Wilkes University

Research and Scholarship Symposium

Wilkes University Research and Scholarship Symposium

2019 Wilkes University Research and Scholarship Symposium

Scholarship Symposium Program | Research Abstracts

April 1 – 4

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 Scholarship Grant recipients share their work at this annual symposium.

University Center on Main (UCOM), Room 231

4 - 4:30 p.m.


Opening Presentation

“The Future of Robotics: Fantasy, Reality and Ethics”

Dr. Yong Zhu | Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

With great power, comes great responsibility. As it becomes evident that robots are going to not only be able to do most of the routine, repetitive types of jobs, they are becoming more and more sophisticated, specialized and intelligent. For better or worse, robots increasingly shove aside their human counterparts in many places. While intelligent robots have potential to provide great benefits to society, they come with significant risks as well. There is room for technical failure, legal accountability, personal safety and more. This lecture explores the positives and negatives of robotics in a variety of applications and the ethical considerations that must be taken in order to maintain safety and order within our world.

About Dr. Zhu

Yong Zhu received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2006. He worked as a mechanical engineer leader for the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) Advanced Marine Center in Washington D.C. from 2007 to 2011, and Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies in Dayton, Ohio from 2011 to 2012. He also taught for two years at Georgia Southern University before joining the faculty at Wilkes in 2014. As assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Wilkes University, his principal areas of research interest include biomechatronics, assistive technology and design and control of bio-inspired intelligent robotic systems.

Session I

Location: UCOM 201

4:45 – 5:15 PM
The Public Relations Identity Crisis: How Industry, Academics, and Wikipedia Define The Practice. Rob Bruno.

5:20 – 5:50 PM
Development of SiGenSn Technique towards Silicon-based Integrated Optoelectronics. Wei Du.

5:55 – 6:25 PM
The Opioid Epidemic 2019. Eugene Lucas.

6:30 – 7:00 PM
Tokens and Crowdfunding: A Perfect Match? Ken Wang, Ruth Hughes.


Session II

Location: UCOM 210

4:45 – 5:15 PM
The Scranton High Gravity. Bobak Karimi.

5:20 – 5:50 PM
Identification of Cell Types in Cultures Derived from APCmin -/- Mouse Small Intestine. Valerie Kalter 

5:55 – 6:25 PM
Globalizing the History of the Wyoming Valley. Jonathan Kuiken.

6:30 – 7:00 PM
Comparison of Logistics Performances of Emerging Economies Using a DEA Approach. Saidat Sanni, Bulent Erenay.

Poster Session I - 5:00-7:00 p.m.
UCOM First Floor Lobby

Modern Power Amplifiers. Spencer Yacuboski.

Effects of Intestinal Tumor Growth on Adipose Tissue in a model of Intestinal Carcinogenesis. Linda Gutierrez, Eveline Kaminski, Jacob Baranski, Jasmine Quintana Pinkerton, Niharika Gupta, Dionna DeFazio. 

Investigating Preventative Methods of ACL Tears. Jonathan Lesko.

Anger and Collective Action among Feminist Women. Ellen Newell, Jennifer Thomas, Janelle Sherman, Makayla Sarnosky.

The Easternmost Appalachian Fold-thrust Belt, Pennsylvania: Balanced Cross-section and Strain Analysis. Morgan Balliet, Bobak Karimi, Hannah Thornton. 

From Education to Action:  What Motivates Young Women to Fight Sexism? Jennifer Thomas, Ellen Newell, Keira D'Agostino, Jessica Snyder.

Opportunities in System Power and Thermal Management for High-Performance Computing. Shi Sha.

Implementing an integrative framework for undergraduates: The Ecological Society of America’s Four Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) Initiative. Kenneth Klemow.

Assessing Success of a Forest Reclamation Approach in a Northeastern Pennsylvania Anthracite Mine Site – A Baseline Assessment. Michaela Fehn, Justine Yeager, Kellie Kalada, Kabita Kandel.

Developing a Landslide Inventory for Pennsylvania: Northeastern PA. Michael Yanchuck, Joshua Foust, Bobak Karimi.

