The following is a list of departments and programs from which faculty have volunteered to be potential mentors for the 2018 program. Click on the links in the box to the right to see the lists of faculty in each area. Keep in mind that you must schedule an appointment to meet with your potential faculty mentor to begin the conversation about possible projects, their availability to serve as a mentor, etc.

While there is no limit to the number of students any one faculty member may mentor, it is important to keep in mind that the program is highly competitive and the number of spots available are limited. As such, not all students who apply will be selected for support through the program.  Please discuss this with your potential mentor as you are formulating your proposal.

Participating Faculty Members By Department

Department Website

Dr. WaQar Ghani
Dr. WaQar Ghani
I have a multidisciplinary research focus. My work has been published in some of the premier journals in finance (Journal of Fixed Income), marketing (Journal of Public Policy and Marketing), and accounting (International Journal of Accounting). I developed and taught a course titled: Cooking the Books: Lessons in Business Ethics. This course is based on my research interests in issues of earnings management and corporate ethics.

In summary, my research interests include issues of Earnings Management, Financial Shenanigans and Business Ethics; Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability; Issues of Corporate Governance; Impact of Regulations on Shareholder Wealth; International Trade Agreements and Shareholder Wealth: Business groups, Corporate Governance, Firm Performance, and External Financial Reporting in Emerging Economies; and Economic Value Added (EVA)© and Firm Performance.

AJ Stagliano
Dr. A. J. Stagliano
I will engage students–as many as three–to assist with any of my six major on-going empirical research projects:

1. Sustainability reporting by companies that participate in the European Union Emissions Trading System;
2. Comparative examination of financial ratios by companies under IFRS and U.S. GAAP;
3. Extension of databases on climate change and sustainability disclosures by large domestic public companies;
4. Cybercrime financial disclosures by SEC registrants in a major U.S. sector;
5. Analysis of alternative cash flow reporting models under SFAS 95; and
6. Comparative analysis of codes of ethics for major U.S. corporations.

For all these projects, student tasks will include data collection, refinement, classification, and analysis.

Department Website

Dr. Erin Downey
In my research, I explore cultural convergences between the Low Countries and Italy during the early modern period, and the impact of migration on perceptions of local and foreign artistic identity. My dissertation, completed in the summer of 2015 and entitled “The Bentvueghels: Networking and Agency in the Seicento Roman Art Market,” laid the groundwork for this avenue of inquiry. My current research further examines the challenges of early modern migration, and seeks to highlight specific strategies undertaken by foreign artists when navigating an increasingly global system of trade and travel. I am in the process of developing the dissertation into a book manuscript that analyzes the full impact (stylistic, social, and economical) of migration on the broader northern European artistic community in Rome, and the consequences of such an extended stay abroad for several key artists upon their return to the Low Countries. My research also considers the role of Netherlandish artists in the flourishing international print and book industry established by the Jesuit community. More recently, I have focused on writing articles that address constructions of foreign identity as well as significant examples of collaboration and exchange between Netherlandish artists and local patrons and practitioners in Italy. The first of these, an article on the Galleria Giustiniana, the catalogue of the antiquities collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani, was published last May.

Dr. Emily Hage
My interests include:
Modern and contemporary art
Race, gender, and religious identity
Social justice

Topics of my current projects are:
Dada art magazines
1970s zines
Fortune magazine and art
African American artists and the media

Dr. Dennis McNally, S.J.
Architectural History
Art and Spirituality
Liturgical History

Department Website

Catalina Arango
Dr. Catalina Arango
I study gene regulation in bacteria, specifically on a system that controls how bacteria use some food sources in preference to others, called catabolite repression. In many bacteria this system also controls genes that are important for virulence and symbiosis. The model organism I use is Sinorhizobium meliloti, a plant symbiont that helps alfalfa and other legumes to thrive in nitrogen-poor soil.
Research in my laboratory has uncovered the binding site of an activator participating in gene regulation, and we are investigating the role of a signaling protein that may transmit the catabolite repression signal to this activator and probably other proteins involved in turning genes on and off.

Dr. Shantanu Bhatt
Research in my lab revolves around the identification and characterization of virulence factors in the attaching and effacing pathogens, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and the newly emerging pathogen, Escherichia albertii.  More specifically, we are interested in determining how the RNA chaperone protein Hfq and Hfq-dependent sRNAs modulate bacterial virulence. Discoveries emerging from our studies will aid researchers and clinicians to develop more efficacious interventional strategies against these pathogens.

