Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Biology
To peruse CHANCE-related undergraduate research projects, visit www.chance.psu.edu
Julie B. Ealy, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Julie B. Ealy’s present research agenda proceeds at the theoretical level and pertains to the use of computer modeling to assist in the design of pharmaceutical compounds specifically as it applies to HIV-1 integrase. Several undergraduate students have been involved in her research all of whom have presented their research at local or regional meetings:
Todd Gehris, 2003 research, 2004 graduate
Todd examined bond angle, bond length, and dipole values of 23 molecules using 16 theoretical models in Spartan Pro, a computer software program used to examine small molecules three-dimensionally. The values obtained computationally were compared to experimental values. The information was used to gain a better understanding of the capability of Spartan Pro. This research provided the basis for subsequent use of Spartan Pro to minimize pharmaceutical compounds for HIV-1 integrase.
Adrienne Dorward, 2003-2004 research, 2006 graduate
Adrienne participated in research on severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS. The 3D protein structure of main proteinase, an important enzyme involved in SARS replication, was examined in order to gain a better understanding of its role in the development of SARS in humans. A paper was published in The Journal of College Science Teaching on the integration of the research into a Science, Technology, and Society course, STS 200S.
Veronica Kvarta, 2004-2005 research, 2006 graduate
The structural and nonstructural properties of drugs were examined through an extensive use of primary literature. Our data from 33 drugs were compared to that of over 5000 drugs with close agreement regarding the properties of the drugs. A paper was published in The Journal of Chemical Education.
Mike Devine, 2005-2006 research, junior at University Park (2006)
This research involved the choice of an adequate HIV-1 integrase protein structure for drug design. Homology modeling was used to computationally fill in four missing residues on an HIV-1 integrase structure that was shown to be the most complete protein of five that were extensively investigated. A paper was accepted to be presented and published in The John and Paige Smith Undergraduate Science Research Symposium of Penn State University.
Shafali Aggarwal, 2006-2008 research, 2008 graduate
Literature review of primary journals provided approximately 40 possible drug structures for HIV-1 integrase, one of the enzymes of HIV targeted for the development of drugs. The most stable conformation of each drug structure was determined computationally using Spartan Pro. Each structure was then docked computationally into the active site of HIV-1 integrase to determine the best fit between the protein, HIV-1 integrase, and the drug structure and to compare the most stable drug structure with that obtained after docking.
Xenia Hadjioannou, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education
Dr. Xenia Hadjioannou’s research on language and literacy education focuses on observing, describing, understanding and supporting practices that nurture literacy development. Some of her work involves the study of language-in-use: examinations of individuals and groups as they are interacting within and outside classroom settings. Another significant aspect of her research concerns the educational and social implications of specific linguistic choices made in the context of diverse interactions. Within this research strand fall her examination of non-standard dialect use in educational settings and her study of authentic classroom discussions. She has also conducted studies on context-sensitive implementations of exemplary instructional practices.
Recognizing the value of research as a powerful tool for learning, Dr. Hadjioannou often involves students in her own research or invites them to engage in research and creative endeavors of their own. She has so far co-authored two papers with students: 10 myths regarding the Communicative Approach with C. Constantinou (co-authored with Dr. Tsiplakou), and Shifting Focus: A Journey from a Strict Product Approach to Process Writing with M. Ioannou. Also, she and some of her PSU-LV students presented together at the 2007 PSU-LV Diverse Literacies Conference and she is currently working with a new group of students toward presentations for the conference’s 2008 incarnation. In addition, in Dr. Hadjioannou’s courses, students are engaged in various research endeavors: they conduct reading and writing assessment studies of novice readers, they engage in inquiry projects in the process of creating WebQuests, and they do bibliographic research on topics of their choice.
Mary Hutchinson, Assistant Professor of ESL Education
Dr. Mary Hutchinson’s research interests are tied to her teaching. Her major focus has been on community-based service-learning, an issue at the forefront of higher education and she has published and presented this research in a variety of venues. She is concerned with examining the theoretical implications of service-learning, in particular, and the intersections between literacy and social action. She has studied the impact of service-learning on first-year students as well as pre-service and in-service teachers. Most recently, her work in this area was included a book chapter on developmental writing in Learning the Language of Global Citizenship: Service-Learning in Applied Linguistics, and a paper accepted for publication as part of a manuscript published by the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience.
In addition to her research with first-year students, she also works with prospective and practicing teachers enrolled in English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) courses. Although these offerings focus on teaching ESL, it is the service-learning component that has a tremendous impact on students’ knowledge and understanding of second language acquisition theory and practice. Students work directly with ESL adults enrolled in community-based literacy programs, again integrating the academic work of the course through outreach. Through service-learning, students frequently experience dramatic “cognitive shifts” that often change their approach to teaching. Her research explores these cognitive shifts and their effect on teachers and their pedagogy. This research thread will expand in the coming years, as Dr. Hutchinson was awarded a 1.3 million dollar grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition of the United States Department of Education to work with the Elementary Education program (Dr. Xenia Hadjioannou) and the Lehigh Valley Writing Project (Nancy Coco) to establish a high-quality, credit-based professional development program for pre-service and in-service teachers. The MODELL (Modular Design for English Language Learners) Instruction program is designed to 1) to provide a solid foundation in understanding second language acquisition, cultural awareness and its impact on language learning; 2) to share effective teaching strategies aligned with State standards and assessment, and 3) to provide support through school-based learning communities organized to design, implement, and evaluate classroom practices and teacher-research inquiry projects. As Project Director, she will work closely with the design and instruction team to assess the impact of this program on teachers and students, and to disseminate these findings through publication with her colleagues.
Barbara Cantalupo, Associate Professor of English
Dr. Barbara Cantalupo's research is focused on nineteenth-century American authors, especially Edgar Allan Poe, Emma Wolf and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and she has published numerous articles in scholarly journals on these authors and other women writers and artists including Tillie Olsen, Yvonne Rainer, and Karen Finley. Dr. Cantalupo is currently working on a book-length manuscript on Poe and the visual arts. She co-edited with Richard Kopley the second volume of Prospects for the Study of American Literature: A Guide for Scholars and Students (forthcoming in 2008 from AMS Press). In addition, Dr. Cantalupo has written an introduction and edited Emma Wolf's Short Stories in The Smart Set (forthcoming in 2008 from AMS Press). Dr. Cantalupo edited and wrote the introduction for the re-issue of Emma Wolf's 1892 novel on intermarriage, Other Things Being Equal (Wayne State UP, 2002). The founding editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review in 2000, Dr. Cantalupo returned to its editorship in 2007 after a three-year hiatus with support from an anonymous donor and the sponsorship of Penn State Lehigh Valley, The Poe Studies Association and the Baltimore Poe Society. She is currently co-chair of the Third International Edgar Allan Poe Conference: The Bicentennial to be held in Philadelphia in October 2009.
Margaret Christian, Associate Professor of English
Dr. Margaret Christian has a special interest in early modern literature and religion in England. She is working on a book for Manchester University Press on Edmund Spenser's romance epic - The Faerie Queene
Douglas R. Hochstetler, Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Dr. Doug Hochstetler’s interests involve both sport philosophy and sport history. Research interests in sport philosophy include sport ethics, and the place of meaning in physical activity. Research interests in sport history include intercollegiate football in the 1920s-1930s.
Denise Ogden, Associate Professor of Marketing
Dr. Denise Ogden’s research areas are retailing and integrated marketing communications (IMC). In retailing, she studies consumer behavior, including multicultural aspects and in particular, the Hispanic consumer. Under IMC, her research is in tactical areas such as personal selling and advertising, especially at the retail level. Of particular interest is how companies coordinate and integrate marketing communications that emanate from an organization.
