    Elizabeth Dowdell     elizabeth.dowdell@villanova.edu Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Internet Risk Behaviors of Adolescents: Identifying Online and Offline Patterns      
    Tracy Oliver     tracy.oliver@villanova.edu Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Sensitivity Training Among Nurse Practitioner Students Utilizing Simulation      
    Science              
    Dana Opulente     Dana.Opulente@villanova.edu Biology Adaptations to Different Habitats in Budding Yeasts      
    Dan Kraut     daniel.kraut@villanova.edu Chemistry Effect of ubiquitin chain length on proteasomal unfolding ability      
    Matthew O'Reilly     matthew.oreilly@villanova.edu Chemistry Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Efflux Pump Inhibitors Toward their use as Antibiotic Adjuvants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa      
    Xue Qin     xue.qin@villanova.edu Computing Sciences  Automated GUI Test Generation for Android: Are We There Yet?      
    Stephen M. Strader     stephen.strader@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Changes in Northeast U.S. Severe Weather: Is this the New Normal?      
    Kabindra Shakya     kabindra.shakya@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Literature review on the contamination of soils in urban community gardens      
    Steven Goldsmith     steven.goldsmith@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Analyzing metal contamination in sediment deposits from Tropical Storm Ida      
    Peleg Kremer     peleg.kremer@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Urban gardens and vacant lots: prospects and challenges for long-term public uses      
    Tory Chase and Steven Goldsmith     tory.chase@villanova.edu; steven.goldsmith@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Physical quantification of marine debris degradation      
    Lisa J. Rodrigues     lisa.rodrigues@villanova.edu Geography and the Environment Partners or competitors: What impact do endolithic green algae and pink cyanobacteria have on nutritional resources within coral colonies?      
    Scott Dietrich     scott.dietrich@villanova.edu Physics Electron Crystals in Graphene      
    Amber Stuver     astuver@villanova.edu Physics Enabling Confident Burst Gravitational Wave Detections with LIGO      
    Jordan Guerra Aguilera     jordan.guerraaguilera@villanova.edu Physics Statistics of the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) Radiation in Sunspots      
    Benjamin Sachs     benjamin.sachs@villanova.edu Psychological and Brain Sciences  Examining the impact of genetic brain serotonin deficiency on exercise-induced increases in hippocampal neurogenesis in mice      
    Irene Kan; Melissa O'Connor; Michelle A. McKay     Michelle.mckay@villanova.edu Brain and Psychological Sciences & Fitzpatrick College of Nursing The Lived Experience of Students from Diverse Backgrounds Enrolled in Undergraduate MSTEM Curriculums      

Project Summaries

 

Arts & Social Sciences

 

Judith Giesberg, History/CLAS

Conduct Unbecoming: The Civil War Courts Martial Indexing Project

During the U.S. Civil War, tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen stood before courts martial accused of committing all sorts of offenses, from falling asleep on duty to mutiny and murder. The records of these trials provide a window into the everyday experiences of enlisted men and officers and the civilians who lived alongside them. These records that hold the key to understanding the lived experience of service men are housed at the National Archives, numbered and filed away in the very same haphazard manner in which civilian clerks in the War Department filed them while the war was still underway. These clerks filed courts-martial proceedings not by military unit, last name of the accused, crime alleged, or trial outcome, but instead in the order in which they were received in the Judge Advocate General’s office in Washington D.C. The Indexing Project seeks to resolve the disconnect between the way courts martial were filed by period clerks and the way that scholars today seek to access them by building an open-access website that allows modern day users to easily search 60-70,000 Civil War-era courts-martial by key-word, military unit, or surname search.

The Match research assistant(s) will be working with a team of historians and digital humanists at Villanova University, Kent State University, and the University of Georgia to clean and code data on more than 60,000 U.S. service men who stood accused of crimes.

 

Deena Weisberg, Psychological and Brain Sciences/ CLAS

Using fictional stories to teach science

Although the stories presented in books and videos are fictional, they often present information that is true in reality. For example, the Berenstain Bears books are meant to teach children that it’s good to share or that it’s not healthy to eat too much junk food. But do children learn these lessons from these fictional stories? Or do they think that the information presented in the books only applies within the stories, and isn’t relevant to the real world? This is particularly a problem for science information, which can seem strange and fantastical even when it’s real. 

To address this issue, this project investigates (1) what is the nature of the scientific and fantastical information in children’s stories and (2) whether children learn the target science information in these stories. Gaining a better understanding of children’s interactions with stories can help us to create better educational media and to learn more about how children’s scientific thinking skills develop.

The student will assist the professor and graduate students in all aspects of conducting and running psychological studies on this topic. Duties will primarily include running testing sessions, coding data, reading the scientific literature, and recruiting subjects. Applicants should have completed some coursework in psychology, cognitive science, and/or neuroscience. Previous experience with children is desirable but not required.

 

Adam Kuczynski, Public Administration/CLAS

Transparency as a Value in the Missions of PA Programs

This research project examines MPA programs to see if/how they reflect the importance of transparency as a public service value. In particular, by utilizing the mission statements of U.S. MPA programs, we will examine the prevalence (or lack thereof) of transparency – both as a simple presence and a concept within the mission statements and programs. This project will entail locating, sorting, coding, and analyzing every online MPA mission statement from schools and universities within the U.S.

The Match research assistant will help locate and sort the MPA mission statements online; and then assist in developing/implementing a coding scheme to organize the statements.

 

François Massonnat, Romance Languages and Literatures / College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Mapping Contemporary French Cinema

This project consists in creating a database of French cinema from 2000 to the present. The goal is to gather as much information as possible on all of the films released since 2000, including budget numbers, box office results, genre, length, number of weeks on the screens, number of screens allotted to the film upon its release, etc. Once all of the data is aggregated, we will be able to provide a detailed picture of the French film industry of the past two decades, parse out its trends, identify production shifts, etc.

The research assistant will create the list of films, gather the data on IMDB pro and Allociné, and eventually produce graphs illustrating the trends identified.

 

Grant Berry, Romance Languages and Literatures / College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Cognitive strategies in processing language variation

Language is one of the most variable phenomena we interact with regularly: variation in a speaker’s physiology, style/identity, and experience with language all influence how they speak. Despite unfathomable possible combinations of features, it is shocking that we so rarely have trouble understanding one another. We readily adapt to the idiosyncrasies of speakers around us, even when they employ subtle patterns in speech that differ from those that we're used to—sometimes, we even pick up those patterns in our own speech. The primary goal of this research is to better understand the cognitive mechanisms that humans use to process language variation; secondary goals are to determine how those mechanisms influence our mental representations of language and investigate whether certain processing strategies lend themselves more to integrating and using that variation in our own speech over time.

 By examining how humans interact with language variation in a controlled, laboratory setting and comparing their behavior to performance on tasks designed to measure differences in cognitive processing strategies, we can establish links among cognition, language structure, and language use.

The Research Assistant (RA) will work with members of the Language Use and Variation (LUV) Lab on campus be deeply involved in data collection, analysis, and reporting. The RA will work with the Faculty Mentor to assess the internal validity/reliability of several behavioral tasks designed to measure cognitive processing style by assisting with running human subjects and collaborating in statistical analyses of participant responses. The RA will then work with the Faculty Mentor to apply their findings to language processing tasks, using regression analyses to compare performance on language tasks to indices of cognitive processing style. Finally, the RA will work with the Faculty Mentor to disseminate findings to interested parties on campus and in the academic community at large via research talks and publication of an academic manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.

 

Adriano Duque, Romance Languages and Literatures / College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Medieval Graffitti at the Great Mosque of Córdoba
 

The project aims to analyze different Medieval Graffiti and to conduct analysis of penmanship, motif and agency. Most particularly, I am interested in documenting how these graffiti may have been used by certain individuals to convey special meanings and to claim a space within religious enclosures.

The research assistant will work on existing graffiti material from the Great Mosque of Córdoba and contrast it with the findings of Professor David Wasserstein in the 1980's. After analyzing the different components of the graffiti, the student will elaborate either a poster or a short article for Veritas, the Villanova Research Journal.

 

Rory Kramer, Brianna Remster, Sociology and Criminology

Assessing the impact of prison gerrymandering on 2020 state legislative redistricting maps

This project builds on our prior work showing that how the Census Bureau counts incarcerated people biases state legislative districts toward white Pennsylvanians and harms the representation of Black and Latinx Pennsylvanians, especially in and around Philadelphia (available at https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/egd72/). Known as prison gerrymandering, this practice not only harms the political representation of the incarcerated individual, but because of residential segregation and the unequal policing of Black and Latinx communities, we find that it primarily weakens the representation of people of color with no criminal record, especially in working class neighborhoods. That work helped convince the Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting Commission to reallocate incarcerated individuals to their prior home addresses instead of the rural prisons far from where they live. Today, 12 states make some form of adjustment for incarcerated populations when apportioning political representation. This project will update and extend our previous work by analyzing the impact of prison gerrymandering nationwide on political representation in 2020. Using the soon to be released state legislative redistricting maps, the first portion of our analysis will examine the extent to which each state’s new maps meet the legal criteria for equal representation. Of particular interest here are the 12 states that planned to reallocate incarcerated persons—were they successful in preventing prisons from distorting representation? Next, using those maps and employing a counterfactual approach, we will assess the extent to which representation would differ if incarcerated persons had been reallocated during redistricting in the 38 states that continue to count people in the districts where they are incarcerated. We will estimate the local district population change between existing district maps and our counterfactual condition and then report the findings to state legislative redistricting commissions and local districting watch groups such as Fair Districts chapters.