Dr. Jonathan Fingerut
My lab is working to understand the basic life-history and ecology of an invasive fruit-fly, Drosophila suzukii, which is a major agricultural pest nationwide and in our region. Students in this project will work cooperatively with students from the McRobert lab to design, execute and analyze data that will be used to develop sustainable and ecological sound control methods for this important pest. We are looking for detail oriented self-motivated creative students who want to learn about what research is like.

Dr. Forster
Dr. Brian Forster
(Science Pedagogy) Students will be given the opportunity to develop and/or optimize laboratory protocols that will be used in the GEP Natural Science Instructional Laboratories. Successful lab activities will be used by Biology 165 or Environmental Science 106 students (lab-based GEP science classes for non-majors). It is recommended that students interested in working on this should contact Dr. Brian Forster ( before completing an application to discuss what lab activities can be developed. Currently, we are interested in:
(a) Identifying via 16S rRNA gene sequencing nitrifying bacteria that may be present in a wetlands filter that was constructed and in operation since summer 2016.
(b) Developing a new lab activity on ecology to be used in our non-majors Biology course.
However, other lab activities that the applicant may be interested in developing can be worked on as well.

Dr. Grogan
Dr. Eileen Grogan
Field Research on the Bear Gulch Fossil Deposit

The opportunity exists for one or two undergraduate students to participate in a long-standing field research program dedicated to the collection and study of fossils from the 323 million-year- old Bear Gulch Limestone Deposit of Montana. Successful students will learn about the fauna and flora (biology, ecology, taxonomy, taphonomy) of a Paleozoic bay through study of the relevant literature, examination of lab specimens and by engaging in team-based field excavations in a remote region out west. During this process, the student will see and or discover fossil forms which are entirely new to science and, so, contribute to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History fossil collections. He/she will also be trained in the geology and formation of this deposit. Beyond science, the student will be exposed to “life out west” by virtue of our research teams’ interactions with the local ranch community. Qualified candidates must have prior field or significant camping experience, the physical stamina required for manual excavation of the rock unit, and are required interview with Dr. Grogan prior to submitting an application for a position on the expedition team.

julia lee
Dr. Julia Lee-Soety
My lab studies the dynamics at the ends of linear chromosomes. We use baker’s yeast as model organism. Understanding how telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes sheds light on the natural processes of cell aging and cancer. We use various molecular biology tools in the lab to answer specific genetics questions.

Dr. Edwin Li
My interest is in the dimerization of membrane proteins, with emphasis on proteins associated with cancer.
Students will learn basic molecular and cellular (bacterial and mammalian) techniques to measure dimerization and cellular trafficking.

Dr. Scott McRobert
My research involves studies in the behavior of animals. In one project we are studying the factors that impact aggregation and learning in fish. These studies involve asking fish to choose potential shoal-mates, or asking whether fish can remember objects within their environment. In another project we are examining the social and sexual behavior of an invasive fruit fly that has become an agricultural pest in the Unites States. These studies involve collection and study of wild populations as well as lab studies to document behavioral traits.

Dr. Matthew Nelson
Simple animals such as fruit flies and nematodes have become key tools in the sleep biology field. These animals are called “model organisms” because many of the same genes and molecules that drive their biology also controls ours. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a microscopic, free-living worm that has been widely used in the lab as a model for understanding development and behavior. C.elegans displays sleep behaviors at regularly timed intervals during larval development and in response to stressful environmental stimuli. But, why study sleep in a microscopic worm? First, C.elegans is a powerful genetic system that we can manipulate with ease. They are transparent and grow from an embryo to an adult in 4 days, thus allowing for fast genetic alteration and experimentation. Because of their simplicity, we know the location of every one of their cells and the connection of every neuron in its simple nervous system (Only 302 neurons!). My lab takes advantage of this amazing animal in hopes to further our understanding of sleep. Specifically, my research focuses on the following: 1) Identification of sleep regulating neurons and how they communicate as neural circuits to control sleep behavior and; 2) Characterize the mechanisms of how signaling molecules called neuropeptides regulate sleep. We use a combination of techniques common in the following disciplines: genetics, molecular biology, neurobiology and behavior.

Dr. Karen Snetselaar
The main area of research in my lab is fungal disease of plants. We use the corn smut fungus, Ustilago maydis, as a model system. Projects range from characterizing mutants to doing basic research into the fungal life cycle and how it interacts with its plant host. It is also possible for students to do projects on the green roof of the science center.

Dr. Clint Springer
Projects in the Springer laboratory examine the physiological and developmental responses of plants to factors associated with human-induced climate change. Students will gain experience in techniques associated with molecular genetics, plant physiology, plant biochemistry, and plant development.

Dr. Jennifer Tudor
Molecular and cellular signaling pathways in the brain affect all facets of life.  Projects are available to examine the impact of sleep deprivation on protein synthesis pathways critical for learning and memory in mouse brain.

Institute Website

Rev. Peter Clark, S.J.
The Institute of Clinical Bioethics has various research projects that are on-going dealing with ethical issues in the fields of neonatology, end-of-life care, beginning-of-life issues, pediatric genetics, pain management and the opioid problem, medical disparities, medical care for undocumented individuals, etc.

Department Website

Dr. Jose Cerda
Heme proteins are a family of proteins that are involved in many types of biological functions. For example, heme b, a type of heme cofactor found in myoglobin, hemoglobin, and heme peroxidases, is used by heme proteins for oxygen storage and transport, electron transfer, oxygenase, catalase, peroxidase, and gas sensing. Although all these protein structures may be different, the heme cofactor is the active site in all of them and my research goal is to understand how heme-protein interactions uniquely define the biological role of a heme protein. For many years, we have used UV-vis spectroscopy and electrochemical techniques to study heme proteins because of the physical-chemical properties of the heme cofactor. In our studies, we have also used fluoride binding as a probe of the heme pocket structure of many proteins. Many heme proteins have the ability to bind fluoride ion and differences in the fluoride binding properties suggest differences in the heme pocket structure. Additionally, to achieve a greater scope in understanding the role of the protein structure, during the last few years, we have used temperature-controlled experiments to study the thermodynamic properties of fluoride binding. In doing this, we have been able to measure the enthalpies and entropies of fluoride binding in many heme proteins and have found that there are thermodynamic differences between oxygen binding proteins (hemoglobin and myoglobin) and horseradish peroxidase. Our objective is now to interpret the molecular significance of this finding and further use this method to understand molecular mechanisms in other proteins.

Dr. Mark Forman
The focus of my research program involves the synthesis and study of non-natural products that possess unique properties and enhanced reactivity as a result of forced deviations from their ideal geometries. In particular, my research group has been interested in studying the effects of bond angle distortion on the structures and properties of alkenes.

Dr. Peter Graham
In my laboratory we are investigating transition metal complexes which might catalyze the reaction of carbon dioxide with other simple molecules such as ethylene, hydrogen, or methanol. To this end, my students and I are synthesizing a variety of compounds containing the transition metals tungsten, rhenium and molybdenum that can coordinate carbon dioxide and activate it towards such reactions. Gaining a better understanding of how such metal complexes interact with carbon dioxide is paramount to developing new catalysts for carbon dioxide utilization.

Dr. Jeffrey Niezgoda
My research is in the field of nanomaterials, with an emphasis on colloidal nanoparticles, or “quantum dots”. In particular, I deal with the modification of the small molecules that coat the service of these quantum dots to change their chemical properties. Students in my lab will become well-versed in quantum dot synthesis as well as fundamental chemistry laboratory techniques through the use of Schlenk line syntheses and a large glovebox system. Characterization techniques will include NMR, UV-Vis and FTIR spectroscopies, ICP-OES and external usage of electron microscopes. All students from chemistry, chemical biology and physics are encouraged to consider research in my lab.

Department Website

Dr. Steven Hammer
Digital Media Culture, Audio Production and Art, Glitch Theory, Rhetoric and Composition, Media Ethics.



Department Website

Neil Desnoyers
I am interested in working with one (or more) 2018 Summer Scholars student(s) in one of three areas:

1. Analytical approaches to scheduling volunteers: As the number of tasks requiring volunteers and the number of volunteers needed to support a project or event increases, the complexity of the scheduling process increases exponentially. Analytical approaches to scheduling volunteers bring powerful tools and methods to bear on the problem, and create greater and greater efficiencies as requirements get more and more complex. Student work in this area would involve an introduction to the tools and methods of analytical approaches to scheduling volunteers and, hopefully, finding one or more projects/events to which the student(s) can apply these tools and methods to schedule volunteers. Student(s) will also assist me in my research in this area.

2. Web analytics: Web analytics is a booming field. Student work in this area would involve an introduction to some of the tools and methods of web analytics and, hopefully, the completion of one or more projects in this area. Student(s) will also assist me in my research in this area.

3. Student preference: Having been involved in mentoring undergraduate students in research projects for a number of years, some of the projects have developed out of student interests. I would be happy to discuss potential projects generated from student interests. Student(s) choosing this option will be expected to complete original research in addition to possibly completing a project that applies their research to a real-world problem.



Department Website
Dr. Laura Krispin
Dr. Laura Crispin
My areas of interest include labor economics, applied econometrics, economics of education, economics of poverty and income inequality, time use analysis.


Department Website

Students interested in doing a Summer Scholars project should come up with a specific project proposal and meet with a suitable faculty member to determine if he or she will be able to mentor the project. Faculty areas of expertise and research interests are listed on the English Department website.  Or contact Dr. Norberg, the departmental chair, at to request a list.  Some of the faculty have also asked to be listed here.

Anthony Berret, S.J.
Since about 2000 my main research activity has been on the relation between music and literature. I did some early essays on this topic in the works of Toni Morrison, but then switched to F. Scott Fitzgerald. I gave papers at conferences of the Fitzgerald Society on how songs functioned in Fitzgerald’s novels and stories, extended a couple of these papers into a journal article and a chapter in a collection of essays, and finally published a book, Music in the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013). In 2002 I began offering the English course Music and American Literature every other year. This course treats mostly popular music of the 20th century as it appeared in songs, shows, and novels.

Most recently I have done a paper and an article on religion and literature and applied successfully for a Faith and Reason course in the English department.

Dr. Owen Gilman
My areas of interest are literature/film of war, literature/social change related to the 1960s in America, Southern literature, literature of New England and imaginative ways of representing the American West.

Dr. Jenny Spinner
Interests include journalism, women essayists, writing center pedagogy and creative writing.


Department Website

Dr. Baskin
Dr. Ernest Baskin
My research involves psychology of consumer decision making with a focus on food, consumer judgments and mis-predictions and environmental nudges to change purchase behaviors as well as to encourage healthy eating. I would be interested in working with a student that is interested in a research career in either psychology or marketing. The summer would consist of doing literature reviews on a topic of our mutual interest, developing hypotheses and testing these hypotheses using experimental design in the laboratory setting, online and in the field. I would also be interested in working with a student on writing business cases for classroom discussion and publication. Previous students have worked on cases such as the viral marketing and the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino as well as the Amazon/Whole Foods acquisition.

Dr. Emily Moscato
My research revolves around consumer wellbeing and my interests include social and environmental food sustainability, food pleasure and play, and food practices within consumption communities. I am primarily a qualitative researcher, which uses interviews, observations, archival data (e.g. ads or social media), and other activities (e.g. photography, which I like to use) to gather information and analyzes it. My current projects include research on edible insects (you read that right), experiential pleasure and food wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion within foodservice distributor industry. I would be happy to work with a student interested in expanding a current project or help develop a new project within one of these general areas.



Department Website

Dr. Michelle Rowe
Study #1:
A Survey Study to Identify the Outstanding Educational Needs and Sources of Education for School Nurses regarding Autism and the Needs of Students with Autism
Approved SJU IRB: 620840-1

The purpose of this study is to identify the current educational requirements, gaps in these requirements and the sources of education for school nurses regarding autism and the needs of students with autism.

Unique stresses have been identified in parents caring for a child with autism (Schieve, Blumberg, Rice, Visser, & Boyle, 2007).  In the school system, children and parents rely on the health office and the school nurse to provide health screenings, injury assessments and medication administration. A direct connection to the school nurse may be necessary to aid in seizure disorders, food allergies, and/or injuries for children with autism (Galinat, Barcalow, & Krivda, 2005).  Communication within the school health system is imperative due to comorbid conditions which are common in those children diagnosed (Memari, Ziaee, Mirfazeli, & Kordi, 2012). A recent study by Strunk showed school nurses were knowledgeable regarding autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to include symptoms and medication usage however the study also showed that school nurses showed decreased knowledge when it came to communication skills, therapies for behaviors, and issues relating to safety in relation to ASD (Strunk, 2009).  Confirmation of school nurse educational gaps have been identified in the literature however, research is necessary to identify how school nurses obtain their continuing education and if this continuing education provides obtainable resources regarding ASD for effective communication.

