Meet Our Scholars

Hybrid Organizations and Competing Priorities: Meaghan Cherewka ’18

Meaghan Cherewka ’18

Meaghan Cherewka ’18

Summer Scholar and SJU rising junior Meaghan Cherewka is studying what happens when companies fail to balance competing priorities — like social consciousness and the bottom line.

Her research focuses on hybrid organizations, defined as companies that “combine the social logic of a nonprofit with the commercial logic of a for-profit business” (Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School).

In particular, she is studying Ben & Jerry’s, a company equally as famous for its social justice platform as for its delicious creations. Founded more than 20 years ago by creators who defined their mission through a lens of corporate social responsibility, the business has faced challenges to maintaining this identity as it grew. After becoming a publicly traded corporation in 2012 and experiencing a series of leadership changes, Ben & Jerry’s struggled to balance its mission focus with its profit growth.

“My research examines the institutional logistics that make up this hybrid organization and how future companies can learn from Ben & Jerry’s mistakes when balancing these competing goals,” says Meaghan.

Her project was inspired by her mentor, Kenneth Kury, Ph.D., assistant professor of family business and entrepreneurship, who also helped guide her course of study in HSB. After taking his freshman seminar, Meaghan decided to double major in entrepreneurship and marketing and apply for the Summer Scholars Program.

“Dr. Kury told me about the program after I wrote a research paper for my freshman seminar class, which was focused on social entrepreneurship,” says Meaghan. “He thought we could expand the topic, and it could potentially lead to a publication of the paper.”

Having researched and delivered talks on the topic himself, including a presentation, “The Relationship Between Social Capital and Resource Acquisition in Social Entrepreneurship,” at the Satter Conference on Social Entrepreneurship in New York in 2009, Dr. Kury has been a great partner for Meaghan’s project.

“[Summer Scholars] allows you to work hand-in-hand with a professor on multiple drafts, collaborating to come up with ideas you may not have otherwise,” says Meaghan.

Meaghan and Dr. Kury will be submitting the paper, once completed, to be considered for presentation at the National Convention for Entrepreneurship.

A member of the SJU cheerleading squad, the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and the American Marketing Association, Meaghan is a volunteer with Make-A-Wish and Relay for Life.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: “Hybrid Organizations and Institutional Logistics”

Mentor: Kenneth Kury, Ph.D., assistant professor of family business and entrepreneurship

 

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

Understanding Cybercrime: Philomena Faia ’17

Philomena Faia

Philomena Faia

“Today’s fast-growing business world functions because of instant connectivity,” says summer scholar and rising senior Philomena Faia. “However, its that same connectivity that has allowed cybercrime to become the second most committed economic crime worldwide. (PricewaterhouseCoopers).”

According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey, published this past February,  54 percent of U.S. companies that responded to the survey have experienced some type of cybercrime, but close to half of those companies do not have or have not yet implemented a plan to respond to attacks.

Philomena is studying why businesses often downplay the threat of cybercrime, even as they lose millions of dollars and experience significant damage to their  reputations as a result of these incidents.

“My goal is to study how many businesses are affected by cyber-attacks each year and how much money they lose as a result,” she says

The vice president of SJU’s accounting society was turned on to this topic at a networking event where she had the opportunity to speak with forensic accountants about cybersecurity. She brought the topic to her now summer scholar mentor, accounting chair and professor Joseph Larkin, Ph.D., who encouraged her to run with it.

“Her research will grab the attention of the reader and hopefully raise society’s awareness of this important threat,” says Larkin. “The project will be to provide recommendations as to how we can manage this problem going forward.”

“I hope this research will give me a better understanding of how companies in the US globe deal with intelligence threats, as well as companies across the globe” says Philomena. “I want to see if there is one universal solution to help put a stop to this, or what level of collaboration between countries needs to take place.”

“Cybercrime should absolutely be a concern of not only the business world, but also for the entire world, as it impacts all of us,” adds Larkin.