Landslide Susceptibility of Modeling of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Joshua Foust, Michal Yanchuck, Bobak Karimi. 

Session III

Location: UCOM 201 

4:00 – 4:30 PM
Using Research to Improve Clinical Practice for Acute Sinusitis in Urgent Care. Patricia Sweeney.

4:35 – 5:05 PM
Social media marketing and wildlife consumption reduction: An investigation of ivory products in China. Ge Xiao.

5:10 – 5:40 PM
Examining Athlete Ally through Resource Mobilization Theory. Samuel Schmidt. 

5:45 – 6:15 PM
Using Directive Antennas and Microwave Frequencies to Detect Melanoma Skin Cancers. Vincent Patriarco, Abas Sabouni.

6:20 – 6:50 PM
Two Novel RNA Molecules that Affect Plant Development. William Terzaghi, Austin Ford, Michael Yuhas, Daniel Goetz. 

Session IV

Location: UCOM 210

4:00 – 4:30 PM
A Cross-Curricular Approach to Research: Balinese Women’s Experiences with Work, Spirituality, and Modernity. Gina Zanoli Morrison, Karley Stasko.

4:35 – 5:05 PM
“Peronism: A Threat to Argentine Democracy.” Juan Astegiano, Andrew Miller.

5:10 – 5:40 PM
Mass Balance on North Lake. Holly Frederick.

5:45 – 6:15 PM
Superluminal material for Invisible Cloak. Dimitar Dimitrov, Wei Du.

 6:20 – 6:50 PM
Thermal Conductivity of Colloidal Suspensions of Jet Fuel and Carbon-Based Nanoparticles and its Effect on Evaporation Rate. Luigi Festa, Mohsen Ghamari.

Poster Session II - 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: UCOM 1st Floor Lobby

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Design - Retrofit of Doane Hall, Wilkes University. Khrista Baran, Steven Ross, Holly Frederick, Marleen Troy.

An  Overview of the BREEAM Green Building Rating System. Elena Fraboni, Steffen Horwath, Marleen Troy.

Determining the Capacity of Biochar, Ferroxysorb, and Magnetic Binary Oxide Particles on Phosphate Removal and Recovery. Zarlasht Abubakr, Abraham King, Holly Frederick.

Computational Study of the Fluorous Effect on the Folding of the Protein NTL9. Katlyn Beidler, Jacob Yacuboski, Del Lucent.

Evaluating Metal Content and the Design Feasibility of Metal Recovery from Sewage Sludge.  Taibah Alhatem, Denise Shuey, Holly Frederick.

Examining Pressure Ulcers with Microwaves. Kyle Stanek, Abas Sabouni.

Utilizing Low Power, Multi-Element Arrays to Destroy Malignant Cells. Sean Bovier, Abas Sabouni. 

A Synthetic Biology Approach to Treating Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones. Junior Alvarado-Rosario, Olivia Raymond, Lauren Johnson, Kristen Petrasko, Elena Patestos, Del Lucent, Adam VanWert, William Terzaghi. 

Treating Acid Mine Drainage with Air, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide. Claudia Carranza Pinto, Alexander Criswell, Michaela Fehn, Scott Heffelfinger, Kaitlin Sutton, Kyle Zelinka, Holly Frederick.

Correlation of  Neurodegeneration and Biological Markers of Model Mice with Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s Disease. Dhruv Patel, Stephenie Gyidei, Joseph Strzelecki, Gregory Harms. 

Mass Balance on North Lake. Scott Heffelfinger, Kaitlin Sutton, Jillian Weston, Holly Frederick.

Session V

Location: UCOM 201

4:00 – 4:30 PM
Vision-based Human-Robot Interaction for Reconfigurable Assembly. Yong Zhu.

4:35 – 5:05 PM
Utilizing Mass Spectrometry to Study Histone Acetylation in Fruit Flies. Ryan Henry.

5:10 – 5:40 PM
Correlation of  Neurodegeneration and Biological Markers of Model Mice with Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s Disease. Dhruv Patel, Stephenie Gyidei, Joseph Strzelecki, Gregory Harms.

