Members of the Class of 2016 Graduate from the University’s Honors Program

July 5, 2016

Class of 2016 graduates of The University of Scranton’s Honors Program, one of the Jesuit university’s programs of excellence, gathered on campus recently for a luncheon. Seated from left: Natalia Juscinska, Shayne Wierbowski, Ivan Simpson-Kent, Norman Frederick, Sam Nguyen, Connor Pacyna and Raymond Stemrich. Standing are: Joe Kraus, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program, Alice Chen-Liaw, Sara Chapin, Megan Hudock, Shoronda Matthews, Sara Blazejewski, John Ebeid, Margaret Capooci, Kirstyn Golden, Nina Fischer, Angela Kelley, Jennifer Wisnewski, Claire Leisner, Philip Gilmartin, Alyssa Rodemann, Veronica Sinotte and Jessica Lavery. Absent from photo are: Ryan Brown, Russell Owens and Erika Sarno.

Twenty-six members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2016 graduated from its Honors Program, which is one of the Jesuit university’s programs of excellence. Students in the Honors Program pursue a rigorous education that stresses independent work through close engagement with professors and other honors students, including the preparation, presentation and defense of a research or creative project during their senior year.

The following is a list of class of 2016 Honors Program graduates, their faculty mentors and their research projects.

Sara Blazejewski worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Influence of Hair Cell Death Mechanism on Regeneration in Larval Zebrafish Inner Ear and Lateral Line."

Ryan Brown worked with faculty mentor Robert Smith, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Determining the Effect of Time Since Capture, Time Since Extraction, Time of Day, and Date on the Plasma Triglyceride Concentrations in Gray Catbirds at a Northeastern Pennsylvania Stopover Site."

Margaret Capooci worked with faculty mentor Michael Hardisky, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity Across a 14y Chronosequence."

Sara Chapin worked with faculty mentor Danielle Arigo, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "Does Self-Reported Social Comparison Orientation Predict Behavioral Engagement in a Health-Related Comparison Activity?"

Alice Chen-Liaw worked with faculty mentor George Gomez, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled "The Effect of Exendin-4 on Steatosis in Cultured Hepatocytes."

John Ebeid worked with faculty mentor Michael Hardisky Ph D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Demographic Characteristics of Crohn's Patients in the IBD Center at Hershey Medical Center in Central Pennsylvania: A Retrospective, Cross-Sectional Study."

Nina Fischer worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Dopamine D1 Receptor Antagonism modifies the Startle Response of Carassius auratus."

Norman Frederick worked with faculty mentor Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Biology Department, on a thesis titled "Advancements in the Mathematical Representation of the Scranton Cardiovascular Model."

Philip Gilmartin worked with faculty mentor Michael Fennie, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled "A Novel Synthesis of Nitrile-substituted Tryptophan Derivatives with Application in 2D IR Spectroscopy Studies."

Kirstyn Golden worked with faculty mentor Christie P. Karpiak, Ph.D., professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "Social Behavior Predicts Rapid Response to Behavioral Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders."

Megan Hudock worked with faculty mentor Jason Graham, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, on a thesis titled "A Mathematical Model of Mechanical Destruction to the Articular Cartilage of the Knee Joint."

Natalia Juscinska worked with faculty mentor Danielle Arigo, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "Perceived Stress and Illness-Related Social Comparison Among Adults with Type II Diabetes."

Angela Kelley worked with faculty mentor Dr. David A. Rusak, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled "Depth Analysis of Elemental Fluorine Concentrations in Human Teeth by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy."

Jessica Lavery worked with faculty mentor Maria E. Squire, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Acetaminophen's Effects on Bone Quantity and Microarchitecture in the Tibia and Femur of Female C57BL/6 Mice."

Claire Leisner worked with faculty mentor Teresa Conte, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing, on a thesis titled "School Re-Entry for Children with Chronic Illness: The Educator's Perspective."

Shoronda Matthews worked with faculty mentor Carole S. Slotterback, Ph.D., professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "All I Want for Christmas: An Examination of Children's Non-Toy Requests."

Sam Nguyen worked with faculty mentor Paul F. Fahey, Ph.D., professor of physics/electrical engineering, on a thesis titled "Experimental Evidence in Mammals for the Existence of Cochlear Amplification."

Russell Owens worked with faculty mentor Patrick Orr, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "Tylenol, Schizotypy, and Creativity."

Connor Pacyna worked with faculty mentor Gary G. Kwiecinski, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Functional Morphology of Brachyphylla cavernarum Facial Verrucae: A Study of Merkel Cells with Fluorescent Immunohistochemistry."

Alyssa Rodemann worked with faculty mentor Danielle Arigo, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, on a thesis titled "Perceived Health and Life Expectancy in College Students."

Erika Sarno worked with faculty mentor George Gomez, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Oxidative Stress and ER Degradation in Retinal Tissue."

Ivan Simpson-Kent worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled "The Effect(s) of Acute and Chronic Caffeine Ingestion on Nest Selection in Pheidole dentata."

Veronica Sinotte worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled "Blochmannia's affect on the development of adult worker characteristics of Camponotus floridanus."

Raymond Stemrich worked with faculty mentor Patrick Clark, Ph.D., assoicate professor of theology/religious studies, on a thesis titled "Spirit vs. Body: The Challenges Facing Eastern Religious Beliefs and Western Medical Ethics Pertaining to End-of-Life Decisions."

Shayne Wierbowski worked with faculty mentor Yaodong Bi, Ph.D., professor of computing sciences, on a thesis titled "Considerations in Molecular Docking: Presenting DISCO, a DIrectory of Structures  for CrossdOcking, as a Novel Docking Benchmark and Applying it to Refine the Molecular Docking Pipeline."

Jennifer Wisnewski worked with faculty mentor Susan Poulson, Ph.D., professor of history, on a thesis titled "Behind the Times: The Presentation of Women in Print Advertising and Film in the 1920s and 1960s."

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