Students stay busy with summer research

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

URSCA provides a stipend of up to $6,000 for a full-time project to students during the 12 weeks of summer session. Thirty-two students of varying majors spanning business to liberal arts to science and technology were awarded research grants for this summer.

More than 30 student research projects are underway this summer throughout the region and even overseas. Pennsylvania’s bootleg coal rebellion, the effects of beetle infestation and in-home Internet hacking are just a few of the topics being explored through Bloomsburg University’s annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity program.

URSCA provides a stipend of up to $6,000 for a full-time project to students during the 12 weeks of summer session. Thirty-two students of varying majors spanning business to liberal arts to science and technology were awarded research grants this summer.

Several of the projects are being done far from campus, including abroad like David Falacko’s study of new musical styles with master musicians at the Royal College of Music in London and Rachel Yenney’s work as a research intern in the Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers in Paris. Facia Sirleaf’s study of Sub-Saharan immigration in Morocco was actually a year in the making and inspired by her own personal journey as a child.

The environmental, geographical and geological sciences are well represented this summer. Student researchers are tackling a variety of environmental issues to include acid mine drainage in Schuylkill County, the deforestation and water quality in Assateague, Va., along with the petrographic examination of copper deposits from across the country.

Other summer projects have students exploring research in the anthropology, digital forensics, information technology management, nursing, political science, sociology, and social work fields.

Some projects, such as Blake Durante’s chemistry research on different properties of lanthanum chlorides in aqueous solutions, have already hit the conference circuit. The senior presented his initial findings this spring at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco. He plans to advance his work this summer, particularly in increasing accuracy.

Each of the URSCA projects will have an opportunity in August to be showcased on campus during the 7th Annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium. Abstracts will be judged in four categories: social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, biological sciences and in clinical and translational.


2017 URSCA Awards

  • Classic Maya Elite Households: Exploring Socioeconomic Status within the Chok Group at El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala by Emily Haney, senior anthropology major
  • Painting With Pixels by Bela Ball, junior art studio major
  • Study at the Royal Academy of Music by David Falacko, senior music major
  • Pennsylvania’s Bootleg Coal Rebellion by Mitch Troutman, sophomore history major
  • Data Modeling for Predictive Analytics by Ty Rohrbach, junior business administration information and technology management major
  • Determination of Stress Response Genes, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 and Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Adenylyltransferase, in the Solitary Bee Species, Megachile rotundata, in Response to Heat Shock by Brandon Arnsberger, senior biology pre-med major
  • Using Nonlinear Regression to Develop an Engineer-Friendly Equation for Calculating the Ionic Mobility in Aqueous Potassium Chloride Solutions under Extreme Conditions by Daniel Staros, junior chemistry major
  • Geochemical Assessment of the Wiconisco Creek and the Effects of Abandon Mine Drainage on Water Chemistry by Mitchell Lenker, senior geology major
  • Water Quality of Vernal Pools by Anna Ellis, sophomore geography and planning major
  • Comparative Study of Alteration Zones From Some Porphyry-Type Deposits in the United States by Connor Gray, junior geology major
  • Role of D1-like Receptors in the Effects of Chronic Stress on Palatable Food Seeking in an Animal Model of Relapse by Lindsay Tosh, senior psychology major
  • Designing a program to Assist Foster Youth in the Transition to College by Wanda Tarvin, senior social work major
  • A Study on the Practicality of Identifying and Locating Shoplifters and Drug Users Through Tumblr by Megan Mahle, junior digital forensics major
  • Synthesis and metalation studies of thioamide-based SNS pincer by Elizabeth Grego, senior chemistry
  • Effect of chronic restraint stress on subsequent relapse to palatable food seeking induced by food-associated cues vs. re-exposure to palatable food by Erin Hagan, senior biology
  • The Effects of Beetle Infestation/Deforestation on Amphibian Communities in Assateague, VA by Shannon Bradley, senior environmental geoscience major
  • Operating Safely in the Cloud by Ireland Nelson, junior business administration information and technology management major
  • The Mental Health Issues and Needs of LGBTQ Prisoners in a Women’s State Prison by Megan Wissert, junior business administration finance major
  • Synthesis and Evaluation of Second-Generation Rhodium Pincer Ligands by Jacob Morris, senior chemistry major
  • The Moroccan Perception of Sub – Saharan Immigration by Facia Sirleaf, senior anthropology and communication studies major
  • Needs Assessment In Columbia County by Jacqueline Liss, senior sociology and psychology major
  • Knock Down of G-Protein-Gamma Subunits in CHO Cells by Glenn Maneval, senior biology major
  • The Relationship Between Vertical Jump and Body Composition in Children by Minke Pheiffer, senior exercise science major
  • Hacking Your Home with The Internet of Things by Zachary Prebosnyak, junor digital forensics major
  • An Investigation of Sex Differences in the Effects of Chronic Stress on Relapse to Palatable Food Seeking by Claire Pressimone, senior health sciences major
  • Assessment of Four Passive Limestone AMD Treatment Systems in Schuylkill County by Lauren Barrett, junior environmental geoscience major
  • The Health of the Nations: A Comparative Study of the French and US Healthcare Systems by Ellen Davis, senior nursing major
  • Living with Coal, Nuclear, and Natural Gas: Community Perspectives in Central Pennsylvania by Adrienne Tyler, junor anthropology
  • Determination of the Ion-Pairing Equilibrium Constants in Aqueous Lanthanum Chloride Solutions at High Temperatures and Pressures by Blake Durante, senior chemistry major
  • Use of the ultra-narrow 689 nm strontium transition for optical cooling to quantum degeneracy by Rachel Yenney, senior physics major
  • Chasing Turtles by Morgan Ruziecki, senior geography and planning major
  • Sociological Inquiry of Opioid Addiction Factors in NEPA Residents by Alexandria Martz, senior political science