Guided by world-class faculty, PennWest Edinboro students — at both graduate and undergraduate
levels — pursue timely and significant research. Check out the extensive list of student
research accomplishments at PennWest Edinboro.
Undergraduate research projects span every discipline. Here are three examples:
Using Mathematical Perspective
Edinboro Honors student Megan Kuntz was awarded first place for research in the category of Visual Arts at the 2014 National
Collegiate Honors Conference in Denver, Colo. Her project applied linear perspective
to art through the use of mathematical formulas. Applying higher level math to her
paintings and evaluating the impact of adding the mathematical perspective brought
together disparate disciplines (fine arts and mathematics). Edinboro faculty members
Terry McKelvey (Art) and John Hoggard (Math) worked with her on this project.
Land Use Change and Current Forest Structure at Howard Falls Land Trust in Northwestern
Forest Geography students N. Baldwin, O. Borgia, R. Hnida, R. Kirby, M. Normandeau, T. Norway, A. Pace, A. Piper,
M. Ritner, P. Schreiber, and A. Swan worked with Professor K. Eisenhart to determine and analyze the change in land use
on the Howard Falls Land Trust property in Erie County, Pa. Using photographs from
1939, 1959, 1969 and 1992, along with tree cores, they estimated the minimum age of
forest patches. The property experienced dramatic changes in land use between 1939
and 1992. Few studies of this type have been conducted in Northwest Pennsylvania,
and this project is the first in Erie County.
The Effects of Cannabinoid Antagonists on Impulsivity in Rats
Psychology students T. Proper and E. Plyler worked with Professor P. McLaughlin to test new appetite suppressants on an FCN 8
(fixed consecutive number) operant task to measure impulsivity in rats. The CB1 antagonist
rimonabant was designed as an appetite suppressant but did not pass clinical trials
due to its numerous psychological side effects, of which students proposed that impulsivity
was a key factor. This led to the production of a “second generation” of drugs. Surprisingly,
student results indicated these “next generation” drugs mildly produced impulsivity,
with more pronounced effects when rats were pre-treated with a serotonin antagonist,
WAY-100,635. In contrast, a new CB1 antagonist, AM6545, which is believed to not cross
the blood-brain barrier, did not produce impulsive responding. Their results suggest
that AM6545 is a safe appetite suppressant in animal models of psychological side
Each semester, Honors students have the option to take a non-honors course and create
a new syllabus. This allows students to go more in-depth with the class. These contracted
courses encourage students to research a topic that interests them.
Maggie Myers worked with Professor M. Vitali in a project of advanced figure drawing, conducting
research and completing three finished pieces in differing media.
Anya Gallant worked on two historical research projects, one with Professor D. Hickey on the history
of terrorism and a second with Professor F. Demaske on the history of editorial design.
Fawn Martz worked with Professor D. Kim to develop the design elements needed to create a corporate
identity for a local Edinboro business.
Alexa Alpern worked on two animation projects, one with Professor J. Trueblood to create an animation
trailer for one of her screenplays, and the second with Professor S. Carpenter to
create mini-animated shorts on Asian culture.
Dawnelle Corron worked with Professor N. Geleta in researching best practices in online teaching for
middle school students.
Sa La Lee worked with Professor J. Rogers to conduct a Hazard and Risk Assessment of Experiments
in the principles of chemistry.
Rachael Troutman worked with Professor C. Cross to conduct ethnographic research in multiculturalism
in local Pennsylvania schools.
Jenna Gordon worked with Professor N. Stupiansky to explore one-on-one tutoring’s impact on Algebra
1 and Algebra 2 test scores with high school math students.
Justin Greenly worked with Professor M. Genz to research and analyze the American animation industry
during wartime, specifically World War II and the Cold War.
