Scranton Alumna and Professor Featured at Environmental Award Dinner

Nov 1, 2016
Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D.
Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D.

The 26th Annual Environmental Partnership Awards and Dinner featured both a recent University of Scranton alumna, who received the Environmental Initiative Award, and a University professor and chair of the Biology Department, who served as keynote speaker.

During the ceremony, held recently at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre, Margaret Capooci of Jessup, University of Scranton class of 2016, received the Emerging Environmental Leader Award for demonstrating leadership, initiation and dedication to protecting and promoting a healthy environment for projects she was involved in at the University. A full-tuition Presidential Scholar, Capooci earned her bachelor’s degree from Scranton as a double major in environmental science and philosophy, and as a member of both the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and the Honors Program. As a student, she was active in service and leadership on campus. Capooci was the co-founder, treasurer and president of the Sustainability Club, part of the group that planned Earth Day events, and vice president of Student Government. In addition to planning, staffing, and participating in 44 different events on campus, Capooci made Dean’s list, tutored organic chemistry, and was accepted into Alpha Lamda Delta, the national honor society of freshman; Beta Beta Beta, the national honor society for biology; and Alpha Signma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society. Capooci participated in the University’s Faculty Student Research Program, through which she worked with Robert Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of biology. She also worked with faculty mentor Michael Hardisky, Ph.D., professor of biology on her Honors Program thesis titled “Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity Across a 14y Chronosequence.”

After working as a summer student fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at the University of Wisconsin in 2015, Capooci is now pursuing a Ph.D. in water science and policy at the University of Delaware.

The keynote speaker at the Environmental Partnership Awards dinner was Terrence E. Sweeney, Ph.D., professor and chair of biology at the University. He discussed Scranton’s new course, Extreme Physiology, NEPA Edition. Through a series of exercise excursions, the course educates students on how they can serve to further land conservation for the good of the public and the environment.

Dr. Sweeney joined the University faculty in 1992. His research and teaching interests include cardiovascular and microvascular physiology and anatomy.

Dr. Sweeney, with assistance from University students, developed a computer-driven, mechanical model that simulates the functions of the human cardiovascular system that can be used for teaching. The model can be used to demonstrate the operation and roles played by the key elements of the cardiovascular system, coupled with quantitative, multi-parameter data collection and analytical capabilities.

In recognition of his invention, Dr. Sweeney was selected as the 2012 recipient of the ADInstruments Macknight Progressive Educator Award, which is granted by the American Physiological Society (APS) Education Committee. In addition, he was awarded third place in the regional Business Plan Competition run by TecBridge for a business plan for marketing the model.

Dr. Sweeney received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Colgate University and his masters and Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Rochester.

The award dinner was presented by the Northeast Environmental Partners: Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter and Gamble Paper Products Company and Wilkes University.


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