29 Student Works Accepted for Presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Twenty-six students submitted their research for review in September 2016. Three students will be presenting 2 separate research project. All student presentations were accepted for presentation by the NCUR Committee. According to the acceptance letters, there were over 4000 total submissions this year. This is the first time Eastern had an acceptance rate of 100% to this conference and this number of submissions represents a doubling of the total number of submissions in previous years. The conference will take place April 6-8th at the University of Memphis. Below is a list of student presenters, their academic department, the title of their work, type of presentation and their mentor:

Catherine Allegretti (ENG) Caulfield’s Cognitive Crisis: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye Mentor: Dr. Lisa Fraustino

Lauren Atkinson (BIO) Isolating Antibiotic Compounds from Soil Microbes Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch

Sydney Batchelder (PSY) Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation as Predictors of Anxiety and Depression Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault

Sydney Batchelder (PSY) Familiarity and Reinforcement Interact to Predict Performance in the Presence of Others Mentor: Dr. Jenna Scisco

Katherine Burgos (BIO) The Effect of Simulated Microgravity on Neuronal Function and Development of the Worm, C. Elegans  Mentor: Dr. Amy Groth

Tess Canlder (PS) Contextualizing Conservative Support for Environmental Policy Mentor: Dr. Courtney Broscious

Abby Caselli (PSY) Relationship Between Attitudes Towards Casual Sex, Gender Roles and Condom Advocacy Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault

Brittany Chabot (PSY) Technology Use, Attachment Styles and Relationship Satisfaction Among Dating Couples Mentor: Dr. Madeleine Fugere

Adam Courbin (AH) An American Man: A Semiotic Analysis of Cultural Mythology in Photojournalism from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Mentor: Dr. Gail Gelburd

Eilizabeth DelBuono (BIO) An Investigation of Odd-Skipped Genes in C. Elegans Mentor: Dr. Amy Groth

Brian Ducharme (BIS) Six Sigma Project Abstract Mentor: Dr. Fatma Pakdil

Tashanna Edwards (ENG) Shooting Heaven, A Young Adult Novel in Progress Mentor: Dr. Lisa Fraustino

Olivia Godin (COM) Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Communication Mentor: Dr. Teri Toles-Patkin

Nicole Green (EDU) Analysis of Transition Resources for Siblings of Individual’s with Disabilities Mentor: Dr. Tanya Moorehead

Ashlyn Hart (ENG) Real Bodies: Understanding the Importance of Representation in Disability Mentor: Dr. Maureen McDonnell

Phillip Hoeps (ECO) Statistical Analysis of Policy Solutions to Ocean Pollution Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Brown

Marisa LaBrecque-Grenier (PSY) Thought Suppression, Negative Affect and Worry Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault

Marisa LaBrecque-Grenier (PSY) Sociosexuality, Adult Relationships Attachment Style and Current Relationship Satisfaction Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault

Kaitlyn Macisco (COM) How Romantically Themed Television Influences College Student’s Views on Relationships Mentor: Dr. Jehoon Jeon

Susan McLean (COM) Social Media Trust Study Mentor: Dr. Jehoon Jeon

Jolene Potter (ANT) Perceptions of Rape Culture from Eastern Connecticut State University Students Mentor: Dr. Marry Kenny

Ian Provencher (BIS) Variance to Theoretical Cost Mentor: Dr. Fatma Pakdil

Rosamaria Riccobono & Erica Benoit Culture of Women’s Athletics at Eastern Connecticut State University in the NCAA vs. In the AIAW Mentor: Dr. Ari de Wilde

Nicole Rivera (PA) Two Gentlemen of Verona Scenic Design Mentor: Dr. Kristen Morgan

Alexandra Steel (PSY) Animal Assisted Therapy, Mood and Social Facilitation Mentor: Dr. Peter Bachiochi

Alexandra Steel (PSY) Conscientiousness and Implusivity Relations to Discount Tasks Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault

Kayla Tenore (COM) Technology Usage and User Age, Effecting Well-Being Mentor: Dr. Jehoon Jeon

Christina Welch (BIO) The Long Road to Recovery: How Can We Coax the Brian to Self-Repair Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch

Courtney Werner (ENG) Adam Stands Alone: The Effect of the Oedipus Conflict in Cormier’s I am the Cheese Dr. Lisa Fraustino






Eastern Students Selected for the New England Intercollegiate Honor Band

According to Dr. Stacy Dziuk “For the first time, Eastern instrumental music students have been selected to participate in the New England Intercollegiate Honor Band.” The following students were selected from auditions that included both graduate and undergraduate students. Of note is the selection of 3 students who are freshmen.

