Digital Event Program

Home » Digital Event Program

Annual Student Research Symposium

  • April 25, 2019
  • 3:30-5:00
  • Bertschi Center &Technology Commons
Student Research Committee

The Council on Undergraduate Research (, 2017) defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Students involved in undergraduate research are thought to develop critical thinking skills, problem solving and intellectual independence, while cultivating a mentoring relationship with faculty. Mount Aloysius College is committed to promoting this type of collaborative education through the continual development of a supportive network of individuals, courses, presentation venues, and funding opportunities.

The Student Research Symposium is organized by the Student Research Committee, which facilitates research experiences for students in all academic disciplines. The committee accepts grant applications to support research and student conference attendance. The committee encourages research both within a course and through independent learning.

More information about student research at Mount Aloysius and how you can become involved can be obtained from committee members or by visiting:

Committee Members for the 2018-2019 academic year include:

  • Dr. Daniel Anderson English/Fine Arts
  • Dr. Matthew Arsenault Political Science (Co-chair)
  • Ms. Sue Clark Nursing
  • Dr. J. Michael Engle Science and Mathematics
  • Dr. Crystal Goldyn Science and Mathematics (Co-chair)
  • Dr. Virginia Gonsman Psychology
  • Ms. Helen Ritchey Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences
  • Mr. Robert Stere Library

The committee would like to congratulate this year’s participants and mentors. Your efforts to promote and contribute to research at Mount Aloysius are greatly appreciated.

Oral Presentations (Bertschi Lobby)

Presentation 1: Comprehensive Sexual Education
Time: 3:45-3:55
Subject: Education and ASL/English Interpreting
Author: Tori Lynn McCloskey
Mentor: Dr. Marilyn Roseman
Abstract: Critics claim that comprehensive sexual education courses promote the homosexual lifestyle and brainwash today’s youth. However, research does not validate these declarations. It instead demonstrates that comprehensive sexual education courses encourage self-assurance in LGBTQ+ students, educate heterosexual students on the community, and urge adolescents to view sexuality as a norm rather than a taboo. Research has also argued against religious beliefs and family values that instill unfounded fears in students, leading them to reject comprehensive sexual education courses. It can thus be concluded that the implementation of comprehensive sexual education courses in secondary schools is necessary.

Presentation 2: A View Into Oppositional Defiant Disorder and the Classroom
Time: 3:55-4:05
Subject: Education and ASL /English Interpreting
Author: Nicole Gearhart
Mentor: Dr. Marilyn Roseman

Abstract: Children in today’s society are changing traditions at home and school. As new temperaments, behaviors, and personalities blend together new disorders are being discovered. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is one of the newest psychological diagnosis that challenge not only teachers but parents. A student with ODD often may be misdiagnosed with a variety of disorders without having the proper support. Through the correct diagnosis, trainings, and classroom management a student with ODD can blend with the classroom. A structured, disciplined classroom with a teacher who is strong and determined, often show the highest outcomes. Through research, teacher accounts, and medical knowledge a structured authoritative classroom are shown to be the most beneficial to students with any disorder, but more specifically ODD. Through increasing the knowledge of this disorder and a more frequently diagnosis a student with ODD can beat the odds.

Presentation 3: The Effect that Parental Deployment Have on Young Children
Time: 4:05-4:15
Subject: Education and ASL /English Interpreting
Author: Alisa Barnes
Mentor: Dr. Marilyn Roseman

Abstract: As more soldier parents are being deployed due to the nation’s increased military demands; It becomes essential to the effects that parental deployment has on a child whose parent is in the army. It is essential to address if society perceives the military’s parental absence as a major problem in a child’s development throughout their lifetime. The goal of this paper is to analyze the effects of a parent’s military absence and how that can affect the child at home and in school. The question that will be answered in this research paper is given the challenges facing children whose parents are deployed overseas and not physically present, how does the physical absence affect the child’s academic and behavioral performance? Also, how are the school’s equipment to deal with those changes?  Furthermore, are schools addressing the challenges faced by these children? Approaches for different resources for military children who are experiencing some stress will be explored and evaluated. 

Presentation 4: Hunger In The Elementary Environment
Time: 4:15-4:25
Subject: Education and ASL /English Interpreting|
Author: Trevor Miller
Mentor: Dr. Marilyn Roseman

Abstract: As society evolves and different challenges arise facing young children and their academic involvement and achievement, schools and education systems must adapt to the various effects that poverty has on children and young people alike. Poverty, and specifically hunger, has such profound negative impact on academic success and well-being of students in urban levels of education, that this needs to be addressed by all involved in the education process. This then poses the question: how can educators use effective strategies to counter the debilitating consequences facing children who are hungry in our schools today? Research and recent data highlight the effective strategies that teachers and administrators can provide and facilitate. This paper will explore information on various programs intended to combat student hunger, and emphasize how these programs can be used to benefit children to their maximum potential.

Presentation 5: Exploration of ORFan gene UBP11/YKR098C in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Time: 4:30-4:45
Subject: Sciences
Author: Hannah Kitko, Lana Maniakhina, Noah Strickland
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn

Abstract: Ubiquitination is the process involving a 76 amino acid protein that marks proteins for degradation. It is significant because it regulates the cell’s protein concentration by eliminating damaged proteins. There are three enzymes that constitute the mechanism, ubiquitin-activating enzyme, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, and ubiquitin-protein ligase. However, there are also de-ubiquitinizing proteins that remove the ubiquitin tags to keep the proteins intact. Eukaryotes, being complex organisms, regulate each pathway with high fidelity. UBP11 is an enzyme found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is an essential protein that cleaves ubiquitin from ubiquitinated proteins. The objective of the research is to create a double knockout of the UBP11 in yeast cells and observe the difference in protein concentration, as well as phenotype. Homo sapiens and S. cerevisiae share similar molecular and cellular pathways so research involving yeast and ubiquitination is crucial.

Presentation 6: Visual Pittsburgh
Time: 4:45-5:00
Subject: Creative/ Fine Arts/ Humanities
Author: Lucy Craig
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Anderson

Abstract: Through the various lenses of artists and the paintings that they have created depicting Pittsburgh through the years, this project will show how their art has been used to show a change in this great city over time. From a focus on nature and using what is found on the land, to the industrial age, Pittsburgh has seen some major changes through the years and the artists who depict this have done this city justice as to those changes. One of the arguments that can be made about this change is that Pittsburgh may not have become as well-known of a city had it not gone through this change.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Business/Information Technology

Table 1

Title: The Ins and Outs of Identity Theft
Authors: Adam Tussey, John Zablosky, Jordan Morrison
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: This presentation will go over the problem of identity theft. Viewers will learn some basic definitions relevant to the discussion of identity theft. Viewers of this project will also learn 1) ways that a “scammer” or a “hacker” can get your personal information; 2) how those people can use the acquired information to wreak havoc on your life; and 3) ways to keep your identity safer. Knowing all this is important because identity theft is a huge problem this current era is facing. People’s livelihoods are ruined daily because their identity is stolen. People need to know how to prevent ID theft the best they can so that they do not have their lives ruined. Keeping people safe is the true mission of this presentation.