In addition to her summer scholar work, Philomena is a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and an intern with Vigilant Compliance, LLC.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: Examining Cybercrime: Security Challenges for 21st Century Businesses

Mentors: Joseph Larkin, Ph.D., chair of the accounting department

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

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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

 

Media Coverage of the Pharma Industry: Caitlin Smith ’17 and Olivia Capperella ‘18

160621-Sillup Porth Team_Summer Scholars-008Many SJU Summer Scholar projects are born of a single student’s curiosity or a moment of inspiration in the classroom. But others, like the work of pharmaceutical marketing majors Caitlin Smith ’17 and Olivia Capperella ’18, contribute to bodies of academic research years in the making.

Along with rising junior Claudia Barbiero, who serves as the group’s database administrator, Caitlin and Olivia are members of a research team examining the media’s portrayal of the pharmaceutical industry. Led by Associate Dean of the Haub School of Business and Professor of Management Stephen Porth, Ph.D. and Chair and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, George Sillup, Ph.D., the scholars analyze articles from the previous year that ran in top national newspapers and included mention of the industry.

The project is in its 13th year.

Caitlin, who has been working alongside Dr. Sillup and Dr. Porth for the past three years, says they examine the articles in batches and determine the slant and key topics. “We note the companies, healthcare systems and drugs mentioned and the ethical issues discussed or implied in the articles,” she says.

“When we look at the top issues in the industry or questions of ethics, we use a legend that has evolved with the study and add new matters as they make headlines,” adds Olivia, who also has a major in business intelligence and analytics.

For example, the group tracked the peak in news coverage of the Ebola crisis (the first US case of which was reported in September 2014) and in issues related to the Zika virus, the news of which broke in early 2015.

Though a longstanding project, the study has evolved over the last decade as both the pharmaceutical and media industries have changed.

“This year, we’ve added social listening to the study, examining Google trend analysis, keywords about the industry and hot topics,” says Dr. Porth.

Results of the study are published annually in Pharma Executive, a major publication for the pharmaceutical industry, according to Dr. Sillup.

“It’s been eye-opening,” says Caitlin. “Even if you watch the news, you probably miss the quantity of these stories or aren’t tracking the conversation the way we are. It’s great insight into the industry we’ll be working for.”

In addition to working on this research, Caitlin and Olivia are also both interns at Aztra Zeneca and members of SJU’s chapter of PILOT (Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders of Tomorrow), of which Olivia is vice president.

“[The Summer Scholars program] offers a different way to review and learn material about the industry outside of the typical classroom setting,” says Olivia. “I feel it has also helped me with my internship because I am able to come in with a better background and in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical world.”

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: Analyzing the Pharmaceutical Industry through Newspaper Coverage and the Media

Mentors: Steve Porth, Ph.D., HSB  associate dean and professor of management; George Sillup, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing

High Schools: Pottsgrove (Caitlin); Gwenydd Mercy (Olivia)

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

Studying Millennial Culture: Angela Christaldi ‘17

Christaldi

Christaldi

Millennials are lazy. They’re entitled. They’re narcissistic. At least, that’s what other generations say about them. But what if you give them a chance to speak for themselves?

Angela Christaldi ’17 is spending the summer composing a series of essays on the culture of the millennial generation. The collection, which is being written as part of a Summer Scholars project, is tentatively titled “Fear and Loathing of the Millennial Generation.”

“I applied for the Summer Scholars program because I wanted the opportunity to fully immerse myself in my writing,” Christaldi says. “I want to explore millennial culture through a variety of different lenses such as politics, economics and gender.”

Christaldi draws inspiration from “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” an influential collection of essays about life in California in the 1960s by Joan Didon. She discovered the book in a class taught by Owen Gilman, Ph.D., professor of English. Dr. Gilman now serves as Christaldi’s mentor for the project.

