Diving in Head First: Kathryn Hyduchak ’18 and Nathalia Benavides ’18

Benavides (left) and Hyduchak

On a hot summer day, nothing refreshes like a tall glass of cold water. As you reach to turn on the faucet, most people can generally assume that the water is clean and safe to drink. But exactly how clean is your local water, and how much do commercial filters help the cause?

Kathryn Hyduchak ’18 and Nathalia Benavides ’18 are studying water quality as part of the Summer Scholars Program. The students will collaborate on two projects: measuring the effectiveness of household water filters in removing lead and testing local water supplies for any detectable levels of pharmaceuticals. The project is mentored by Jean Smolen, Ph.D., associate dean of mathematics, natural sciences and computer science and director of the program. Peter Zurbach, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, is providing assistance with instrumentation.

“We will start by perfecting our methods using spiked samples,” Benavides explains. “We’ll use gas chromatography, which separates analytes by vaporizing them, to quantify pharmaceutical concentrations. For the lead determination, we use an instrument called ICP-OES, inductively couple plasma-optical emission spectroscope, which can detect trace metals. Once we are certain of our methods, we will collect water from local streams and the Schuylkill River for analysis.”

Hyduchak, a chemical biology major from Scranton, Pennsylvania, says that she chose to work on the project because of its global relevance.

“Water quality has always been a major concern throughout the world, not only in developing nations, but even in countries such as our own,” she says. “The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, brought to everyone’s attention the importance of clean and drinkable water, and we wanted to research the methods of testing for lead in our own area.”

Benavides, a dual chemical biology and French major from Weston, Florida, adds that there are many other contaminants, in addition to lead, to consider when testing drinking water.

“More medicine is being administered to the public than actually being consumed, and because there is no national standard for disposing of pharmaceuticals, many people flush their unused medication down the drain,” she explains. “That could lead to detectable levels of contaminants in the local water supply, which is harmful to people, wildlife and the environment.”

Both students sought places in the Summer Scholars Program to engage in high-level research with a faculty member.

“Working in this setting allows me to be able to fully immerse myself in a topic,” Benavides says. “Doing research has given me control of my education and enhanced my understanding of topics I have previously learned in my lecture courses.”

Hyduchak adds that “this kind of research allows for more freedom and creativity than assigned laboratory exercises. I can take the time to think of and test out several different possible solutions to a problem.”

Smolen, who has been studying water quality with her students for years, praises Benavides and Hyduchak’s commitment to the topic.

“Because they are passionate about water quality, Nathalia and Kathryn have been delving into the corresponding scientific literature and mastering their analytical techniques,” Smolen says.

Outside the research lab, Hyduchak is a member and the scholarship chair of SJU’s chapter of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, vice president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society, and a Resident Assistant. Benavides is a sister and director of academics for SJU’s chapter of the Alpha Phi sorority, secretary of the Biology Club, and a member of both the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society.

Impromptu Iambs: Emma Seely ’18

Emma Seely ’18

Are you a poet? If you haven’t met Emma Seely ’18, it’s possible that you are and you just haven’t discovered your inner bard yet.

As part of a project for the Summer Scholars Program, Seely, a dual English and psychology major from Parkton, Maryland, is building a collection of poems written by people she meets on the streets of Philadelphia.

Seely guides the writing by asking the poets to think about an object, then gives them several prompts to describe the object: its appearance, how it affects the world, and so on. Each exercise lasts 30 seconds; within five minutes, a new poem is born. She publishes the finished products online at https://poemsofphiladelphia.wordpress.com.

“When I approach people, a lot of them worry about not being able to write a ‘good’ poem,” Seely says. “I want to make the point that anyone can be a poet if they aren’t caught up in the need to write to meet someone else’s criteria for good.”

A longtime fan of the art form, Seely hopes that the projects kick starts a love of poetry in both her spontaneous authors and those who visit the site.

“Sometimes people feel like poetry is inaccessible to them if they don’t have a master’s-level understanding of English,” she says. “These poems prove that an audience can appreciate and relate to the work even if it isn’t necessarily the next Shakespearean sonnet.”

Seely’s mentor, Thomas Coyne, M.F.A., assistant professor of English, agrees about the project’s potential to inspire a love of poetry.

“This project combines the best of what we do here at SJU, blending art and academic pursuit and community engagement,” he says. “It makes a real case that poetry matters, and that language can reshape the way we look at our lives. It is both service and research, and its potential to show people the poetry in their lives is truly exciting.”

When not working on her Summer Scholars project, Seely is a member of three national honor societes: Sigma Tau Delta (English), Psi Chi (psychology) and Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit). She participates in weekly service at Covenant House, hosts a radio show on Radio 1851, volunteers in a campus psychology lab and mentors students at SJU’s Writing Center.

Seely says that the hopes the project brings her to a better understanding of the world around her.

“I’m seeing Philadelphia in new and exciting ways,” she says. “I always wonder about the secret lives of the random people I see walking on the street, and now I have an outlet to bring us closer together.”

Project Title: Poems of Philadelphia

Mentor: Thomas Coyne, M.F.A.

Hometown: Parkton, Maryland

Follow @sjuartssciences & @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s Summer Scholars.

Investigating Pathogenic Bacteria E. albertii: Marisa Egan ’18

Egan and Dr. Bhatt

Egan and Dr. Bhatt

It’s important in college for students to find a place where they can escape and focus. For many, it’s a quiet corner in the library or a residence hall lounge late at night.

For Marisa Egan ’18, it seems that the best place to go after a long day of classwork is the lab.

The junior biology major, mathematics, philosophy and chemistry minor and McNulty Scholar has spent a considerable amount of time during her two years on campus — and two full summers as part of the Summer Scholars Program — in the lab of Shantanu Bhatt, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, conducting research on the pathogenic bacterium Escherichia albertii.

The bacterium, which is in the same family as E. coli, attacks the intestines, causing diarrheal problems. It is drug resistant, has no vaccine, and largely affects infants in developing countries, though some cases have appeared in adults in Japan and Germany.

“There’s so much we don’t know yet about E. albertii,” Egan explains. “The goal of our research is to understand how it causes sickness by creating mutations in its genome. If we can understand the genes that contribute to its disease causing ability, then someone may be able to one day develop a drug to attack those genes.”

In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Egan and Dr. Bhatt became the first research team to successfully create such a mutation in the bacterium since it was identified 25 years ago. Their research was published this year in Biological Procedures Online. Egan was the lead author. Another paper, led by Dr. Bhatt and co-authored by Egan and other researchers, was recently published in Gene & Translational Bioinformatics.

“Marisa is one of the most gifted students to have ever graced my classroom,” Dr. Bhatt says. “Ever since I have known her, she has exhibited uninhibited enthusiasm in learning all that she can from her academic journey. It’s students like her that teach teachers so much and serve as a motivator to go the extra mile for our students.”

Egan enjoys the abundance of time that comes with doing her research as part of the Summer Scholars Program.

“I love immersing myself in the work,” she says. “There are no daily time limits with Summer Scholars. I can come in early and leave late. The entire day can revolve around research.”

Egan credits her parents — both of whom are doctors — with teaching her a love of science.

“I’ve always been interested in topics that were relevant to human health,” she says. “Ultimately, I want to serve humanity through scientific research and teaching.”

Outside the lab, Egan mentors her fellow students by serving in SJU’s Success Center as a supplemental instructor for Biology 101 and teacher’s assistant for organic chemistry lab courses. She is also the scholarship chair for Pi Sigma Phi, a gender-inclusive academic honors fraternity on campus.

“Besides research, my absolute favorite thing to do on campus is to teach,” Egan says. “Working as a supplemental instructor and teachers’ assistant lets me share my passion for science, humanity, and learning with others. I derive so much inspiration from my parents, my peers, my students and my professors, and my life goal is to pass that inspiration on.”

CTE and School Age Athletes: Brant Edmonds ’17

 

Brant Edmonds and Peter Clark, S.J.

Brant Edmonds and Peter Clark, S.J.

