Academic Excellence Week featured 17 senior honors students who presented their capstone projects before the academic community and their family members.
Presentations ran the gamut from scientific research to literary analysis.
The students who presented their projects and received their honors stoles for graduation included:
- Madison Bumbarger – "Time and Difficulty Expectation Interaction"
- Jessica Denzer – "The Use of Social Media Campaigns in Corporate Charitable Donations"
- Brittany Fitzgerald – "The Accuracy and Utility of Speech and Language Milestone Apps"
- Autumn Fotta – "The Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi in Ticks in Clarion Borough"
- Leah Fryer – "Crystal Healing: History, Practice and Credibility"
- Katharine Gannon – "An Analysis of the Effects of Music and Musicianship Skills on Attentional Abilities"
- Siriluk Michelle Geytenbeek – "Linking ERAD and the UPR: Developing a Genetic Screen via the Expression of Antitrypsin"
- Robert Hacku – "Coordination Complexes of Lanthanides and Tetrakis (4-pryidyl-N-oxide) Cyclobutane
- Cecelia Harmon – "Manipulatoin of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Microenvironment Using a Substrate of a Mixed Population of Stromal Cells"
- Tony Kumetis – "Assessing the Influence of Canopy Cover on Benthic Pond Communities"
- Taylor McClay – "Animal Assisted Therapy and Anxiety Reduction in Hospitalized Patients"
- Garrett Moats – "Game Theory Applied to a Baseball Draft"
- Krista Mosi – "An Analytical Study of Post-Communist States and the Status of Their Economic Transition 25+ Years Out"
- Rebecca Mullen – "Are Performance Appraisals Necessary for Firms? The Influence of Performance Appraisal Regularity on Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Relationships Between Supervisors and Subordinates and Organizational Commitment"
- Kenzi Mundkowsky – "Another Another Another Cinderella Story"
- Christian Schill – "The Mitochondrial Stress Response: Developing a Genetic Screen Utilizing 2, 4-Dinitrophenol"
- Lindsey Wohar – "Speech Sound Acquisition in Pediatric Prelingually Deafened Cochlear Implant Users"
Students presented in groups of three or four in Still Hall with the presence of student, faculty and alumni moderators. The student moderator introduced each presenter and kept track of each student's time limit.
In one section, Kumetis, Moats, McClay and Hacku demonstrated the diversity in subject matter that is the hallmark of presentation night.
Kumetis described the results of his project "Assessing the Influence of Canopy Cover on Benthic Pond Communities."
Kumestis defined a forest canopy. In an open canopy, the tops of the trees do not touch allowing light to go through to the forest floor. In a closed canopy, the tops of trees touch and light does not come through.
These open and closed canopies affect ponds below where insects and other species of animals breed and live. Kumetis said since we know that climate change changes habitats, the purpose of his research could help predict what would happen if habitats were lost.
He said he found that ponds benefit from both open and close canopies.
For Moats' presentation, "Game Theory Applied to a Baseball Draft," he defined a game and then applied that definition to the Major League Baseball draft treating the draft as a game. He was trying to predict the draft's outcome if teams cared about rival teams.
He found that most teams do care about rivals in the draft.
McClay presented "Animal Assisted Therapy and Anxiety Reduction in Hospitalized Patients."
"A lot of times as a patient you can experience increased stress and anxiety," McClay said.
The increased stress and anxiety can cause other health issues and increase healing times, McClay explained.
She surveyed hospitals where they offered animal assisted therapy (typically dogs) and also surveyed the dog owners to determine types and ages of dogs.
She found from her survey that animal assisted therapy does help patients relieve stress and anxiety. She said she believes this method is important because in healthcare, you always try the least invasive form of therapy before you try medication.
The session ended with Hacku's "Coordination Complexes of Lanthanides and Tetrakis (4-pryidyl-N-oxide) Cyclobutane" – a technical look into metal organic frameworks.
Hacku said structures dictate functions and understanding the building blocks of compounds has benefits for a number of every day uses. For example, wastewater treatment plants could use the understanding of a compound to better filter and isolate certain compounds. This type of research also could aid in detecting carbon monoxide.