With research ranging from face detection and recognition technology to Susquehanna River flooding impact to abdominal aortic aneurism risk factors, the fourth annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium recently showcased the work of more than 80 students from Bloomsburg, Bucknell, and Susquehanna universities along with Geisinger Health System.

The symposium, which launched in 2010 with 20 participating students to spotlight summer research work, was held at Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research. Of the nearly 90 projects displayed and voted on, more than half were from Bloomsburg undergraduates — many of whom conducted research this summer through URSCA.

Undergraduates from all disciplines were invited to present their research that was evaluated in three categories: Clinical and Translational Research, Social Sciences and Humanities and Natural Sciences and Engineering.

Bloomsburg University Participants

Khadija A. Abdullahi, Clinton M. Allwein, Michael John Ashton, JoEllen Blass, Aaron M. Brown, Caitlin Carlin, Shelby Coleman, Sawyer J. Davis, Alyssa Lynn Duksta, Courtney Marie Dunn, Susan Erdman, Kyle Flick, Laurie Ganey, Matthew Gift, Farron Hakanson, Joshua William Halbfoerster, Sarah Elizabeth Halter, Nicholas Hitcho, Ali Hussain, Kirk J. Jeffreys, Boenell Kline, Leonid Kukuyev, Amanda M. Lacerte, Devyn Adrian Lesher, Rachel Livingston, Lacy Marbaker, Matthew Michael Mattesini, Paige Michener, David G. Perez, Zachary Rhoden, Christopher Wyatt Rosengrant, Jesse N. Rothweiler, Jaimee Saemann, David V. Strawn, Christopher Daniel Sullivan, Eric Thompson, Benjamin G. Tice, Nicole Christine Updegrove, ASM Tuhin, Shana Wagner, and Steve M. Zosh.

Also, through the Geisinger Health System, BU student Julio Azahel Valencia-Velez.

Award Winners

  • Sayeh Bozorghadad,  Geisinger intern, Top prize, Clinical/Translational research, Improving Hospital Discharge: Studying the Effectiveness of Discharge Navigators
  • Paige Michener ,Bloomsburg University,  Best poster in Social Sciences  and Humanities, The Effect of a High-Fat Diet on a Hippocampal-Independent and Hippocampal-Dependent Conditioned Cue Preference Task
  • Daisy Bourne, Bucknell University;  Top prize Social Sciences and Humanities, Government Repression in the Arab Spring
  • Gregory Danchick,  Bucknell University: Best poster, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Comparison of Head Impact Accelerations Based on Ground Cover of Playgrounds
  • Brendan Juengst, Geisinger, Best poster, Clinical/Translational, Inhibition of Multiple Heat Shock Proteins Enhances Cytotoxicity in Bladder Cancer Cells
  • Clinton Allwein, Bloomsburg University,  Audience favorite, Optimal Inventory Ordering Policies for Platelets
  • Stephanie Gonthier, Bucknell University, Top prize, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Using Statistical Learning to Improve Word Prediction for Augmentative and Alternative  Communication.

CollaborativeLearning HuskyUnleashed

Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.
The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.
“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”
In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.
“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”
Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.

The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.

“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”

In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.

“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”

Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

ProfessionalU HuskyUnleashed CoCurricularLearning HuskySummer management business

To kick off the summer a group of students from Bloomsburg University’s Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences spent three weeks in California's Mojave Desert. The adventurous learning experience was a part of the department’s new Special Topics in Field Geology course — designed to give students an opportunity to observe a wide variety of earth processes, apply their knowledge and reinforce skills in geological observation and interpretation. 

By participating in this intense, field-based course, 13 students got a first-hand encounter with the geology and environmental issues of the western United States. Led by faculty Chris Whisner, Jennifer Whisner and Cynthia Venn, the group roughed it at rustic campsites, grilled trout caught in mountain streams, worked on field notebooks until late in the evening and endured rain, snow, hail and 116-degree heat.

At the same time, the group said it marveled at the mining impacts, stunning geology, and complex water resource issues they encountered on their 1,800-mile trek.  

Each student had opportunities to show off their knowledge through lecturing at two stops, while faculty displayed the accompanying posters. Other highlights:

  • several sites at Mono Lake, Owen’s Lake, LA Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, Ash Meadows showcased many of the ideas students studied in Water Resources Management and Ground Hydrology
  • students were assigned to sketch an unfamiliar landscape and identify as many features as they could, based on the trip. Most students were able to pick out most of the features (fault scarps and fault-block mountains, volcanoes, alluvial fans, stream-carved valleys, springs, glacial features, intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, and sedimentary rocks) from their viewpoint across the valley.

According to Jennifer Whisner, up until that point the student didn’t really realize how much they had learned in the week or so they’d been out there!

In their final synthesis paper, nearly every student noted that actually seeing mile-high mountains, volcanoes, earthquake scars, picturesque landscapes carved by alpine glaciers and rushing water, and irrigation in one of the most water-starved parts of the U.S. helped them better understand concepts they had discussed in class, and better grasp the scale of features they had seen only in textbook diagrams.