From court to field, sports fans show their appreciation and team spirit in a variety of ways. But Summer Scholar and biology major Brant Edmonds ’17 is channeling his love for sports in a unique manner: He’s looking at brain development in school age football players, and writing about the ethics surrounding young people who play football and might be exposed to practices that could eventually lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder caused by repeated concussion. His research goal is to write a paper that will provide guidance and protocols that could reduce the likelihood of these young players developing CTE as they mature.

An aspiring physician, Brant read Jeanne Marie Laskas’s (Class of 1980) New York Times bestseller Concussion, and the book served as the catalyst for his project. “After noticing that autopsies of younger players were displaying advanced stages of CTE, I wondered if the disease was beginning much earlier in a player’s career,” says Brant, who adds that he hopes his paper, which will be submitted for publication, promotes awareness of CTE risks among young players and parents.

Organized in six sections, his final work will include background information on CTE, an in-depth medical analysis of the disease, a historical view of CTE in American sports, the educational issues caused by football in elementary and high school players, and an overview of associated ethical issues. He’ll conclude his paper by proposing recommendations and safeguards for children rooted in the suggestions of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Brant’s SSP mentor Peter Clark, S.J., professor of theology and health services and director of SJU’s Institute of Clinical Bioethics (ICB), where Brant is a senior research fellow, observes him in a different capacity most week days as Brant attends ethics rounds and other bioethics related meetings at Mercy Health System, where Fr. Clark is the staff bioethicist.

“Brant is bright, inquisitive, and relates very well with patients and physicians,” says Fr. Clark. “He examines an ethical issue from all perspectives and then logically evaluates the facts of a case until he reaches a well-reasoned decision. He is an exceptional scholar and person and will make a great physician in the future.”

Earlier this year, Brant, Fr. Clark, Ana Maheshwari, a Mercy medical resident, and three other SJU students — Brendan Gleason, Michael DeMuzio  and Jennifer Schadt — co-authored a paper titled “Pediatric Brain Cancer Tissue Donation: Ask and You Shall Receive,” which was published in the Internet Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology 18.

The success of the paper helped the ICB develop a formal relationship with the Swifty Foundation in Chicago, a leading funder of pediatric brain cancer research. Both Brant and Fr. Clark look forward to collaborating on various projects with the foundation in the future.

During the academic year, Brant participates in Adventure Club and Hand In Hand. He is an RA for St. Mary’s Hall and also works in the University’s Biodiversity Lab, focusing on animal care. Brant has earned Dean’s List honors and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

— Kayla E. Lane ’17

Office of University Communications

***

Project Title: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and its Effect on Elementary and Secondary School Student Athletes

Mentor: Peter Clark S.J., professor of theology and health services and director of the Institute of Clinical Bioethics

High School: Cherry Hill High School East, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Ew! Is Expressing Disgust Feminine?: Kristen Lanzilotta ’17

Lanzilotta

Lanzilotta

Imagine yourself sitting at a table, ready to eat lunch. You pick up your sandwich, take a bite, and find that there’s a long hair protruding from between your lettuce and cheese. How do you react? Be careful how you answer; it may determine how desirable you are.

Kristen Lanzilotta ’17, a psychology major and Summer Scholar, is researching how women’s reactions to disgusting situations affect how they are seen in others’ eyes. Under the mentorship of Alex Skolnick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology — an expert in the emotions of disgust — Lanzilotta is spending the summer conducting surveys, asking participants how they’d feel about a woman who reacted to a disgusting situation in a variety of ways.

“The stereotyped reaction for women is one of helplessness,” Lanzilotta explains. “The aim of my project is to examine the relationship between women behaving in accordance to the gender stereotype of helplessness and their perceived physical attractiveness.”

Lanzilotta theorizes that women who act according to gender roles will be seen as more desirable. “The damsel in distress is a powerful stereotype,” she says. “I want people to understand the implications of applying gender stereotypes to women. They may not only shape how women act, but also how they will be judged by other people superficially.”

Summer Scholars was a natural choice for the project, Lanzilotta says, because it gives her the time and space to find her research style.

“My work on this project differs from my approach to regular schoolwork in that I have assumed more of a leadership role,” she says. “I have to plan, communicate, and delegate to make this project successful.”

Lanzilotta is a regular presence on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society. Outside the classroom, she competes in intramural soccer.