5:45 – 6:15 PM
What Went Wrong? The Politics of Shale Gas in Central and Eastern Europe. Andreea Maierean.

6:20 – 6:50 PM
A Data Science Approach to the Jesus-Novel. Anthony Kapolka.

6:55 – 7:25 PM
Lakes and Paleoclimate Change – Examples from Northeast Pennsylvania. Matt Finkenbinder

Poster Session III - 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: UCOM 1st Floor Lobby.

Formation of Unexpected Chromanone Heterocycles from Dihydrolevoglucosenone. Nicole Jankowski, Christopher Hager, Zbigniew Witczak, Roman Bielski, Donald Mencer. 

Synthesis of Higher Carbon Sugars Thio-functionalized with Heterocycles. Doan Kim, Zbigniew Witczak, Roman Bielski, Donald Mencer.

Formation of Exo-Cyclicenones from Formylbenzoic Acids and Dihydrolevoglucosenone. Cassie Oldt, Zbigniew Witczak, Donald Mencer.

Characterization of Novel Drosophila Egf Receptor Targets with Roles in Eggshell Structure and Morphology. Cori Brown, Molly Uschock, Lisa Kadlec

The Use of Persistence Images as a Topological Order Parameter for Protein Dynamics. Brandon Brea, Daniel Sales, Del Lucent, Sofya Chepushtanova. 

How Hotel Apps and Websites are Ready for Smart Tourism. Mingzah Yue, Kacee Diehl, HyeRyeon Lee 

A 5,000 Year Record of Late Holocene Climate Change in Newfoundland: Reconstructed Using Oxygen Isotope Analysis of Carbonate Lake Sediments. Allie Aspey, Ellen Webber

Kangaroo Mother Care and Hypothermia Among Low Birth Weight Newborns in a Hospital in Tanzania. Agnes Stypulkowski, Linda Winkler

Studying Resveratrol and Piceid Production by Japanese Knotweed. Kelvin Jejia, Kenneth Werkheiser, Austin Ford, Holly Arcure, Jasmin Patel, Jesse Lopez.

Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on the Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence. Skyee Edwards, Alex Faes, Jason Havel, Emily Kamieniecki, Catherine Kelly, Patrice Lonardi, Zara Mirza, Julie Nong, Alex Palmer, Leana Pande, Madalyn Pfaff, Seth Roller, Maura Serio, Amy Smith, Joseph Strzelecki, Nevina Trunzo, Michael Vanchieri, Christine Walsh, John Weitzel, Andrew Zerby. 

Symposium Reception (4:00 – 6:00 PM)
Location: McHale Athletic Center (MAC)

Poster Session IV (4:00 – 6:00 PM)
Location: McHale Athletic Center (MAC)

Spironolactonization Approach to New Carbohydrate Functionalized Heterocycles. Holly Arcure, Zbigniew Witczak, Roman Bielski, Donald Mencer.

Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer by Alpha-santalol in Mouse Model of Prostate Cancer. John Oberlin, Kaitlyn Blankenhorn, Sarah Hughes, Erica Mabry, Aaron Knopp and Isaiah Pinkerton, Linda Gutierrez, Adam VanWert, Ajay Bommareddy.

Autophagy Induction by Alpha-santalol in Human Prostate Cancer Cells. Maverick Reed, Cole Walters, Samantha Bartholomew, Sarah Hughes, Ajay Bommareddy.

Understanding Perceptions of Destination Weddings. Jordan Adkins, Caitlin Brossman, HyeRyeon Lee. 

Chemical Synthesis and Physical Growth of Functional Organic Polymers. Stephanie Ko, Samuel Lizza, Amjad Nazzal, Henry Castejon, Mamoun Bader. 

Identification of ssDNA Aptamer Specific to an Oral Anticoagulant. Ka Lok Hong, Nevina Trunzo.

Understanding the Biogeographical Patterns of Microbial Communities within the Grassland Soils of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Caroline Fortunato, Emily Kamieniecki, Carter Whittemore.