The primary responsibility of the matched student will be to gather, organize, and clean data from state legislative redistricting commissions, check the accuracy of that data and compile data on incarcerated populations by state. Depending on the student’s skillset, they will also have the opportunity to run analyses using either a statistical software program such as STATA or R (possibly Excel, if preferred by the student) under the supervision of Dr. Kramer who ran the analysis in our prior work. Other opportunities include creating visualizations with spatial data and software and preparing white papers to impact public policy. Some familiarity with spatial mapping and data retrieval and cleaning are preferred but not required.

 

 

Business

 

Shelly Rathee, Marketing

Influencer Advertising and Consumption of Luxury Fashion Brands

Throughout the last two decades, consumption of luxury fashion goods has increased tremendously because of higher disposable incomes, elevated living standards, and greater global exposure (Amatulli, Angelis, and Donato 2020; Kim, Park, and Dubois 2018). Although luxury fashion brands have weathered economic calamities in the past, such as the 2008 financial crisis, the situation during and after the COVID-19 economy looks bleak, with several big players, such as Hermes and Cartier, facing hardship. With the current economic recession and a shift in media consumption from print to online, luxury fashion brands need to refocus their attention on social media marketing (Holmqvist, Wirtz, and Fritze 2020). Over the last five years, there is overwhelming evidence that the use of social media, especially influencer advertising is growing and influencing the buying decisions of their followers, especially for Generation Z (Haeinlein et al. 2020). As a result, the objective of this research is to determine whether influencer marketing affects consumers' purchase decisions. We will also explore how different types of social media influencers would influence differential luxury consumers and their consumption. We would design multiple controlled experiments to collect data, as well as create appropriate advertising stimuli. The goals of the research are to provide deeper understanding of influencer advertising and fill the research gap by illustrating how luxury firms can develop viable growth-oriented strategies that leverage this highly relevant and important area.

This project will require the student to: 1) Conducting Literature Review: The student will perform a literature review that addresses advertising strategies in the luxury fashion context. It will involve reading new research and summarizing it. 2) Developing and Executing Experiments: The student would learn to use online software programs to design the study stimulus, such as Qualtrics. In addition, the student would be exposed to crowdsourcing platforms, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and Prolific, and would learn how to execute the study on crowdsourcing platforms. 2) Performing Preliminary Data Analysis: The student will be introduced to various data analysis tools utilized in social sciences. By the end of the semester, it is expected that the student will have gained more independence in data analysis.

 

Maira Reimao, Economics/VSB

Using food competition shows to study preferences based on order
 

Social scientists frequently rely on data provided by respondents, and there is a body of literature on the role of survey question ordering on the reliability and pattern of responses given. Several studies have shown that people tend to choose the first item they are presented with as opposed to the second; and have better memories and be more attached to first experiences rather than subsequent ones (see Carney and Banaji 2012 for references). In this project, we will look at food competition shows (on TV and streaming) to further explore this tendency and measure the extent to which having one’s product tested towards the beginning of the group influences outcomes in a single competition and over the course of several rounds.

This project is probably best suited for a student who enjoys watching food competition shows such as the Great British Bake-Off, Iron Chef, and MasterChef, as part of the task will be to watch portions of these shows and keep track of the ordering of evaluations and outcomes of episodes on a spreadsheet. In collaboration with the professor, the research assistant will then analyze patterns in the results, particularly with respect to the order of presentation, and the effect of these on final results. If time allows, the research assistant will also help with the literature review for this project.

 

Engineering

 

Wenqing Xu, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

AEC-Enhanced Biochar for PFAS Sequestration in Biosolids Land Application
 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a suite of ionizable synthetic organofluorine chemicals widely used in industrial and consumer applications (e.g., fire-fighting foam, fabrics, paper goods). PFAS are highly resistant to environmental degradation given their extreme thermal and chemical stability; more than 3,000 PFAS exist in the environment, contaminating surface water, groundwater, soil, crops, and animal products. Human and animal studies correlate PFAS exposure to negative health impacts, e.g., low birth rates, decreasing vaccine antibody effectiveness, and cancer. At present, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommends a lifetime drinking water health advisory of 70 ng/L for combined perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), elevating PFAS to the forefront of environmental issues. One underexplored environmental PFAS source is the land-application of water treatment plant-residual biosolids. Although biosolids application is a sustainable waste management strategy that adds organic carbon and nutrients to soils, thousands of acres of agricultural lands are potentially contaminated with PFAS, thus accumulating in agricultural products, or migrating into groundwater and contaminating drinking water sources. Therefore, an economical, easily implementable, sustainable strategy is urgently needed to immobilize PFAS during biosolids land applications. 

This project aims to tailor biochar from two waste sources to promote their anion-exchange capacities (AEC) for PFAS sequestration during biosolids land application: (i) coagulant-rich water treatment residuals; (ii) agriculture waste. We hypothesize that water treatment residual-derived biochar will be rich in positively-charged metal oxyhydroxide particles, enabling electrostatic interactions with negatively-charged PFAS, further preventing PFAS leaching from biosolids-amended soil. Agricultural wastes (e.g., corn cobs) can undergo metal salt (AlCl3, FeCl3) pretreatment, potentially increasing biochar AEC and facilitating electrostatic interactions with PFAS polar head groups and van der Waals interactions with PFAS hydrophobic tails. These biochar materials will be incorporated into municipal biosolids to understand their PFAS sequestration efficacy during biosolids land application. This project responds to EPA-G2021-P3-Q3 for “Remediation of PFAS-contaminated soil and sediment” and aims to aid in the USEPA’s goal of waste diversion by turning low-cost wastes into a value-added product.

The student will aid in producing AEC-enhanced biochar from agricultural wastes and water treatment residuals, which involves collecting dried waste, pretreating them with metal salts, performing pyrolysis, and grinding/sieving the pyrolyzed waste to generate the biochar. The student will also help determine the adsorption kinetics and capacities for PFAS. This will be performed through adsorption experiments with lab-scale batch reactors; the student will help prepare the samples for adsorption experiments, collect the samples at their respective reaction times, and generate plots from the collected data. Lastly, the student will help with PFAS transport experiments in soil columns amended with biosolids with or without biochar by helping set up the soil columns, monitoring the transport results, and producing plots from the gathered data.

 

Kyle Juretus, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department/College of Engineering

Securing Circuits Against Unauthorized Access and Modification

Growth in the number and variety of computing systems continues to increase. While the prevalence of computing systems has the potential to greatly impact our day to day lives, attacks on computing systems are becoming more commonplace as well. Due to these attacks, cybersecurity research has increased rapidly to create a cyber landscape that provides confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems throughout our digital world. However, the system security at the hardware layer is typically an afterthought since most of the security effort goes into the operating systems and software running on the systems. The model of writing vulnerability free software to protect the system is not scalable and leads to a constant cycle to fix known vulnerabilities. Instead of following this reactive model, the goal of this research project is to incorporate security at the hardware level, which provides a means to assist in the security of the software and applications running on the systems as well. The hardware security focus of this research project will be analyzing methodologies to obfuscate circuits from untrusted third parties and quantifying the security of the obfuscation methods. Advancing obfuscation techniques will serve as the first step to build secure systems that do not rely on the software layer for a primary means of security.

The Match student will be responsible for assisting in coding automation algorithms to take a description of a circuit as input and then output the obfuscated transformation of the circuit. As part of this process, the student will learn about the automation tools to take a high-level description of a circuit (VHDL/Verilog) and turn it into the billion transistor designs seen in modern computing systems. Additionally, the student will learn about integrated circuit (IC) design, satisfiability (SAT) solvers, interfacing with Linux systems, and implementing libraries in Python and C++.

 

Gang Feng, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Nanostructural Characterization and Nanomechanical Testing of Hard Tissues

Biological hard tissues, e.g., bone and tooth, are light-weight and much more robust and tough compared to common engineering materials. Understanding the design principle of hard tissues is critical to design next-generation materials and devices with ultrahigh reliability and durability. Generally, the high mechanical robustness is due to hard tissues' intrinsic hierarchical nanocomposite structures. Hard tissues normally contain of two components: inorganic minerals and organic contents, and the two components form complicated multi-level hierarchical structure. The smallest minerals are only 10~200 nm in size, which are bonded by organic molecules. Then, depending on the biological species, the mineral-organic units form lamella and/or fiber nanostructures, and the nanostructures are normally bundle together to form higher level microstructures. In this Match project, the student will use state-of-the-art materials characterization techniques, such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy atomic force microscope (AFM), and dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), to characterize the morphology and composition of hard tissues’ multi-level hierarchical structure from the nanoscale to macroscale. Furthermore, based on the hierarchical structure, the student will use a nanomechanical testing tool – nanoindenter – to test the mechanical properties of the hierarchical structure at different scales. By analyze the nanostructure-property relation, we will gain a much deeper understanding the design principle of hard tissues and provide insight on design light-weight materials with ultrahigh reliability and durability.