Title: Getting the Job
Authors: Steven Rowles, Grant Gonder, Emma Fisher, Rachael Hinkley
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: This project is on all the steps necessary to find a job. Getting a job can be a tricky process and this project aims to break it down into three steps: 1) the resume: we will provide a sample resume together with an explanation of what the employer wants to see in a resume; 2) the cover letter: samples will be provided along with a description as to what a good cover letter should accomplish; 3) the interview process: personal experiences will be shared, both as the interviewee and the interviewer. Someone who stops and reads all we have should be fully prepared to get a job.

Title: Identity Theft
Authors: Christopher Moses, Erik Johansson, Jesper Stensson, Leonard Bektas
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: In our final project we decided to talk about Identity theft. The reason behind why we picked this particular topic was because it is something that is starting to become more and more common in the society that we live in today, with the access to technology making identity thefts even more usual. Areas covered in our project include: Description of Identity Theft; Whether or not it’s common; How to protect yourself, and what to do in case it happens to you; Companies that works in order to prevent identity theft; How the process usually works for an identity thief.

Title: Islamic Banking
Authors: Sultan Alqahtani, Mohammed Rodiny, Faris Sindi, Abdulhadi Jafar, Meshaal Almana
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: Islamic banks operating in the Islamic Murabaha system are described and compared to American banks. The Islamic Bank is a Sharia-compliant bank in all finance, banking and investment transactions and is regulated and supervised by the Central Bank. The Murabaha banking system means the sale on the basis of the original price plus profit or sale on capital basis plus the specified profit.

Table 2

Title: Accumulating Too Much Debt
Authors: Nicole Shank, Jacob Myers, James Rice, and Trap Wentling
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: The topic that we have chosen for our project will cover a few different aspects about the dangers of having too much debt. The project will cover the overall explanation of what debt is, and how to calculate if an individual has reached too much debt. The project will cover how to determine whether a person has fallen too deep into debt. For example, living from paycheck to paycheck is a bad sign of having a lot of debt. Also, our project will cover the consequences that occur from debt, such as not being able to get loans and bad credit scores. Overall, the topic will cover the issues with having too much debt and tips on how to prevent too much debt from occurring.

Title: Retirement Planning
Authors: Pat Mahon, Dylan Coyle, Hunter Liebal, Drew Slatko-Wilt
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: This project is intended to help people properly plan for retirement. Most people hit the age of 65 and are very unprepared for retirement. Research suggests the Social Security Administration will only be able to pay all its benefits until the year 2037, when it should decline by about 22%. People are also unsure of when they should start taking the Social Security benefits. Surveys indicate there is a great fear among many people that they will outlive their retirement savings. Arguably the most dangerous threat to retirement income is inflation, which causes savings to lose their purchasing power. There is a real growing concern when it comes to planning and being prepared for retirement life, which is why Americans need to be ahead of the curve so they aren’t caught in a hole when that time comes.

Title: Credit Card Fraud
Authors: Ali Alzahrani, Subait Alsubayt, Abdualziz Alfawzan, Abdulaziz Alhudaib, Turki Alquraini
Mentor: Professor Christopher Mingyar
Abstract: Credit card fraud is a form of identity theft that involves an unauthorized taking of another’s credit card information for the purpose of charging purchases to the account or removing funds from it. Credit card fraud is becoming more and more common. It is a specific type of identity theft that can sometimes be a part of a larger fraud scheme. We are going to explain 1) the methods that are used to obtain credit card information, 2) how fraud works and the best ways to protect yourself and prevent credit card fraud, 3) the procedures for dealing with it, and 4) your rights and responsibilities when it comes to unauthorized charges.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Creative/Fine Arts/Humanities

Table 3

Title:  ‘The Point’ Pittsburgh Neighborhood Project
Authors: Jacob Stevens, Roma Altiumus, Abdulaziz Alfawzan, Ali Alzahrani
Mentor: Dr. Danny Anderson

Abstract: ‘The Point’ is home to many different art and cultural pieces that span from the French and Indian War, all the way to present day. ‘The Point’ is also an iconic location as it can be seen in many blockbuster films. These art pieces and filming locations will be the key parts to the presentation. 

Title:  Oakland (Pittsburgh)
Authors: Devon Mountain, Nicole Shank, Nicole Goodier
Mentor: Dr. Danny Anderson

Abstract: The city of Pittsburgh has a lot to offer throughout the city, but none of these areas compare to Oakland. Not only is it the site of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, but the art, architecture, literature, film, and music in and about the city is very important to overall look of the city. The Cathedral of Learning by itself is an architectural statement to the city being the tallest building in Oakland and this building includes Nationality Rooms furthering the cultural diversity of the neighborhood. In Oakland there is two major art galleries those being, Regina Miller Gallery and the Frick Fine Arts University Art Gallery. These distinct characteristics make Oakland the cultural center of Pittsburgh.

Title:  Judaism in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh Literature
Authors: Tara Chappell, Victoria Johnson, Zach Garlick, Donny Moch
Mentor: Dr. Danny Anderson

Abstract: The topic that was researched was Jewish writers in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania and how Jewish culture affected their major topics that are developed and shown within their work. The outcome of this research is important in order to understand Jewish culture and the stories that surround them. After the persecution of the Jewish, they found themselves in a community in Squirrel Hill, leading lives in which they try to better their family’s lives. The method of research was using scholarly articles to obtain information about the Jewish lifestyle in Pennsylvania. These result of this research showed how Jewish writers included Judaism into their characters and events. Due to the large Jewish community in Pittsburgh, specifically Squirrel Hill, where there are 20 synagogues across the area and the community is strong, so it makes sense these people have turned their incredible stories into various works of literature.

Title:  Braddock Art Influence on Pittsburgh
Authors: Emily Goldyn, Nicholas Goldyn, Shakari Jones, Timothy Courtot
Mentor: Dr. Danny Anderson

Abstract: We will be presenting a poster on the upcoming and already existing art in the town of Braddock, PA.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Education and ASL/English Interpreting

Table 4

Title: The Identification, Education, and Struggles of Gifted Students
Authors: Hailey Ritchey
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: This presentation covers the basics of gifted education in the American school system. Gifted students face multiple challenges and difficulties during the identification process and general education. For identification, this presentation points toward a multifaceted approach to identifying gifted students. High intelligence is not the only marker of a gifted student. A new approach to identification includes testing for creativity, talent, leadership skills, and communication skills. This presentation also looks at the connection between giftedness and mental health. Studies show that there is a possible correlation between giftedness and mental conditions. Next, this presentation analyzes the different viewpoints of a specialized gifted program and the integrated classroom approach. Finally, this presentation ends with tips and strategies for general education teachers to make accommodations and modifications that support the enhanced learning of gifted students in the classroom.

Title: Hearing Exceptionalities
Authors: Darby Olenchick
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: In this research paper, we will be not only uncovering the four major types of hearing exceptionalities that our found in our society as a whole and in the classroom setting, but we will also be uncovering how and why educators are struggling to provide the necessary tools for students with hearing exceptionalities. Additionally, methods will be discussed on how to adapt in class work, so both students with hearing exceptionalities and without hearing exceptionalities can work seamlessly in the same environment. In the conclusion of our discussion, there will be resources that are imperative for educators to be aware of and understand if when they are encountered with a challenge, like providing a student with hearing exceptionalities, they are prepared with answers and solutions. The final section is a tool for both myself and my future colleges, since cited are the mission and the goal of the highlighted corporation, foundation, or fund.

Title: Learning Disabilities
Authors: John Whittington
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. However, these issues can be fixed with dedication and hard work from the student, but also from the family and teachers that are responsible for the student. It is a hard road for these children with learning disabilities because they will acquire anxiety and the will also suffer from being lonely and feeling like an outsider from peers that can result them into misbehaving to take the focus off of their lack of skill in the classroom.

Table 5

Title: The Never Ending Roller Coaster your Brain is On
Authors: Tiffany Glass
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is one of the most common disorders in children. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. ADHD symptoms include having trouble paying attention, acting without thinking about consequences, being overly active, etc. There are three types of ADHD. These include the predominately inattentive type, hyperactivity-impulsivity, and the combined type. ADHD can be caused by genetics and non-genetic factors. Children can be diagnosed with ADHD as early as two years old, however the diagnosis process can take a long time. ADHD will affect someone from childhood all the way into adulthood. ADHD not only affects the person diagnosed, but their family and peers as well. Special accommodations and even their diet allow someone with ADHD to function more efficiently. Although, ADHD cannot be cured, the symptoms of ADHD can be managed.

Title: Traumatic Brain Injury
Authors: Emily Glacken
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: “The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption to the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. There are roughly 3.3 million TBIs diagnosed in a year in the United States. Within that population, 980,000 are younger people between the ages of 15 and 24 (Edwards, 2015). The injury may cause learning disabilities and social and emotional deficits. Most students will have difficulties in daily functioning and a decrease in their overall quality of life. When a student experiences a TBI they will need accommodations in the classroom. These accommodations will facilitate students’ ability to learn class material by decreasing the effort required so students can focus and perform to the best of their ability (Edwards, 2015).

Title: Communication Disorders in School Age Children
Authors: Victoria Sobecky
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: Communication is essential in our daily lives through our social media, emails, phone calls, etc., however; sometimes we take that for grant it. Whereas there are some people in the world who do not have the ability to communicate. What does it mean to have communication disorders is an impairment that can affect a child’s ability in not being able to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts verbal, or nonverbal. This meaning a child with a communication disorder has trouble communicating with others. He or she may not understand or make the sounds of speech. The child may also struggle with word choice, word order, or sentence structure. Communication disorders may be developmental, it also can develop through genetic influences and environmental influences.

Title: Conduct Disorders in School Aged Children
Authors: Sara Ollinger
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: Conduct disorders (CD) are defined as a persistent pattern of behavior that break school norms. In the United States, CDs are the top referral for school-aged children. Although, researchers do not know CDs are genetic, environmental, or social precursors. CDs often lead to children in adverse life situations and high morbidity with other diseases. Educators are on the front line of helping combat CDs.

Table 6

Title: Understanding Dyslexia
Authors: Mikaela Gensamer
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: It behooves the educational community to strive to better understand dyslexia, what it means, what it is, and what causes it. Circumventing common myths associated with the disorder is an important step in procuring some social justice for individuals potentially slipping through the education system unnoticed. It is also important to identify strategies that educators can implement to accommodate students with dyslexia and resources that educators, parents, and students can utilize to better cope with the difficulties students will face. Through better information and understanding, dispelling common myths surrounding the disorder, and identifying concrete strategies and resources for educators, parents, and students, the educational community can make strides towards better serving student needs when those students are struggling with dyslexia.

Title: Down Syndrome
Authors: Kira Lach
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality in which an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. In fact, Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. About 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the U.S. each year. A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to a greater or lesser degree or not at all. (Facts about Downs Syndrome). There are also commonalities among most individuals with Down syndrome regarding health concerns and learning abilities. These are more complicated and varied, so will be dealt with a little later.

Title: Educating Students with Physical Disabilities through the Levels of Education
Authors: Michaela Gresko
Mentor: Dr. Sara Rutledge
Abstract: This research shows the importance of a steady education for students with physical disabilities in early education, secondary education, and post-secondary education. It focuses on aiding teachers to make accommodations when educating students with disabilities by using motor skills, science, and movement.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Health Sciences

Table 7

Title: Pediatric Radiation Exposure
Author: Sara Baker
Mentor: Ms. Rebecca Hickman
Abstract: Pediatric radiation exposure has been increasing since the invention of X-rays in 1985. The increase is associated with X-rays, fluoroscopic studies, computed tomography (CT), and other modalities branching from medical imaging. Different studies have been conducted to try to decrease the exposure of radiation to pediatrics. Fluoroscopic studies are one of the main causes of pediatric radiation exposure. The excessive amounts of radiation during childhood are causing effects to adults later in life. Studies have been conducted on children with thyroid carcinoma, studies suggest that radiation exposure is linked to thyroid cancer among children. Another study was conducted on children with cystic fibrosis (CF). The study concluded that because children with CF undergo many routine exams, older systems give patents higher radiation exposures. The effects of radiation exposure on children should be made aware to parents, technologist, and radiologists. Many different approaches should be taken to try to decrease the amount of radiation that pediatric patients are exposed to.

Title: Dental Radiation
Author: Sierra Lewis and Tiara Wentz
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract: Oral radiography is a common medical imaging tool dentists employ to help evaluate a patient’s oral cavity with the use of diagnostic radiation. Although relatively low doses of radiation are used during these procedures, radiosensitive areas such as the eyes, thyroid glands, and breasts can be affected. Radiation protection should be used during these examinations to help prevent the harmful effects ionizing radiation can have on a patient’s biological systems. Studies conducted using a human phantom showed significant reductions of patient doses with the use of radiation protection methods such as shielding and collimation. On the other hand, studies conducted using questionnaires showed a current lack of radiation protection knowledge among dentists in today’s practices. If greater emphasis is placed on radiation protection education, examinations will be able obtain optimal exposures, while ensuring patient dose is decreased.

Title: Acute Radiation Syndrome
Author: Tyler Turnbull and Maddison Dell
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract: Radiation is a tool used in many ways in the medical field that can be both helpful and harmful. Radiation can be man-made, such as in medical x-ray, but naturally made radiation occurs everywhere. Some forms of natural radiation are found in rocks, soil, and water. In order to see an effect from radiation, one must receive 2 Gray in tissue to the whole body. To receive a dose equaling 0.75 Gray in tissue, it would result in acute radiation syndrome (ARS). In such a case, one’s body will either recover, or if the dose is too high for recovery, death will occur. High doses of radiation will destroy cells in one’s body; symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and fever will occur. For ARS to occur, one’s body would have to be exposed to a radiation accident, such as the rupturing of a radioactive material or accidental handling.

Title: Fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Author: Raven Varner
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract: Fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be used in conjunction with ultrasound to help confirm and further diagnoses of malformations and abnormalities. While ultrasound remains the primary method of fetal imaging, MRI offers advantages, such as an increased ability to visualize the brain and central nervous system. Although MRI is more commonly used for imaging the fetal brain, it has other vital uses. Studies were done to assess the correlation between ultrasound and MRI findings. In multiple studies, MRI proved to confirm or extend initial diagnoses and detect different pathologies, leading to a change in diagnoses and prognoses. Safety concerns exist regarding fetal MRI, including increased temperature and acoustic noise. Studies conducted on preschool age children receiving fetal MRI showed no adverse effects. Through research, further advancements can be made on fetal imaging tools, providing better perinatal care and more accurate diagnoses and prognoses.
Table 8

Title: 3D Printing
Author: Dennis Link and Alison Foor
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract: Three-dimensional (3-D) printing has become a popular way of preparing for surgical procedures, teaching future healthcare workers, and helping imaging specialists better understand patients. This method is based on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The images taken from CT and MRI are analyzed and put into a program for the 3-D printer to create models of the part being examined. With the use of this printer, doctors and healthcare professionals are able to examine the part being operated on more clearly. The models give more fine detail that may not be seen on a two-dimensional screen. Patients with certain conditions involving the heart, spine, brain, or skull can benefit greatly from 3-D printing. 3-D printing is relatively inexpensive considering all of the success it can provide to patients. The benefits of this method are endless and make a major impact on the field of healthcare.

Title: Radiation in Tobacco
Author: Kaitlyn Hockenberry and Lauren Rearick
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract Tobacco negatively affects human health and can cause damage to the body. Tobacco can be used in various forms. Regardless of the form, tobacco contains various radionuclides. The radiation within tobacco emits alpha particles and beta particles. Alpha particles cause secondary ionizations, which create localized damage to biological molecules. Biological damage from alpha particles include deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) double-strand breaks, chromosomal aberrations, cell transformation, chromosomal aberrations in circulating lymphocytes, and gene mutations. Beta particles are low energy are 98% of the measured activity from the radionuclides within tobacco. Radiation damage can be assessed with a micronuclei test, which observes the genotoxic damage that occurred to the DNA inside the nucleus of a cell from the radiation. Tobacco is known to cause a variety of cancer, including esophageal, lung, and bladder. The radiation received from tobacco factors into the annual radiation dose and has the potential to increase dose received.

Title: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy
Author: Maggie Hillebrand and Amanda Shearer
Mentor: Dr. Felicia Holliday
Abstract: Stereotactic radiotherapy is a form of radiation therapy that treats certain types of cancer. A patient receiving radiation therapy has an initial medical imaging exam to show the possible location and tumor size. Cancers it can treat are head and neck cancer, renal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, adrenal metastasis, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and spinal cord compressions. Stereotactic radiotherapy is more successful for pre-surgery tumors and early stage cancers. It is able to produce a high dose of radiation to the targeted area of interest either once or multiple times and can either shrink or remove the tumor. Shrinking makes the tumor easier to remove or diminish all together. Stereotactic radiotherapy has a higher success rate and less patient complications than surgery. This form of radiation therapy allows the body to repair and recover for an appropriate amount of time to increase chances of survival.

Title: Bone Densitometry
Author: Miguel Hernandez II
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Bone densitometry is the concept of evaluating patients at risk for osteoporosis and various fractures. It is an alternative way for physicians to measure bone mineral density through the use of ionizing radiation. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is currently the leading bone densitometry technique because of its ability to measure appendicular sites, superior monitoring capabilities, and quality control procedure. There are also other various techniques including the peripheral DEXA, quantitative ultrasound and many others for screening use. Bone densitometry is evolving with the rise in technological advances, making a wider selection from which physicians can choose. The results from the scan may be difficult to interpret along with the type of procedure to use; therefore, the technique used for diagnosing a patient is important for physicians concerning their assessment. In healthcare, it is important for physicians to have a basic understanding of the technology being used and both the advantages and disadvantages of each test being performed. When putting all of these factors together to diagnose a patient, such as the age and risk for fractures combined with their bone mineral density, it makes bone densitometry an invaluable source for patients with osteoporosis or other cancers.

Table 9

Title: Detection of Abdominal Aneurysms
Author: Alexis Reese
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Abdominal aortic aneurysms detection early is very crucial for the patient, since the survival rate of a rupture is, a 1 in 5 chance of survival. Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur when an area of the aorta becomes enlarged, making it more likely has to break open or tear. Nuclear medicine has developed new tracers that can detect the aneurysms earlier rupture. The development of tracers came from studies with mice and rats, since they closely mimic human abdominal aortic aneurysms. Monocytes and macrophages help with the tracers to help detect the aneurysms early. The main factors involved in macrophage accumulation in the abdominal aortic aneurysm wall include chemokines and cytokines produced in response to tissue injury, products of extracellular matrix degradation. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with fluorine 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Which competes with glucose for uptake into metabolically active cells, such as activated leukocytes. A subsequent phosphorylation event holds the FDG inside the cells.

Title: Computed Tomography in Emergency Departments
Author: Andrea Wallack
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: From what used to be known as the “donut of death” is now known as the circle of life. Computed Tomography (CT) scans generate cross-sectional images that can be reformatted into multiple planes which create three-dimensional images that can be viewed on a computer monitor, printed on film, or transferred to electronic media for easier access. In an emergent situation, CT scans can expose internal injuries and bleeding quicker than other modalities which can potentially save the patient’s life. Utilizing this imaging modality in emergency departments eliminates crucial time lost when taking the patient to the CT scanning rooms, provides immediate results for doctors to review to allow for earlier diagnosis, and can show abnormalities that other imaging modalities cannot necessarily see. This is a trend that is becoming utilized more frequently throughout the medical field and better yet, in emergency departments.

Title: Interventional Radiology in Pediatrics
Author: Ashley Ravenscroft
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Interventional radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of radiology that uses minimally invasive procedures which can be guided by computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, or X-ray to treat a variety of medical conditions. IR has application for pediatrics to manage pain, treat feeding issues and complications of malignancies or abnormalities. IR provides less risk, less pain, and a shorter recovery time for pediatrics when compared to open surgeries. IR in pediatrics makes tiny incisions into the skin where small needles, catheters, and small medical equipment can be inserted. The small incisions improve the accuracy and specifically target the pathology, without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. While IR is associated with risk factors, the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the risks. IR technology is continuously advancing and will only continue to improve the accuracy and precision of procedures, especially within pediatrics.

Title: The Possibility of PET/MR
Author: Hannah Ruby
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Positron emission tomography (PET) combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality that has been around for many years, but technological issues have held back the process of its development and collaborative use. Recent technological discoveries allowed for advancements in this field, and the use of the imaging modality is relatively new in monitoring and detecting cancer. Another hybrid imaging modality that is very similar to PET/MR is the combination of PET and computed tomography (CT). This type of imaging is what is used today as the primary resource for detecting different forms of cancer in patients; however, it has limitations that PET/MR is able to overcome. The use of PET/MR will allow for a reduction in the amount of radiation to which patients are exposed due to the use of a magnetic field rather than ionizing radiation.