Potential Study #2:
Use of TimeSlips™ Creative Expression to Show Reduced Anxiety and Agitation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The purpose of this study is to determine if a non-pharmacologic creative expression storytelling activity can decrease agitation and anxiety in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as compared to a Control Group.

Dr. Sharma
Dr. Reecha Sharma
My research interests are in the field of autism. My current project focuses on improving communication between health care providers and parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Last summer, we assessed the effectiveness of an informational questionnaire and its role in facilitating communication at doctor visits.

Dr. Eileen Sullivan
My current area of research is studying the use of Non-Pharmacologic Activities to Enhance the Quality of Life in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

If granted a Summer Scholar, I have the following projects which I would like to mentor:

1.  Cross Comparison of Textile and Color Palette Selection for People with Dementia in Relation to Their Family Members and/or Caregivers.

This study seeks to compare colors and textiles as preferred by 1) people with dementia 2) family member and/or caregiver selection 3) current medical literature regarding specific colors and textiles which promote an emotional response for people with dementia.

The results of this study will help the healthcare professionals to determine which colors and textiles are most pleasing and comforting for people with dementia and compare them to pleasing colors and textiles of their family member(s) and/or caregiver.

2.  Assessing an Activity for Nursing Home Staff and Residents with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease using an ArtBus and Word Clouds.

3.  Use of TimeSlips™ Creative Expression to Show Reduced Anxiety and Agitation in People with Dementia, The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home.



Department Website

Dr. Alison Lewin
Ancient Greek History; Ancient Roman History; Dark Ages, Church History; Justice systems in the West 3000 BCE-1600 CE; Gender History 3000 BCE-1600 CE; Italian Renaissance History.



Department Website

Dr.Eric Patton
Research interests include the following:
Gender issues in the workplace
Diversity in the workplace
Discrimination in hiring
Work-life balance
Measuring work behaviors and attitudes
International Human Resource management

Dr. Stephen Porth
My research interests include ethics in the pharmaceutical industry; a continuation of research into how ethical issues are reported in the media.

Dr. Ken Weidner
Rather than pursue my research, my past scholars have thrived pursuing their own interests.

I work with each Scholar to develop their own proposal; in the past 5 years, I’ve worked on 6 SSP projects with 5 different Summer Scholars researching:
• the prevalence [lack] of living wage policies in American higher education;
• alternative histories that could have prevented slavery in America;
• methods for girls and women to navigate harmful media messages regarding ideal body image;
• critical pedagogy, including my FY seminar “Serious Comedy and Social Justice”;
• online incivility social media (following the Paris accord withdrawal announcement; and
• elder economics in America.

My own research interests include:
• ethics in society and business;
• social justice (including “serious comedy”); and
• change in society and organizations.

I’m working on these topics that may trigger potential Scholars’ interests:
• Privacy/psychological safety: My research indicates most colleges lack policies prohibiting surreptitious recording in classrooms; this topic is at the intersection of technology, privacy, and teaching/learning.
• Tobacco control. I’m trying to advance research-based tobacco control efforts (US or abroad), tobacco company strategies and tactics, and/or tobacco usage.
• Serious comedy + social justice. I’m researching the use and impact of comedy to advance social justice. Depending upon scholars’ interests; the results could be traditional research, multimedia, or in other forms.
• Environmental justice: At least 11 to 12 million people live within 1 mile of an EPA “Superfund” site. I’m interested in research related to a specific site (or sites), and/or communities’ responses to environmental risks.



Department Website

Dr. David Allan
Music and/or media marketing.

Dr. Janée Burkhalter
I am interested in projects related to entertainment marketing, social media, personal branding and multicultural marketing.



Department Website

Dr. Tetyana Berezovski
Sporthematics is the study of the relationship between mathematics and sports. It refers to a
broader cluster of ideas ranging from mathematics of scheduling tournaments to sports and
mathematics education. The goal of sporthematics is to contribute both to the understanding of sports and the understanding of mathematics, along with underlining the importance of the connections between the two.
For the past six years I investigated the role of sports-related activities as instructional and learning tools. I have been designing and implementing mathematical models as well as the sports-related tasks appropriate to students ranging from the middle school to the graduate level. The contexts for the design included ice-skating, lacrosse, karate, soccer, basketball, car racing, rhythmic gymnastics and volleyball.

