Wilkes University

Research and Scholarship Symposium

Research and Scholarship Symposium

2018 Wilkes University Research and Scholarship Symposium

April 2 – 5

The Wilkes University Research and Scholarship Symposium celebrates the outstanding faculty research taking place throughout this institution’s spectrum of disciplines. Because scholarship is one of Wilkes’ core values, President Patrick F. Leahy committed $1 million to create the Research and Scholarship Fund in 2016. The fund provides financial support to faculty for their work as scholars and creative practitioners. Faculty, students and Research and ScholarshipGrant recipients share their work at this annual symposium.

Breiseth Hall, Room 106

4 - 4:30 p.m.


President Patrick F. Leahy

Opening Presentation

“Unlocking the Keystone State: Using elite interviews to uncover the differences between the theory and practice of Pennsylvania’s government in the 21st Century”

Dr. Thomas J. Baldino | Professor, Political Science

Dr. Baldino and Dr. Paula Holoviak of Kutztown University collaborated on a research project to discover how much – or little – Pennsylvania’s government has changed in the 21st Century compared to 1968. Dr. Baldino and Dr. Holoviak gathered aggregate data from public sources about elections, budgets, Court decisions, and votes in the General Assembly, with their principle research tool being elite interviewing. Dr. Baldino’s talk will explain the rationale for elite interviewing, how interviewees are selected, how questions are drafted and the mechanics of conducting the interviews.

About Dr. Baldino

Thomas J. Baldino joined Wilkes University in 1991 as a professor of political science. He was the 2017 winner of the President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship, recognizing his more than 30-year career as a nationally recognized author and expert in political science. His research interests include legislative politics, political parties and elections and Pennsylvania government and politics. Since the start of the 2016 presidential election cycle, his expertise has been featured in stories appearing in nearly 100 regional, national and international news outlets, including The New York Times, Newsweek and CNN.

His research has appeared in political science and history journals, political encyclopedias, and in many conferences papers during his career. He is the co-author with his Wilkes colleague, Dr. Kyle Kreider, of three books: Of the People, By the People, For the People: A Documentary History of Voting Rights in the United States (Greenwood Press 2010); U.S. Election Campaigns: A Documentary and Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 2011); and Minority Voting in the United States (Praeger 2015). Baldino is at work on a fourth book about Pennsylvania politics.

He has served as interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as chairperson of the political science department and division of social sciences. He serves as a faculty associate to the Legislative Office of Research Liaison of the PA House of Representatives and as the associate editor of Commonwealth, the journal of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association.

He is the recipient of Wilkes University’s highest honor for teaching, the Carpenter Award for Outstanding Teaching, and also was the recipient of an Alumni Mentoring Award from the University’s TREC committee.

Baldino earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from The University of Illinois – Urbana, and his bachelor’s degree from LaSalle College, all in political science.

Session I

Dr. Zbigniew J. Witczak, Presider

Cohen Science Center (CSC) 102

4:30 - 5 p.m.
1. Two novel RNA molecules that have unexpected roles in controlling plant development. W. Terzaghi.

Wilkes students Bryant Morocho, Jephte Akakpo, Michael Yuhas, Tiffany Erney, Daniel Goetz and Catherin Morocho have discovered several novel RNA molecules that have unexpected roles in controlling plant development. Traditionally RNA is thought to act as the instructions for making proteins that controlling various processes, but these RNAs appear to be functioning directly in the process. This is an important discovery that could impact many aspects of biology.

5:05 - 5:35 p.m.
2. Integration of microstrip patch antennas with polycrystalline silicon solar cells. A. Alotaibi, A. Sabouni.

This presentation presents an integration of novel miniaturized patch antenna and its realization of poly-Si solar cell based configurations. Initially, reference antenna along with its solar cell configurations are designed and simulated. Then a miniaturized MPA has designed and optimized for solar applications and integration. The proposed MPA has miniaturized dimension regarding the reported literature. Improved miniaturization is achieved by maintaining reduced shading effect. The proposed antenna has only 5.49% shading obstruction as compared to the reference antenna. Moreover, this antenna achieves 58.16% more miniaturization than the reference antenna. A brief simulation comparison will be presented with reference design configurations. We will also present the measurement results of integrating the solar cell with microstrip antenna.

5:40 - 6:10 p.m.
3. Thin perforated A-shaped DRA for UWB applications. A. Alali, A. Sabouni.

This presentation presents a new design of a passive one-piece A-shaped dielectric resonator antenna (DRA) by perforating the dielectric material to provide the required effective dielectric constant. The DRA is excited by a microstrip line over a perforated substrate. The presented antenna has maintained the same characteristics of the regular A-shaped Antenna of broadside radiation and wide matching bandwidth. A comparison between the present and the original DRA will be presented to prove that this thin perforated Antenna has maintained all characteristics of the original A-shaped antenna. This thin A-shaped DRA is lighter than the original volume by 50% or more.

6:15 - 6:45 p.m.
4. Effect of Wi-Fi in brain signaling. A. Hollingshead, Y. Aboajila, A. Sabouni.

With the technological development, all around the world and the increasing of using the technical communications in the field of work or personal communications lead to the increase the Wi-Fi using in home, work, etc. and the adverse effect on human health is yet to be known. The goal of this project is to study the effect of the Wi-Fi on human brain signals. Our goal is to measure the effect of Wi-Fi on brain signals by calculating and analyzing brain waves with the Wi-Fi turned on and off. We will present the preliminary results our measurement and we will show how the Wi-Fi can change the Beta waves which represents the problem solving and judgement in human body.

6:50 - 7:20 p.m.
5. Flexible microstrip antenna for epidermal electronic devices. Y. Almangour, A Sabouni.

This presentation presents a novel biocompatible flexible microstrip patch antenna for biomedical applications where the antenna is designed to resonate at 2.4 GHz and intended to work with Epidermal Electronic Systems (EES) for WLAN/WiMAX applications. The EES is flexible, thinner than a human hair, and applied to the human skin like a temporary tattoo. During the presentation we will present the performance of this novel biocompatible flexible structure against bending in either direction.

Session II

Dr. Akira Shimizu, Presider


4:30 - 5 p.m.
6. Queer performative narrativity and rethinking community. H. Davis.

This presentation complicates understanding of narrativity as performative and connects performativity back to its queer origins. It traces how Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley uses performativity and other narrative techniques to create a narrative that performs differently to audiences within a community, creating a space for subversive performativity in narratives. Narratologists have failed to take into consideration that narratives can be understood differently within a community, missing the subversive possibilities of performative narrativity that seeks to convey different messages at the same time.

5:05 - 5:35 p.m.
7. Finding P.A.T.T.E.R.N.S in big data: An interdisciplinary research group at Wilkes University. B. Karimi, S. Chepushtanova, D. Lucent.

Pattern Analysis, Theory, & Techniques Established for Research in Natural Systems

In the midst of the "Big Data Revolution", where many high-impact problems are incredibly data-rich and complicated, finding a meaningful pattern that can be used to gain predictive insight about a natural phenomena is a tremendous challenge. These problems span numerous spatial and temporal scales ranging from the building blocks of life, to the inner workings of the human mind, to the evolution of ecosystems, to the atmospheric dynamics of our entire planet. To meet this need, we have established a collaborative research group in the College of Science and Engineering that develops and employs state-of-the art pattern analysis techniques to model natural phenomena. In this talk we will give a brief overview of the mission of our group and discuss three examples of the application of advanced pattern analysis techniques to large and complex data sets.