Table 10

Title: MRI of the breats
Author: Danielle Marie Pompa
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: For Medical imaging, along with advances in technology and data, the amount of studied pathologies have increased. Magnetic resonance imaging has been used for several medical tasks throughout the years, but one of the most important features of this modality is that it is used to monitor and diagnose disease. Not only does MRI present pathology, but it also has the power to visualize human anatomy. Magnetic resonance imaging is commonly used in monitoring and diagnosing breast cancer in both men and women. Multiple studies have shown each yeah that thousands of patients suffer from breast cancer. MRI has the power within its four step process to diagnose and monitor this disease in its earliest stages to help develop a quick, efficient recovery and treatment.

Title: MRI
Author: Morgan Lynn
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: For this project, I will make a poster about magnetic resonance imaging. I will make the poster to be a visual aid about the difference aspects of magnetic resonance imaging. It will include the pros, cons, what to do, and the important information and parts that go into play with a magnetic resonance imaging exam.

Title: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Alzheimer’s Disease
Author: Margaux Winnard
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: The advances in technology in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may be used to help detect Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Alzheimer’s is an age-related, non reversible brain disorder. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and no treatment which can stop the disease from progressing. However, there is a tremendous effort being made to find ways to diagnose, delay, prevent, and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists can examine the brain using medical imaging modalities. MRI is a non-invasive imaging modality that uses powerful magnets to produce three-dimensional anatomical images. MRI research entails the use of a volumetric tool to assess atrophy of the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) of the brain. Atrophy of the MTL is an established imaging differential when diagnosing and differentiating patients with Alzheimer’s disease from those without. Advancements and continued research in medical imaging is vastly important in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Title: Dual Energy Computed Tomography
Author: Cortney Forsythe
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: It is important that the health care industry makes regular advancements to improve the care of the workers and patients. One key advancement is the creation of Dual Energy Computed Tomography (DECT). Five years after the creation of the first CT scanner in 1971, the DECT scanner was developed to scan internal structures at a more rapid and safe pace. The original CT’s main function was to shoot a narrow beam of x-rays that were quickly rotated around the patient. The machine’s computer then produced cross-sectional images of the internal structures within the body. DECT is more efficient due to using two x-ray beams to also create a more enhanced image. DECT also uses a dose-saving technique, resulting in the patient to being less exposed to the contrast agent because of the machine being able to detect less of an amount of contrast compared to the original CT scanner.

Table 11

Title: Lung Cancer Staging & MRI
Author: Paige Dinges
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death throughout the world (Wang, Lo, Yuan, Larson, & Zhang, 2014). Its poor prognosis has led researchers to investigate the accuracy of imaging modalities in screening lung cancer. This research project explores the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in lung cancer staging and compares its accuracy to staging lung cancer with computed tomography (CT). Currently, CT is used as a standard screening examination. However, CT exposes patients to radiation, consequently increasing a patient’s risk of developing cancer. MRI does not use radiation, which promotes the ALARA principle of limiting patient exposure to radiation as low as reasonably achievable. MRI benefits patients because of its safeness and cost-effectiveness. Two important studies are examined that promote the future use of MRI in lung cancer screening. Both studies indicate that MRI has great potential to be the new standard lung cancer screening examination.

Title: Bioresorbable Stent Technology
Author: Grace Peachey
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: This research project shows the development of new technology within the field of Vascular Interventional Radiology. Since the creation of the metallic stent, vascular interventional radiology has been treating vascular diseases with minimally invasive image-guided procedures. The field has continued to develop with the creation of its newest technology the bioresorbable stent. Bioresorbable stent technology was created to negate the effects of previous stent designs. This technology provides transient support for the vessel and allows it to regain its function once the stent is reabsorbed into the body. When the vessel is healed, the bioresorbable stent is broken down by the natural processes of the body and is excreted through normal body functions. Bioresorbable stent technology allows the body to heal the vessel without a permanent addition to the vessel. The bioresorbable stent is the technology of the future.

Title: Automated Breast Ultrasound
Author: Sydney DeFronzo
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) is an FDA-approved nonionizing technique to better image dense breast tissue. ABUS is a specialized ultrasound technique, which requires extra training to fully understand how to obtain the best images possible. This technique also decreases the risk of cancer by increasing visualization of breast tissue densities. While the positives seem to outweigh the negatives of this technology, it is still in the beginning stages of being used. ABUS can be more effective than traditional handheld ultrasounds, but until they are integrated into more facilities they will not be fully beneficial. This technology has the ability to limit the number of procedures for patients, technologists, and physicians once it is fully understood.

Title: Pediatric Nuclear Medicine
Author: Devon Dubensky
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Nuclear medicine uses a small amount of radioactive material that are called radiotracers that are injected into the bloodstream, inhaled, swallowed or entered into the bladder through a catheter. The radiotracer travels to the area of examination and will then give off energy in the form of gamma rays which are then detected by a gamma camera that will produce images of the inside of the body. Pediatric nuclear medicine is a branch off of nuclear medicine that involves the care of infants, children and adolescents. It is often more difficult to perform an exam on pediatric patients because of their age and they are not able to sit still as well. It is important and the primary goal of a healthcare provider to receive the best images possible while still focusing on the comfort of the patient.

Table 12

Title: Values and Trends in Cardiac Nuclear Imaging
Authors: Cheyenne Kuncher
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Cardiac nuclear imaging helps diagnose cardiac disease, visualize blood flow patterns, evaluate results of bypass surgery, and evaluates the function of heart. An advantage of cardiac nuclear imaging is that it is used to help determine if the heart has been damaged by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Innovative technologies with cardiac nuclear imaging involve a patient-centered approach, efficient and effective technologies as well as significantly improving the value of cardiac nuclear imaging. Innovative changes by postponing testing in lower-risk patients and doing selective imaging strategies improves patient care and reduces risk by eliminating unnecessary testing whenever possible. A new SPECT detector produces better pictures for a better-quality exam. The cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) camera is a faster camera and enables a lower dose of radiation to the patient. Biograph mCT Flow with FlowMotion moves the patient smoothly through the system’s gantry, preventing patients from being startled. Cardiac nuclear imaging has new innovative technologies that add value to the nuclear medicine world.

Title: Myocardial Computed Tomography Perfusion Imaging
Authors: Darian Dixon
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Advancements are occurring regularly in the healthcare field to increase the efficiency of imaging procedures and to ensure quality care for patients. Myocardial Computed Tomography Perfusion Imaging was first introduced to the United States in 2015 through the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. This imaging procedure allows functional evaluation of tissue vascularity based on temporal changes in tissue attenuation after intravenous administration of iodinated contrast material. While Computed Tomography Perfusion Imaging evaluates many structures such as the liver, brain, pancreas, and lungs, Myocardial Computed Tomography Perfusion Imaging evaluates cardiac functions by measuring the amount of iodine present within the myocardium. Many limitations do occur with this procedure, but there are many benefits that outweigh the limitations. These benefits include it being a one-stop-shop that can be combined with other modalities, it uses less radiation, and results in cheaper medical bills for patients.