In this Match project, the student will prepare biological hard tissue samples. Then, he or she will use state-of-the-art materials characterization techniques, such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy atomic force microscope (AFM), and dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), to characterize the morphology and composition of hard tissues’ multi-level hierarchical structure from the nanoscale to macroscale. Furthermore, based on the hierarchical structure, the student will use a nanomechanical testing tool – nanoindenter – to test the mechanical properties of the hierarchical structure at different scales. By analyze the nanostructure-property relation, we will gain a much deeper understanding the design principle of hard tissues and provide insight on design light-weight materials with ultrahigh reliability and durability.

 

Deeksha Seth, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Qualitative and Quantitative Statistical Analysis of Human Research Data

This project is a continuation of a multi-year, evolving project. The goal of the project is to develop a conceptual framework for design in engineering education to maximize student learning and preparedness. This project includes gathering quantitative and qualitative data from students, faculty in engineering, faculty outside engineering as well as industry professionals in the engineering field. The data together will guide the development of a conceptual framework that can be used to teach engineering design to college students and evaluate design skills in students.

 Freshman match 2022 project will focus on analyzing large data sets collected from prior studies to draw conclusions and formulate hypotheses for future investigations. Project may also include gathering additional raw data from research subjects (faculty and students).

The student researcher for this project will delve into advanced statistical analysis techniques for categorial quantitative data and qualitative data. Responsibilities include: (a) organize and analyze numerical data using SPSS (available at no cost) and visualize data using PowerPoint and Excel or MATLAB (b) use coding techniques to convert qualitative data to quantitative data, (c) visualize qualitative data using charts, graphs and other creative ways, (d) draw conclusions or formulate hypotheses that need investigation and (e) conduct additional literature research on the topic. Depending on the progress of the project, the student may also conduct interviews or focus groups with research subjects (students or faculty) to gather additional raw data.

 

Deeksha Seth, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Integration of sensors to modulate assistance provided in a stroke rehabilitation device 

The goal of this project is to develop a smart stroke rehabilitation device that can modulate the assistance provide based on the muscle activity. For this, the project needs a mechanical arm with sufficient degrees of freedom to mimic basic motions such as bending the elbow, and making and opening a fist. The arm will be fitted with actuators to provide assistance in the movement but these actuators must be controlled by varying activity received from human muscle groups.

The student selected for this project will : a) review the design of the existing mechanical arm and make revisions/edits as needed (this mechanical arm is the "proxy" for the stroke patient) b) design and manufacture a wearable rehabilitation device to go over the mechanical arm c) mount the actuators on the assistive device d) control the actuators to show two basic movements: bend elbow from 0 to 90 degrees and back, and open and close fist. e) write a code to modify the actuator movement based on data received from a sensor. Student will use a combination of tools such as : a) solidworks b) matlab c) C/C++ Solidworks and MATLAB are required courses for all Mechanical Engineering students in Freshman spring semester.

 

Clare Boothe Luce Engineering Scholars Program (CBL-ESP)

 

Gang Feng, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Fabrication and Characterization of Nano-Architected Ultralight Multifunctional Materials
 

Materials with nano-architected structures have drastically enhanced properties compared to the bulk counterparts. Moreover, the nano-architected porous materials have the advantage of lightweight, which particularly benefits the engineering applications requiring high efficiency and low energy consumption. In this study, we will develop three-dimensional (3D) ultra-lightweight nanolattice porous materials, with high specific strength and stiffness. Furthermore, the nanolattice porous material has the unique functionality for mechanochromic sensing, i.e., the material’s color changes after deformation or impact. Here, the mechanochromic sensing is specifically important for detecting and recording impact force and speed, e.g., for concussion analysis for sports players and blast-resistance analysis for armors. One fabrication technique of nanolattice porous material involves (1) forming a nanolattice template by self-assembling nanoparticles into close-packed 3D array, (2) infiltrating the nanolattice template using a second material, and (3) creating a nanolattice porous material of the second material by removing the pre-embedded nanoparticle 3D array. In this project, the student will use state-of-the-art materials synthesis and characterization techniques, such as spinning coating, self-assembly, plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), atomic force microscope (AFM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), to create the nanolattice porous materials and characterize the morphology and composition of the materials. Furthermore, the student will use a nanomechanical testing tool – nanoindenter – to test the mechanical properties and also mechanochromic sensing capability of the nano-architected nanolattice porous material at different length and force scales. By analyze the nanostructure-property relation, we will gain a much deeper understanding the design principle of nanolattice porous material for mechanochromic sensing and provide insight on design light-weight materials with ultrahigh reliability and durability.

In this project, the student will use state-of-the-art materials synthesis and characterization techniques, such as spinning coating, PEALD, SEM, AFM, and EDS, to create the nanolattice porous materials and characterize the morphology and composition of the materials. Particularly, the fabrication technique of nanolattice porous material involves (1) forming a nanolattice template by self-assembling nanoparticles into close-packed 3D array, (2) infiltrating the nanolattice template using a second material, and (3) creating a nanolattice porous material of the second material by removing the pre-embedded nanoparticle 3D array. Furthermore, the student will use a nanomechanical testing tool – nanoindenter – to test the mechanical properties and also mechanochromic sensing capability of the nano-architected nanolattice porous material at different length and force scales. By analyze the nanostructure-property relation, we will gain a much deeper understanding the design principle of nanolattice porous material for mechanochromic sensing and provide insight on design light-weight materials with ultrahigh reliability and durability.

The student will be able to learn how to do comprehensive and critical review of the research in the literature. Based on the literature research, the student will be able to propose scientific hypotheses and design experiments to confirm or revise the hypotheses for a specific research project. Furthermore, the student will be able to learn, operate, and analyze the state-of-the-art materials synthesis and characterization techniques, spinning coating, PEALD, SEM, AFM, and EDS, and nanoindenter. The student will also learn how to write scientific reports, journal papers, and also present in national conferences.

The program will be conducted in a hybrid setup. After initial in-person training, the student will need to process and characterize samples. The research discussion though weekly meetings will be conducted remotely.

 

Seri Park, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

Exploring Driver’s Driving Behavior and Performance
 

Latest National Center for Health Statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are the main leading cause of death for 15-20-year-olds. The increase of distracted driving among young drivers (15 to 20-year-old) is often cited as one of the major causes of fatal crashes. To enhance teen driving safety and address the increase of distracted driving, many states and agencies are providing teen education programs. However, because of the gaps in knowledge about the impact of distracted driving on driving behavior among teenagers, such programs have not been demonstrated to increase awareness on the risk of distracted driving and potential consequences and merely provide passive educational materials and safe driving tips. These facts underline the need to explore how the distracted level of young drivers impacts driving performance. In-depth knowledge on distracted driving must be analyzed to develop more proactive and effective education strategies, which could change driving behaviors of young drivers and ultimately contribute to safe and sustainable communities.

The undergraduate research will be focused on experimental and survey data collection, collected data analyses, and assisting in subject interview. The major objectives are:

1) Understand the fundamentals of driver’s performance analyses based on collected experimental and survey data;

2) Understand the concept of various driving scenarios and develop scenarios using driving simulator;

3) Assess, interpret, and tabulate the collected survey, experiment, and interview data;

4) Write a report that summarizes methodologies applied and observations in experimental results.

 

Xun Jiao, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

HDForest: Ensemble Hyper-dimensional Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The brain-inspired hyperdimensional computing is a kind of promising artificial intelligence (AI) scheme. It has recently shown beyond-human accuracy in many applications such as image recognition, financial analysis, and bio-medical signal processing. However, single hyperdimensional classifier suffers from disadvantages like low accuracy, overfitting and large variance. A promising approach to improve hyperdimensional computing accuracy is using ensemble classifiers. An ensemble of classifiers is a set of classifiers whose individual decisions are combined in some way (typically by weighted or unweighted voting) to classify samples. In this project, based on the concept of random forest, we will build a forest of hyperdimensional classifiers to establish an ensemble classifier for higher prediction accuracy.

Most of the tasks are creating and using the hyperdimensional computing platform for establishing the ensemble classifier. The major objectives are:

1) Understanding the principles of hyperdimensional computing and build up a hyperdimensional computing platform in python.

2) Understanding the concept of ensemble classifiers and build up a prototype for classification and prediction with hyperdimensional computing.

3) Train and test the ensemble classifier developed using different datasets and compare with traditional hyperdimensional computing and machine learning algorithms.

4) Write a report that summarizes methodologies applied and observations in experimental results.

