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    Class of 2020 Honors Program Graduates

    Thirty members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2020 graduated from its undergraduate Honors Program.
    June 8, 2020

    Thirty members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2020 graduated from its undergraduate 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 the class of 2020 undergraduate Honors Program graduates, their faculty mentors and their research projects.

    Marah A. Alian, Derby, Connecticut, who was a neuroscience major, worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Examination of Visually Evoked Startle Responses in the Common Goldfish (Carassius auratus).”

    Kimberly S. Baxter, Philadelphia, who was a political science and criminal justice double major, worked with faculty mentor Jean Wahl Harris, Ph.D., professor of political science, on a thesis titled “Obligations of Universities and the Criminal Court regarding Title IX.”

    Daniel R. Buzzerio, River Edge, New Jersey, who was an accounting major, worked with faculty mentor Douglas M. Boyle, D.B.A., associate professor and chair of the Accounting Department, on a thesis titled “Perceptions of the Dark Triad and the Effect on Professional Skepticism.”

    Erin A. Carlin, Scranton, who was an environmental science major, worked with faculty mentor Jean Wahl Harris, Ph.D., professor of political science, on a thesis titled “Why Policies Prompting Action on Climate Change are Incompatible with the ‘Make America Great Again’ Model: A Comparative Analysis of President Donald Trump’s Energy Policy and Paris Agreement Rhetoric.”

    Grace E. Cieri, Collegeville, who was a chemistry major, worked with faculty mentor Nicholas Sizemore, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Studies Toward the Total Synthesis of Pantocin A.”

    Michael P. Diana, Somerset, New Jersey, who was a psychology major, worked with faculty mentor Jessica M. Nolan, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, on a thesis titled “The Cognitive Ripple Effect.”

    Virginia Mary Farrell, Scranton, who was a history major, worked with faculty mentor Gretchen Van Dyke, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, on a thesis titled “Do We Value the Arts in America?”

    Amy P. Kaiser, Downingtown, who was a nursing major, worked with faculty mentor Catherine P. Lovecchio, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, on a thesis titled “Investigating the lived experience of primary caregivers of children with chronic diseases during the transition of their child to a long-term care facility.”

    Hailey M. Kindt, Easton, who was a neuroscience and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Examining the Role of Phenoloxidase in the Immune Response of Endosymbiont-Depleted C. floridanus.” Kindt was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Theresa Anne Koch, Whitehall, who was a neuroscience major, worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The effect of Dextromethorphan on retinal neurons in developing zebrafish larvae.”

    Makayla A. Light, Vestal, New York, who was a biochemistry major, worked with faculty mentor Katherine A. Stumpo, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Structural Characterization of N-glycan Moieties from the IgY of the Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) Serum and the Effect of Haemoproteus spp. Infection Using Mass Specctrometry.”

    Jake N. MacDonald, Scranton, who was a neuroscience major, worked with faculty mentor Matthew J. Socha, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Effect of Acute Exposure to High Glucose and High Free Fatty Acids on Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Mouse Superior Epigastric Arteries.”

    Samantha M. Manganelli, Sugarloaf, who was a neuroscience major, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Effects of Clozapine in Pogonomyrmex Barbatus Ants on Neurogenesis and Aggression.”

    Julia A. McKinney, Perkasie, who was a neuroscience and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on Learning and Biogenic Amines in Camponotus floridanus Ants.” McKinney was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Madeline M. Meaney, Ellington, Connecticut, who was a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major, worked with faculty mentor Billie R. Tadros, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and theatre, on a thesis titled “PTSD Narratives: Gendered Gap in Scientific Literature and Memoirs.”

    Abbey A. Murphy, Mountain Top, who was an accounting and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Andrew T. LaZella, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, on a thesis titled ‘Steinian Empathy, Personhood, and Interreligious Dialogue.” Murphy was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Katherine Musto, Pittston, who was a biology major, worked with faculty mentor Robert F. Waldeck, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Effects of Lesions in Different Locations of the Goldfish Telencephalon on Acoustiic Startle Response.” She was a recipient of the University’s full-tuition Presidential Scholarship.

    Sazia Nowshin, Moosic, who was a political science major, worked with faculty mentor Joel B. Kemp, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and religious studies, on a thesis titled “Does Heaven Have a Government?”

    Stefan H. Olsen, Luzerne, who was a biochemistry and biomathematics double major, worked with faculty mentor Timothy D. Foley, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, on a thesis titled “Chemical Cross-linking of Protein Thiols by Arsenic: Analysis of Thio-Arsenic Binding Energy and Aresenic-Binding Proteins.”

    Katherine R. Peccerillo, Southington, Connecticut, who was a biology major, worked with faculty mentor Robert J. Smith, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled “An Examination of Haemosporidian Infection and Feather Coloration in Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensi).”

    Shannon M. Rattigan, Wappingers Falls, New York, who was a biology major, worked with faculty mentor Janice Voltzow, Ph.D., professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Potential Effect of Ocean Acidification on the Behavior of the Grass Shrimp Palaemonetes vulgaris.”

    Kristina M. Reid, Robbinsville, New Jersey, who was an occupational therapy major, worked with faculty mentor Jong-Hyun Son, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, on a thesis titled “MR Fusion-Guided vs. "Blind" Approach to Diagnosing Prostate Cancer.”

    Josephine M. Rodgers, Lancaster, who was a biochemistry and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Maria E. Squire, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “The Influence of Tylenol on Cortical and Trabecular Bone Development in Juvenile Mice.”

    Jasmin E. Russo, Hamden, Connecticut, who was an exercise science major, worked with faculty mentor Andrew C. Venezia, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science and sport, on a thesis titled “The Effect of Acute Exercise Timing on Long-Term Memory in Healthy College-Aged Students.”

    Minahil Sami, Jessup, who was a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Immunological Priming for Bacterial Strain Specific Effects in Ants.” Sami was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Nicole E. Schaeffer, Easton, who was a history and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor David J. Dzurec III, Ph.D., professor and chair of the History Department, on a thesis titled “A Comparative Historical Analysis of the AIDS Crisis in the United States from a Journalistic Perspective.” Schaeffer was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Joshua M. Toth, Jefferson Township, who was a biophysics and physics double major, worked with faculty mentor Robert A. Spalletta, Ph.D., professor of physics and electrical engineering, on a thesis titled “Investigation of Material Hardness and Mesoscale Friction Properties of the Camponotus floridanus Cuticle as Determined by Atomic Force Microscopy.” Toth was also a member of University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM and a recipient of the University’s full-tuition Presidential Scholarship.

    Bevin B. Walker, Wyckoff, New Jersey, who was a psychology and criminal justice major, worked with faculty mentor John J. O’Malley, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Psychology Department, on a thesis titled “A Comparison of Emotional Intelligence in Varsity Student Athletes and Non-Student Athletes at the University of Scranton.”

    Madeline R. Walker, Brookfield, Connecticut, who was a neuroscience and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Marc A. Seid, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, on a thesis titled “Imidacloprid detection and aversion in Bombus impatiens.” Walker was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Alexis I. Ward, Wysox, who was an English and philosophy double major, worked with faculty mentor Joseph E. Kraus, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of English and Theatre, on a thesis titled “Imagining China from the West: A Tropological Genealogy of Chinese Representation in Popular Culture.” Ward was also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

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