Here Comes the Sun: Scholars Begin a Summer of Research

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

by Kayla E. Lane '17

Over the next 12 weeks, 95 students will trade fun in the sun for hands on research as Saint Joseph’s Summer Scholars.

With the program entering its 11th year, Associate Dean of Natural Sciences Jean Smolen, Ph.D., highlights its importance.

“The Summer Scholars program provides a great opportunity for all students to enhance their college experience by working closely with a faculty member and by becoming an expert in one’s research area,” says Smolen.

Some interesting projects from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business include the following:

  • Amelia Brown ’18, a McNulty Fellow and biology major from McLeansville, North Carolina, will work in the laboratory of Matthew Nelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, researching “Sleep and Memory in Caenorhabditis elegans,” a type of roundworm.
  • Elizabeth Krotulis ’17, an English major from Belmar, New Jersey, will work with William Wolff, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies, on her project, "Social Justice and Social Media: The Use of Social Justice-Related Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.”
  • Eric J. Adjei-Danquah ’17, a biology major from Philadelphia, will work with his faculty mentor Brian J. Yates, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, to discover “How ‘Blackness’ is Lived: An Exploration of Cultural and Economic Experiences Between Africans, African Americans and Black Americans.”
  • Jane Hooper '18, a food marketing major from Fairfield, Connecticut, will work with Ernest Baskin, Ph.D., assistant professor of food marketing, to research the question, “Is emotion a key factor in food consumption and food choice?”
  • Meghan McDonald '17, an international business major from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, will work with her mentor João Neiva de Figueiredo, Ph.D., associate professor of management, on “Corporate Social Responsibility: the Effects on Millennial Consumption.” 

Spanning May through August, the program offers scholars the opportunity to take advantage of subsidized housing on campus while working in their respective studios, libraries and laboratories. Additionally, participants receive a competitive $3,200 stipend while conducting research with a faculty mentor on topics they proposed. Scholars' findings are showcased during the academic year and a description of their work, written by the participants, is published by the University.

Throughout the summer, scholars also have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular social activities.

Smolen says that learning to work both independently and as a part of a team are the most important takeaways from participating in the program.

“This is a different experience from typical courses,” says Smolen. “Many students convert these projects into honors theses, present the results of their work at research conferences or co-author publications with their mentors.”

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