Summer Scholars Dig into Research

Thursday, June 5, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (June 5, 2014) — While their friends head to the beach, 107 SJU Summer Scholars have chosen to spend the 12 weeks of sunny weather lasting from May to August on campus; in laboratories, libraries or studios, while they pursue faculty-mentored research on intriguing topics they proposed earlier in the academic year.

The program, which is now in its 10th year, offers participants a $3,200 stipend, the option of on-campus housing, and the opportunity to engage in extra-curricular social and cultural activities throughout the summer. In return, scholars work exclusively with a faculty expert on research, creative and scholarly work, and are required to produce a written description of their work that is published by the University. They also present their findings publicly during the academic year.

The projects span local, national and international issues and include topics in health, the natural and social sciences, business and education, as well as extended analyses of literature and projects in the fine arts.

Summer Scholar Katie Daubert ’15 of Pine Grove, Pa., says her project, “An Analysis of Herman Melville’s Marginalia Online and in Additional Digital Archives,” will give her an in-depth look at the work that goes into digitizing scholarly material and its usefulness in academic research. Daubert is working with Peter Norberg, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of English, the general associate editor of Melville’s Marginalia Online, an electronic catalog of books owned and borrowed by Melville that includes a digital edition of marked and annotated books that survive from his library.

“I hope my work will give me a greater understanding of how to implement digital humanities, such as gaining proficiency in HTML and Photoshop, as well as give me insight into Melville the writer,” says Daubert, an English and religious studies major.

Two other scholars will be spending their time pursuing research focused on sustainability and the environment. Elizabeth Wardach ’16, a leadership, ethics & organization sustainability major, is working with John Neiva, Ph.D., associate professor of management, on her project, “Institutional Apiaries: Searching for Sustainable Solutions.”

“I chose to do this sustainability study because it’s important to understand the impact that pollinators have on our economy and our environment,” says Wardach, of Clarks Summit, Pa. “I want to study the effects of migratory beekeeping through a triple bottom line approach — people, planet and profits — and search for a more sustainable method of pollination.”

Rooftop soil, found on the Science Center’s green roof system, will occupy the summer of biology major David Arnold ’15, of Rochelle Park, N.J, who is working with Karen Snetselaar, Ph.D., professor of biology. Arnold says his project, titled “Functional Diversity of Rooftop Soil,” will give him hands-on experience in scientific research as well as an understanding of environmental microbiology and how the microbial community affects plant growth.

“David will be taking a preliminary look at fungi and bacteria from two different parts of the green roof system, which suggests that we will be finding lots of diversity,” says Snetselaar. 

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Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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