5:40 - 6:10 p.m.
8. The persistence of empire? The role of British oil companies in post-colonial Africa. J. Kuiken.

This presentation will showcase the research from my forthcoming journal article. It uses the case study of Nigeria and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) to demonstrate the persistent political influence of the subsidiary companies to Britain’s two domestically-based oil majors, British Petroleum and Shell during the period from 1960-1979. It will further explore the political consequences the misdeeds of these subsidiaries could have on both their parent companies and the home country of those firms.

6:15 - 6:45 p.m.
9. Modelling the effect of macro-economic indicators on economic growth of South Africa. B. Erenay, S. Sanni.

This study seeks to model and investigate the long- and short-run effects of imports, exports, oil price, and foreign exchange rate on the economic growth of South Africa, using secondary data gathered from World Bank and the Energy Information Administration from 1960 to 2016. The results of the long-run analysis revealed the presence of cointegration between the variables. In the short-run, the South African economy will converge towards its long-run equilibrium level in a very fast speed after a fluctuation in total value of imports, exports, foreign exchange, and/or oil price.

6:50 - 7:20 p.m.
10. The effect of population, unemployment, and amount of time spent working on poverty in Pennsylvania. B. Erenay, S. Sanni.

The goal of this research is to contribute to the understanding of the determinants of poverty by modelling and investigating the effects of some economic indicators (population, unemployment, and average amount of hours spent working) on the level of poverty in Pennsylvania using the 2015 county-level data of Pennsylvania. The results show that population and unemployment have a positive and statistically significant effect on poverty while the average working hours has a negative significant effect on poverty.

Session III

Mr. Bill Schneider, Presider

Breiseth 106

4:30 - 5 p.m.
11. Educational technology research: from STEM education to social emotional learning. J.J. Mao.

Smart phones and wearable technologies have become common tools in educational research as we are faced with increasing needs for both openness and mindfulness. The presenter will share a brief update on grant-funded research from open educational resources for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in collaboration with two universities in Virginia, to mindfulness and social emotional learning. The presenter will focus on the research and learning as well as good practices in conducting educational research that involves smart phones and wearable technologies.

5:05 - 5:35 p.m.
12. Relationships among food insecurity, perceived stress, general self-efficacy, and obesity in female heads-of-household with children. E. Havrilla.

This presentation would provide an overview of a study conducted to explore the relationships among food insecurity, perceived stress, general self-efficacy and obesity in female heads-of-household with children within the context of the Vulnerable Populations Model. Empirical evidence suggests that among vulnerable populations, obesity exists in the presence of food insecurity. The strategies that female heads-of-household may implement to protect a child from experiencing food insecurity could influence their relative risk of obesity. Through a cross-sectional, correlational design with mediation models testing these relationships were explored. Findings, ancillary analysis, and discussion on methods of mediation models analysis will be presented.

5:40 - 6:10 p.m.
13. First Glance at a New Book: Corporate Citizenship and Higher Education: Behavior, Engagement, and Ethics. M. Clevenger.

This presentation will overview Dr. Clevenger’s new book by Springer International Publishing to be released in late 2018. Findings from his 2014 dissertation—which won a CASE 2016 research award—will be discussed. Emphasis is on the three basic questions: (1) why does higher ed want involved with businesses and corporations? (2) what motives and ROI expectations do these business entities have? and (3) what ethical issues arise?

6:15 - 6:45 p.m.
14. The subjectivity of NACRO’s metrics: A view from higher education about corporate citizenship. C. Flynn, M. Clevenger.

Corporations can have significant impact on higher education. This presentation will discuss the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO) and their attempt to measure the relationships between colleges and universities. NACRO has collected about 10 years-worth of data and has attributed the accuracy and reliability of their data to the collaboration of their 150 members, comprised of research institutions from North America “…and beyond.” (Metrics, 2012). Over the course of that time period, they have also expanded the number, size, and type of schools that make up their data.

6:50 - 7:20 p.m.
15. Engineering arabidopsis plants that make resveratrol in response to UV light. M. Yatison.

Resveratrol is chemical made by many plants that is proposed to have important health benefits for humans. However, its role in the life of the plants that make it is unclear. We are therefore constructing Arabidopsis plants where its synthesis can be turned on upon demand by irradiating them with UV light. We have made a synthetic gene where the coding sequence for resveratrol synthase from Japanese Knotweed is controlled by the UV-responsive chalcone synthase promoter from Arabidopsis. This synthetic gene has been transformed into Arabidopsis, and we are now selecting transgenic plants that have taken it up.

Cohen Science Center - Lobby

5 - 7 p.m.
45. Persistence images: a vector representation of persistence homology for machine learning tasks. S. Chepushtanova.

Many data sets can be viewed as a noisy sampling of an underlying space, and tools from topological data analysis can characterize this structure for the purpose of knowledge discovery. One such tool is persistent homology, which provides a multiscale description of homological features (so-called holes) within a data set. We convert this information to a finite-dimensional vector representation which we call a persistence image (PI), and explore the use of PIs with vector-based machine learning tools, such as clustering, k-medoids, and support vector machines.

46. Pattern Recognition and Detection at Tectonic Boundaries. B. Karimi.

In the field of geology, patterns of data – such as those associated with tectonic boundaries - are particularly important, as they are physical manifestations of geologic principles and processes at play. Geologic data is often geospatial (raster or vector) and – due to its interdisciplinary nature – highly variable. For these reasons, scientists encounter significant challenges when developing mathematical models for data analysis of geologic data. Current geometrical data analysis methods used to decipher geologic data at tectonic boundaries do not accurately capture natural patterns and their shapes. However, topological analysis (persistent homology) can overcome many of these limitations.

47. Topological analysis of protein dynamics using persistent homology. M. O’Brien, D. Sales, D. Lucent, S. Chepushtanova.

Increases in the speed of computer hardware as well as the efficiency of simulation methods have allowed for the practical application of molecular dynamics to study the complexities of protein folding. These simulations however, generate an enormous amount of data and distilling this data into predictive models has become an emergent challenge. Markovian state models have become an excellent paradigm with which to understand protein dynamics simulations and make quantitative comparison to experiment. Unfortunately, constructing these models still requires a number of choices of including choice of distance metric, clustering algorithm, and discretization method all of which can be very sensitive to small changes in scale leading to ambiguities in model construction. We propose the use of persistent homology to derive topologically invariant order parameters from which we can build kinetic models of protein folding. Using ensemble molecular dynamics folding data for the mini protein villin, we calculate persistence of a number of homology groups for all protein conformations observed. We compare markovian state models constructed using these groups to other traditional methods. Finally, we present strategies for visualizing topological invariants along protein folding trajectories.

48. Assessing physician perceptions of a transition of care pharmacy service. M. Hummel, M. Hasbrouck, H. Batista Quevedo, J. Kristeller.

Our research focuses on assessing physician responsiveness and perception of pharmacist suggestions to improve the safe and effective use of medications during transitions of care. We reviewed the physician response rate to pharmacist communications and will survey physicians about their perceptions of the service. We will use this information to improve the Transition of Care Pharmacy Service to promote communication and collaboration between pharmacists and physicians as patients’ transition from hospital to home

49. Measuring the significance of a pharmacist’s intervention. A. Gobo, S. Wilson, L. Hertzog, J. Kristeller.

The research project is to create and use a tool to determine the significance of a pharmacist’s interventions to improve the safe and effective use of medications. The poster will describe the tool and how it can be used. We will include any feedback and results of use obtained from student pharmacists and pharmacists. By categorizing the significance of pharmacist interventions, this tool can be used to highlight the value of pharmacist interventions and the positive impact on the quality of care provided.