Dr. Hongjun Ha
My research interests are:

1. Quantitative Risk Management: In this topic, I want to study how to measure risk to ensure the solvency of an insurance company. In particular, I want to explore how to apply the simulation methods to estimate Value at Risk or Expected Short-Fall, which is regarded as a financial buffer for insurance companies.
2. Pricing of an insurance contract: Recently, insurance companies are selling Variable Annuities, which contain financial option features. To price these hybrid products, one should be able to combine the standard actuarial pricing and risk-neutral pricing. In this project, I want to set up a pricing framework and numerical method to find a good approximation for a price when a closed-form is not available.
3. Machine Learning: In this topic, I want to study how to apply the predictive modelings from Machine Learning to predict quantities such as default rate or mortality rate. However, any number involved in uncertainty can be a target of prediction. In this project, one should be familiar with 1) regression analysis and computer programming using R or Python and 2) Matrix Algebra to set up a vectorized code to speed up optimization.

Also, I am always interested in any actuarial topic such as capital allocation or statistical analysis of insurance data.

Dr. Paul Klingsberg
My fields of research are combinatorics and graph theory. In very general terms, combinatorics deals with enumeration of the number of ways to perform a mathematical task (such as choosing a delegation of three people to represent a group of 15 people), and graph theory is concerned with diagrams you make by connecting dots with lines. Since these areas are relatively accessible to undergraduates, they are often sources of undergrad-level research problems, but not all the projects I have directed have been purely combinatorial, because  the choice of topic is in large part driven by the student’s needs and interests. I have directed projects each of the last five summers.  In ’06, I directed two summer scholar projects: The role of invariance in mathematics (which, among other things, investigated the use of an invariant in a number of combinatorial problems) and Generalized Möbius Inversion (which is abstract combinatorics).  In Summer ’07, I directed a project in another area of combinatorics, Pólya-de Bruijn Theory, which deals with enumeration questions in which not all the ways of performing a task count as different. (For example, consider painting the faces of a cube using k colors. Rotating the cube will make some colorings coincide with others.)  I directed a project centered on probability theory in ’08, on stochastic processes and the Black-Scholes formula in ’09, and on problem solving in ’10. For more details on these projects, please see the one-page summaries prepared by the students.

Dr. Elaine Terry
Using Exponential and Logarithmic Equation to Measure Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

Students examine an image produced by a cabinet x-ray system to determine if it is a quality bone mineral density image. They write about what they need to know to be able to make this judgment. Students learn about what bone mineral density is, how a BMD image can be obtained, and how it is related to the x-ray field. Students examine the process used to obtain a BMD image and how this process is related to mathematics, primarily through logarithmic functions. They study the relationship between logarithms and exponents, the properties of logarithms, common and natural logarithms, solving exponential equations and Beer’s law.



Department Website

Dr. Kristin Burr
Medieval French Literature
French Women Writers (Especially in the Middle Ages and Renaissance)
Relics in French Literature
French-Speaking Communities in North America

Dr. Konstantinos Nikoloutsos
I am eager to supervise students interested in investigating the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in the cinema. In particular, I welcome proposals that seek to explore the ways in which the classical world has been used and abused in the medium, and how celluloid antiquity intersects with modern concerns and ideas (i.e., politics, gender, and sexuality). My area of expertise is postwar Hollywood, but I am happy to supervise work on all periods, from the silent era to recent releases, and on all genres, from epics and drama to comedy and comics. I will not provide supervision on proposals about other areas of classical reception or about antiquity itself.



Department Website

Dr. Monica Nixon
I would like to work with one student on a project that examines how universities evaluate the value and efficacy of diversity classes. Potential areas of focus include analysis of who enrolls in diversity-related courses at Saint Joseph’s University, investigation into how other universities with curricular diversity requirements evaluate the impact of those courses, and/or research into achievement of student learning objectives in diversity courses. Basic qualitative and quantitative skills would be helpful.

Department Website

Dr. George Sillup
Business Ethics – newspaper and media coverage of ethical issues affecting the pharmaceutical industry.
Continuation of research Steve Porth and I have done since the start of the Summer Scholars Program.