Summer Scholars Project: Women who do not say “Yuck!” Are Women Evaluated Differently Based on their Response to a Disgusting Situation?
Mentor: Alex Skolnick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology
High School: Merion Mercy Academy, Merion, Pennsylvania

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Corporate Social Responsibility & Impact on Native Americans: Cameron Kenworthy ’18

 

Cameron_Neiva

Cameron Kenworthy ’18 and Dr. Nevia

“Most people give a firm handshake or sign on a dotted line in an attempt to prove they’ll keep their word in an agreement,” says Summer Scholar and SJU junior Cameron Kenworthy. “But how are businesses really held accountable?” Cameron is spending the summer trying to answer this question.

Her research focuses on the impact of a plant operated by Nestle Waters, producer of the brand Arrowhead, that is located on a reservation in Southern California. Despite operating under a mission of environmental and social responsibility, the plant has been under scrutiny for the amount of water they have used amid severe droughts in the region over the last four years.

“Indigenous people who reside on the reservation, as well as those across the world are being affected by this,” says Cameron, a psychology major with a minor in Leadership, Ethics and Organizational Sustainability (LEO) from Hagerston, Maryland.

“I am investigating the inconsistencies between the company’s promise and its action,” says Cameron, “as well as the trying to identify ‘greenwashing’ practices.” Greenwashing occurs when a company spends time and money in an attempt to present an environmentally responsible image to consumers, often deceivingly.

Cameron’s mentor for the project, João Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., associate professor of international business and LEO, was one of the first to encourage her to explore her interest in issues of corporate social responsibility.

“Dr. Neiva’s passion for the topics he teaches sparked my interest in the business world,” says Cameron. “He strives for each of his students to acquire passion for learning and a higher understanding of what interests them. He’s the best mentor I could ask for.”

“Cameron is a very dedicated student and summer scholar,” says Dr. Neiva. “She is a hard worker and is genuinely interested in researching differences between companies’ corporate social (and environmental) responsibility stated intentions and observed actions.”

“As consumers become increasingly focused on sustainability, it is in companies’ interest to project a socially and environmentally responsible image. The important question is what corporations do when there are conflicting incentives among the people, planet, and profit dimensions,” he says.

“I chose this topic because I think all too often people tend to accept big business for what it is, without questioning how the business interacts with the communities it may be affecting,” says Cameron. She hopes that the people who read her work will become just as passionate about these issues.

“[Through the Summer Scholars Program] I have learned more about the research process,” she says. “Like most summer scholars, I’ve never done anything like this before, and I have been eager to learn.”

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

 * * *

Summer Scholars Project Title: “An Investigation of Corporate Social Responsibility in Relation to Rights and Resources of Native Americans”

Mentor: João Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., associate professor of international business and LEO

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Cuban Economic & Agrarian Reforms Post-Revolution: John McGrath ’18

 

John McGrath '18

John McGrath ’18

The study tour John McGrath ’18 took to Cuba in the spring with his political science class —Contemporary Cuban Politics and Society — was not the initial spark for his curiosity about the relationship between economic and agrarian reforms in the island nation, but it did provide him the opportunity to formulate his Summer Scholars research topic.

“I have always been interested in the role that agriculture plays in society, especially since its importance is not highlighted in our country,” says the international relations major from South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

This summer, John is combining his curiosity about farming and his experience posing research questions while abroad to continue studying how Cuba’s post-revolution economy led to a change in the country’s agricultural practices — specifically how it fell to second place in the economy after the increase of tourism. He also hopes to discover how agriculture will change as a result of the new relationship between Cuba and the United States.

“The Cuban economy has become an especially exciting topic since the U.S. resumed diplomatic relations with its neighbor last year after having severed ties more than a half-century ago,” says John’s mentor Benjamin Liebman, Ph.D.,  professor of economics.

Dr. Liebman enjoys mentoring Summer Scholars as they navigate the research process and deepen their understanding of particular subjects in a way not usually possible during the school year. He says it’s also a learning experience for him, too.