50. Heat transfer enhancement in channels using nanofluid: A numerical analysis. S. Seibert, M. Ghamari.

Nanofluids are a new class of heat transfer fluids that are typically categorized as suspensions of 1-100 nanometer nanoparticles in fluids and are known to have higher thermal conductivity. In this study, heat transfer enhancement through a channel with staggered fins is examined computationally with and without presence of nanoparticles.

51. Productivity and data analysis of the transition of care pharmacy service. K. Hart, L. DiGuiseppe, A. Peck, Y. Zaki, J. Kristeller

The Transition of Care Pharmacy Service is a collaboration between Wilkes University, Moses Taylor Hospital, and Regional Hospital of Scranton. The goal of the service is to improve the safe and effective use of medications for patients who are discharged from hospital to home. Our project includes collecting and analyzing the productivity metrics of the service, comparing data collection over time, and comparing data between hospitals. This data will be used to demonstrate the value of the service to hospital and community stakeholders.

52. Molecular Dynamics and Docking to Determine Structural Conformational Changes and Inhibition of SLC26A3. T Hagenbuch, D. Lucent, W. Terzaghi, A. VanWert.

Oxalate-induced kidney stones are a painful condition that presents in humans due to a buildup of the molecule oxalate in the kidney. Compelling evidence has linked the receptor SLC26A3 to the transport of oxalate from the intestinal track to the blood. There are no existing studies explaining the structure and function of this transporter. This research works to discover the function of this transporter by molecular modeling and simulation. This process will have 4 main steps: (1) building a homology model of SLC26A3 using methods deemed successful in past studies; (2) fixing SLC26A3 in a membrane; (3) running molecular dynamics simulations to validate the model and search for relevant conformational states that may be linked to oxalate transport; (4) docking a large number of small-molecules into the SLC26A3 model to search for possible inhibitors. The end goals of this research will be twofold: first, we aim to deduce the mechanism of transport via molecular dynamics simulation. Second, we would hope to make progress towards the development of pharmaceutical intervention for the treatment of oxalate-induced kidney stones by creating a collection of lead-like compounds that inhibit oxalate transport by SLC26A3. These compounds could then be screened in vitro, and in vivo, and optimized via standard medicinal chemistry techniques.

53. Trends in equity crowdfunding. J Palys, R. Hughes, K. Wang

Since May 2016, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed businesses to raise investment capital from the public using registered websites. Approximately 400 companies have made offerings through November 1, 2017. This presentation will analyze the data from the offerings to determine trends in the type of equity chosen by issuers, the relative success rates of offerings and the relationship between success and other factors, such as debt and sales levels and the age of the issuer.

54. Identification of ssDNA aptamer specific to an herbicide. K. Abraham, K.L. Hong.

This study focuses on the identification of a single-stranded DNA(ssDNA) aptamer that binds to atrazine, an herbicide. In this study we use a variation of the Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) process, which is an in vitro selection, to identify a potential aptamer which binds to atrazine. We have completed the 12 rounds of selection and are moving on to characterize the candidates to confirm high binding affinity and specificity. We are also focusing on verifying conformational change which is exhibited by the aptamer upon binding to atrazine.

55. Low dose naltrexone for ulcerative colitis: two case reports. S. Kheloussi, S. Weiksner.

Naltrexone is approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration as an adjunct treatment in patients with alcohol and opioid dependence. However, it has been successfully used off-label for a variety of other conditions, including Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While several studies support the use of naltrexone for Crohn’s disease, at this time data are sparse to support use in another form of IBD – ulcerative colitis (UC). We report two cases of patients successfully treated with naltrexone for complex UC.

Session IV

Dr. Patricia E. Sweeney, Presider

Cohen Science Center (CSC) 102

4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
16. Social media and luxury product purchase: Developing an effective strategy to reduce the consumption of ivory products in China. G. Xiao.

This research examines ivory product consumption and social media usage in China. The overall goal of this research is to curve the consumption through developing effective messages, mechanisms, and media campaigns. To achieve the goal, a random stratified sample was obtained from an online panel in China in January 2018. Total 600 usable samples were obtained. The preliminary analysis found that materialism/collectivism is a strong predicator of social media usage. While ivory likely buyers associate uncertainty avoidance with materialism and positive attitude toward social network, ivory purchase rejecters demonstrate a positive relationship between long term orientation and materialism.

4:35 - 5:05 p.m.
17. Inhibition of Akt-survivin pathway synergizes the cell death caused by alpha-santalol in human prostate cancer cells. A. Bommareddy.

The study was undertaken to investigate the mechanistic details associated with the induction of apoptosis by α-santalol in human prostate cancer cells. The main objectives were (1) to examine the relationship between survivin and PI3K-Akt pathway in the induction of apoptosis by α-santalol in prostate cancer cells. (2) to investigate the effect of PI3k/Akt pathway inhibition by pharmacological inhibitor Ly294002 on apoptosis induced by α-santalol. Treatment of prostate cancer cells with alpha-santalol resulted in the down regulation of survivin, XIAP and p-AKT (s-473) levels. Inhibition of PI3K-Akt pathway by pharmacological inhibitor synergized the apoptotic cell death induced by α-santalol. The study revealed that α-santalol downregulates levels and expression of survivin and that inhibition of PI3K/Akt pathway synergizes the apoptotic cell death in human prostate cancer cells and warrants preclinical studies employing relevant in vivo models.

5:10 - 5:40 p.m.
18. A functional screen identifying novel drosophila EGF receptor targets with roles in eggshell morphology. A. Morgan, Z. Walter, L. Kadlec.

Our lab studies cell signaling and its effect on gene activation and development of organisms using Drosophila melanogaster as a model. We study genes which respond to the fly Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Receptor. These genes are transcriptionally activated under EGF signaling in the fly ovary. We have examined where these genes’ mRNA’s are localized in the ovary, and what phenotypic issues arise in the egg when the genes are “knocked down”. We are currently using a cutting-edge technique named CRISPR-Cas9 to establish mutants to use for further study of the roles played by these genes in the developing fly.

5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
19. Neonatal mortality in rural East Africa: Lessons learned in a multi-year project. L. Winkler, S. Noon.

This presentation discusses a project in Tanzania studying neonatal mortality causes and working with local collaborators to address them. The study includes introduction of Kangaroo Mother Care and outcome assessment for eight neonates (2014, 2016, 2017) and 116 low birth weight infants (2015- 2017) using retrospective records, observations, and case studies provided by hospital staff. Variables include weight, temperature, milk production, and cause of death when it occurred. Results indicate that hypothermia, infection, and insufficient milk are frequent causes of death. Multicomponent education programs for mothers show promise in reducing deaths as do Vitamin K prophylactics to combat neonatal hemorrhage.

6:20 - 6:50 p.m.
20. Feminism is not enough: Anger and efficacy reduce the ill effects of living in a sexist world. E. Newell, J. Thomas.

Numerous studies demonstrate that sexism is damaging to women’s psychological and physical health (e.g., Moradi & Subich, 2002). Scholars postulate that feminism may be protective for women who experience sexism, however, research examining this possibility is limited. We are engaging in a three year long research project to identify when (and if) embracing the feminist identity can be beneficial to well-being. We will present some findings from the second year of this project using the innovative statistical analysis technique: PROCESS Conditional Mediation/Moderation Analyses (Hayes, 2017) to show the role anger and efficacy can play in protecting well-being among feminist women.

Session V

Mr. Bill Schneider, Presider

Cohen Science Center (CSC) 103

4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
21. A socio-cultural perspective of the Danish health care system. J. Matus.

This presentation will focus on the socio-cultural perspective of Denmark and its influence on the development of the Danish health care system. Comparisons and contrasts to the U.S. culture and health care system will also be presented.

4:35 - 5:05 p.m.
22. The ineffectiveness of human rights law. A. Miller, H Hilinski.

Most of the studies concerning human rights law measure a country’s compliance with domestic legislation. This research analyzes the ability of international law to prevent human rights abuses in times of conflict by merging case study analysis of three separate conflicts: the Peloponnesian War, the Vietnam War, and the Iran-Iraq War. This paper also traces the historical development of human rights law and some of the philosophical foundations on both sides of the human rights debate. By combining studies of human rights ratification, compliance, and abuse in conflict, this paper concludes that human rights treaties not only fail to improve human rights protection but that it has actually had an adverse effect on these protections during times of conflict.

5:10 - 5:40 p.m.
23. History’s lessons for equity crowdfunding. R. Hughes.

The JOBS Act of 2012 expanded exemptions to the required disclosure of the Securities Act of 1933 to allow internet based Equity Crowdfunding, a relatively new method of financing for small ventures using websites to solicit investments from the public. The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final regulations to allow Equity Crowdfunding that took effect on May 16, 2016. This paper examines Equity Crowdfunding in the context of history, and try to answer whether this new exemption could lead to the same circumstances that caused the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
24. Making SAFE’s safer for equity crowdfunding. C. Houser, R. Hughes.

In May 2016, the SEC implemented Regulation CF, allowing issuers to sell securities to the public through registered websites. As issuers have taken advantage of this financing avenue, they have chosen a variety of security offering types including equity, debt and a relatively new, rather obscure type of security known as the Simple Agreement for Future Equity, or SAFE. This presentation will give an overview of SAFE’s, data on trends in the use of SAFE’s in crowdfunding, the current structure of SAFE’s, advantage for issuers in using SAFE’s , concerns for investors and proposed changes to the SAFE document.

6:20 - 6:50 p.m.
25. An exploration of corporate social responsibility & sustainability in NEPA. C Walsh, M. Clevenger.

This presentation highlights the organization of a 13-county mixed methods research project in NEPA. This study explores motivations and behaviors of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in community interaction, philanthropy, and sustainability. The project is partially funded by Stifel/Golden Wealth Management.

Honors Student Session

Dr. Bonnie Culver, Presider

University Center on Main (UCOM) 231

4 - 4:20 p.m.
26. Beyond grammar: Incorporating culture into foreign language classrooms. S. Musa.

Many times, teachers of a foreign language get caught in a rut of teaching straight from an outdated textbook that is strictly vocabulary and how to conjugate verbs. While all of this information is necessary and useful, many times the culture associated with the language gets swept aside or only mentioned briefly. There are many ways to incorporate culture at the exact moment that students are learning vocabulary. Learning a language requires the students to think like the society that speaks the language natively, and that means that students need to be culturally aware of the people in the language that they are speaking. Through a unit plan developed for ten days, students explore not only the language, but the people and places of the intended language.

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.
27. Reducing demand for ivory. N. Mominzada.

Elephant poaching has been a serious challenge for more than a century. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the African elephant population has dropped to 420,000 in 2012. Elephant poaching surpasses reproduction capacity. This is not just an ecological disaster; it is also economic and security threat. To help end this crisis, we need a complete system change. We need to stop the killing and stop the demand for ivory by educating consumers. This research project will identify the key target markets for ivory, raise awareness about issues related to ivory, and explain the environmental impacts of the ivory trade.

4:40 - 5:00 p.m.
28. The influence of sexual violence on male and female college students; An empirical study of Law and Order: SVU Viewers. A. Bialek.

Amanda Bialek will discuss her senior capstone research, which examines the relationship between, Law and Order: SVU and college students’ fear of becoming a victim of sexual violence. Although the violent nature of television has been a significantly researched area, there is a lack of research on how a specific television series can influence the fear of becoming a victim of sexual crime among a particular demographic. The study is guided by George Gerbner’s cultivation theory, which suggests that the number of hours viewers watch television can have an influence on their perception of the world.

5:00 - 5:20 p.m.
29. Effects of amyloid beta on lysosomal function in age-related macular degeneration. D. Davis.

While the exact pathology is unknown, Amyloid Beta(Aβ) plays a key role in many neurodegenerative diseases, including Age-related macular degeneration(AMD). The goal of this experiment was to determine the effect that Aβ has on lysosomal function within retinal pigment epithelial cells(RPE), which are responsible for the degradation of photoreceptor outer segments(POS), using cell culture and confocal imaging. Based on these preliminary findings, it appears that Aβ accumulates within the lysosome and is unable to be degraded. This causes the lysosome to be non-functional and allows for problems to arise within the RPE cells, thus halting efficient degradation of POS.

5:20 - 5:40 p.m.
30. Mala in se or mala prohibita; Analyzing sex work. T. Mintzmyer.

This presentation will go in depth into the world of sex work. I will examine the causes for and motivations of sex workers to better comprehend why someone would go into sex work, then explore the various types of sex workers in order to better understand the diverse ways people experience the profession, and next analyse the known harms of sex work and the circumstances in which they occur. Finally, I will discuss how the diverse laws of various countries affect the harms of sex work and make policy suggestions based off of my research.

5:40-6:00 p.m.
31. The effects of meditation on temperature and electrodermal response. F. Banca.

Meditation has been linked to multiple positive outcomes, including aiding in different types of mental and physical controls. MUSE—a form of neurofeedback—guides the user through meditation with the use of sounds and visuals. Based on previous research of the parasympathetic nervous system and the stress response, relaxation should cause increased temperatures and decreased skin conductance. I therefore hypothesized that body temperature should increase and skin conductance should decrease during a MUSE session, and that the more successful one’s MUSE results are, the more one’s body temperature should increase and skin conductance should decrease.

6 - 6:20 p.m.
32. The effect of binaural beat technology on the cardiovascular stress response in military service members with postdeployment stress. D. Patel

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and is usually caused by over-activation of stress. These high levels of stress are indigenous to individuals within the military due to combat exposure. These elevated levels of stress stay with the individual even after returning home, known as post-deployment stress. Instead of treating this type of mental illness through medication, it can be treated with an even higher efficacy through Binaural Beat Technology. With the use of Theta brainwaves, an individual can reduce their stress response through a means that doesn’t involve risk of dependency and negative side-effects.

Cohen Science Center - Lobby

5 - 7 p.m.

56. Long-term patterns of insect Infestation in acorns of Quercus rubra and Quercus alba in northeastern Pennsylvania. M. Novakovich, K. Mejia, B. Kelly, M. Steele.

Infestation of acorns by insects (e.g., Curculio and Contracelus spp.), can influence the reproductive potential of Quercus spp. The Curculio larvae feed on the cotyledons of acorns after they mature, resulting in damage to the seeds that often affect viability.Our laboratory has studied patterns of insect infestation over a prolonged period of 25 years in Northeastern Pennsylvania and across a latitudinal gradient (New York to North Carolina) for 6 years. Here, we determine patterns of insect infestation in individual acorns of Quercus rubra (Northern Red Oak) and Quercus alba (White Oak) by examining individual acorns (n=50,000) between 1991 and 2016 (excluding 1992, 1995, and 1997). We found (1) that acorn infestation in both species of oaks remains relatively low (<30%) from year-to-year and only reaches high levels in individual trees under limited circumstances, (2) that both oak species show comparable patterns of infestation (but see Weckerly et. al. 1989) and that (3) weevil infestations are consistently higher in the basal half of both Q. rubra and Q. alba acorns, allowing these partially damaged acorns to survive and germinate following infestation. We discuss the adaptive significance of these patterns of infestation for both the weevils and oaks

57. The effects of social media usage on international information searching in China. Z. Zhang, M. Yue, H. Lee.

The Chinese outbound market is growing rapidly. In particular, Chinese Generation Y travelers have seen significant growth. Their behaviors are different from that of older generations. Generation Y is influenced by technology advancement, particularly social media. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore how social media platforms influence Chinese Generation Y travelers’ international travel decisions. This study will explore Chinese Generation Y’s social media use and preferences and how the different use motivations influence their travel decisions. This study will contribute to expanding the research approach toward Chinese travelers’ information-seeking behavior and provide insight into how the tourism market can provide travel information through social media.

58. Barcodes for biomes: Modern approaches to biodiversity studies. J. Stratford.

Species loss due to human activities is accelerating more rapidly than our ability to understand the processes of extinction or to quantify the species involved. Moreover, we are losing taxonomic expertise despite the increased ability to collect organisms. To overcome taxonomic difficulties, DNA can be used to identify organisms and quantify diversity. In a highly collaborative project, a number of Wilkes faculty and students are studying food webs in grasslands. We are using DNA barcodes to identify soil microbes, plants, and insects in food webs and using stable isotopes to determine food web structure.

59. Revegetation of a natural gas pipeline right of way in Pennsylvania: A first year assessment. J. Weston, A. Grohowski, M. Kovalick, S. Heffelfinger, K. Klemow.

To understand revegetation on a natural gas pipeline right-of-way, we initiated a multi-year assessment within a 1700’ long segment of Transco Pipeline at the Jacobs property owned by Wilkes University that underwent expansion in 2016. Plants were identified and percent covers assessed within forty-eight 3x1m plots in upland and wetland parts of the site. Our findings indicated that the rate of revegetation on the recently disturbed plots was proceeding more slowly than expected.

60. Sense of control, and possibly believing in a just world, help reduce stress among activist feminist women. C. Barat, S.Gnall, B. Buckman, M. Sarnosky, J. Thomas, E. Newell.

Deciding to take collective action(CA) to assist one’s in-group can be a double edged sword for well-being. CA can buffer individuals from effects of discrimination, however, activism can be stressful. Believing that the world is just and fair(BJW) can provide people with a sense of control that protects well-being. We examined whether BJW and control help reduce CA’s harmful effect on stress among feminist women. Control and BJW significantly mediated the relationship between Activism and Stress. Notably, neither BJW nor Control mediated the relationship between feminist identity and Stress suggesting that examination of activism is vital to understanding feminist well-being.

61. #Metoo: Internal efficacy mediates the relationship between critical reflection and critical action for feminists. J. Thomas, E. Newell, S. Gnall, C. Barat.

Recently women have taken action against sexual assault by joining movements such as #Metoo. Not every women who has been assaulted takes action. Why do some choose to engage in activism while others do not? Critical consciousness postulates that recognition of inequity (CR) leads to critical action (CA) if one has critical motivation/efficacy (Freire, 2000). Identifying as a feminist may also be important for CA because feminists endorse goals that are in line with ending sexist oppression (hooks, 2000). We examined whether various forms of efficacy mediated the relationship between CR and CA for those who identify as feminists.

Session VI

Dr. Zbigniew J. Witczak, Presider


4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
33. Determining vitamin C pharmacokinetics and effect on biomarkers in healthy volunteers. A. Eden, E. Zarfoss, S. Bolesta.

Vitamin C has been shown to prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) following cardiac surgery. However, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Vitamin C in this patient population has not been determined. To optimize vitamin C dosing for this purpose data is needed regarding the dose-response relationships in this patient population. As a precursor to a larger trial in patients undergoing cardiac surgery we set out to validate proposed analytic techniques to determine the pharmacokinetics of vitamin C, and the response of various biomarkers associated with POAF, in healthy human subjects.

4:35 - 5:05 p.m.
34. Motivating four generations of employees: Strategies for success. K. Alunni, J. Edmonds.

Practicing employee motivation incorporates individual and holistic elements of the workplace - spanning components of the individual job to the behavior of the entire organization. Folding in the generational diversity of today's individual workers incorporates additional complexities to the scope of employee motivation. This research outlines a framework for successful strategies in employee motivation that encompasses historical, traditional, and contemporary practices, as well as the breath of preferences of the four generations currently occupying the work space.

5:10 - 5:40 p.m.
35. First glance at a new book: An Business and Corporation Engagement with Higher Education: Models, Theories, and Best Practices.M. Clevenger.

This presentation will introduce Drs. Clevenger and MacGregor’s new book by Emerald Publishing to be released in late 2018. The book reviews several theories and models, highlights Cone’s (2010) Corporate Citizenship Spectrum, and explores these inter-organizational relationships from both higher education and business viewpoints.

5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
36. Impact of a novel naloxone training on a live overdose. T. Franko.

Students in their third professional year were randomized to receive a novel naloxone training developed by the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy or the training sanctioned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students then individually completed a simulated overdose response where naloxone needed to be used. Students were evaluated on completing the appropriate steps in an overdose response as well as time to complete the simulation. The novel training students’ average grade was a 92% vs the state training average of 69%. Novel training students completed the simulation on average 23 seconds faster than the state training students.

6:20 - 6:50 p.m.
37. Intuitive human robot Interaction using biological signals. S. Lee, Y. Zhu.

The biological signals generated by the human body represent the activity of the respective organs: the heart (ECG), brain (EEG), muscle (EMG), and eyes (ERG) et al. The goal of this project is to utilize multiple biological signals to communicate with a collaborative robot – Sawyer, naturally for intuitive interaction tasks. The Sawyer robot will work with a person to cooperatively execute real-time closed-loop robotic tasks using Electroencephalography (EEG) and Electromyography (EMG) signals as feedback.

6:55 - 7:25 p.m.
38. What is Creative Nonfiction or what is true and creative? B. Culver

I will use samples of mine and others creative nonfiction writing to share what the range and possibilities of this relatively new form are. What needs to be true to be nonfiction? And what are the ranges within the “truth” that allows creativity, entertainment, and story to live?

Session VII

Dr. Akira Shimizu, Presider

Cohen Science Center (CSC) 103

4:00-4:30 p.m.
39. Do greener products earn more green? Comparing consumers’ purchase intentions and their willingness to pay based on environmentally sustainable innovative product design. S. Bharatha, E. Jensolowsky, M. Teiman, A. Arora.

Companies strive on product designs. Household Sector innovators modify and innovate consumer products as small projects. Innovators use gestalt theory and look at the idea as a whole rather than in parts. These ideas are developed based on the three-dimension strategy: aesthetics, functionality and symbolism. These design dimensions together show positive influences on a customer's willingness to pay and also generate a positive effect on purchase intentions. There is a strong predictive link between raw idea and consumers' purchase intentions. Therefore, consumer panel evaluations are considered to be a better way to determine "good ideas" rather than ratings by experts. In the recent years, making product design ideas environmentally friendly has become popular. Biomimicry is a new concept, which encourages designers and product managers to innovate with product designs through emulation of biological forms, processes, patterns and systems. Biomimicry driven projects produce double intellectual property with double energy savings for 1/6th the resources. This research paper addresses the following questions:

• Is biomimicry a true “raw idea” if nature has already provided the solutions we seek?