Title: Cardiac MRI
Authors: Sarah Courtwright
Mentor: Ms. Sharon Miller
Abstract: Through research and specific analysis, a thorough evaluation of new diagnostic trends in Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, is provided. Radiation therapy is a medical imaging modality that contributes to diagnosing abnormalities within the human body and offers another source of treatment. SBRT is a new developing trend within the medical imaging community that examines cancerous cells in order to accurately, and precisely, deliver a high-radiation dosage to target and destroy the malignant cells. SBRT, throughout today’s advancing society, is becoming a more reliable tool and standard alternative treatment for those who have been diagnosed with cancerous diseases. A common cancerous disease known as NSCLC, can be therapeutically treated through the use of this emerging subfield. Individuals who are treated for NSCLC can establish both negative and positive side effects to this treatment method. RT uses practical and technological improvements to aid in diagnosing and treating cancerous sites.

Title: Bloodless Surgery
Authors: Devonna Weimert
Mentor: Ms. Kathleen Hoyne
Abstract: Bloodless surgery is the avoidance of transfusing blood products before, during, or after a surgical procedure. Reasons to avoid a transfusion include religious beliefs, such as those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and fear of acquiring an infection or having a transfusion reaction. The need for a transfusion during or after surgery can sometimes be eliminated using equipment and techniques that minimize blood loss. There are also methods to increase a persons blood volume and oxygen saturation prior to surgery which lessens the chance that a transfusion will be needed. A blood shortage is anticipated due to the small percentage of the population that donates blood and the growing need for it as the baby boomer generation ages. Bloodless surgery is a solution to the expected shortage. It is also a better option than standard surgery because it is less expensive and patients have better recoveries.

Table 13

Title: Bacteriophages vs. Antibiotics – Examining an Alternative to Antibiotics
Authors: Michelle Naughton
Mentor: Ms. Kathleen Hoyne
Abstract: This research examines the usage of bacteriophages as a means to combat the increasing resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics. With phage therapy basically abandoned years ago in favor of antibiotics, and with the current resistance crisis, researchers are revisiting the usage of phages as an alternative to antibiotics. Some of the research includes examining methods to produce large quantities of the phage for treatment, reducing the time required to harvest the precise phage, and safety and efficacy concerns. Finally, the research looks at the long-term future of phage therapy and the renewed efforts to bring it to the forefront of the resistance crisis.

Title: Warfarin Versus Direct Oral Anticoagulant Therapy
Authors: Lauren Bowser-Swick
Mentor: Ms. Kathleen Hoyne
Abstract: The research will focus on the advantages or disadvantages of treatment with Warfarin as opposed to direct oral anticoagulants(DOAC). The mechanisms of theses anticoagulants will be examined. It will be discussed what type of treatments these medications are used for and the management involved when using the different types of anticoagulant therapy. Studies will be discussed about the potential risk factors and side effects that can occur whenever a patient is using these medications for anticoagulant therapy. The findings from this research will help to determine which therapy is more useful and carries the least amount of risk for the patient.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Nursing

Table 14

Title: Childhood Obesity in relation to Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Author: Heather DeCriscio, Chistopher Prough, Jessica Reyan, Allie Haulman, Paige Boone
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: Childhood obesity is epidemic in the United States, there are many variables and ethical considerations. Various studies were evaluated to determine if sugar sweetened beverages contributes to childhood obesity.

Title: Lateral violence among graduate nurses
Author: Sarah Crum, Amber Smith, Kody Ness, Zachary Pfeil, Keith Bukowski
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: Education programs have decreased the incidence of lateral violence and increased conflict resolution within the workplace among graduate nurses and experienced nurses.

Title: The effect of Kangaroo Care on Neonates
Author: Kaitlyn Imler; Spencer Beach; Heather Spisak; Lucas Ebersole
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: Our research focused on the effects of Kangaroo Care in neonates. We researched the effects on temperature, weight, pain, and muscle activity. It was discovered that neonates retained warmth longer, gained more weight, handled pain better, and had more muscle activity. The research also showed improvement in neonatal and infant mortality rates.

Table 15

Title: Use of Complimentary Alternative Medicine for Decreasing Symptoms of PTSD in Veterans
Author: Crystal Detwiler, Kerri Smith, Sam Reinhardt, Katie Shaffer, Stephanie Domonkos.
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: This project outlines the use of complimentary alternative medicine to decrease PTSD in veterans. The use of mask, music, nature-biased therapy, yoga, and art therapies are outlined.

Title: Social Media and Depression Among Adolescents
Author: Rebecca Gaylord, Bethany Cowher, Amber Wade, Samatha Moyer, Susannah Carnicella
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: A large amount of adolescents incorporate social media into their daily lives. There are a growing amount of studies that discuss the effects that social media has on the physical and psychological well-being of adolescents. A majority of the studies presented in this project look at an individual’s mood, self-esteem, and prevalence of depression and anxiety.

Title: Problems with Bonding Between Addicted Mothers and their Infants
Author: Sarah Faust, Renee McMahon, Tia-Rae Weyant, Paige White
Mentor: Ms. Sue Clark
Abstract: The target population of this project is drug addicted mothers. This project examines the bonding of addicted mothers vs. that of unaddicted mothers and the consequences that the infant suffers due to the mother’s addiction.


Poster Sessions | Subject: Psychology

Table 16

Title: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Academic Success
Author: Amanda Stickley
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: This research will look at how personality traits, specifically Conscientiousness, influences in predicting academic success in fifty college students. Fifty students were asked their average grade point average and asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 how academically successful they perceive themselves as. This research will also analysis previous research about different personality traits and its ability to predict motivation and intelligence levels in academic setting. This research predicts that the personality trait conscientiousness could possibly predict academic success. Specifically, those who score high in conscientiousness tend to report having higher GPA and rated themselves has having more academic success.

Title: Diligence and Academic Success
Author: Caroline Showalter
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: This study was designed to determine the relationship between the trait of diligence and academic success. A student has numerous personality traits that can provide them with the skills needed to being academically successful. Diligence is considered to be careful and persistent work or effort. Academic success can be predicted by different factors that are deprived from diligence. To examine this relationship, Mount Aloysius College students will be recruited to participate in our study. Students who decide to participate in this survey will be asked to complete various scales that assess diligence. The results of this study is expected to show that diligence had a positive and direct relationship to academic success. It also is expected to show that diligence is related to hard work, creativity, motivation, and other traits. Further research is needed to look at ways in which a student’s diligence can be improved.