Department Website

Piotr Habdas
Dr. Peter Habdas
Microrheology of dilute colloidal suspensions.
Particle dynamics in dense colloidal suspensions with inter-particle attraction.

Dr. Douglas Kurtze
Interaction of Ocean Circulation and Sea Ice (computational)
The Meridional Overturning Circulation is a planetary-scale pattern of flow in the Atlantic Ocean which is a major contributor to the energy balance that determines the Northern Hemisphere climate. This project uses a simplified computational model to explore how the extent of Arctic sea ice affects, and is affected by, this circulation. The idea is to explore a number of scenarios modeling past climates and also possible future climates as affected by global warming. The project may also involve modifying the model to incorporate interactions between the circulation and the carbon cycle.

Pattern formation (analytical)
This project involves using mathematical tools to investigate systems in which patterns form spontaneously. I am currently focusing on the formation of traffic jams, but I would also be interested in looking at the theory of formation of washboard patterns on roads, or of the formation of ripple marks by waves on a sandy shore.



Department Website

Dr. Lisa Baglione
I would love to have a student work with me on one of two projects:

1) authoritarian peacebuilding (particularly in Russia). The peacebuilding literature tends to assume that after conflict, peace is best assured with democracy; yet, Russia has created a form of “peace” in the Caucasus that needs to be understood and could be relevant to other areas of the world. Types of research: theoretical work in peacebuilding and substantive analysis of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia (also potentially looking at Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Crimea)
2) Russian foreign policy: I am interested in exploring Russia’s relations with Europe, in particular with its former Warsaw Pact allies and former Soviet states. Under Putin, Russians have reasserted their interests in that area, contending that these states are part of a “natural” Russian sphere and that Russia has done so much for these peoples. I want to explore the Russian sense of entitlement to dominance in Europe, and particularly look at why Russia has felt no need to apologize or make amends for its previous brutality there. I am also interested in the ways that Russia is seeking to make new connections to these states, particularly through far right parties and other movements. We will explore the theoretical literature on apology, as well as to analyze Russian actions toward Europe in the post-Soviet era.

If you are not interested in working on one of these projects, I suggest that you look for a different summer scholars mentor.

Dr. Susan Liebell
During the 2018 summer, Dr. Liebell will be completing a book on the Second Amendment, Stand Your Ground laws, the use of guns during the Civil Rights era, and the relationship between guns and domestic violence. There will be many different projects related to these topics open to student research. I encourage students interested in working with me as Summer Scholar to consider taking POL270 Guns, Courts, and Violence in Spring 2018 to acquire skills and background.


Department Website

Dr. Matthew Anderson
Dr. Anderson is an experimental psychologist specializing in animal behavior. His research focuses on avian species, with a particular interest in budgerigars, flamingos, and other highly social avian species. Dr. Anderson maintains an on-campus colony of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulates) in order to allow for behavioral studies of this ever-popular bird species, and he and his students also study the captive flock of Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) and other avian species held at the Philadelphia Zoo. Additional research projects in the Anderson lab focus on wild birds on/around the SJU campus, and on human-avian relationships.

Dr. Clare Conry-Murray
Dr. Clare Conry-Murray
My research examines social and moral development and gender development.


Dr. Joseph McCleery
Based in the Department of Psychology and the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University, Dr. McCleery’s Cognitive and Behavioral Intervention Research Laboratory is focused on conducting clinical and pre-clinical intervention trials, including community-based clinical trials, with a particular emphasis on interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Topics for these intervention trials include communication skills, social skills, stress/anxiety, and executive functioning, among others.

Dr. Skolnick
Dr. Alex Skolnick
I am a biopsychologist interested in health and emotion research. Some examples of research topics include: gender differences in emotion, how people’s emotions influence their views on animals and nature, how to make bats less disgusting to the public, how one’s view of the origins of behavior influences emotion, how emotions might influence casual sexual behavior, hook-up behavior and sexual compliance, among other related topics.  I am also interested in the history of the concept of disease contagion and the history of some ideas about emotion.