Latitudinal gradients in a Plant-animal Interactions: Biogeography of a Pre-dispersal Seed Predator of the Acorns of Oak (Quercus).  Brendon Kelly, Shealyn Marino, Timothy Lavoie, Tyler Brzowzski, Morgan McIntyre, Morgan Novakovich, Morgan Tarnalicki, Kayla Eller, Victoria Hoffman, Andrew Kovalick, Miranda Zink, Amy Bradley, Michael Steele.

1D Simple Harmonic Oscillator under Kinetic Friction. Amjad Nazzal, Hunter Bowman.

Revegetation of a Natural Gas Pipeline Right of Way in Pennsylvania: A two Year Study.  Michael Kovalick, Amber Grohowski, Jillian Weston, Scott Heffelfinger. 

McHale Athletic Center
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.

O'Hop Final Word Lecture

Beyond Medication: Health and Wellness as a Holistic Concept

Dana H. Manning Pharm.D., R.D., LDN | Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice

The purpose of this lecture is to explore the idea that health needs to be a holistic concept and that it is critical that we educate health professions students and ourselves about the personal, social, and cultural influences on health. 

In this lecture Dr. Manning will combine her professional and personal experiences navigating the world of health and wellness in a time when it is increasingly difficult for the average person to understand what that means.  Wellness is being sold to the average person as something they have to buy from a company or ingest in a supplement or medication.  However, the more we seek to purchase wellness from a company or a guru, the further away we actually move from a state of health.

Dr. Manning’s lecture will begin by discussing the problems with how we think about health – defining things as “healthy” and “unhealthy”.  These problems are most apparent in the field of nutrition – a field she has 20 years of experience in as a registered dietitian.  Over that time she has learned that there is absolutely no way to define an individual food as healthy, and that food plays a multitude of roles in our lives.  She has also found that most people remain confused about nutrition primarily because they do not understand or respect these other functions of food.  As Dr. Manning has developed as a pharmacist and professor, she has increasingly sought to bring to her students an understanding of all of the things that influence health behavior beyond the foods they eat or medications patients take.  Developing this understanding as a pharmacist is critical because medications cannot work when patients cannot take them.  Dr. Manning has also found that exposing students to the way medicine is practiced in different global settings is an important way to do this.  Dr. Manning will end her lecture with advice to the entire campus community about how to acknowledge all the factors in their life that affect their health, and how we should advocate for a holistic view of health and for change in all of the things that influence it.

About Dr. Manning

Dana H. Manning received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Wilkes University in 2008.  She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. She is has practiced as a clinical pharmacist and faculty member in Internal Medicine at the Regional Hospital of Scranton and will be transitioning to practicing at Geisinger Medical Center CMC this spring.  Prior to becoming a pharmacist, Dr. Manning received her B.S. in Nutrition from Cornell University and completed an internship in clinical nutrition and dietetics at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA.  She has been a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist since 2000. She worked as a clinical dietitian in the acute care and outpatient setting prior to obtaining her pharmacy degree, and has maintained her practice in clinical nutrition at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic in Wilkes Barre, PA.

Her practice interests include transitions of care, oncology, adult internal medicine, nutrition, global health, and alternative medicine.  Her research interests include transitions of care, global health and cross-cultural experiences for students, the perception and practice of wellness behaviors, and promoting evidence-based nutrition practice.  She has presented and published numerous works on nutrition and dietary supplements, including a textbook of nutrition (Connections: Food, Nutrition, Health and Wellness).  During the last three years, Dr. Manning has been awarded a grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation with her partner Dr. Judy Kristeller to expand and refine the processes of a transitions of care clinical pharmacy service at two local hospitals.  She anticipates publishing the full results of that project this upcoming fall.  In addition to her campus and clinical responsibilities, Dr. Manning owns a 130 acre farm with her husband and three children, raises most of the food her family eats, and is also part of the family that owns and operates Manning Farm Dairy, a dairy farm making the best ice cream in Northeast Pennsylvania.


  • 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