Recent graduate-level research and thesis projects include:
Master of Fine Arts
Coppock, Rebecca (2014) Appreciation of the Past
Howard, Jocelyn (2014) Individuation
Baugh, Mary (2014) Foothills
Bryan, Courtney (2013) Pieces of Me
Brown, Gratia (2013) Agglomerations
Armstrong, Jessica (2013) Bridging the Gap: Fashion and Art
Seykora, Angie (2013) Patterns in Accumulation
Ghisson, Miichelle (2013) Peculiar Facture: New Work by Michelle L. Ghisson
Loveless, John (2013) Arcane Resonance
Winters, Travis (2013) Domesticated Affection
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
Wertz, Nicole (2014) Non-Profit Professional Views on the Purpose of Social Media
Huegel, Kelly (2014) Reflecting the Mission: Evaluating Leadership Training and Development at Walmart
Bonacci, Nicholas (2014) Engaged Citizenship and the University: The Impact of For-Profit Approaches on Higher
Education in the United States
Petricini, Tiffany (2014) The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Critical Phenomenological Analysis of Past Mediation
Keller, Nikki (2013) Bar, Sweet, Bar: The Conception and Signification of Familial Groups within a Bar
Lawrence, Laurie (2013) Public Opinion on Trafficking in Persons: What We Need to Know
Kisiel, Adam (2013) NCLB: The Effects of Teaching to the Test
DeBruycker, Scott (2013) Collective Identity in America: The Tea Party Framing Identity
Minns, Tamara (2013) An Exploration of Values, Skills, and Competencies Desired by Host Organization of
Student Interns Through the Lens of Communication Competence and Impression Management
Master of Science in Biology
Medina, Liana (2014) Comparison of Proteolytic Enzymes Found in the Digestive Fluid of Argiope aurantia
from Different Populations
McDuff, Jessica (2014) Insight into an Introduced Urban Population of Shorthead Garter Snakes
Boss, Sara (2014) The Effect of Human Diversity on the Genetic Diversity on Black Cherry (Prunus scrotina).
Hoke, Adam (2014) Effects of Loxosceles Venom Enzymes on Phospholipids Found in Living Tissue
Hopkins, Holly (2013) Morphological Study on Argiope aurantia to Determine Speciation
Ferranti, Cameron (2013) Phylogenetic Relationships of Genus Argiope (Chelicerata: Araneidae) Utilizing the
Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genomes
Klick, Sabrina (2013) Effect of Diet Variation and Predatory Responses on Digestive Fluid and Venom Glands
Enzyme Patters in Argiope jaurantia
Heil, Amber (2013) Effects of Phenol Contaminants on Salamander Specific in the French Creek Watershed
Master of Arts in Social Science
Denman, Ariel (2014) Methods in Sex Determination for Subadult Skeletons: A Comparative Study
Simmonds, Geoffrey (2014) A Comparative Examination of American and British Warship Engagements During the
War of 1812
Duncan, Danielle (2014) Cinematic Portrayals of the Salem Witch Trials in American Culture from 1930-Present
Turner, Stacey (2013) The Social Experiences of Erie’s Italian Women, 1920-1960
Burykin, Lev (2013) What is Artistic in Film and What is Not
Sanko, Mark (2013) Maltese Catholicism in Detroit: Identifying the changing role of the Catholic Church
in the Maltese-American community of Detroit
Master of Education in Middle/Secondary Instruction
McQueeney, Kyle (2013) The Current Status of Literacy in Adolescents
Liebel, Jason (2013) An International Comparison of the Different Cultural Influences on Science Education
to a S.T.E.M Participating School District
Hesch, Leah (2013) The Effects of Implementing an Interactive Student Response System in Mathematics
Classroom on Student Achievement and Engagement
Mahood, Alysabeth (2012) Educational Experience of American Males and Females Through the Years
Merolilio, Stephanie (2012) If the Combination of Elements 3, 7, and 11 of the Writing Next Theory Will Improve
7th Grade Writing Scores
Master of Arts in Counseling
Knobloch, Paul (2012) Body Image and the Drive for Muscularity