Recently in Presentations and Publications Category

Posters on the Hill, by the Council on Undergraduate Research, April 13, 2010, Washington DC.  Sophomore Sara Neville was selected as one of 60 undergraduates from across the nation and across all disciplines to present her research to senators, representatives, their staffers, and representatives from funding agencies.  Sara also had the opportunity to have a meeting with Congressman Sestak's Legislative Assistant for Education.  Sara is the first student from our campus selected to present in this prestigious event.  You can read about her experiences in Washington DC on her undergraduate research blog.  Congratulations, Sara!

Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference, April 8-11, 2010, Harrisburg, PA. 

Seven of our scholars presented the following papers:

  • Fathers and Race: A Look at Barack Obama, by Taj Magruder
  • An Indoor Living Wall: How and Why A Home Can Have A Fresh, Local, Sustainable Supply of Herbs, by Alyce Dilauro (currently at University Park)
  • The Urban Center in Cyberpunk Anime, by Andrew Shaner
  • Rebel Music: Asserting Identity Through Reggae, by Benjamin Bean
  • Educational Repercussions of Mountaintop Removal Mining, by Jackie Glace
  • Contract Law, Legal Ethics and a Changing Music Industry, by June Carfagno
  • Marilyn Manson: Cult Idol or Cultural Icon? by Chelsea Gilliam

Don presents at TLT Symposium

Former Cooper Honors Scholar Donald Hennig co-presented with Dr. Laura Guertin at Penn State University's Teaching & Learning with Technology Symposium on March 27, 2010.  The 50-minute presentation, titled "Using Google Earth to Facilitate Student Learning in Multiple Disciplines," featured Google Earth projects completed in Spring 2009.  Don showcased and discussed examples of his projects from GEOSC 021H (Honors Earth & Life course), the Genographic Project and Great Feuds in Science.  Conference abstract can be viewed on the TLT Symposium website.

Sara in San Francisco and Philly

Sophomore Sara Neville isn't waiting until her senior year to dive into undergraduate research.  In Summer 2009, Sara was selected to participate in the National Science Foundation's GeoTeach Program through a workshop on Transforming Earth System Science Education.  Through her research with the program, she presented her research at two national conferences.

Presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Conference, December 2009, San Francisco, CA
Neville, S., & L. Guertin. 2009. Using a Google Earth QUEST to improve Earth science, reading, and geographic literacy. EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Meet. Suppl. Abstract ED53A-0533. (LINK to abstract)


Presented at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference, March 2010, Philadelphia, PA
Neville, S., & L. Guertin. Going on a Google Earth QUEST. National Earth Science Teacher Association Share-A-Thon. March 19, 2010.


They say things come in threes.... and here are three recent publications from our honors scholars.  These manuscripts are peer-reviewed and in journals read by a wide audience.  The research in these papers was begun during honors options, honors courses, or honors independent study projects.

DiLauro, A., Meyers, T., Guertin, L.A. 2010. The value of extending the honors contract beyond one semester: a case study with Smithsonian Dinosaurs. Honors in Practice, 6: 109-115.  Undergraduate student lead authors.

Neville, S.E., Guertin, L.A. 2009. Integrating Google Earth with the QUEST for Earth Science Literacy. The Earth Scientist, 25(4): 31-34. Undergraduate student lead author.

Woodruff, J.B., Acuna, E.B., Silano, R.L., Guertin, L.A. 2009. Enhanced podcast of Pennsylvania tree biodiversity in Ridley Creek State Park. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 83(2/3): 90-93.  Undergraduate student lead authors.

Paola presents in Puerto Rico

In her sophomore year at Penn State Brandywine in the Cooper Honors Program, Paola Pedraza-Rivera engaged in an undergraduate research project examining the epitaphs on the tombstones in Cumberland Cemetery (across the street from campus).  After spending Spring 2009 in the cemetery, Paola was curious about the epitaphs she would find on tombstones near her hometown in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico.  She spent more time collecting data in the cemetery, resulting in.... a conference presentation in Puerto Rico!  Paola presented the comparison of epitaphs (specifically gender designations on tombstones) between Media, PA, and Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico.

Presented at the National Conference on Geography Education, September 2009, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Pedraza-Rivera, P.A., Guertin, L.A., Tombstone gender epitaphs in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. National Conference on Geography Education, San Juan, PR, September 25, 2009. Presented by undergraduate author P. Pedraza-Rivera.


Paola is currently a junior in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State - University Park. She is preparing to submit a manuscript based on this research.

Five honors scholars from Penn State Brandywine presented their research at the Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society) conference held at Saint Joseph's University on April 17, 2009. View the slideshow to see their posters and other images from the conference.

Poster presentations included:

• Lisle, R.L., Guertin, L., Small-scale agriculture: how it functions, how it survives. Presented by undergraduate author Risa Stacey Lisle.