Department Website

Dr. Keith Brown
This summer I am looking to work with students on a project dealing with the broad issue of markets and morality. The project, entitled “Making Morality Count” is a research study of fair trade’s ability to link morality to coffee consumption in the United States, Sweden, and Japan. The fair trade market is growing rapidly as it promotes solidarity between consumers and oft-impoverished farmers. But this growth has been very uneven. Fair trade awareness is low in the U.S. and the market is under siege by large corporations. In Sweden, the meaning of fair trade is widely understood; consumers think of themselves as part of a social movement. The market in Japan is in its infancy but showing signs of sizable growth. Making Morality Count shows how situational forces encourage or dissuade ethical behavior in markets. It shows when consumers are willing to promote the moral imperatives of shopping, thus helping to grow fair trade. These insights sharpen the contribution of sociologists and experimental philosophers to the interdisciplinary study of morality by showing how environmental factors shape the production of ethical consumers and global citizens.

A summer scholar would be helping conduct and transcribe interviews, organize data collection efforts, conduct basic qualitative data analysis, and write memos to help identify patterns. I am looking to work with students who have basic qualitative data analysis skills and sharp sociological insights.

Dr. Susan Clampet-Lundquist
Along with other people at SJU, I’m working with POWER, an inter-faith grass-roots community organizing group in Philadelphia. One of our campaigns is addressing inequality in public school funding. Over the next several months, we’ll be collecting stories from people from PA school districts that are among the most under-funded in the state. These will be collected from interviews and focus groups. I would be looking for a student to work on this storytelling project via collecting stories, transcribing them, examining them for patterns, and creating various “products” from them, including briefs, and video/audio outlets. The ultimate goal is to reach multiple audiences to raise awareness about inequality in school funding and push for change.

Department Website

Dr. Janine Firmender
My research interests are in the areas of gifted education and elementary mathematics education, primarily related to pedagogy, curriculum, and mathematical writing.  In addition, I am interested in investigating how teachers’ expectations effect their instructional decisions and the mathematics learning opportunities they provide for their students and the integration of technology in mathematics instruction to enhance teaching and learning at the elementary level.

Dr. Virginia Johnson
Through my teaching of EDU 150 “Schools in Society” and EDU 151″Cognition & Learning” in a full year service-learning Education sequence I continue to be interested in the policy implications for teachers and classrooms.  In particular, I analyze the strengths/weaknesses of proposed federal laws or reform movements embraced as “what schools need.”  My background as a classroom teacher, educational psychologist, teacher educator, social justice advocate and twice awarded policy and leadership center studies fellow (PA, UPenn).  I believe that I can offer micro and macro systemic analysis of schooling in the 21st century to the Summer Scholars interested in a range of educational topics.

I have enjoyed mentoring Summer Scholars seven times previously and look forward to doing so again.


Dr. Kaitlin Moran
My research interests are in early childhood education, the expansion of Pre-K programming, and the early education workforce pipeline. Specifically, I am interested in how families living in high-poverty urban settings access childcare settings, what the distribution of quality looks like across neighborhoods, and how the expansion of Pre-K can meet the needs of at-risk children.

Dr. Stacy Olitsky
I am currently engaged in a qualitative study of the relationship between identity and the retention of science and math teachers in high-need urban secondary schools.



Department Website

Dr. James Caccamo
I am interested in working with students on the study of Catholic social teaching, and on issues of justice and ethics within society.  I would be willing to work with students on a variety of topics in social justice, but my current research emphasizes ethical issues relating to technology and media in contemporary America.

Dr. Philip Cunningham
I am interested in theologies and the history of Christian-Jewish relations, in biblical studies, and in religious education. In particular, the transformation in relations between Jews and Catholics that has unfolded since the Shoah (Holocaust) and the Second Vatican Council (1965) has given rise to questions rarely considered since New Testament times and to an interreligious dialogue that is historically unprecedented.

Dr. Feske
Dr. Millicent Feske
My research interests include western Christian thought; feminist theologies; christologies; infertility and pregnancy loss as theological issues and PTSD as a theological issue, with special attention to the idea of the imago Dei (all human beings being born in the image of God, Genesis 1:26-28).

Dr. Adam Gregerman
Jewish Studies; Jewish-Christian Relations

Dr. Shawn Krahmer
My interests include gender studies and Christian spirituality, as well as  mysticism, monasticism, pilgrimage, ecstatic experiences and visionaries.

Dr. Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu
My research interests include Islam, interpreting the Quran in the contemporary age, Christian-Muslim relations, science and religion and faith and reason.