• Explain how the new innovative product ideas follow three dimensionality: aesthetics, functionality, and symbolism?

• How can product designers / developers / managers generate positive brand attitudes and increase consumers’ purchase intentions through environmentally sustainable product designs?

With respect to the above questions, we discuss three case studies in consumer goods industry that incorporate biomimicry and three-dimension product design strategy of aesthetics, functionality and symbolism. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of biomimicry and sustainable product design. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding new product design and biomimicry.

4:35 - 5:05 p.m.
40. How do CEO’s and entrepreneurs innovate current/new innovations? A. Alhayek, D.B. Lok, A. Arora.

In today’s world, daily innovations may go unnoticed, from the individual who invented the pool noodles, to the person who invented K cups. Some may have the idea of how these brilliant individuals came up or thought of their ideas. A vast majority, whom are not the creators or innovators, know how much time, effort, sweat and tears go into creating a breakthrough innovation that we as daily civilians take for granted day to day. In our research, we focus on the process of creating a breakthrough innovation idea as developed by a CEO and/or entrepreneur. The research addresses the following questions.

1. In the process of an innovation, what do you search for? Do you conduct a survey to determine the need of the product? Do you study the needs of people on a daily basis?

2. What are the procedures of coming up with a product that everyone can use?

3. How are sustainable products created by CEOs / entrepreneurs?

With reference to the above questions, many CEO’s and entrepreneurs consistently look for needs, wants and daily inconvenience that consumers face every day. This process leads to exceling innovation and design thinking. There are several characteristics that seem common amongst CEOs and entrepreneurs. Some of these CEO specific characteristics are being empathetic, problem finders, risk takers, networked, observant, creators, resilient, reflective. In this paper, we discuss two case studies in consumer goods industry that incorporate innovation, raw idea, product design, and sustainability. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of sustainable product design from the innovative eyes of CEOs and entrepreneurs. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding innovation, product design, and sustainability.

5:10 - 5:40 p.m.
41. Sustainable induced and open innovations within the automobile industry. E. Glennon, I. Claudine, C. Haskins, A. Arora.

Product design within the automobile industry is extremely important, because cars must have a competitive edge in order to sell and become popular. Induced innovation proposes that a change in the relative prices of the factors of production is itself a spur to invention, and to invention of a particular kind—directed to economizing the use of a factor which has become relatively expensive. Design and technological innovations are conceptually distinct and require significantly different resource investments by the firm. Open innovation is another concept that the automobile industry may use. Open innovation is when information is freely exchanged between companies. By companies exchanging information, it allows for more people to produce a product and it allows the technology in the industry to grow. Innovation occurs more often in the raw idea stage of product development, as opposed to the final design. Our research focuses on the sustainable innovation and development in the automobile industry, and addresses the following questions:

• Can a raw idea be successful in a market place without ever changing?

• What gauge(s) can be used to measure product design performance during the product development process with regard to automobile industry?

• What are the new sustainable product innovations possible in automobile industry that are related to technological and design product innovations and product portfolio span?

With respect to the above questions, we discuss three case studies in automobile industry that incorporate induced and open innovation, design and technical newness, and sustainability. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of sustainable product design and innovation. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding induced and open innovation, design and technical newness, and sustainability.

5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
42. How sustainable product innovation affects user involvement, product marketing, and consumer brand attitudes? M. Murphy, S. Piccone, Z. Walser, A. Arora.

For a product to be successful in today’s market, it must be thoroughly planned out and thought through. In our research, we identify the beginning stage, where the raw idea is fleshed out and is able to be manufactured and tested for its longevity and success. The best products have a very solid and stable product design that can withstand change. The next stage is the product innovation. Innovation can either destroy product or make it very successful. Radical innovation describes this risk perfectly. The final stage is on the customer’s side. During the innovation stage, it is critical for the customer to be involved. This shows them what the product will be and how it will function. Our research addresses the following questions.

• With the risks involved with product innovations, what aspects of the product should a company investigate and innovate? Technological or Design?

• How effective are consumer opinions over the opinions of professional critics? Why are professional critics still used if the potential customers are trusted more?

• When doing user involvement research, which one will be more beneficial for the consumer needs: Conscious, Unconscious or both?

With respect to the research questions, we discuss three case studies in bicycle industry that incorporate raw idea, open innovation, product design, user involvement, and sustainability. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of sustainable product design in consumer goods industry. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding open innovation, product design, user involvement, and sustainability

6:20 - 6:50 p.m.
43. Product design: The importance of raw idea, the 3-Dimensional scale and product portfolio breadth. M. Curtis, D. Huff, S. Jarnot, A. Arora.

In today's society, new innovations are constantly being created with the hopes of overall success. Disruptive innovation is and still remains a growing trend in today’s economy. These disruptive innovations have the ability to have a major impact on the economy. Our research discusses how this can be both positive and negative. Companies look to the 3-Dimensional scale when designing a product to appeal to the consumer, in hopes that their idea will flourish. In this research, we address the following questions.

• Can a “raw idea” also act as a disruptive innovation, and how can a company protect its product innovation before it reaches mature stages of development?

• What are the benefits of disruptive innovations?

• Can a firm that has developed a disruptive innovation succeed without a wide product portfolio breadth?

The questions listed above are derived from extensive research that discusses the importance of raw idea, product design, the 3 dimensional scale, and product portfolio breadth. We discuss four case studies in bicycle industry that incorporate disruptive innovation, product design, product portfolio breadth, and sustainability. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of sustainable product design in bicycle industry. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding disruptive innovation, product design, product portfolio breadth, and sustainability.

6:55 - 7:25 p.m.
44. What’s new in product design? Exploring interrelationships among biomimicry, design newness, and product innovation for R&D ventures in shoes industry. T. Hagen, T. Woolfenden, C. Puza, M. Reinert, A. Arora.

An innovation needs a multitude of characteristics in order to make a difference and become successful in the global market. Finding ideas for an innovation can be difficult for anyone and the use of biomimicry can help revolutionize that process. Alongside extracting ideas from the natural world; finding new product ideas for consumer wants and needs can be just as beneficial. Regardless of where the inspiration for these ideas come from, they need to have some levels of design newness. Both technology and design innovations are inspired by biomimicry, product innovation, and design newness leading to R&D ventures incorporated into the design itself. These interrelationships will have a positive effect on the consumer acceptance of new product innovations. Our research addresses the following questions.

• How are design and technological innovations interrelated to each other with respect to sustainable product design?

• Will product innovations help in R&D ventures?

• How can a sustainable product innovation inspired by biomimicry make a cultural impact within an industry?

With respect to the above questions, we discuss four case studies in shoes industry that incorporate biomimicry, design newness, and sustainability. We further suggest an innovative product idea incorporating elements of biomimicry and sustainable product design. The research provides implications for researchers and managers in developing environmentally sustainable innovations by understanding biomimicry, design newness, and sustainability.

Cohen Science Center - Lobby

5 - 7 p.m.