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Eight ParenteBeard summer accounting interns recently helped Habitat for Humanity of Berks County ReStore prepare for their grand re-opening slated for July.
In addition to the accounting work the summer interns are performing and observing, for the first time, the firm’s summer interns are demonstrating ParenteBeard’s mission to serve the communities where team members live and work by participating in charitable community service activities in central Pennsylvania.
Tara Boyd, of Bloomsburg University; Eric Hiser, of Bloomsburg University; Guy Lewis, of Penn State; Katelyn Macbeth, of Messiah College; April Maschke, of Albright College; Shaunna Nesmith, of York College; Jordan Sallavanti,. of Kutztown University; and Kayla Snyder, of West Chester University, assisted the store’s executive director, Tim Daley, by cleaning, painting, redecorating, reorganizing, rebuilding and moving furniture.

Eight ParenteBeard summer accounting interns recently helped Habitat for Humanity of Berks County ReStore prepare for their grand re-opening slated for July.

In addition to the accounting work the summer interns are performing and observing, for the first time, the firm’s summer interns are demonstrating ParenteBeard’s mission to serve the communities where team members live and work by participating in charitable community service activities in central Pennsylvania.

Tara Boyd, of Bloomsburg University; Eric Hiser, of Bloomsburg University; Guy Lewis, of Penn State; Katelyn Macbeth, of Messiah College; April Maschke, of Albright College; Shaunna Nesmith, of York College; Jordan Sallavanti,. of Kutztown University; and Kayla Snyder, of West Chester University, assisted the store’s executive director, Tim Daley, by cleaning, painting, redecorating, reorganizing, rebuilding and moving furniture.

HuskyUnleashed CoCurricularLearning HuskySummer accounting ProfessionalU

Newly minted graduates go in all directions once they walk the commencement stage. For one Husky, her graduation journey went international.

Jeanine Hubert, an anthropology major, completed her undergraduate degree commitment this summer with a four-week study abroad research program in Nicaragua. Through the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, Hubert spent most of June studying primate behavior and rainforest ecology on the island of Ometep — settled in the middle of the largest freshwater lake in Central America.

Specifically, Hubert observed two groups of monkeys native to the island collecting 25 hours worth of data in the rainforest. Through her research, Hubert found there may be a strong correlation between the primates’ eating behavior and the evolution of their tails.

In addition to her field success and degree completion, Hubert admitted she also discovered from her time abroad something just as long lasting — if not more memorable — within herself.

There was a moment I looked around and realized that I don’t know what force brought me to this place, but there’s a piece of my heart that will always be tucked away on the island of Ometepe,” Hubert said. “So cliche right?”

HuskyUnleashed BUAbroad anthropology HuskySummer

Bloomsburg University’s Odyssey of the Mind program was recently recognized as one of the best in the world competing in the annual World Final for Odyssey of the Mind, held at Iowa State University.
Both of BU’s teams placed in the top four out of 833 teams representing 43 states and 28 countries with more than 26,000 attendees.
Participating for BU’s two teams were Shaide Moronta, Jordan Galan, Valarie Mussey, Alea Bostic-Davey, Morgen Hatton, Mariam Sarkessian, Jamelisk, Timothy Keiper, Jacqueline Hauck, Nickolas Lloyd and Kristin Burke.
The teams were coached by Chaza Abdul, advisor, Loreen Powell, Evren Eryilmaz and Cenan Abdul-Al.
Beyond exploration for creative thinking and innovation, both teams used different skills and knowledge to solve two complex problems using arts, science, technology, literature, history, math, music, business, and other skills to create solutions.
"The team exceeded every expectation I had,” Abdul said. “We had many practices, and we were working as one family for a long-time. I am proud of them and thankful to the provost, Bloomsburg officials, parents, families and friends, our sponsors and supporters who helped us achieve this goal with every possibility with had."  

Bloomsburg University’s Odyssey of the Mind program was recently recognized as one of the best in the world competing in the annual World Final for Odyssey of the Mind, held at Iowa State University.

Both of BU’s teams placed in the top four out of 833 teams representing 43 states and 28 countries with more than 26,000 attendees.

Participating for BU’s two teams were Shaide Moronta, Jordan Galan, Valarie Mussey, Alea Bostic-Davey, Morgen Hatton, Mariam Sarkessian, Jamelisk, Timothy Keiper, Jacqueline Hauck, Nickolas Lloyd and Kristin Burke.

The teams were coached by Chaza Abdul, advisor, Loreen Powell, Evren Eryilmaz and Cenan Abdul-Al.

Beyond exploration for creative thinking and innovation, both teams used different skills and knowledge to solve two complex problems using arts, science, technology, literature, history, math, music, business, and other skills to create solutions.

"The team exceeded every expectation I had,” Abdul said. “We had many practices, and we were working as one family for a long-time. I am proud of them and thankful to the provost, Bloomsburg officials, parents, families and friends, our sponsors and supporters who helped us achieve this goal with every possibility with had."  

CoCurricularLearning HuskyUnleashed