Title: Literature Review of the Impact of Sexual Assault Upon Female College Students Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Author: Katie Mirance
Mentor: Dr. Antoinette Woods
Abstract: Scholarly research about the impact of sexual assault upon female college students who are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is vital to conceptualizing and treating college females who experience sexual assault and the trauma-based disorder of PTSD. The overarching objective of the current literature review is to study and examine the academic literature regarding the impact of sexual assault upon female college students diagnosed with PTSD. First, the terms sexual assault as well as PTSD are operationally defined and explained. Subsequent to the operational definitions, the target population of college females is put forth. Next, the history, major research contributions, including benefits as well as limitations, and modern status of the research pertaining to the impact of sexual assault upon female college students diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are explicated. Lastly, the conclusions contain identification of gaps in the scholarly literature and plausible needs for future researchers to consider.

Table 17

Title: The Relationship Between Introversion and Academic Success
Authors: Alexandra Sheedys
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: The focus of this research study will be to observe the relationship between the personality trait introversion and academic success. Individuals with an introverted personality tend to focus on internal stimulations, such as their own thoughts, feelings, and mood. These personality characteristics highly influence the individual’s academic performance. I expect the results to indicate that those with a high score of introversion, will have a lower score of academic success.

Title: Conscientiousness and its Effect on Academic Success
Authors: Shain Fagan
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: The focus of this study is the relationship between personality traits and academic success. Specifically, we are interested in the effect conscientiousness will have on academic success. Conscientiousness refers to an individual’s control, and self-discipline. I believe have levels of conscientiousness will have a positive effect on a student’s academic success.

Title: The Relationship Between Extraversion and Academic Success
Authors: Deanna Wagstaff
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: I am interested in the relationship between personality traits and academic success. Students who decide to participate in this survey will be asked to complete various scales that assess various personality traits. Extraversion can be described as individuals who put the majority of their energy outwards. Extraverts engage with external stimuli and gain energy from encounters with other people I expect a positive relationship between extraversion and academic success, and a negative relationship between introversion and academic success.

Title: The Development of Critical Thinking Based on Major
Authors: Hannah Barr, Nicholas McConnell, Aaron Shinn, Victoria Thompson
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: We are investigating the relationship between major and critical thinking. We hypothesize that students with more intensive curricula will have higher levels of critical thinking than the other majors at Mount Aloysius College that we are testing. We will be conducting a survey using a Likert Scale.

Table 18

Title: Creativity & Its Affect on Academic Success
Author: Mia McLaughlin
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: I am interested in the relationship between personality traits and academic success. Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic or other works. Academic success is defined as academic achievement, engagement in educationally purposeful activities, satisfaction, acquisition of desired knowledge, skills and competencies, persistence, attainment of educational outcomes, and post-college performance. I expect a positive relationship between creativity and academic success.

Title: The Relationship between Resilience and Academic Success
Author: Stephanie Biter
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: The relationship between academic success and resilience was explored and researched. Resilience is a process, capacity or outcome of successful adaptation during and after risk exposure. Academic success is defined as the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Profiling the psychological resilience of an individual, which represents their capacity to adapt to new challenges, may help to distinguish prospective academic achievement. Resilience is essential for success in school and in life. Review of research demonstrating the impact of mindsets on resilience in the face of academic and social challenges was completed.

Title: Critical Thinking: General Education and Major-Related Courses
Author: James Kealey, Nathaniel Christian, Alexis Dodson
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: We are researching the relationship between students’ self-perceived critical thinking skills in major-related courses versus general education courses. We hypothesize students will report more improvement in self-perceived critical thinking skills in major-related courses than in general education courses. The data will be collected by survey, with items being scored on a Likert-scale. Participants will be gathered from a classroom setting.

Title: Influence of Teaching Methods on Critical Thinking
Author: Lisa Fellabaum, Alexus Sokira, Courtney Yoder, Robert Bebout
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Gonsman
Abstract: We will be observing the development of critical thinking and its relationship to active or passive teaching methods. We predict active teaching methods will be associated with reports of higher levels of self-perceived critical thinking ability than passive methods.

Poster Sessions | Subject: Sciences and Mathematics

Table 19

Title: First Report of Diatoms at Black Moshannon State Park
Author: Daniel J. Roberts
Mentor: Dr. Merrilee Anderson
Abstract: Diatoms are single-celled algae with siliceous cell walls that serve as bioindicators in aquatic environments. Typically, higher biodiversity is associated with better water quality. This investigation involved a survey of freshwater benthic diatoms from ten sites in Black Moshannon State Park. The collection was conducted on February 7, 2019. Sites ranged from natural springs to manmade boat launches and dams. Permanent microscopic slides were prepared and diatom frustules were analyzed for length, width, and unique characteristics using SPOT imaging software. Initial identification shows great diversity in diatom species. This is the first known study of diatoms in the park.

Title: Plasmid Identification
Author: Harpreet Heer
Mentor: Dr. J. Michael Engle
Abstract: Membrane type-II metalloproteinase is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the MMP2 gene. This enzyme is produced in cells throughout the body and becomes a part of the extracellular matrix. One of the major known functions of MMP2 is that it can cleave the type IV collagen protein. Type IV collagen is a major structural component of basement membranes, which are thin, sheet-like structures that separate and support cells as part of the extracellular matrix. MMP2 is essential for a variety of body functions including the breakdown of uterine lining during menstruation, formation and growth of new blood vessels, repair of damaged tissue, and inflammation. Plasmid identification was used to identify whether the expression of the MMP2 plasmid was eukaryotic or prokaryotic. Agarose gel electrophoresis was employed to effectively isolate and characterize the unknown plasmid for MMP2 DNA.

Title: Bioinformatic Research on ORFan gene ASG1/YIL130W in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Author: Hannah Kitko, Meghan Quinn
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a popular model organism used in scientific research. S. cerevisiae has thousands of genes in its genome. One of the genes, ASG1/YIL130W, is a verified, open reading frame (ORF) that functions as a zinc cluster protein involved in stress response. ORFs are spans of DNA sequences between start and stop codons. Molecular function, cellular component, and biological process are gene ontology terms used to represent the genes product properties and functions. The molecular function of ASG1/YIL130W is sequence-specific DNA binding and the cellular component is the nucleus. To determine the unknown biological process, primary research was conducted and various bioinformatics databases were used. From the information and evidence gathered, it was hypothesized that ASG1/YIL130W is a master regulator of nuclear transcription activities. Furthermore, wet labs would have to be performed to obtain a confirmation of the results.

Table 20

Title: Bioinformatic Research to Determine Molecular Function of ORFan Gene PST1
Author: Emma Pevarnik and Saige Perry
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as budding yeast, is a common model organism often used in research because of the vast amount of knowledge known about the yeast. The goal of the Yeast ORFan Gene Project is to determine the molecular and cellular functions and location of the gene protein in S. cerevisiae. PST1 is a gene believed to be located in the cell wall and plasma membrane, with a process in cell wall organization. The molecular function of PST1 is unknown. Possible information about the molecular function was gathered and indicates that PST1 may help transport substances in and out of the cell wall and plasma membranes, and the cellular localization is the cell wall and plasma membrane. Further research should be conducted with wet lab experiments, such as a double knockout of the gene or tagging of the gene to follow the effects of the gene.