• Showalter, A., Collins, C., Pedraza-Rivera, P., Lafauci, J., Guertin, L., Gender terms for married couples on Cumberland Cemetery tombstones. Presented by undergraduate author A. Showalter.

• Pedraza-Rivera, P., Collins, C., Showalter, A., Lafauci, J., Guertin, L., Gender differences as perceived on Cumberland Cemetery tombstones. Presented by undergraduate authors C. Collins & P. Pedraza-Rivera.

• Bennett, A., Flying in a skirt: an examination of gender dynamics in comic books. Presented by undergraduate author Alexis Bennett.

NRHC 2009 in Annapolis, Maryland

Along the Annapolis waterfront.  Front row: James Wang, Paul Cheung, Teron Meyers, Jen Choi, Chris Collins.  Back row: Kyle Lauser.

The honors program had six students presenting at Northeast Regional Honors Conference (NRHC), Annapolis, MD, March 27-29, 2009. Presentations included:

• Kyle Lauser, "A proposal to eliminate urban hunger with community involvement and an innovative food distribution system." Advised by L. Guertin and M. Goldschmidt.

• James Wang, "Effect of ECG electrodes on ECG signal detection and interpretation." Advised by A. Azemi.

• Jennifer Choi, "Using the grid system to document Smithsonian dinosaur type specimens." Advised by L. Guertin.

• Christopher Collins, "The deconstruction of America's middle class: an attack on the heart!" Advised by S. Cimbala.

• Teron Meyers, "Cultivating the Arts at Penn State Brandywine." Advised by L. Guertin and M. Goldschmidt.

• Paul Cheung, "The contradictions of a 'one country, two systems' policy." No adviser.

Scholars with the Annapolis Town Crier

Campus Schreyer Scholars Teron Meyers and Lindley Jones represented not just our campus, but the entire University at an event in Harrisburg on March 24. The "Undergraduate Research at the Capitol - Pennsylvania" conference showcased exceptional and award-winning research projects completed by undergraduate students throughout the state. Penn State was permitted to send four students - and two of the four were selected from the honors program at Penn State Brandywine! Teron and Lindley presented their research projects to legislators and their staffs, as well as other students and faculty. Congratulations to both of them for achieving this honor and bringing pride to our campus.

Eight honors scholars presented their science, technology and engineering research at the 19th annual Eastern Colleges Conference for Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society) at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 2008. The Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium is dedicated to showcasing undergraduate and graduate research in the fields of mathematics, computer science, engineering, and natural and social sciences. The Penn State Brandywine students were part of over 130 posters from some 30 different institutions in five different states.

Image of students Sigma Xi 2008 Although Dr. Laura Guertin has brought two students in the past to the Eastern Colleges Conference of Sigma Xi, this is the first time the campus had eight students presenting five posters. Poster presentations included:

  • Smithsonian "Classic" Dinosaur Specimens, Teron Meyers and Alyce DiLauro (faculty mentor: Dr. Laura Guertin)
  • Video Stenography Utilizing Individual Frames for Embedding Content, Paul Hurych (faculty mentor: Prof. James McGlinchey)
  • Human Behaviors and Interactions in a Virtual World, Devin Zuczek (faculty mentor: Prof. James McGlinchey)
  • Database for Tracking Students in the Civic and Community Engagement Minor, Dong-Ya (Suzy) Zhou (faculty mentor: Prof. Nannette D'Imperio)
  • Design of a Launch System for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Christopher Lawson, Thomas Lenker, Alicia Weiler (faculty mentor: Dr. Ivan Esparragoza)
Click here to view the student abstracts (PDF file).

NCUR 2008 - ten honors scholars present

Ten honors scholars presented their Earth science, engineering, and English research at the 22nd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Marlyland, from April 10-12, 2008. The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), established in 1987, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students.  The Penn State Brandywine students joined over 2,800 students and faculty from over 350 campuses, ranging from Harvard and Vassar to the Borough of Manhattan Community College and the University of the Virgin Islands, presenting in over 50 different disciplines.

Although Dr. Mike DeRosa has been bringing students to present their chemistry research at NCUR since 1992, this is the first time the campus has ten students presenting five posters. Poster presentations included:

  • A Glimpse of Shakespeare's Outsiders, Dana Gibson (faculty mentor: Dr. Arnold Markley)
  • Autonomous Mobile Robotics Using Lego NXT and LabView, Douglas May (faculty mentor: Dr. Asad Azemi)
  • Solar Decathlon 2007: Capturing the Sun Through Advanced Technology, Emily Robb, Matthew Liskowycz, Lindley Jones, Rocco Arena (faculty mentor: Dr. Laura Guertin)
  • Shakespeare's Women: Property or Independent Voices of Reason? Adrienne Showalter (faculty mentor: Dr. Arnold Markley)
  • Enhanced Podcast of Pennsylvania Biodiversity in The Ridley Creek State Park, James Woodruff, Erika Acuna, Raquel Silano (faculty mentor: Dr. Laura Guertin)
Click here to view the student abstracts (PDF file).