“Dr. Gilman’s course ‘Rereading the ‘60s’ exposed me to new types of writing, and his knowledge of that type of literature made him a perfect fit to oversee my project,” she says.

“Angela’s project could not be more timely, and she is rather perfectly located to be an essayist on American culture in the summer of 2016 heading toward the election in November,” Gilman says. “Her project will be a lively quest for understanding, a spirited effort to make sense of life in our time by writing.”

During the academic year, Christaldi is a tutor at the Writing Center and managing editor of The Hawk student newspaper. She is also a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and a student board member of SJU’s Women’s Center. She has made the dean’s list, studies in the Honors Program, and has been inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta English International Honor Society.

— Jeffrey Martin ’04, ’05 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: “Fear and Loathing of the Millennial Generation”
Mentor: Owen Gilman, Ph.D., professor of English
High School: Sacred Heart High School, Vineland, NJ

Mentoring, Literacy and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Ciarra Bianculli ’17 & John Goldberg ’17

 

Goldberg (left) & Bianculli

Goldberg (left) & Bianculli

English and secondary education double majors Ciarra Bianculli ’17 and John Goldberg ’17 talked frequently with classmates about the need to improve education for students likelier than their peers to encounter the juvenile justice system. Wanting to make a difference in education for young people facing the school-to-prison pipeline, the two are participating in the Summer Scholars program to find the most effective ways to engage and succeed with at risk learners.

“We are providing one-on-one tutoring and mentoring for at risk youth between the ages of 13 and 17,” says John. “These students typically read one or two grade-levels below what they should, so our goal this summer is to increase literacy through different methods.”

Twice a week, Ciarra and John travel to the Police Athletic League of Norristown, Pennsylvania, a community organization offering education, rehabilitation and detention services to the juvenile justice system.. The scholars also create personalized lesson plans for each of their 12 students with their mentor, Suniti Sharma, Ph.D., associate professor of education.

Dr. Sharma knew that Ciarra and John were serious about the project when she encountered their curiosity about youth prisoner education. As an activist for and researcher of the school-to-prison pipeline, Dr. Sharma is well aware of how rewarding, yet heartbreaking, work with at risk youth can be.

“Once I knew they were very interested and keen to start tutoring, I was excited,” says the first time Summer Scholars mentor. “I knew I was going to be working with two of the best scholars at SJU who were committed to advancing their teacher competencies by becoming social justice activist teachers invested in educational change.”

To ready themselves for the intensity of the project, Ciarra and John participated in an orientation to work with youth prisoners, earned their Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative certification to understand the implications of working with vulnerable populations, and read several books and articles on their topic.

“I applied for the Summer Scholars program with the hope that having this experience would help make me be a better teacher someday,” says Ciarra. “I want to play a part in students’ lives and help show them that learning and education are so important.”

A member of the Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity and Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, Ciarra is involved in Make-A-Wish and Relay for Life at SJU. Additionally, she serves as the assistant lifestyle editor for The Hawk student newspaper and as an SJU transfer mentor.

When he isn’t exploring the theoretical and research aspects of education, John is a Hawk Host with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and a member of the SJU Theatre Company.

— Elizabeth Krotulis ’17

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: “Mentoring and Literacy for Youth in the School-to-Prison Pipeline”

Mentor: Suniti Sharma, Ph.D., associate professor of education

High Schools: Ciarra attended Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

John attended Whippany Park High School, Whippany, New Jersey

Clothing & Social Responsibility: Meghan McDonald ’17

Meghan McDonald '17

Meghan McDonald ’17

“Sustainability and social responsibility within the garment industry are more than desirable objectives,” says Summer Scholar and international business major Meghan McDonald ’17, “this industry is overloaded with issues and puzzled for solutions.”

In pursuit of those solutions, Meghan, who also has minors in Spanish and economics, has been spending the summer exploring issues of corporate social responsibility within clothing companies. She hopes to gain a better understanding the complexities of the industry and assess strategies for encouraging conscientious consumers.