“Working with Summer Scholars can be an opportunity for me to learn about topics outside of my research expertise,” says Dr. Liebman. “For example, I know a lot more about steel production in China than I do about Cuban agriculture, so I’m learning a lot from John this summer.”

Grateful for the opportunity the Summer Scholars program provides him to further explore a topic he finds intriguing, John looks forward to learning even more about Cuban reforms.

“[This research] is much more about following my interests than feeling compelled to complete assignments for a grade,” he says.

John is a recipient of the St. Andrew’s Scholarship and will focus on Middle East studies in Scotland at the University of St. Andrew’s beginning in the fall. He is a former member of the SJU Student Senate and has also been an RA.

— Liz Krotulis ’17

Office of University Communications

***

Summer Scholars Project Title: Examining the Relationship between Cuban Economic Reforms and Agrarian Reforms after the Cuban Revolution.

Mentor: Benjamin Liebman, Ph.D., professor of economics

High School: South Kingstown High School, South Kingstown, Rhode Island

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Feminist Identity Among Millennials: Nicole VanAller ‘17

VanAller

VanAller

There’s nothing new about feminist rhetoric on college campuses. For decades, women at institutions of higher learning have come together to empower themselves and each other. Likewise, there’s nothing new about feminism online. Countless sites are devoted to advancing equality between genders. Now, a new stage has emerged at the intersection of these two communities.

Nicole VanAller ’17 is studying feminist identify among millennials as part of a Summer Scholars project. Specifically, she is researching the online magazine Her Campus, an online magazine specifically aimed at collegiettes, a term the website created and trademarked to describe “ambitious, savvy and aspirational” college women.

“I’m interviewing members of the SJU chapter of Her Campus, asking them what feminism means to them,” VanAller says. “I’m really interested in the construction of gender that goes on when a journalistic website targets our age group. Do sites like this build a meaningful connection to feminism, or do they stop at ‘girl power?’ That’s what I want to find out.”

VanAller, who is working under the mentorship of Jenny Spinner, Ph.D., associate professor of English, likes that the Summer Scholars program allows her to work on a longer project than she could during the semester.

“I am really enjoying diving deep into the topic,” she says. “I can explore new angles and do a lot more reading for background. I feel like I’m learning a lot more.”

Once the project is finished, VanAller hopes that she can expand her research on millennial feminist identify.

“I hope to learn what drives gender construction in our generation, especially in business,” she says.

VanAller is a student in SJU’s Honors Program and has earned a place on the Dean’s List in every semester since she arrived at SJU. She was recently inducted into Phi Betta Kappa and is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. Outside the classroom, she is the marketing and communications director for the SJU Women’s Leadership Initiative and founder of the SJU Independent Press, a zine that gathers student writing surrounding a single topic.

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Summer Scholars Project: Defining a “Collegiette:” Her Campus and feminist identity among millennials
Mentor: Jenny Spinner, Ph.D., associate professor of English
High School: Methacton High School, Eagleville, Pennsylvania

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

National Political Party Conventions & Social Justice Protests: Max Barrile ‘18

Max Barrile '18

Max Barrile ’18

In the midst of the heightened political rhetoric surrounding the 2016 presidential campaign and recent racial and social justice movements in the U.S., one SJU student is examining the extent to which history repeats itself.

Political science and international relations dual major Max Barrile ’18 will use his time as a Summer Scholar to conduct a comparative analysis of past and present protest activity at national political party conventions.

“I will be focusing mainly on the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, the Cleveland Republican Convention and the Philadelphia Democratic Convention of 2016 as case studies,” Max says.

He will also highlight racial-based protests at the conventions to determine similarities, differences and whether or not the previous protests effectively foreshadow today’s convention protests. His work will analyze the tactics of some of the most prominent social justice movements including: the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“I love research and I love SJU, so applying for the Summer Scholars Program allowed me to stay on campus and do research as my summer job,” Max says. He adds that he hopes to gain “a greater understanding of  protests and protest movements, and to better understand the history of the Civil Rights Movement and how its current incarnations, BLM, for instance, have adopted similar tactics or adapted to modern times.”

Becki Scola, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of political science, further fostered Max’s commitment to social justice during an Intro to American Politics class she taught in the fall. Dr. Scola now serves as his mentor for the summer.