TLT Symposium - Scholar co-presents

Each year, Pennsylvania State University hosts a symposium on Teaching and Learning with Technology. Schreyer Scholar Peter Spizzirri co-presented with Dr. Laura Guertin on the Utilization of Digital Commons Technology for Outreach and Education. The two speakers showcased student projects from EARTH 100H/STS 200H that included the audio walking tour of Ridley Creek State Park, Solar Decathlon, and the SCA/Mazda Conservation in Action contest.  You can listen to their lecture here.
 Dr. Guertin with Schreyer Scholar Peter Spizzirri

The following poster presentation was given by Dr. Guertin at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America on October 29, 2007, in Denver, Colorado. Two Cooper Scholars were contributors to the work.

Guertin, L.A., Ashbridge, S.E., Scholtz, L.A., 2007. Cemeteries as sites for introductory-level Earth science research. Abstracts with Programs (Geological Society of America), v. 39, n. 6, p. 247.

Lindley Jones (sophomore Cooper Scholar) was the only honors student from last year to have an essay published in The Best of Freshman Writing journal - a publication of Penn State University. This journal is used in many English 004 and 015 English classes throughout the Penn State system; the essays in this journal serve as writing models for students (excellence in writing among peers).

Congratulations, Lindley, on this fine accomplishment!

IvanWheelchair1.jpg IvanWheelchair2.jpg

Esparragoza, I., Berlin, J., Lawson, C., Lenker, T., Sprik, E., Whittington, R. 2007. Design of a User Specific Wheelchair: A Service Learning Experience, presented at the Fifth Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Engineering and Technology LACCEI 2007, Tampico, Mexico, May 29 to June 1, 2007. Presented by undergraduates C. Lawson, T. Lenker, and R. Whittington.

Cooper honor scholars Emily Sprik, Ryan Whittington, Christopher Lawson and Thomas Lenker teamed with Jerry Berlin to work in the design of a mobility-device for a specific patient at Melmark, a local care provider for patients with physical and mental disability. The main objective of the project was to design a wheelchair for a patient with a particular condition. The new designed wheelchair will serve as a transportation and as a seating device for basic functions such as eating, and it will be targeting specific problems faced by the patient. The problems include a great discomfort while the patient is using the actual wheel chair and during the transition when the patient is moved from the wheelchair to other places during the daily activities. The design team evaluated the customer needs, defined the functionality of the device and generated a conceptual design during this service learning experience.

The results of this work were presented in the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Engineering and Technology in Tampico, Mexico. Dr. Ivan Esparragoza (Engineering) served as the faculty mentor.


Scholtz, L., Guertin, L. 2007. Cemetery demography of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Presented at the Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society) Research Symposium, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, April 20, 2007. Presented by undergraduate L. Scholtz.

During her sophomore year at Penn State Brandywine, honors scholar Leigh Ann engaged in a research project that examined the population of Centralia, PA, through cemetery demography. Leigh Ann is interested in seeing if specific environmental changes and human behaviors, such as coal mining, coal fires, and the Spanish influenza, had a negative impact on the longevity and survivorship of the residents.

Leigh Ann presented a poster of her Centralia research at the Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium. Dr. Laura Guertin (Earth Science) served as the faculty mentor.

Presentations given by Cooper and Schreyer scholars in 2005 include:

Huber, J., Barnes, J., Carapucci, D., Clark, A., De Lacy, C., Ermilio, G., Hagan, J., Holcomb, J., Jou, J.C., Kelly, M., Ofili, O., Tessmer, M., Wilcox, A., Zelig, S., & Guertin, L.A. 2005. An artificial Leaf Pack experiement to compare water quality and health from urban and rural stream sites through Penn State Delaware County, October 2004. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 78, Abstract and Index Issue, 116. Presented by Cooper scholar Jeffrey Huber.

Tessmer, M., Hagan, J., & Guertin, L.A. 2005. International collaboration on Leaf Pack research through technology. National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Philadelphia, June 30, 2005. Presented by Schreyer scholars M. Tessmer & J. Hagan.

Guertin, L.A., Cao, E.T., Craig, K.A., George, A.E., Goldson, S.T., Makatche, S.P., Radusevich, B.T., Sandor, C.W., Takos, A.T., Tuller, R., Williams, J.K., & Williams, M.A. 2004. Bringing dinosaur science to the Junior Girl Scouts through a college service learning project. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(4), 523-531.

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