Jason Crocker, Clarinet (Music Performance)
Adella Dzitko Carlson, Clarinet (Music Performance)
Mariah Francis, French Horn (History)
Amanda Gilbert, French Horn (Music Performance)
Michael Lauretti, Trombone (Social Work)

The students will perform with the band at a concert on April 1st at 7pm

English Department Student’s Work Presented and Recognized at English Night

On Wednesday, December 7th 2016, the English Department held their annual “English Night” event. Two students were given First Year Writing Awards:

Creativity and Innovation Award: Natnael Belay, “From Gondar to Eastern” written for Prof. Matthew Gallagher’s ENG 100P

Excellent Research Essay Award: Ismael Rivera, “Literacy in Contrasting Environments” written for Prof. Lauren Rosenberg’s ENG100P

The presentation of awards was followed by Senior Seminar Presentations for the following students:

Dr. Allison Speicher’s “Fictions of Reform” 

Kyle Hottin: “This Little Room of Mine: Nineteenth-Century Tragedies of the Youth and the Rise of Power”

Ashley Schmitt: “Nineteenth-Century Slavery and Contemporary Sex Trafficking: A Comparative Approach”

Dr. Benjamin Pauley’s “Imagining Monsters” 

Catherine Allegretti: “Shakespeare’s ‘determined’ monster: Deformity and Evil in Richard III

Tammy DeGennaro: Portentum: A Novel 

Madison Forsander: “Pathological Patriarchy: The Monstrous Male Gaze of Robert Herrick and Tyler, the Creator”

15 New Media Studies Students Present Scholarly Work

On December 16th, the students below presented their research in the field of motion/performance capture in the FAIC. These students were mentored by Kristen Morgan, Dr. Medhi Khorami, Travis Houldcroft and Marie Percy.

Antonio Abela
Troi Branham
Tiler Brown
Jon Capozzoli
Dan Chevalier
Connor Coffey

Cat Foley
Kayla Mainuli

Kerri McColgan
Rob McDonald
Nicole Rivera
Allyson Rowe
Thomas Scallion

Mya Ta
Since Tavares

English Students Present at CSU Undergraduate Research Conference


On November 4th the following students mentored by Dr. Lisa Fraustino presented their work as part of a panel discussion at Central Connecticut State University:

Catherine Allegretti Caulfield’s Cognitive Crisis: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye”

Courtney Werner “Adam Stands Alone: The Effect of the Oedipus Conflict in Cormier’s I Am the Cheese”

Tashanna EdwardsShooting Heaven, a Young Adult Novel in Progress” 

12 Students Present at the COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference

IMG_1448The following students presented and exhibited their work along with students from Johnson State College (VT), Keene State College (NH), Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey, SUNY Geneseo and University of Maine at Farmington. The conference took place at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts October 21st to 22nd:

Nicholas Kahn (Mentor: Dr. Andy Jones) “Self-Portrait with a Sable Scarf”

IMG_1440Kirsten Read (Mentor: Dr. Afarin Rahmanifar) “An Intergalactic Romance; A Moment Suspended in Time”

IMG_1436Nathan Edwards (Mentor: Dr. James Diller) “How Optimism Relates to Heart Rate Reactivity and Ability to Multitask”

IMG_1422Kailey Pisko (Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch) “Can Microgravity Alter the Ability of the Brain to Self-Repair”

IMG_1424Lauren Atkinson (Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch) “Isolating Antibiotic Compounds Produced by Soil Microbes”

IMG_1428Gabriella M. Scoca (Mentor: Dr. Amy Groth) “The Role of the odd-1 Gene in C. elegans’ Development”

IMG_1427Madeleine Haynes (Mentor: Dr. Meredith Metcalf) “A Comparison of Arsenic Distributions in Groundwater for Study Sites with Similar Hydrogeologic Conditions”

IMG_1431Abby Caselli (Mentor: Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault) “Gender, Gender Role Beliefs, and Attitudes about Casual Sex in Relation to Condom Advocacy”

IMG_1442Christina Welch (Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch) “How Can We Coax the Brain to Self-Repair”


Nicole Rivera (Mentor: Dr. Kristen Morgan) ” Theater Set Design for Two Gentlemen of Verona The Musical”