 

Nursing

 

Sunny G. Hallowell, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Inclusive Clinical Advocacy, Responsible Education - Virtual Gaming Simulation (ICARE-VGS)

This project will design, develop, and test an intervention called Inclusive Clinical Advocacy - Responsible Education through a web-based virtual gaming simulation (ICARE-VGS) to support healthcare providers' development of clinical and communication skills to promote equity, diversity, and belonging in the communities they serve.  

This position is for a highly motivated and organized student who is a good communicator and interested in healthcare, virtual learning, technology, gaming, media production, and social justice. Facility using Google Suite, Excel, Word, Outlook, social media is required. The student will collate data, book appointments, facilitate social media posts, assist with focus groups, debriefing interviews, and data analysis.

 

Guy Weissinger, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Adolescent Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Dr. Weissinger's research focuses on adolescent mental health and suicide prevention, especially outside of the traditional mental health system. For the spring semester, he will be working on projects around adolescent suicide prevention in primary care settings. An educational intervention will be sent to primary care providers and parents of adolescents to understand whether it would meet their needs. The project will also involve surveying and interviewing primary care providers about their experiences.

The Match Student Research Assistant (RA) will assist with data management and cleaning from surveys. They will transcript focus groups and/or interviews. They will assist with analyzing interviews and surveys to understand patient needs and improve interventions. Additional duties include: attending lab meetings, performing literature reviews and finding citations, copy editing manuscripts.

 

Elizabeth Dowdell, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Internet Risk Behaviors of Adolescents: Identifying Online and Offline Patterns

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in screen time for children and adolescents around the world. School closures and strict containment measures mean more and more families are relying on technology and digital solutions to keep children learning, entertained, and connected to the outside world, but not all children have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to keep themselves safe online. Spending more time on virtual platforms can leave children vulnerable to online sexual exploitation and may lead to heightened risk-taking such as sending sexualized images. Self exploitation, specifically the creating and distributing of explicit or inappropriate pictures of oneself or peers, now known as “sext” or “sexting,” is an identified high-risk Internet behavior. Associated with sexting is an online game known as Chat-Roulette which has only recently become more popular with adolescents. Using a preexisting database of 5,400 high school students this project’s goal is to identify offline and online behaviors associated with sexting and Chat-Roulette. Conducting a systematic review of professional literature during the past eighteen years (2000 to 2018) will use the PUBMED, EBSCO and MEDLINE databases.

Seeking a first year student who possesses high personal motivation, self-management, and detail-orientation to perform the following duties that include: To conduct literature and database searches and to assist professor in design of a manuscript and grant application which will include preparing print documents, and other graphics using Word and Excel.

 

Tracy Oliver, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Sensitivity Training Among Nurse Practitioner Students Utilizing Simulation

Obesity is one of the leading public health concerns in America today with more than 72% of the US adult population reported as living with overweight or obesity (Ogden et al., 2006). Discrimination and weight stigmatization are unfortunate experiences obese individuals encounter in the healthcare setting (Puhl & Brownell, 2001). Healthcare providers such as physicians and nurses may harbor biased attitudes about weight, which can contribute to discrimination (Budd, Mariotti, Graff & Falkenstein, 2009). Weight bias may directly affect a patient’s involvement in healthcare therefore, it is essential to identify and alleviate weight stigma among future healthcare professionals. Since nursing professionals are often the frontline of care, they must first identify if they are unknowingly harboring any personal stigma or bias against patients with overweight or obesity. Thereby, targeting nursing students to receive weight sensitivity training may be imperative to not only teach students about the complexities of obesity but to provide a skill-set to combat stigma in their future nursing practice. 

This sensitivity training program will be a part of the NUR 8612 and NUR 8614 clinical practicum courses as part of the nurse practitioners (NP) course sequence. The program will include a curriculum-embedded weight sensitivity training program. The nurse practitioner students will participate in three simulation encounters across these two practicum courses that utilize a standardized patient (SP) living with obesity. Students will participate in educational debriefings, PowerPoint educational lessons, journaling exercises, interactive components, and video segments.

The student research assistant will serve the following roles on this weight sensitivity training project: 

• Quantitative data entry from questionnaires (both pre, mid-point, and post) 

• Participate in data analysis 

• Assist in manuscript development, abstract development, and conference submission.

 • Potential active involvement in simulation scenarios with standardized patients.

Sciences

 

Dana Opulente, Biology/CLAS

Adaptations to Different Habitats in Budding Yeasts

A fundamental question in biology is the role of ecological and genetic processes in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. Budding yeasts have been isolated from soil, insects, plants, fruits, the ocean floor, and from every biome and continent. Furthermore, evidence suggests that habitats are partitioned by yeasts through temperature, host species, and sugar preferences. The research in my lab explores adaptations of budding yeasts to different habitats. Through a combination of sampling yeasts across multiple environments, growth experiments to measure adaptations, and genomics, we will identify the traits important for growth in different habitats.

Students will have the opportunity to work both in the wet lab and computationally. Throughout the year we will collect soil and non-animal samples from different habitats across Pennsylvania. These samples will be used to isolate and identify yeast to explore the ecological diversity of yeasts across environments and substrate. Yeasts that are isolated will then be tested for their ability to grow in different environmental conditions in the lab to test for adaptations to those habitats we collected from.

 

Dan Kraut, Chemistry/CLAS

Effect of ubiquitin chain length on proteasomal unfolding ability

The proteasome is an ATP-dependent machine in all eukaryotic cells responsible for unfolding and degrading substrate proteins. In the Kraut lab we study the processivity of the proteasome – that is, its ability to unfold and degrade substrates containing folding domains without falling off the substrate. Substrates to be degraded are polyubiquitinated, meaning a chain of small proteins called ubiquitin are attached to lysines within the substrate. In addition to targeting the substrate to the proteasome, ubiquitin seems to activate the proteasome for better unfolding of its substrates. In this project we propose to examine the effect of ubiquitin chain length on the proteasome’s unfolding ability. In vitro ubiquitination typically gives long chains of ubiquitin, but in vivo chains are generally shorter. We will systematically change chain length by terminating chain elongation with varying ratios of mutant ubiquitin, and then measure the proteasome’s unfolding ability with these substrates.

The research assistant will learn how to make substrate proteins for use in degradation assays, how to purify proteins, how to do degradation assays (enzyme kinetics), run protein gels, quantify and analyze data from the degradation assays, and ultimately how to design new experiments based on the results of previous experiments. Research is a significant time commitment. Early on the research assistant will work alongside me, but as he or she masters various techniques, will become increasingly independent. Applicants should be willing to continue working in the lab in the summer (with stipend) and, ideally, throughout their time at Villanova. Ultimately, research may lead to publications and/or presentations at national meetings.

 

Matthew O'Reilly, Chemistry/CLAS

Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Efflux Pump Inhibitors Toward their use as Antibiotic Adjuvants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 2.8 million antibiotic resistance infections occurred in the United States in 2019, and more than 35,000 people died as a result. Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterial strain that the CDC classifies as an “urgent” and/or “serious” pathogen, frequently causes healthcare-associated infections that include pneumonia and infections of surgical sites, the urinary tract, and bloodstream. P. aeruginosa infections are currently the primary cause of mortality among people with cystic fibrosis, and there are an estimated 32,600 multi-drug resistant cases in hospitalized patients each year. A major factor contributing to P. aeruginosa’s antibiotic resistance is the impermeability of its membrane structure to a variety of antibiotic classes including -lactams, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and peptide macrocycles such as vancomycin. This impermeability is both passive, related to compound classes that cannot diffuse across the membrane, and active, related to efflux pumps that actively export antibiotic molecules out of the bacterium toward the extracellular environment. The latter active efflux mechanism can be targeted by efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs), which have been shown to sensitize bacteria toward antibiotic susceptibility. One EPI, a peptidomimetic called phenylalanine-arginine -naphthylamide (PAhas shown promise as an antibiotic adjuvant. Despite numerous biological studies, a synthesis of PAhas never been published, nor have any studies been described examining how its chemical structure relates to its biological activity (i.e. structure activity relationships: SAR). The O’Reilly Laboratory intends to develop high yielding and customizable synthetic route to PA, allowing for the synthesis of PAderivatives that will allow for the exploration of its SAR. We will evaluate the potency of these compounds using 96-well plate microdilution assays where PAwill be co-dosed with various antibiotics, allowing for the determination of minimum inhibitor concentration changes.

The student will work at the interface of chemistry and biology as they explore all aspects of this project. They will learn foundational organic chemistry laboratory skills as they run reactions, purify desired compounds from complex mixtures, and characterize the molecules using spectroscopic methods. In some instances, inert reaction mixtures will be necessary, and the student will be taught Schlenk techniques toward successful completion of these reactions. They will use the molecules they independently prepared as they learn foundational microbiology laboratory skills while aseptically working with biosafety level 2 pathogens in a biosafety cabinet. These assays will require multichannel pipetting, serial diluting of compounds and cultures, and the use of a multiplate reader for assay analysis. The student will become comfortable analyzing their biological data exported from the plate reader, and they will be able to present the data in various formats for ease of understanding. Throughout the chemical and biological aims of the project, the student will be provided with literature references toward a thorough understanding of the project.