On the consumer side, Meghan’s research is focused mainly on the need for increased awareness among millennials.

“I took interest in this topic after watching a documentary on the apparel industry,” says the scholar, who is a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania. “My questions continued to develop and I discussed them with my sister, Mary Catherine, who witnessed many issues firsthand when she lived in Southeast Asia teaching English.”

Meghan’s eagerness to learn more about these issues led her to apply for Summer Scholars.

“The Summer Scholars Program is a unique opportunity to explore an academic topic in depth with both independent freedom and guidance from a well-respected professor,” she says.

Meghan is working with João Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., an associate professor of management at Saint Joseph’s who has a background in business economics and teaches courses on topics such as organizational sustainability and global business strategy.

“Along with his incredible knowledge, he brought passion to the subject and took the material further than just theory,” says Meghan. “Dr. Neiva shows the value of a global minded education, while building the necessary business skills and cultural awareness to work in an international setting.”

“Global sourcing in the apparel industry has been fraught with issues of fair treatment of labor,” says Neiva. “Meghan McDonald’s summer research project explores the need both for increased social sustainability awareness among young consumers and for corporate responsibility on the part of producing companies. In particular, she is investigating the evolution of company responses to labor conditions abroad since the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. This is an important inquiry because we hope findings will help deepen understanding of how consumer responses may encourage companies to address stakeholder needs and increase social responsibility.”

Meghan hopes their research can contribute to the call for better labor standards and more sustainable practices internationally.

She just returned from a semester abroad in Madrid, where, in addition to completing coursework, she was able to continue her weekly service participation. Back at home, Meghan is reengaged with her roles as an active ELS volunteer, a big sister with the Soith Eastern chapter of Big Brother Big Sister, a member of the SJU International Business Society and an intern for Profugo, an international development nonprofit in Ardmore.

— Colleen Sabatino ’11 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: Corporate Social Responsibility: the Effects on Millennial Consumption

Mentor: João Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., associate professor of management

High School: Academy of Notre Dame

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

Sleep and Memory: Amelia Brown ‘18

Brown

Brown

If you’ve ever woken up after a bad night’s sleep and been unable to focus on anything throughout the day, you know that sleep has an effect on memory. But how closely are they related?

Biology major Amelia Brown ‘18 is studying the link as part of a Summer Scholars Project. She Is studying the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans, a species of transparent roundworms, as they experience differing levels of sleep.

The organism was the first multicellular organism to have its whole genome sequenced. “C. elegans are a perfect subject to study because we know so much about them, and it’s easy to note changes in their biology,” Brown says.

She exposes the roundworms to chemicals early in their adult life cycle, noting how they respond. Then, after they sleep, she reintroduces the chemicals and measures how similar the response is depending on how much sleep they got. This method is called imprinting.

Matthew Nelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, is Brown’s mentor for the project. He says that the project has roots in biology’s biggest questions.

“Amelia’s project is addressing one of nature’s greatest biological mysteries: why do animals sleep?” he says. “Long term memories are formed during sleep in more complex animals, like humans, and we propose that this is occurring in C. elegans as well. The worm provides us with an avenue for rapidly understanding how sleep and memory are linked with single cell and molecular resolution.”

Brown says that the Summer Scholars program gives her extra time to do in-depth, focused research.

“During the semester it can be difficult to get procedures done in between classes and work,” she says. “It’s great having the summer to really focus on my research. Even though I am less than a month into my project, I already feel like I’ve learned many new techniques that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.”

Outside the lab, Brown is a member of the biology club and participates in SJU’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where she is a board member. She is also a McNulty Fellow for the summer.

–Jeffrey Martin ’04, ’05 (M.A.)

Office of University Communications

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Summer Scholars Project Title: Sleep and Memory in Caenorhabditis elegans

Mentor: Matthew D. Nelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology

High School: South Broward High School, Hollywood, Florida