62. Helminth communities in short tailed shrews: A comprehensive analysis. E. Kamieniecki, K. Mejia, A. Seiwell.

We present a preliminary overview of a comprehensive analyses of parasite (primarily helminth) communities in > 250 shrews collected during long-term (>15 years) surveys of small mammal populations at the Cary institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York State. This project, currently in its initial stages, involves the careful necropsy and formal isolation of all individual parasites. As each shrews is carefully necropsied, the parasites associated with each organ are isolated and prepared for identification by either physical examination or DNA barcoding. To date, preliminary methods for identification have been outlined and tested, and hundreds of parasites have been isolated from individual shrew digestive organs

63. Analysis of land use on air quality in Pennsylvania using geospatial technologies. R. Criswell, R. Hodgins.

Land use in Pennsylvania varies highly from cropland to expansive forestland and pastureland to densely populated urban land. According to the United States Census Bureau’s most recent Decennial Census of 2010, nearly 78 percent of the state’s population resides on urban land. As of US EPA’s air quality report published in February 2017, twenty counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been designated as “nonattainment”, i.e. counties that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for at least one of the six criteria air pollutants published in the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 (the most recent amendment). The criteria air pollutants are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, lead, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), and ozone. The goal of this preliminary study was to investigate the relationship between land use and air quality in Pennsylvania using geospatial technologies. Levels of PM2.5, PM10, ozone and nitrous oxide were obtained from the EPA for the year of 2010. A raster map showing land usage for the state of PA was obtained from the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium. The average level for each pollutant for the year was mapped against the land cover map to show where the highest levels of each pollutant occurred. Other factors such as seasonal trends, and population were examined also at the counties that showed the highest levels for the year. For PM10 and nitrous oxides, the highest levels were observed in areas with the most urban development. Ozone and PM2.5 occurred in counties with less urban development.

64. Effect of hydrogen peroxide on survival and glutathione-S-transferase activity of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta. W. Biggers, T. O’Connell, J. Schmid, A. Anderson, M. Gross.

Hydrogen peroxide (HP) is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) that is produced naturally in marine and freshwater environments, evolving mainly from the solar irradiation of organic molecules in the water which produces superoxide and singlet oxygen molecules which can then be formed into hydrogen peroxide. We have investigated the cellular protection that the marine polychaete annelid Capitella teleta has to hydrogen peroxide by determining adult and larval survival in different concentrations of HP, and by measuring the activity of an enzyme found in C. teleta which detoxifies hydrogen peroxide and organic peroxides, this being glutathione s-transferase (GST).

65. Potential of zero waste initiatives at Wilkes University. S. Horwath, M. Troy.

Steffen worked on an independent research project to investigate the potential of implementing a zero waste program at Wilkes. Zero Waste is a program where an organization’s solid waste disposal current practices are benchmarked and opportunities are investigated to promote sustainability on campus. To be TRUE Zero Waste Certified a 90 percent waste diversion from landfills must be achieved. Through understanding the University’s waste generation characteristics, the correct zero waste processes can be determined. This poster will present the results of this investigation, and the challenges and opportunities for implementing zero waste goals at Wilkes.

66. Challenges and opportunities to implementing environmental sustainability as a small business practice. R. Hughes, M. Troy

Environmental sustainability entails continual assessment of the environmental impacts of the business operations and as a result, integrating processes, procedures, or practices to reduce impacts on the environment for future generations. The benefits of the implementation of environmental sustainability practices for businesses of any size include improved business performance cost reductions, increased value as an acquisition target, and improved image. This poster will present the results of on‐going research addressing the factors impacting the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices by small businesses.

67. Assessment of community pharmacy perceptions regarding transitions of care programs. T. Bartol, C. Hartman, J. Reiss, J. Kristeller.

Our goal of this research project is to assess community pharmacist perceptions of a hospital pharmacy-based Transition of Care Service. To gain a better idea of these views, we will incorporate a survey, consisting of open and close-ended questions to go over with pharmacists working at pharmacies that are used most frequently by patients in the Transition of Care Service. Once we have this information we will use it to refine the Transition of Care Service to best meet the needs of our community pharmacy stakeholders. Our goal is to improve communication and collaboration between hospital and community pharmacists for our mutual patients that transition from hospital to home

68. Synthesis and reactivity of C-3 carbohydrate exo-cyclic enones. H. Arcure, Z. Witczak, D. Mencer.

In continuing our studies on aldol condensation of active methylene compounds, such as dihydrolevoglucosenone, with aromatic five-membered heterocyclic aldehydes1, we expanded the original protocol to include substituted aromatic aldehydes. In order to determine the potential effect of electron withdrawing and electron donating groups in aromatic aldehydes over the course of the reaction, we selected several aldehydes as depicted in Scheme 1. The preliminary results indicate that 4-chlorobenzaldehyde is capable of forming an unusual secondary product, a dimer, along with the normal (exo-cyclic enone(x). The dimer structure was determined by 1H and 13C NMR, and simple crystal structure analysis.

69. The impact of pharmacy-based transitions of care service on hospital readmissions. R. Mink, A. Stevens, J. Kristeller.

The pharmacy-based transition of care (TOC) service has been in place at 2 local hospitals over the past 2 years. The goal of the service is to improve the safe and effective use of medications as patients transition from hospital to home. This is accomplished by improving communication and collaboration between hospital and community pharmacists and primary care physicians. Discharge information and pharmacist interventions made following a comprehensive medication review is shared with the patient’s hospital and community health care providers. This is a retrospective study to determine the impact of this pharmacy-based Transition of Care service on hospital readmissions.

McHale Athletic center

4 - 6 p.m.

70. Thermal conductivity of colloidal suspensions of jet fuel and carbon-based nanoparticles and its effect on evaporation rate. A. Aboalhamayie, M.Ghamari.

Recent studies have shown that adding nano-sized particles to liquid fuels could improve both optical properties and thermal conductivity compared to those of neat liquids, and hence, significantly enhance major combustion characteristics such as burning rate and ignition delay. However, the main mechanism responsible for such enhanced properties is not well understood. To better understand these phenomena, colloidal suspensions of jet fuel and different types of carbon-based nanoparticles prepared at different particle loadings were experimentally tested for their thermal conductivities as well as evaporation rates.

71. Comparing stability and kinetic properties of oxalate decarboxylase free in solution and tethered to the surface of magnetosomes. M. Roueinfar.

Recent studies have found that tethering enzymes to surfaces can enhance their stability and also increase their activity and pH optima. In this study we are using synthetic biology techniques to construct a fusion protein tethering the enzyme oxalate decarboxylase to the surface of magnetosomes, a special kind of particle made by magnetotactic bacteria. We will then compare its properties with those of the free enzyme purified from E. coli. This work could lead to novel treatments for kidneys, which are primarily crystals of calcium oxalate.

72. A synthetic biology approach to treating calcium oxalate kidney stones. M. Yatison, K.McHale, A. Seman, J. Alvarado-Rosario, O. Raymond, N. Scarantino.

80% of kidney stones are crystals of calcium oxalate. In this project we are exploring various ways to remediate kidney stones using synthetic biology approaches. The first is to identify, clone and purify enzymes shown to degrade oxalate, and we have cloned several of these enzymes and are presently characterizing them. A second approach is to attempt creating probiotic bacteria that will degrade oxalate in the human digestive tract. For this end we are creating a strain of E. coli that takes up oxalate because we have added an oxalate transporter gene to its genome, and then degrades oxalate because we have added an enzyme that degrades oxalate.

73. Studying the production of resveratrol and piceid by local populations of Japanese knotweed. M. Yattison, A. Ford, A. Black, K. Meijia, K. Werkheiser.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive plant species found across the United States. It produces large amounts of the stilbenes resveratrol and its glycosylated derivative piceid, which are proposed to confer numerous health benefits. Japanese knotweed is unusual in having separate male and female plants. In this study we are measuring differences in resveratrol and piceid production by males and females, and cataloging the amounts of these two chemicals found in various parts of the plant and as seedlings develop.