 

Xue Qin, Computing Sciences / College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Automated GUI Test Generation for Android: Are We There Yet?

Software Testing is a crucial procedure to guarantee the application's quality and assurance before delivery. Omitting the test may cause the software to fail at release and result in unpredictable financial loss. Most of the testing works in industries are still manual and time-consuming. Many automated test generation techniques have been created by industries and academies to improve software development efficiency. Test methods such as Unit Test can now be generated automatically through the program code analysis. However, tests on the application's Graphic User Interface (GUI) still heavily rely on human testers. In this project, we want to explore the potential obstacles that block automated GUI test generation design in industries. More specifically, we will study the current practices of the GUI test method design for thousands of the applications repositories on Github and monitor their commit histories to discover the challenges to write and maintain an efficient GUI test method. 

The overall project will include five steps: 

1. Studying literature for GUI Testing. 

2. Collecting and selecting the applications. 

3. Extracting test method source code. 

4. Identifying obstacles through commit histories observation and comparison.

 5. Writing Report for obstacles classification. 

This project's primary goal is to study the current practices in the GUI testing generation. This project will observe the project commit histories to discover how industries generate and maintain the GUI test methods. The project is expected to understand and categorize the common errors that human testers encountered during the test methods generation and argue potential solutions to overcome the challenges.

The research assistant will perform a variety of tasks associated with the project, including:

 1. Writing a script to collect and select the application from Github automatically.

 2. Understanding the code parsing and writing tools to identify the test methods in source code automatically.

 3. Designing or finding a tool to compare the difference between commits.

 4. Writing a statistic report for the empirical study 

5. Reading and summarizing literature. 

More importantly, the research assistant will build important preliminary work that can be extended to numerous future works that benefit the testing community.

 

Stephen M. Strader,Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Changes in Northeast U.S. Severe Weather: Is this the New Normal?

This project focuses on uncovering recent trends in severe weather across the Northeast U.S. Is climate change increasing the risk of severe weather hazards such as tornadoes, hail, wind, and flooding? Why was 2021 such a record-breaking year in terms of severe weather hazard events? By examining historical severe weather hazard data across the region, this study will help determine potential how much more perilous the Northeast has become while also uncovering potential areas of future hazard and disaster mitigation. Findings from this project will be shared with local emergency management officials, media partners, and meteorologists/climatologists. In addition, this work will set the stage for future research investigating potential 21st century alterations in Northeast severe weather potential.

The Match student will be responsible for compiling historical hazard data for phenomena such as tornadoes, hail, wind, and rainfall. They will be trained and asked to compile data that will be assessed temporally using a variety of software. Although experience with Microsoft Excel is desired, at a minimum, the Match student will be trained on how to download, clean, and analyze climate data.

 

Kabindra Shakya, Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Literature review on the contamination of soils in urban community gardens

Community gardens provide healthy and affordable fresh produce to the urban communities. This is especially important for environmental justice communities with limited access to healthy and fresh produce. Community gardens provide environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits. However, some urban lands may have been contaminated with environmental pollutants (e.g. heavy metals such as lead and cadmium). This can cause the harm to the community instead of benefits. This study aims to review the available literature about environmental contaminants in urban soils in the United States. This will help to understand the existent knowledge of contamination, type of contaminants, and the state of problem in the United States. The review will also examine the common factors associated with high level of contamination, and mitigation measures to reduce the exposure to urban community gardeners.

Student will use the online database to screen the literature and review the literature published on soil contamination in urban gardens across the United States. Student will organize the information on contaminants and analyze the data to compile the existent knowledge of environmental contamination in urban soils, and the determinants. Student will review literature, enter information, analyze data, and will prepare a report.

 

Steven Goldsmith, Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Analyzing metal contamination in sediment deposits from Tropical Storm Ida

River flooding after tropical storms can result in substantial damage to the built environment. However, though it may be less noticeable, flooding can create additional problems through the sediment left behind once waters recede. These deposits may be contaminated with heavy metals reflective of upstream landcover practices (i.e., industry, roadways, sewage treatment facilities, etc.), and that can create exposure to chemical hazards. Sediment contamination poses a direct threat to children who may inadvertently ingest material deposited in areas such as playgrounds and sites of recreation. Upon drying, this sediment material can also be re-mobilized as dust thereby increasing its potential to adversely impact human health. 

On September 1st 2021, intense rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Ida resulted in catastrophic flooding throughout the Philadelphia region. Portions of the Manayunk and East Falls neighborhoods in Northwest Philadelphia were inundated with greater than 1 foot of river water, which left behind sediment layers up to 10cm in depth. In the days following the storm, sediment samples were collected from >30 locations consisting of roadways, parking lots sidewalks, and playgrounds. For this study, we are analyzing the sediment samples for total and exchangeable concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. Metal concentrations will be compared to those found in background soils for the region as well as applicable regulatory standards, to see if they exceed limits from a public health perspective.

The Match student would be required to meet with the faculty mentor on a weekly basis to discuss all aspects of the project, including reading relevant literature, sample preparation, and analysis techniques. In particular, the student should set aside a 2-3 hour block of time to work with the mentor on sediment digestions and subsequent metal analysis, as well as data analysis techniques. It is anticipated that the student would gain more independence with the data analysis techniques over the course of the semester.

 

Peleg Kremer, Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Urban gardens and vacant lots: prospects and challenges for long-term public uses 

In this project we will be looking to identify urban vacant lots in Philadelphia that are used as community gardens and face the risk of being displaced due to urban development. Research will include a literature review, interaction with different stakeholders working on urban gardens in the city, and spatial analysis to identify at risk properties.

The student in this project will engage in literature review, meetings with stake holders, and spatial analysis. No experience in spatial analysis is required, but strong interest in learning GIS is highly recommended.

 

Tory Chase and Steven Goldsmith, Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Physical quantification of marine debris degradation

Marine debris (MD) has become one of the most widespread and detrimental threats to aquatic and marine ecosystems. These anthropogenic solid materials fragment into smaller and smaller pieces (micro-debris), act as host surfaces to harmful bacteria, and leach toxins such as heavy metals, negatively impacting both humans and biodiversity within riverine and coastal environments. Over 90% of ocean pollution, especially in the form of MD, originates from coastal rivers, often accumulating on riverbanks, beach shores, or remain suspended in the water column for long periods of time. Understanding physical and chemical deterioration of MD under transport conditions aides our understanding of its impact on surrounding habitats. 

This ongoing experiment focuses on MD degradation under different environmental conditions of salinity, temperature, and substrate type. The four common types of MD included in this experiment are: (1) Coca Cola can (aluminum), (2) plastic sheet (polyethylene), (3) polyester fabric (fleece), and (4) plastic bottles (PET). After 30, 180, and 365 days under experimental conditions, pore water samples will be collected to quantify the leaching of pollutants. Additionally, a subset of the microcosms will be dismantled at the 180-day sampling interval and the corresponding MD sample will be evaluated for physical degradation (e.g., weight, size, color, and tensile strength).

The Match Student would be required to meet with the faculty mentors on a weekly basis to discuss all aspects of the project. For each week, the student should set aside a distinct 2-to-3-hour block of time, to work directly with the mentors on tasks, such as physical measurements and photo analysis of MD, assisting with water and sediment digestions, and data analysis techniques. The Match Student may be working both independently and collaboratively with other lab group members over the course of the semester and is invited to join Lab Group weekly meetings. Research responsibilities will include working with the photo lab set-up, the microcosm area station, and on his/her/their personal computer. As for specific research timing, the research match student, if possible, should be available for 5-8 hours a week, during the last two weeks of February 2022, when the 180-day sampling interval is scheduled. It is anticipated that the student would gain more independence with the data analysis techniques over the course of the semester.

 

Lisa J. Rodrigues, Geography and the Environment/CLAS

Partners or competitors: What impact do endolithic green algae and pink cyanobacteria have on nutritional resources within coral colonies?

Research in my laboratory is focused on the physiological mechanisms that corals use to survive stressful environmental conditions. Accessing resources for nutritional well-being is essential for all organisms, including corals, as they cope with natural or anthropogenic changes in the environment. We have been studying the Northern Star Coral, Astrangia poculata, that lives in Rhode Island and must cope with extreme temperature fluctuations from summer to winter. Most coral species have an obligate mutualistic relationship with zooxanthellae (i.e., symbionts) where they share nutritional resources and survive best together. In contrast, A. poculata has a facultative relationship and can survive with or without symbionts. We are discovering how A. poculata colonies allocate nutritional resources with and without symbionts and in different seasons. One previously unexplored factor is that A. poculata houses other endolithic organisms that live within their skeleton: green algae and pink cyanobacteria. Do these other organisms share or withhold their acquired resources from A. poculata? What does A. poculata do with its acquired resources in return? Answering these questions will assess the nature of the relationship between A. poculata, the endolithic green alga, and the pink cyanobacterium: whether mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic. In summer 2021, I conducted a series of pulse-chase experiments to isotopically track the sharing of carbon and nitrogen nutrients among the different organisms. The next step is to analyze different physiological parameters in the colonies to determine the type of relationship(s) occurring. This study will provide a better understanding of: (1) the complex diversity of organisms found within A. poculata colonies; and (2) the physiological costs/benefits of their facultative mutualism with symbionts. Together this knowledge can be applied to other coral species with endolithic inhabitants.

My laboratory has coral samples that were collected in June 2021, containing endolithic green algae or pink cyanobacteria, both, or neither organism. Colonies were pulse-chased with carbon and nitrogen isotopes to follow both elements from coral to endolithic organism and vice versa. The next step is to process the samples. The Match student research assistant will learn and assist with the following techniques to continue this study: (1) prepare the samples by separating the coral tissue from the skeleton; (2) isolate and quantify the coral host tissue from the symbionts; (3) isolate and quantify the endolithic green algae and the pink cyanobacteria in the skeleton; and (4) pack isolated samples in vials or tins for analyses of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. The student will work closely with the faculty mentor at each step to learn techniques and protocols and will participate in graphing the data and statistical analyses. The student will also be encouraged to attend weekly lab group meetings and will have the opportunity to present their findings to our lab group.

 

Scott Dietrich, Physics/CLAS

Electron Crystals in Graphene

Many people consider electricity flowing like water in a pipe, but this analogy breaks down when electrons interact strongly. This collective behavior of electrons in a material is often greater than the sum of its parts – more is different. Exciting new electronic properties result when electrons interact strongly: they can crystallize, superconduct, coalesce, or more. This project uses microwave radiation to characterize these unconventional electronic states. Understanding this collective behavior could lead to new technology in the areas of energy-efficient electronics, data storage, and even quantum computation. 

Graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms arranged into a honeycomb lattice – is the most efficient carrier of electric current yet discovered. It has been the center of 15 years of intense research and industrial interest since its discovery. While its remarkable current-carrying ability promises a major revolution in energy-efficient electronics, this project aims to understand the crystallization of graphene’s electrons that occurs at very low temperatures and high magnetic fields. Just like phases of matter, these electron crystals melt at certain temperatures and often compete with other phases such as liquid or gas. Characterizing the properties of these crystals will allow us to better understand the interaction between electrons and the preference for solid phases to exist. 

Measuring the properties of fragile electronic crystals is a difficult task. This project uses a technique called microwave transmission spectroscopy (MWTS) to study electron crystals. Microwave radiation is passed down a waveguide built on top of the graphene layer. When these electromagnetic waves pass near the graphene, some fraction gets absorbed while the rest continues through to a detector. By analyzing what makes it to the detector, we can understand how the electrons are acting at different temperatures and magnetic fields.

All measured structures are built from scratch by the student. Students begin by exfoliating bulk graphite and hexagonal boron nitride crystals to obtain single and few layer flakes. The thickness and quality of these flakes will be studied using an atomic force microscope (AFM) and then stacked using a dry transfer technique to form heterostructures (layered stacks of different materials). Students will learn about the nanofabrication techniques used to place waveguides on top of these heterostructures using the cleanroom facilities of both Villanova University and the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania. Students will then work with (and possibly travel to) collaborators at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, FL for experiments at low temperatures and strong magnetic fields.

 

Amber Stuver, Physics/CLAS

Enabling Confident Burst Gravitational Wave Detections with LIGO

The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA are preparing for their next observing run, referred to as O4, seeking small changes in gravity propagating though the universe known as gravitational waves. These gravitational waves are produced by some of the most violent and energetic events in the universe, like black holes or neutron stars colliding. Observing gravitational waves has opened a new way to observe the universe that does not depend on electromagnetic (EM) radiation (i.e. light). We can now “feel” when massive objects like black holes and neutron stars collide. These observations provide us with new information about black holes and neutron stars and, when paired with EM observations, give us a more complete picture of the universe than we’ve ever had before. To make detections of gravitational waves, the LIGO observatories must make the smallest length measurements ever made by humans – less than 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a proton. Besides being sensitive to gravitational waves, the observatories are also extremely sensitive to environmental and instrumental disturbances which produce a constant noise background in the data. Detailed studies of this noise are required to maximize confidence estimates of candidate gravitational wave detections and to improve future data by identifying and mitigating sources of noise. This project will focus on data quality studies of gravitational wave data and the impact of noise on the search for gravitational waves. The results of this will produce lists of times of confirmed data contamination to be excluded (vetoed) from the search for gravitational waves which will directly improve the resulting confidence of candidate detections. Results may also identify previously unknown sources of gravitational wave and potential mitigation leading to improved quality of future data.

Research assistants will become members of the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration and work with actively acquired gravitational wave data from their two observatories (in Louisiana and Washington state). Investigations will involve the use of existing analysis tools with the possibility of adapting or developing new tools; assistants will be trained on the use of tools and mentored if any modifications are required. Research will focus on using the results of machine learning algorithms to automate the identification of times when gravitational wave data is contaminated by noise. Regular progress reports will be made in research group meetings. The assistant will also be expected to attend regular collaboration meetings as their schedules allow. Presentation of results at professional meetings is also encouraged.

 

Jordan Guerra Aguilera, Physics/CLAS

Statistics of the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) Radiation in Sunspots

Sunspots are areas in the solar surface of intense magnetic fields. These strong magnetic fields are known to power solar explosions (i.e. solar flares and coronal mass ejections) which produce the visually-striking phenomena on Earth such as the Aurora Borealis but also has the potential of disrupting modern life by affecting technology. When observed in a different wavelength, sunspots display hot plasma emitting electromagnetic radiation in the EUV range that is well observed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). This project aims to study the differences between the EUV radiation coming from sunspots about to erupt and that coming from those more quiet.

The students will use online tools, data bases, and pyhton-based software to create cutouts of EUV maps and analyze their distributions. We expect the student to spend some time identifying differences between active and quiet sunspots.

 

Benjamin Sachs, Psychological and Brain Sciences - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Examining the impact of genetic brain serotonin deficiency on exercise-induced increases in hippocampal neurogenesis in mice

Exercise has been reported to improve certain types of memory, to induce antidepressant-like effects, and to lead to many other cognitive and/or health benefits. One cellular process that has been implicated in memory and antidepressant responses is adult hippocampal neurogenesis, which is the production of new neurons in adulthood. Although neurogenesis has been reported to play an important role in antidepressant-like responses to antidepressant drugs, whether it is also involved in the antidepressant-like effects of exercise has not been established. Serotonin is a key regulator of hippocampal neurogenesis and is heavily implicated in the mechanism of action of most clinically effective antidepressants. The complete lack of serotonin has been shown to block exercise induced neurogenesis, but whether more moderate reductions in serotonin levels would have a similar effect remains unknown. The Sachs lab studies a mouse line that harbors a particular genetic mutation that leads to a ~70% reduction in brain serotonin synthesis. Recent work from the lab suggests that this mouse line is partially resistant to the behavioral responses to exercise, but whether neurogenic responses to exercise are also blunted in these animals remains unknown. The proposed project would utilize existing mouse brain samples in the Sachs lab and would employ a technique called immunohistochemistry to compare the level of neurogenesis in four groups of mice: wildtype controls, wildtype exercise-exposed, serotonin-deficient controls and serotonin-deficient exercise-exposed animals. We hypothesize that low serotonin will at least partially prevent exercise-induced neurogenesis in addition to limiting behavioral responses to exercise. The results could have important implications for our understanding of the role of serotonin in the behavioral and neural responses to exercise.

 

The Match student would spend significant time cutting mouse brain sections on a cryostat and staining these sections using antibodies against BrdU, a marker of cellular proliferation, and/or doublecortin, a marker of immature (newly born) neurons. The student would also be required to use a fluorescence microscope to take pictures of BrdU+ and/or doublecortin+ cells in the mouse hippocampus and to count the number of BrdU or doublecortin positive cells. Finally, the student would perform statistical analyses to evaluate potential group differences and would make graphs depicting the data. No handling of live mice would be required for this project.

 

Irene Kan; Melissa O'Connor; Michelle A. McKay, Brain and Psychological Sciences & Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

The Lived Experience of Students from Diverse Backgrounds Enrolled in Undergraduate MSTEM Curriculums

There are known disparities in the success and completion rates of minority students enrolled in MSTEM undergraduate programs. The aim of the current project is to understand the experience of students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the MSTEM fields who are currently enrolled in undergraduate MSTEM curriculums at Villanova University. With IRB approval, focus groups will be held with these students to learn about their academic and social experiences to inform a future project focused on the development or refinement of academic and support services.

The Research Assistant will work closely with the project investigators. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, conducting literature reviews via scholarly databases, compiling tables of evidence, conducting interviews, transcribing recorded interviews, working with the investigators to create data tables for manuscripts, and preparation of posters and publications related to the study. Basic Microsoft office skills including excel, word, and power point are helpful. Student must be detail-oriented, self-motivated, highly organized, and able to work in a professional environment.