Title: The Characterization of YAE1 ORFan Gene
Author: Lana Maniakhina
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: Although it is a simple unicellular eukaryotic organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is considered a great model organism. S. cerevisiae, also known as baker’s yeast, shares multiple metabolic and cellular pathways with Homo sapiens; it forms a backbone of genetical research. Yeast was the first organism with a fully sequenced genome, which allows the researchers to identify individual genes and determine their function with the help of bioinformatics. The gene of interest, YAE1, had known gene ontology (GO) terms including biological process and cellular component; however, the molecular function of the gene was unknown. The research confirmed the previously identified terms, the gene is ubiquitous in nature and possesses multiple roles in the cell. New evidence suggests that the main role of YAE1 is forming a complex with Lto1 to recruit a Rli1 protein to partake in CIA machinery. There are several wet labs that could verify the hypothesis. A multistep process would involve DNA extraction of a knocked-out gene, PCR, electrophoresis, and transformation to create a double-knockout.

Title: Potential Function and Locus of the UTH1 Gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Author: Brianna Bellomo, Sabrina Henri
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast within the fungi kingdom. It has a simple, unicellular life cycle, rapid cell division, simple nutritional requirements and thoroughly sequenced genome makes it an ideal organism for genetic study. There is still a plethora of genes within the yeast genome whose function remains unknown. One such gene is UTH1, which has been previously demonstrated to produce an unknown protein. Through systematic sequencing we attempted to identify the function of this gene and found that the gene in question is located on the vacuole and the inner membrane of the mitochondria. The researchers hypothesize that the protein produced from UTH1 is responsible for producing proteins found in the mitochondrial cell membrane and for regulating processes in apoptosis.

Table 21

Title: ORFan Gene FRT2/YAL028W
Author: Kaitlyn Kocher and Nathan Smith
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: The lab team was asked to investigate an ORFan gene from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. An ORFan is a gene without detectable homologues in other lineages that has an unknown function in one of the three following areas: molecular function, biological process, and cellular component. The chosen ORFan gene that was being examined was FRT2/YAL028W. FRT2 has a known biological process and cellular component, but an unknown molecular function. The biological process of FRT2 is known to have correlation with the cellular response to alkaline pH and salt stress. The cellular component of FRT2 is known to be located on the endoplasmic reticulum. After completing the eight modules and being guided through various databases and algorithms, the lab team was able to generate a hypothesis about the unknown molecular function of FRT2. Based on the results formulated from the bioinformatics analysis, it is suspected that the molecular function of FRT2 plays a role in transcription by checking for deletions in RNA.

Title: Bioinformatics
Author: Austin Cunningham and Noah Strickland
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: YLR126C is classified as an ORFan due to the fact that it has a region in the nucleotide sequence from the start codon to the stop codon that codes for a protein, but is missing gene ontology information. The biological processes of this ORFan are cellular copper ion homeostasis and cellular iron ion homeostasis. Biological processes are the processes that are vital to life of an organism. Next, the molecular function is characterized as molecular activities that occur in an organism, specifically binding. YLR126C has no known molecular function. Finally, the cellular component is described as all of the structures and other molecules that make up the cell. The YLR126C gene has a cellular component in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Through the use of bioinformatic research it was discovered functions by transferring iron in order to create iron homeostasis, and also acts similarly to the enzyme glutamine amidotransferase. Finally, YLR126C is found in the cytoplasm. Our hypothesis was that our gene acts as an iron transporter and similarly to an amidotransferase. Our research was not enough to substantiate our hypothesis, so further wet labs would need to be performed in order to confirm our findings.

Title: Determining the Molecular Function of GLE2/YER107C
Authors: Stephanie Spacht & Harpreet Heer
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: The aim of our research was to determine the molecular function of GLE2/YER107C, which is an ORF (open reading frame). ORFans are regions within a genome that code for a protein but have unknown functions themselves; GLE2/YER107C is a gene included in this group. A known fact about GLE2/YER107C is that it is found within the genome of a particular species of yeast: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using a variety of genomic databases for S. cerevisiae, we were able to deduce its molecular function. From our research, we deduced that GLE2/YER107C was responsible for regulating the mechanisms responsible for the formation of various signaling molecules and pathways within the genome of S. cerevisiae.

Table 22

Title: Analysis of the ORFan Gene YCR099C in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Authors: Amanda Crist
Mentor: Dr. Crystal Goldyn
Abstract: The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a well-known eukaryote that can metabolize sugars anaerobically and aerobically. This organism is very important in the food industry, as well as in science and genetics. Throughout this eukaryote there are many ORFans, or Open Reading Frames. These ORFans are known to code for proteins, but their function or other important information remains unknown. I researched the ORFan gene YCR099C using many bioinformatic databases. I used the Saccharomyces Genome Database, along with other resources on the internet to complete the research. The ORFan gene YCR099C is found in Saccharomyces. Through this bioinformatics analysis it was found to be a putative protein of unknown function. Its’ biological processes and molecular functions are still unknown, but it was found to be known as an integral component of the cellular membrane.

Title: The Human Heart
Authors: Alexia Servello
Mentor: Dr. John Whitlock
Abstract: While conducting a number of different activities on the heart including, ECG circulation, heart sounds, exercise, and the response it may create for the heart, the results varied dependent on the task itself. With that being said, this research will include three different scholarly journals that are going to enhance my findings, and put together a conclusion for why, and how certain results had been found for each of the procedures that were performed in class. Throughout my research, I will be focusing on electrocardiograms regarding athletes, the level of exercise involved, physical education applied, and P wave dispersion. Lastly, how low-intensity resistance training can improve peripheral blood circulation in elderly people. The main focus of my research is to continue to expand the activities performed in class by including different forms of assistance to increase and support my original findings.

Title: Observation of Lung Conditions with Regards to Spirometry Tests
Authors: Amanda Crist
Mentor: Dr. John Whitlock
Abstract: The lungs are a crucial part of human survival, so it is important that they are functioning at their absolute best. There are many chronic lung conditions that can be found by doing a simple spirometry test. Chronic Pulmonary Lung Disease (COPD), asthma, and chronic bronchitis are among some of the most common. Understanding how these conditions can affect one’s breathing and how to better manage the issues while keeping socioeconomic and demographic factors in mind is crucial in battling these issues effectively.

Title: Human Heart
Author: Harpreet Heer
Mentor: Dr. John Whitlock
Abstract: The heart is pump that pushes blood around the body. Blood with enter the heart at low pressure and leave at a higher pressure to provide blood with sufficient push to circulate around the body. During exercise there is an increased demand for oxygen in muscles because muscles and organs are actively functioning. There is also a need to rid the working muscles and organs of carbon dioxide. The physical fitness of an individual affects their stroke volume; therefore, affecting the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to the working muscles. The researchers studied the heart rate of an individual at rest and in response to exercise. To determine what type of exercise was most costly, electrocardiograms were used to measure pulse rate after the subject performed a variety of exercises. The heart rate, heart electrical activity and pulse rate increased as the subject expanded energy.

Photo of Belltower in Front of Blue Skies