74. Metabolic pathways promoting tumorigenesis in fibroblasts lacking thrombospondin 1. N. Cumbo, V. Kalter, A. Hedge, L. Thomas, J. Quintana, I. Pinkerton, L. Gutierrez.

BACKGROUND: Thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1) is a matricellular protein involved in angiogenesis, inflammation and carcinogenesis. Colinic tumors developed in TSP-1 deficient (TSP-1 -/-) mice after injections with axoxymethane (AOM) and induction of colitis by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) showed accelerated angiogenesis and proliferation. Interestingly, fibroblasts isolated from these AOM/DSS tumors were able to develop fibrosarcomas when they were subcutaneously re-injected in TSP-1 -/- mice. This study aims to reveal the metabolites and pathways promoting the malignant differentiation of these fibroblasts. These results might contribute to a better understanding of the role of fibroblasts within the tumor microenvironment. METHODS: Wild type (WT) and TSP-1 -/- fibroblasts previously isolated from AOM/DSS tumors were subcutaneously injected in the flank of mice. TSP-1 -/- tumors (n=5) and skin and subcutaneous tissues surrounding the lesions (n=5) were collected for metabolomics analyses. As WT fibroblasts are unable to develop into tumors, the skin and subcutaneous tissues of the injection sites (n=5) were collectd as controls. Targeted analysis and absolute quantitation (3-point calibration) was performed by using CE-TOFMS and CE-QqQMS. Statistical analysis reporting average, ration and p-value were obtained using the StatSuite software (Human Metabolome Technologies, Boston, MA) RESULTS: A total of 116 metabolites were analyzed and quantified. Tumors showed an increase in metabolites related with oxidative stress and differentiation of stromal cells. Intermediaries of the nitric oxide pathway and inhibitors of proliferation were depleted. Skin and subcutaneous tissue surrounding fibrosarcomas exhibited an excess of metabolites related with glycolysis and oxidation/reduction pathways; however, the same metabolites were decreased in WT skin. CONCLUSIONS: this study uncovers key metabolic pathways in cancer and underlines the importance of stromal cells and matricellular proteins such as TSP-1 in carcinogenesis.

75. Using synthetic biology to create plants that bioremediate the toxic herbicide atrazine. T. Wasiluk, L. Pande.

Atrazine contamination has become a concern due to its long half-life and reports that it acts as an endocrine disrupter. Bioremediation is one way to alleviate atrazine contamination. TrzN, an atrazine chlorohydrolase found in several species of soil bacteria, initiates the degradation of atrazine by converting it to the less toxic product hydroxyatrazine. The aim of this project was to create transgenic Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942expressing TrzN for phytoremediation of atrazine. Genes encoding TrzN were transformed into S. elongatus and the transgenic cultures and their tolerance of 1µM atrazine was compared to that of wild type. S. elongatus cultures expressing TrzN were found to be significantly more atrazine-tolerant than wild type and mutant TrzN cultures in terms of growth and photosynthetic ability, showing that this tolerance was due to the TrzN transgene.

76. Control and enhancement of the microwave imaging setup for breast cancer detection. J Welch, S. Westawski, A. Sabouni.

In this presentation our progress in developing a novel microwave imaging setup for breast cancer detection will be discussed. We will present the results of the automated data collection system which will be used to illuminate the breast and collect the scattered field of the breast cancer in 3 dimensions.

McHale Athletic Center

6 - 7:30 p.m.

O'Hop Final Word Lecture

Ambitious Women Then and Now: Charlotte Brontë to Hillary Clinton”

Dr. Helen H. Davis | Associate Professor of English

Dr. Davis will discuss the correlations between the professional tensions in Charlotte Brontë’s books and life and those experienced by 21st-century women, using media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential candidacy as an example of such tension. This social analysis will demonstrate how academic pursuits like literary studies help us understand the cultural and political significance of rhetorical interactions between people. It will also bring together the multiple interdisciplinary areas of Dr. Davis’s research and teaching at Wilkes, encompassing textual analysis, narrative theory, women’s and gender studies, and rhetoric. The issue of how stereotypes about women and power affect political success is a timely and critical topic for the United States. The Inter-Parliamentary Union lists the United States 100thin the world in the percentage of women in political positions, but we are also seeing a surge of women running for political office in 2018.

Dr. Davis will explain how Charlotte Brontë used a masculine pseudonym and professional presentation, as well as a variety of narrative techniques, to subversively undermine restrictive social norms about women’s professional ambition. She will then analyze the critiques of Clinton’s ambition to identify the gender stereotypes and rhetorical markers prevalent in media discussions of her ambition and connect these restrictive stereotypes to Victorian ideas of gender roles that were reinforced in various ways as middle and upper-class professions started to evolve. British Victorian notions of gender have had a profound and long-lasting impact on British and American culture, and this presentation will illustrate that negative perceptions of women’s ambition is one of the gender norms that continues to affect women. The lecture will conclude by explicating the implications of such perceptions on future women in presidential elections.

About Dr. Davis

Dr. Helen H. Davis is an Associate Professor of English at Wilkes University. She earned her Ph.D. and M.F.A. in English and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, her M.A. in English from Wake Forest University, and her B.A. in English from Duke University. Her teaching and research interests include queer and feminist narrative theory, nineteenth-century British Literature, Gender Studies, and Composition and Rhetoric. She teaches classes in 19th-century British Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, and specialized courses. She also teaches courses for the Women’s and Gender Studies minor. Her current research project, “I am my own mistress”: Narrating Autonomy and Love in Charlotte Brontë’s Novels, is a manuscript that considers the ways that Charlotte Brontë utilizes innovative narrative techniques to subversively create space for female professional autonomy. An article based on chapter three of that manuscript appeared in the May 2013 issue of Narrative and an article based on chapter one appeared in the summer 2015 issue of JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory.

Dr. Davis was awarded the Teacher Recognition Committee’s (TREC) Multicultural Teaching Award for the 2011-2012 academic year.” She also received the “Diversity Leader Faculty Award” from the Wilkes Center for Global Education and Diversity in 2011. She received the President’s Award for Excellence in Diversity in 2016. She was nominated for a TREC Advisor Award in 2018.

Dr. Davis is an active member of the Wilkes community, and is committed to supporting diversity. She is the Co-Chair of the Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (CODIE), faculty advisor for the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and co-coordinates the campus Safe Space and LGBTQ+ Awareness program. She is also a member of the Student Life and Media (SLAM) Committee and the Women’s and Gender Studies minor committee. She helped design the Honors Program and serves as the CAHSS representative on the Honors Faculty Advisory Council. She is serving as interim Co-Director of the Honors Program for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Davis is also active in the community, serving as Vice-Chair of the board of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance. She leads a monthly community book club. She serves as a consultant, educator, and LGBTQ+ awareness facilitator for a number of local campuses and organizations.


  • Dr. Bonnie Culver, Director of Creative Writing
  • Mr. Bill Schneider, Associate Director of Creative Writing
  • Dr. Akira Shimizu, Assistant Professor of History
  • Dr. Patricia Sweeney, Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Dr. Jonathan D. Ference, Associate Provost for Academics
  • Dr. Zbigniew Witczak, Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Assisted by

  • Ms. Rebecca Van Jura, Director of Special Events
  • Ms. Mildred Urban, Assistant Director of Special Events