 

Past Freshman Match Participants

Year
Student Department Mentor Project Title
2019 Olivia Pfeiffer Economics Xiaoxiao (Maya) Li Gender  Pay  Gap  in  the  C  Suite 
2019 Olivia Moyer Economics Xiaoxiao (Maya) Li Gender  Pay  Gap  in  the  C  Suite 
2019 Xiaofei Yu Marketing and Business Law Aronte Bennett & Beth Vallen Impact  of  Container  Based  Consumption  Inferences
2019 Yihang Lin Marketing and Business Law Yoon-Na Cho Effect  of  ambient  lighting  in  consumer  decision making
2019 Megan Leahy Marketing and Business Law Matthew Sarkees Generation  Z  and  the  Opioid  Crisis:  Marketing  and  Public  Policy  Implications  
2019 Isabel Langas Romance Languages & Literature Agnese Codebo Mapping  Trash  and  Art  in  Latin  America
2019 Allison Baroni Romance Languages & Literature Adriano Duque Mapping Folklore in Valparaiso
2019 Daniel Estrada Romance Languages & Literature Laura Sandez Visualizing LatinX Philly
2019 Mia Arrington Sociology & Criminology Meredith Bergey Connecting  Social  Policy  and  Medicalization:  The  Case  of  World  Trade  Center  Cough 
2019 Luke Rathbun Biology Anil Bamezai Investigate, using  a  mouse  tumor  transplantation  model,  the  role  of  immune  checkpoint inhibitor  Ly-6A  expressed  on  Tumor  Infiltrating  Lymphocytes  (TILs)  in  tumor  immunity
2019 Lily Day Biology Robert Curry Effect of hybridization on problem-solving abilities of Pennsylvania Chickadees
2019 Kristen Meeh Biology Troy Shirangi How  genes  build  neural  circuits  for  animal  instincts.  
2019 Alexis Price Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction
2019 Maya Rao Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction
2019 Matthew Borkoski Geography & the Environment Steven Goldsmith Evaluating the Relationship between Suburban Land Use Practices and Water Quality
2019 Alec Henderson Geography & the Environment Steven Goldsmith  Evaluating the Relationship between Suburban Land Use Practices and Water Quality
2019 Gillen Curren Geography & the Environment Kabindra Shakya & Peleg Kramer Air  quality  mapping  at  Villanova  Campus
2019 Anthony Berna Mathematics & Statistics Kaitlyn Muller The  Effect  of  Physics-Based  Modeling  on  Synthetic-Aperture  Radar  Target  Detection 
2019 Frank Simutis Mathematics & Statistics Kaitlyn Muller The  Effect  of  Physics-Based  Modeling  on  Synthetic-Aperture  Radar  Target  Detection 
2019 Peter Webb Physics David Chuss & Javad Siah Exploring  Interstellar  Magnetic  Fields  from  the  Stratosphere 
2019 Sebastian Flores Physics David Chuss & Javad Siah Exploring  Interstellar  Magnetic  Fields  from  the  Stratosphere 
2019 Catherine Petretti Physics Joey Nielsen  Mapping  a Black  Hole  Wind: Determining the Orbital Period and Wind Geometry in  GRO  J1655-40  
2019 Andrea DiRenzo Psychological & Brain Sciences Laura Getz  Interactions are Essential: Audiovisual Integration and Top-Down  Influences in Perception 
2019 Lily Nelson  Civil/Environmental Engineering Eric Musselman & David Dinehart Compressive  Behavior  of  Wood  Perpendicular  to  the  Grain 
2019 Matthew Dorchak Civil/Environmental Engineering Eric Musselman & David Dinehart Compressive  Behavior  of  Wood  Perpendicular  to  the  Grain 
2019 Shenda Huang Mechanical Engineering Xun Jiao Energy-efficient Neural Networks with Low-precision Parameters
2019 Kelly Delawder Mechanical Engineering Bo Li  Build  Highly  Sensitive  Environmental  Sensor  from  Polymer  Nanocrystals  Assembledon Crystalized  2D  Materials  
2019 William Taubner Mechanical Engineering Bo Li  Build  Highly  Sensitive  Environmental  Sensor  from  Polymer  Nanocrystals  Assembledon Crystalized  2D  Materials  
2019 Kelsey Chodorow Nursing Sherry Burrell Quality of Life in Caregivers of Veterans with Cancer
2019 Charlotte Lane Nursing Mary Ann Cantrell A Clinical Simulation Program to Increase Graduate Nurses’ Clinical Competency and Clinical Judgment in the Practice Setting
2019 Patricia Santos Nursing  Sunny Hallowell Virtual  Reality  Simulation  for  Teaching  and  Evaluation  of  Medication  Safety Administration 
2019 Laura Cesar Nursing Michelle Kelly Adverse  Childhood  Experiences and the Child with Special Health Care Needs
2019 Isidora Martin Nursing Meredith MacKenzie Greenle Hypertension  Self-care  among  Indonesian-Americans 
2019 Elizabeth Kelly Nursing James Mendez The Predictive Ability of the Stanford Integrated Psychosocial Assessment for Transplant (SIPAT) for Length of Stay and Survival up to Four Years after Lung Transplantation 
2019 Sinead Dolan Nursing Jennifer Yost Quantifying Redundancy in Research
2019 Adam Kucharczuk Nursing Tracy Oliver Assessment of Weight-Related Bias among Undergraduate Nursing students before and after Curriculum Imbedded Sensitivity Training
2019 Eleanor Latz Nursing Jennifer Ross Gunberg The  Effect  of  Curricular  Integration  of  TeamSTEPPS  Training  on  Baccalaureate  Nursing  Students’  Knowledge,  Attitudes,  and  Skills  in  Teamwork
2018 Michaela Mazzo Romance Languages & Literature Adriano Duque Mapping Latino Oral Culture in the United States
2018 Gia Beaton English Jean M. Lutes Recovering an African American Woman Writer's Lost Work: Alice Dunbar-Nelson and "His Heart's Desire"
2018 Lucinda Mileto English Jean M. Lutes Recovering an African American Woman Writer's Lost Work: Alice Dunbar-Nelson and "His Heart's Desire"
2018 Jackie Solomon English Jean M. Lutes Recovering an African American Woman Writer's Lost Work: Alice Dunbar-Nelson and "His Heart's Desire"
2018 Michelle Ferrer Romance Languages & Literature Laura V. Sandez Visualizing Latin @ Lit
2018 Beatriz De Jesus Romance Languages & Literature Mary Kate Donovan Race and Celebrity in Spanish Cimea Culture of the Silver Age
2018 Kathleen Roberti Finance Tina Yang Inside the Boardroom: Evidence from the Minutes of Board Meetings
2018 Chris D'Amico Accountancy & Information Systems Lucy Chen Consequences of using IFRS within the United States: The case of auditor behavior
2018 Yanyao Shi Economics Michael Curran On the Persistence of Stock Market Portfolio Prices
2018 Joseph Carmody Economics Michael Curran On Stock Market Connectedness across Countries
2018 Ibrahim Annabi Economics Michael Curran A Country-Level CAPM Analysis
2018 Taylor Hinch Accountancy & Information Systems Erica Harris Are We There Yet? CEO Gender Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector
2018 Nicholas Yoo Mechanical Engineering Bo Li Scalable assemble two dimensional nanomaterials on polymer substrate for flexible sensors
2018 Anthony Etim Mechanical Engineering Aaron Wemhoff Increasing the Impact of Data Center Modeling Software 
2018 Yuhan Wang Mechanical Engineering Morteza Seidi  Design & Evaluation of Head Protective Gears to Mitigate Head Injuries
2018 Alec Cárdenas Civil & Environmental Engineering Eric Musselman & David W. Dinehart Wood Connections for Improved Seismic Performance
2018 Courtney McPheter Civil & Environmental Engineering Eric Musselman & David W. Dinehart Wood Connections for Improved Seismic Performance
2018 Min Ji Hong Chemical Engineering Jacob Elmer Preparation for an Ultra-Stable and Ultra-Portable Blood Substitute: Freeze-Drying of Earthworm Hemoglobin
2018 Philip Yang Mechanical Engineering Calvin Hong Li Clean Water Recovery from Air by Bioinspired Nanostructured Surfaces
2018 Alexa Schoeneborn Mechanical Engineering Calvin Hong Li Clean Water Recovery from Air by Bioinspired Nanostructured Surfaces
2018 Aarya Deb Mechanical Engineering Gang Feng Developing Strong and Highly-Conductive Ultra-Light Nanomaterial Network
2018 Allison Day Nursing Mary Ann Cantrell A Clinical Simulation Program to Increase Graduate Nurses' Clinical Competency and Clinical Judgement in the Practice Setting
2018 Alexa Steady Nursing Sunny Hallowell Understanding the Impact of Homelessness on Mothers, Infants, and Families
2018 Paige Kenyon Nursing Sherry A. Burrell Quality of Life in Caregivers of Veterans with Cancer
2018 Abigail Gehsmann Nursing Tracy L. Oliver Assessment of Weight-Related Bias among Undergraduate Nursing Students before and after Curriculum Imbedded Sensitivity Training
2018 Tiffany Pearson Nursing Jennifer Yost Making Decisions in Healthcare
2018 Chris Braganca Chemistry Dan Kraut Coupling between ATP hydrolysis and substrate unfolding by the proteasome
2018 Elisabeth Dimitratos Psychological & Brain Sciences Benjamin Sachs Examining sex differences in binge drinking behavior at baseline and in response to stress
2018 Lauren Hurley Physics Georgia C. Papefthymiou-Davis The bio-mineral core of engineered human ferritins over expresed in E. coli
