Members of the Class of 2017 Graduate from the University’s Honors Program

June 7, 2017

Thirty-five members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2017 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 2017 Honors Program graduates, their faculty mentors and their research projects.

Lauren Armenti, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Julie Ann Nastasi, O.T.D., Sc.D., assistant professor of occupational therapy, on a thesis titled “Exploring the Meaning of Music in the Lives of Individuals with Visual Impairment: A Focus Group Study;”

Natalie Ann Bai, Rivervale, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Patrick Orr, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, on a thesis titled “Sulforaphane and its Effects on cognitive Function and Memory;”

Brittany Benson, Taylor, worked with faculty mentor Paul Cutrufello, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, exercise science and sport, on a thesis titled “The Effects of Self-Selected Music on Anaerobic Exercise Performance;”

Alexandra C. Brennan, Downingtown, worked with faculty mentor Jessica L. Bachman, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science and sport, on a thesis titled “The Effect of Various Dual-Task Activities and Task Prioritization on Gait Kinematics;”

Douglas A. Brown, Wyomissing, worked with faculty mentor Maria E. Squire, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Effects of AFAP1 on the Quantity and Microarchitecture of the Axial Skeleton in a Murine Model;”

Mary Bruce, Conshohocken, worked with faculty mentor Patricia Moyle Wright, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, on a thesis titled “The Development of Cultural Competency in Undergraduate Nursing Students;”

Ryan K. Burdick, Lexington, South Carolina, worked with faculty mentor David E. Marx, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Electroless Silver-Plating of Kevlar® to Produce an Electrically Conductive Fabric;”

Max M. Cornell, Jermyn, worked with faculty mentor Timothy Foley, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Medium-Chain Fatty Acids Impair Cancer-like Growth in s. cerevisiae;”

Julien E. Cuny III, Spring Lake, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Michael E. Allison, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, political science, on a thesis titled “The Origins of Rising Violence in El Salvador and Potential United States Policy Solutions;”

Megan Elizabeth Fleming, Shavertown, worked with faculty mentor Nicholas Sizemore, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Investigations into the Stereochemical Effects of Ireland-Claisen Rearrangements;”

Albena Gesheva, Scranton, worked with faculty mentor Youngjin Cho, Ph.D., Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, on a thesis titled “Actin Filament Associated Protein 1 is a Novel Regulator of Bone Development;”

Caitlin Gilby, Hackettstown, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Christie P. Karpiak, Ph.D., professor of psychology, on a thesis titled “Do Skepticism-Promoting Images Alter Fitspiration’s Impact On Body Esteem?;”

Janel Leigh Harach, Simpson, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Influence of Juvenile Hormone on the Development of Ovaries in Camponotus floridanus Worker of Queen-less Colonies;”

Kaitlyn S. Jones, Wayne, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Carol A. Coté, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy, on a thesis titled “The Effect of Bilateral Hand Transplantation on Perceived Quality of Life in Two Combat Veterans;”

Bridget Moira McVeigh, Blakely, worked with faculty mentor Timothy Foley, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “The Effects of NO donors on Cancer-like Cell Growth and Metabolism in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae;”

Greta Niedermeyer, Buxton, Maine, worked with faculty mentor Erica Lasek-Nesselquist, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Host Association and Evolutionary Relationships of Avian Haemoproteus and Plasmodium Sampled from Northeastern Pennsylvania;”

Ashley N. Opalka, Carbondale, worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Potential Dopaminergic Modulation Rescues Acoustic Startle Responses after Lesions of the Telencephalon in Goldfish;”

Matthew R. Owens, King of Prussia, worked with faculty mentor Yaodong Bi, Ph.D., professor of computing sciences, on a thesis titled “Real-Time Visualization of Java Synchronization Methods;”

Amanda Pacella, Stroudsburg, worked with faculty mentor Jessica L. Bachman, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science and sport, on a thesis titled “Effects of Psychological Stress on Gait Parameters;”

Kishan Patel, Wilkes-Barre, worked with faculty mentor Robert J. Smith, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled “An Examination of Sex-Difference in Spring Arrival Timing and Parasite Prevalence Among Birds at a Northeastern Pennsylvania Stop-Over Site;”

Elizabeth Polishan, Clarks Summit, worked with faculty mentor Andrew LaZella, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, on a thesis titled “Art as a Living Process: An Exploration of Platonic, Heideggerian and Kristevian Modes of Creation;”

Michael Scott Pottieger, Wyomissing, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Nicotine Addiction in Camponotus floridanus;”

Michael Vittorio Predi, King of Prussa, worked with faculty mentor Timothy Cadigan S.J., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Effects of Rhodococcus rhodochrous on Aspergillus niger;”

Kathleen Reilly, Wayne, worked with faculty mentor Susan L. Poulson, Ph.D., professor of history, on a thesis titled “Girls at the ‘U:’ A History of Coeducation at The University of Scranton;”

Kyle Jack Rodgers, Lancaster, worked with faculty mentor Timothy D. Foley, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Investigating the inhibitory effects of medium-chain fatty acids on yeast cell cultures;”

Mary Katherine Rohrbaugh, Newtown, worked with faculty mentor Patrick M. Clark, Ph.D., assoicate professor of theology/religious studies, on a thesis titled “Personal Dignity in the Context of Inducing Delivery of Anencephalic Infants;”

Natalie Grace Russo, Livingston, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Jinghan Cai, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics/finance, on a thesis titled “Sleepless in World Cup: Fatigue, Mood and Stock Market Performance;”

Mariah A. Ruther, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Barbara K. Buxton, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, on a thesis titled “Metabolic Syndrome in Women Who Take Second-Generation Antipsychotic Medications;”

Victoria Spagnolo, Long Beach, New York, worked with faculty mentor Michael Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, criminal justice and criminology, on a thesis titled “Latino Immigrant and Native-born Perception of the American Criminal Justice System;”

Shannon Stricker, Morrisville, worked with faculty mentor Robert Spinelli, D.B.A., assistant professor of health administration and human resources, on a thesis titled “Benefits Packages for Millennials and the Potential Influence of the Affordable Care Act;”

Summer Jeanne Vaughan, Byram Township, New Jersey, worked with faculty mentor Hank Willenbrink, Ph.D., associate professor of English and theare, on a thesis titled “The World From Here: An Original Play;”

Juliana Catherine Vossenberg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, worked with faculty mentor Daniel P. Haggerty, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, on a thesis titled “Misconceiving Desire: A Philosophical Analysis of Sexual Desire in the Hookup Culture;”

Alex Bridgette Wasalinko, Scranton, worked with faculty mentor Ellen Casey, Ph.D. H’17, professor emerita, on a thesis titled “The Whole Greater Than the Parts: Connecting Body and Soul within Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘Blessed Damozel’ and ‘The House of Life’ Double Works;”

Katherine R. Wroge, Allentown, worked with faculty mentor Patricia Moyle Wright, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, on a thesis titled “Promoting Resilience through Spiritual Care after an Adverse Childhood Event;”

David Yatsonsky II, Jefferson Township, worked with faculty mentor Timothy Foley, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Phenylarsine Oxide Inhibition of Growth via Selective Vicinal Thiol Crosss-Linking in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.”

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