“Max’s project is timely, given the upcoming convention and presidential election, and his research question will lead to an interesting study of how protest impacts national politics and the presidential nomination process,” Dr. Scola says.

“I asked Dr. Scola to be my mentor because of her expertise in American politics and because she has an additional specialty in protest and social movements,” Max says.

Max’s current research will also coincide with his work in the fall when he interns with The Washington Center’s Academic Seminar for the Democratic National Committee.

With his passion for social justice, Max exemplifies an aspect of the magis. “I am a strong believer in equal rights for all. I also believe that a society is only successful when each of its members are free and treated equally,” he says.

During the regular academic year, Max is involved in Phi Sigma Pi and volunteers as a Hawk Host. He also participates in College Democrats, the Dean’s Leadership Program and the Appalachian Experience. He is a Dean’s Scholarship recipient and he studies in the Honors Program.

— Kayla E. Lane ’17

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project: Tension at the Convention: National Nominating Conventions as Sites of Social and Political Protest

Mentor: Becki Scola, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of political science

High School: City Honors School #195 at Fosdick Masten Park, Buffalo, New York

 

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP

Aquatic Exercise & Academic Response in Children with ASD: Erin Ross ’17

Dr. George (left) and Erin Ross

Dr. George (left) and Erin Ross

This summer, chemistry major Erin Ross ’17 of Warrington, Pennsylvania, won’t be spending much time lounging by the pool; rather, as a Summer Scholar, she has devoted herself to conducting research by the pool.

In partnership with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support,  Erin will study the effects of aquatic exercise on stereotypic behaviors (rapid, repetitive movement) and the academic response of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ages three-to-seven years .

During the course of Camp Kinney, the Center’s summer program, Erin is examining the academic and social responses of children as they participate in camp and classroom tasks before and after swimming. Some days, the children will be in a “no/low exercise” condition, and other days, the children will be in the exercise condition, expending more energy while swimming in the O’Pake Recreation Center Pool.

This project is timely because little is known about the effects of aquatic exercise on sterotypy and correct responding in children with ASD. Erin’s goal is that the research findings be used by families and teachers to minimize stereotypic behaviors in these children.

“I hope [this work] makes a positive impact for children with ASD,” Erin says, adding that her research project is different from anything she has done before.

“Because I’m a chemistry major, I spend a lot of time working in the lab. My Summer Scholar project is exposing me to another side of research that I’m learning how to conduct with people,” she says.

Erin predicts her Summer Scholars Program (SSP) experience will help prepare her for a career in medicine as a developmental pediatrician working with children on the Autism spectrum.

Cheryl George, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education and Erin’s SSP mentor, has over 10 years of experience in researching the effects of aerobic exercise in children with ASD. Her mission to improve behavior and academic performance in children with disabilities and discover applicable solutions for teachers and families to apply in support of those children meshes perfectly with Erin’s interests.

“When I interviewed Erin, I felt she would be the ideal candidate to mentor,” says Dr. George. “Because she’s been trained and worked as a Kinney SCHOLAR, and because she had previous experience conducting research, she possessed the background knowledge necessary to be successful with this summer project. I am thoroughly enjoying mentoring Erin and working alongside her, and I’m grateful that SJU has provided this opportunity.”

Dr. George and Erin are in the process of drafting a manuscript of the project to submit for publication, and they have already submitted two proposals to present their research outcomes: at PACEC, a Pennsylvania statewide special education convention, and at an international conference in Florida that is hosted by the Division for Autism and Developmental Disability, a subdivision of the Council for Exceptional Children.

In addition to working as a Kinney SCHOLAR during the academic year, Erin is a weekly service volunteer and a member of the Molloy Chemical Society, as well as the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.

— Elizabeth Krotulis ’17

Office of University Communications

***

Summer Scholars Project Title: The Impact of Aquatic Exercise on Academic Responding and Stereotypical Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mentor: Cheryl L. George, Ph.D., assistant professor of special education

High School: Central Bucks High School South, Warrington, Pennsylvania

Follow @sjuartssciences @haubschool on Twitter to learn about this year’s summer scholars. #SJUSSP