2018 Rahul Thapa Physics David Chuss & Javad Siah Mapping Galactic Magnetic Fields from the Stratosphere
2018 Lexi Tumblety Physics David Chuss & Javad Siah Mapping Galactic Magnetic Fields from the Stratosphere
2018 Audrey Lawrence Biology Anil Bamezai Immune Response by Helper T lyphocytes: Role of Lipid rafts and Membrane order in cell signaling through the T cell receptor
2018 Emily Scheuring Geography & the Environment Kabindra M. Shakya & Nathaniel Wreston Determination of aldehydes and ketones in drinking water from a variety of storage containers by HPLC 
2018 Kyle Abo Chemistry Ryan P. Jorn Interfaces Matter: Co-solvent Preference in Lithium-ion Battery Electrolytes
2018 Austin Leitgeb Chemistry Ryan P. Jorn Interfaces Matter: Co-solvent Preference in Lithium-ion Battery Electrolytes
2018 Susannah Sapp Biology Alyssa Y. Stark The effect of temperature and humidity on gecko-inspired synthetic adhesives
2018 Hamna Khalid Computing Sciences  Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction
2018 Seung Yeon (Amanda) Jeong Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction
2018 Hannah Murray Sociology and Criminology Meredith Bergey Sociodemographic Correlates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The Importance of Intersectionality in Addressing Unmet Needs for Specialty Care
2017 Makenna Kariuki Education and Counseling Jerusha Conner Today's Youth Activists
2017 Rahma Goran Theology/Religious Studies Vincent Lloyd The Sources of Dignity in African American Culture
2017 Amanda Gerstenfeld English Jean Lutes Legendary Effect: Transcultural Intimacies in Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House (1925) and Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)
2017 Jade Huang Communication Amy Way Locating Youth Experiences in the Work Life Negotiation Literature
2017 Martin Vega Psychology Joe Toscano Speech-based texts for diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss
2017 Travis Nix Communication Len Shyles Political Advertising in the 2016 Presidential Election: Does it help voters decide?
2017 Caitlin Ramirez Public Administration Lauren Miltenberger Where's the Love? Understanding how complex contracting systems can cause hardships for systems aimed at reducing homelessness in Philadelphia
2017 Francis Coen Mechanical Engineering Qianhong Wu A Biomimetic Approach to Study the Brain Response under Fast Impact
2017 Blaire Miran Civil & Environmental Engineering Shawn Gross Long term deflection of concrete beams with fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite reinforcement
2017 Rebecca Moretti Civil & Environmental Engineering Wenqing Xu Identifying the precursors of disinfection by-products in the swimming pools
2017 Srijana Chapagain Chemical Engineering Noelle Comolli Nanoparticles for tumor targeting
2017 Shlok Kaneria Computing Sciences Edward Kim Physical Computing and Machine Vision
2017 Jason Drucker Computing Sciences Edward Kim Physical Computing and Machine Vision
2017 Gwen Saccocia Biology Robert Curry Social networks and personality in Carolina Chickadees
2017 Jessica Moszkowicz Biology  Troy Shirang How a developmental gene shapes a sex-specific neural circuit
2017 Janet Nguyen Biology Troy Shirang How a developmental gene shapes a sex-specific neural circuit
2017 Mackenzie Jorgenson Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction Supporting Sustainability
2017 Julia Ferrante Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive Human Computer Interaction Supporting Sustainability
2017 Josephine Papotto Geography & the Environment Kabindra Shakya Air Quality in Villanova Campus
2017 Augustus Most Physics David Chuss Classifying Galactic Star-Forming Regions with Planck Data
2017 Gus Singleton Management  John A. Pearce II Major Obstacles to Success for a Small Business Founder-Manager
2017 Xinyue Sheng Accountancy & IS Lucy Chen Acquirers' Use of Fairness Opinions and Subsequent Goodwill Impairment
2017 Tian Tian Accountancy & IS Erica Harris Nonprofit Related Party Transactions: Friend or Foe?
2017 Adam Kebbeh Accountancy & IS Erica Harris Nonprofit Related Party Transactions: Friend or Foe?
2017 Emma Bernhard Finance Tina Yang The Impact of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) on Corporate Governance
2017 Frances Steadman Nursing Sunny G. Hallowell Creating a PING (Patient Information Networking Group) - to Bridge Care from the Hospital Home
2017 Patrick Treacy Nursing Elizabeth B. Dowdell Toddlers and Guns
2017 Allison Lorenz Nursing Amy McKeever The Opioid Crisis in American Women
2016 Lauren Henderson Mechanical Engineering Aaron Wemhoff Models for improving the energy efficiency of data centers
2016 Alexander Vetter Psychology  Michael Brown Exploring the Animal Mind
2016 Gianna Perez Psyschology Michael Brown Exploring the Animal Mind
2016 Victoria Lyou Human Resource Development Christopher Castille  Personality-Oriented Work Analysis Assessment Validation
2016 Athul Rajesh Chemical Engineering Jacob Elmer Cross-linking earthworm hemoglobin with glutaraldehyde to produce an ultra-stable blood substitute
2016 Zhenglin Yu Mechanical Engineering Calvin Li Graphene synthesis for graphene polymer nanocomposite of increased thermal conductivity 
2016 Andrew Lee Mechanical Engineering Gang Feng Developing nanostructured energy storage materials
2016 Katherine Mohr Nursing Elizabeth Dowdell "Trauma Normalization" in a population of children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters
2016 Erin Donnelly Nursing  Elizabeth Dowdell "Trauma Normalization" in a population of children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters
2016 Emily LaPorte Nursing Meredith MacKenzie Pilot testing the COPE intervention with family caregivers of frail older adults
2016 Maria Djogova Chemistry Dan Kraut Determining the Fate of Ubiquitin During Proteasomal Degradation 
2016 Mansi Mann Chemistry Dan Kraut Determining the Fate of Ubiquitin During the Proteasomal Degradation 
2016 Hwa Yoo Biology Matt Youngman Flipping the switch: Identifying molecules that activate the DAF-16 transcription factor during aging in the roundworm Caenorhabdities elegans
2016 Amanda Summers Biology Matt Youngman Flipping the switch: Identifying molecules that activate the DAF-16 transcription factor during aging in the roundworm Caenorhabdities elegans
2016 Silvia Jaramillo-Regalado  Computing Sciences Robert Beck  Persuasive human computer interaction in support of sustainability
2016 Daniel Giangola Computing Sciences Robert Beck Persuasive human computer interaction in support of sustainability
2016 Joseph Michail Physics David Chuss & Javad Siah Exploring galactic magnetic fields with planck data
2016 Jyotasna Yadav Economics Sutirtha Bagchi The liability of being foreign: do regularors treat foreign firms differently?
2016 Rachel Azzoli Economics Sutirtha Bagchi The liability of being foreign: do regulators treat foreign firms differently?
2016 Allison Garippa Economics  David Fiorenza Creative destruction in the music industry
2016 Madisyn Schwartz Finance Tina Yang Are female executive teams targeted differently in corporate takeover battles?
2015 Erickson Lee Communication Len Shyles Digital Politics
2015 Anna Marie Eakins Psychology Katrina Sawyer Desired and feared selves of formerly trafficked women: The role of workplace stigma in determining achieved selves
2015 Alyssalee Curcio English Kamran Javadizadeh Bedlam & Parnassus: The Institutionalization of Midcentury American Poetry
2015 John Coppa Mechanical Engineering David Jamison 3D Medical Image Reconstruction of Lumbar Spine Geometry
2015 Camden Palvino Civil & Environmental Engineering Seri Park Data Analysis to Establish Congestion Management Process  
2015 Lucy Andersen Nursing Melissa O'Connor Determining Readiness for Discharge from Skilled Home Health Services: a Mixed Methods Study
2015 Hannah Durnin Nursing Amy McKeever Learning Needs and Barriers to Prenatal Care and Prenatal Education among Low-Income High-Risk Minority Women 
2015 Elena Capello Biology Elaine Youngman Regulation of Argonaute-family protein is imortant for fertility in a nematode germline
2015 Joyce Li Biology Samantha Chapman Root decomposition and productivity across a mangrove – salt marsh ecotone
2015 Ryan Allen  Chemistry Jennifer Palenchar Characterization of  b-Hydroxybutyrate Dehydrogenase from Trypanosome Parasites
2015 Jack Roscoe Finance Tina Yang CEO Pay and Pay Disclosure 
2015 Manny Garcia Economics David Fiorenza Business Improvement Districts (BID) in Pennsylvania 
2015 Meissa Kostecki Finance Michael Pagano CEO Pay and Pay Disclosure