IMG_1463Nicole Green (Mentor: Dr. Tanya Moorehead) “Redefining the Role of the Sibling: Looking into the Lives of Siblings of Individuals with Disabilities”

IMG_1453Kevin Connolly (Mentor: Dr. Barbara Murdoch) “Enhancement of Collagen Production in Skin Cells via Cell Communication Signals”



Economics Professor and Student to Work on NASA Connecticut Space Consortium Grant

Brendan Cunningham, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Economics will be work with  Michael Beckstein (a student in the Economics Department) on the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. The title of the project is “The Efficient Use of Space Orbit” This project looks at the inefficiencies with the use of earth orbit and how launch satellites are decided by satellite operators. There will be an analysis of the strategies satellite operators use in response to allocation mechanisms that may allow the satellite services to improve.

According to their website the Consortium  “is a federally mandated grant, internship, and scholarship program that is funded as a part of NASA Education. There are Space Grant Consortia in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. NASA CTSGC, in an effort to encourage broader participation in NASA research programs, was formed in 1991 by the following post-secondary education institutions: Trinity College, University of Connecticut, and University of New Haven with the University of Hartford as the lead institution.”

Further the purposes of this grant are 1. To inspire the pursuit of careers in STEM fields, with a particular focus of engaging groups that are currently underrepresented with STEM disciplines, 2. Be a model for STEM professional development and 3. Contribute to the economy of Connecticut.

Psychology Students Present at Regional Conference

Sydney Batchelder (Eastern Connecticut State University), Rachel Scrivano (Eastern Connecticut State University), Alyssa Daneault (Eastern Connecticut State University), Yohan Krumov (Eastern Connecticut State University), Gary W. Giumetti, Ph.D. (Quinnipiac University) & Mentor: Jenna L. Scisco, Ph.D. (Eastern Connecticut State University) will present their research titled  The Impact Of Face-To-Face Vs. Cyber-Incivility On Task Performance And Eating Behavior at the 56th Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association. The meeting will be held October 15th at Assumption College.

NEPA presentation

Travel Grant Awarded

IMG_4050James Doucette III (Mentor: Ari de Wilde) received a travel grant to allow him to present his research titled “A Kantian Dilemma: Gender Discrimination Toward Contemporary Women’s Elite Sport. His research will be presented at the North American Society of Sport 2016 Conference In Tampa Bay, Florida in early November.

Students Publish Research

The following publications were co-authored by students in the Biology department:

Jacob Dayton, Mateusz Ledwon, Jean-Marc Paillisson, Nataly Atamas & Patricia Szczys (In Press). Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of the Eurasian Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrid hybrida), a Species Exhibiting Range Expansion. Waterbirds

The following publications were co-authored by students in the Education department:

Trawick-Smith, J., Oski, Heather, DePaolis, Kimberly, Krause, Kristen, & Zebrowski, Alyssa (2016). Naptime data meetings to increase the math talk of early care and education providers. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education37, 157-174.

Trawick-Smith, J., Baton, Brooke, Danieluk, Courtney, Marsh, Samantha, & Szarwacki, Monika (in press). Block play as a context for mathematical thinking: the effects of building complexity, peer and teacher interactions, and replica play materials on math learning in preschool. Journal of Early Childhood Research,(volume, pages to be assigned).

Trawick-Smith, J., Wolff, Jennifer, Koschel, Marley, & Vallarelli, Jaime (2015)Effects of toys on the play quality of preschool children: Influence of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43, 249–256.

The following publications were authored or co-authored by students in the Psychology department:

Apel, Alexis & Diller, J. W. (In Press). Prison as punishment: a behavior-analytic evaluation of incarceration.The Behavior Analyst.

Blydenburg, Dana & Diller, J. W. (In press). Evaluating components of behavior-analytic training programs. Behavior Analysis in Practice.

Cerino, Eric & Leszczynski, J. P. (2015). Subjective age, activity, and depression in an older adult sample. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 20, 208-216.

Fugère, M. A., Cathey, C., Beetham, Raena & Schaedler, Rachel (in press) Preference for the “Diversity Policy” label versus the “Affirmative Action” policy label, Social Justice Research.

Fugère, M. A, Cousins, A. J., MacLaren, Stephanie (2015). Matching in physical attractiveness and women’s resistance to mate guarding. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 190-195.

Gray, Jenna & Diller, J. W. (In press). Evaluating the work of applied animal behaviorists as applied behavior analysis. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice.