Students Look Forward to Participating in Faculty-Mentored Research This Summer
More than a dozen students from diverse majors will take part in the University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, gaining hands-on research experience under the guidance of their faculty mentors.
May 4, 2023
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
More than a dozen student scholars will gain important research experience this summer as part of the University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. The SURF fellows, who represent each of the University’s academic colleges and schools, will be conducting research projects with the support of their faculty mentors.
The SURF program enables student researchers to gain hands-on experience conducting a research project of their choice within their field of study. The experience has been invaluable to students as they have continued their education and started their careers.
Previous SURF fellows, such as Hang Su ’23 and Nicole Stanaback ’23, have presented their research at prestigious conferences. Recipients of the University’s prestigious Bucknall Family Undergraduate Research or Experiential Learning Award include SURF alumni, such as Su and Alice Yi ’22, the inaugural recipient of the Bucknall student research award.
Below, learn more about the 2023 SURF fellows’ research projects.
Project title: Investigation of Borrelia burgdorferi in Gynecological Cancer Tissues
“I want to be a cancer biologist,” said Valentino. “The SURF program will allow me to conduct research on how bacterial infections affect cancer development.”
“Last semester, I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Shue Wang and learned how to cell passage and cell culture using HeLa cells,” said Cadavos. “This has helped me gain a better understanding of the process and why it is necessary within the scientific field. Through this, I could learn new lab techniques and incorporate my experiences in my academic classes and apply them to my studies. By conducting this research under the mentorship of Dr. Qiu and Dr. Wang, I hope to gain many skills to further hone my knowledge for the future. I expect to better understand how amine particles affect mammalian cells and back up my findings through yielded results. From the project, I will also be able to work on my communication skills to present my findings to peers and my mentor to show my understanding."
Faculty mentor: Diane Russo, Ph.D.
Project title: Comic Books and Transmedia: A Historic Relationship
"I hope to complete the SURF program with guidance from my mentor, Dr. Diane Russo, to further hone my academic research skills and champion new exploration into the field of comics studies,” said Duke
"I hope to use my knowledge in nutrition to find a correlation between microplastics found in seafoods and their correlation to human nutritional health,” said Glaviano. “I also hope to shed light on the ever-growing matter of marine pollution in the modern-day world."
Faculty mentor: Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH
Project title: Predictors of Eating Disorders in a Novel Sample of College Students in the Northeast: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
“During my time in SURF, I hope to gain more insight and experience in research methods and a deeper knowledge of how to help different populations struggling with specific mental illnesses,” said Garner. “As someone with direct ties to the subject, I'm passionate about it and want to look more into indicators and warning signs that could aid someone in getting treatment.”
Gianna Cologna ’24, forensic science major
Faculty mentor: Pier Cirillo
Project title: Synthesis of a Library of Dibenzo-Azocine-Diones for General High-Throughput Screening
“I hope to gain more skills and knowledge in medicinal and organic chemistry and to gain experience in lab research,” said Cologna
Justin Caron ’24, chemical engineering major
Faculty mentor: Shue Wang, Ph.D.
Project title: Effects of Mechanical Compression on Collective Cell migration
Joshua Christensen ’25, forensic science major
Faculty mentor: Brooke Kammrath, Ph.D., D-ABC
Project title: Application of Particle Correlated Raman Spectroscopy (PCRS) for the forensic Examination of Soils