Campus announces winners of Undergraduate Research Fair

Penn State Beaver announced the winners of the 11th annual Undergraduate Research Fair held Wednesday, April 4, in the Student Union Building. Forty-three students participated in the event.

Students were required to work with a faculty mentor in researching their topic and preparing an oral and/or poster presentation. Presentations were made in a variety of academic areas, including engineering, administration of justice, psychology, communications, information sciences and technology (IST), genetics and biology, and philosophy.

Student topics and winners follow:

Oral Presentation, First Place
Topic: ‘Usability Testing of a Newly-Designed Website to Replace an Existing One for The Jogger’
-- Winners:Nicolas Cosky, junior, IST major, Coraopolis, and David Rorick, senior, IST major, Monaca
-- Faculty mentor: Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology

Oral Presentation, Second Place
Topic: ‘Reverse Engineering and Analysis of Henry Ford’s First Engine’
-- Winners were engineering majors, with one exception:
-- Michael Eiben, sophomore, Wexford
-- Jaimes Coelho, junior, Centereach, New York
-- Dalton Petrillo, junior, Cheyenne, Wyoming
-- Christina Corraini, sophomore, Freedom
-- Wesley Mummert, sophomore, Windsor
-- Branden Kraus, sophomore, Aliquippa
-- Alexandria Stewart, junior, Georgetown
-- Nicole Bing, sophomore, Coraopolis
-- Jessica Bashioum, junior, Burgettstown
-- Valerie Fudurich, junior, Monaca
-- Brennen Koji, sophomore, Division of Undergraduate Studies, Monaca
Faculty mentor:
-- James Hendrickson, P.E., instructor in engineering

Poster Presentation, First Place
Topic: ‘Genetic Diversity of Captive African Painted Dogs in North American Zoos’
-- Winners: Tim Crusan, junior, science major, Ellwood City, and Katie Jezewski, sophomore, agriculture major, Freedom
-- Faculty mentor: Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, assistant professor of biology

Poster Presentation, Second Place
Topic: ‘The Gender Nation’
-- Winners: Kristina Mangie, junior, psychology major, Monaca, and Aimee Archer, senior, psychology major, Aliquippa
-- Faculty mentor: Clare Conry-Murray, assistant professor of psychology

The Planning Committee was chaired by Dr. Zhongyuan Che, associate professor of mathematics. Other committee members were:
-- Clare Conry-Murray, assistant professor of psychology
-- W. Timothy Few, assistant professor of business
-- Matt Grunstra, assistant professor of earth and mineral sciences
-- Talha Harcar, associate professor of business
-- Irene Wolf, senior instructor in philosophy

Oral presentation judges:
-- Larissa Ciuca, student personal and career counselor
-- John Feraco, manufacturing leader, NOVA Chemicals, Inc. and president of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board
-- Jill Tress, coordinator, Center for Academic Achievement

Poster presentation judges:
-- Peter Deutsch, associate professor of physics
-- Michael Hay, associate professor of chemistry
-- Beth Theobald, reference librarian

Alternate judge: Ana Beatriz Areas Da Luz Fontes, assistant professor of psychology

For information about the annual Undergraduate Research Fair, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 724-773-3571 or

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Last Updated April 09, 2012