Her research in retailing has resulted in publications examining retail formats, Hispanics and the decision process and the effect of acculturation on behavior. Under the IMC umbrella, research areas have included examining media preferences and in-store retail behavior.
Ogden is a co-author of a Retailing textbook, Integrated Retail Management, published by Houghton Mifflin (2005). Other publications in retailing include an online course to accompany a text, the CLEP book on Marketing, and a chapter in a book published by the Point-of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) organization.
Ogden is also in her second year as the editor of Retail Education Today, an information source and peer-reviewed article outlet for academics in Retailing.
Todd Retzlaf, Assistant Professor of Math
Dr.Todd Retzlaf’s research has focused on problems involving random walks on locally compact groups. Articles published to date have focused on the rate of decay of concentration functions on non-compact locally compact groups. Mathematically, the concentration functions are an infinite sequence of functions on the compact sets of the group, G. They are defined as
fn(K) = supg µ(n)(Kg)
where µ(n) is the nth convolution power of µ, the transition probability measure of the random walk. Essentially, as the name implies, these functions measure how concentrated the random walk is. Therefore, the rate at which they go to zero represents how fast the random walk “gets lost”. The following simple example, which has been known for some time, illustrates this concept. Consider yourself seated on a chair with an infinite number of chairs to both your right and left (the fact that there are an infinite number of chairs is what makes the “group” of chairs non-compact). Now flip a coin. If it is heads move one chair to the right, if tails move one chair to the left. If, before we perform the experiment, I asked you to guess where you will be after a single coin flip you would have a fifty percent chance of answering correctly. However, the more times you flip the coin and move, the less likely you will be to guess your final position correctly. In fact, if n is the number of coin flips, it can be shown that the probability of guessing the outcome correctly will be smaller than Cn-1/2 for some constant C.
His research extends these results to more complicated non-compact locally compact groups. Given a random walk on such a group, the concentration functions are analogous to our probability of guessing the correct chair. His research shows that, for appropriate random walks, the concentration functions decay to zero at a rate of Cn-D/2 for some constants C and D. The D in this formula comes from the volume growth rate of the group (or of a certain subgroup) and corresponds to a dimension-like quality of the group. So, for example, if we put an infinite number of chairs in front of and behind our starting chair and all of the chairs to our right and left, and if we randomly choose to move left, right, forward, or backward, then we would have a random walk on a two-dimensional array, and our group would have D=2. This would mean that our ability to predict the correct chair would decay at a rate of Cn-1, which is faster than the rate for our single line of chairs. In other words, because of the higher dimension the random walk has more room to spread out and "gets lost" faster.
Tai-Yin Huang, Associate Professor of Physics
Dr. Tai-Yin Huang’s primary research interests focus on the dynamics, chemistry and energetics of the mesosphere and lightning effects on mesospheric airglow. Her expertise comprises theoretical modeling, numerical simulation, and data analysis. The projects that she has been working on are about, but not limited to, Lightning-Induced Transient Emissions (LITEs) or Transient Luminous Events (TLEs), gravity waves, airglow emissions, exothermic heating; secular variations of minor species; wave ducting; the formation of Mesospheric Inversion Layers (MILs); tidal variation of atomic oxygen, and nonlinear response of minor species.
Several undergraduate students have been involved in the following NSF funded projects under the guidance of Dr. Huang. The results of the research studies of the students have been or will be presented at an NSF-sponsored national meeting.
Nicholas has been working on a project to investigate wave-induced secular variations of OH airglow in the southern hemisphere. He presented the following talks:
- Dzienis, N. M., Huang, T.-Y., Hickey, M. P. (2008). Simulations of wave-induced variations of minor species and OH airglow in the MLT region at north and south 18 degree latitude, CEDAR workshop, Utah, USA.
- Dzienis, N. M., Huang, T.-Y., Hickey, M. P. (2008). Simulations of wave-induced variations of minor species in the MLT region at north and south 18 degree latitude, The 2008 Penn State Lehigh Valley Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, USA.
His poster at the Symposium won him a Symposium Award.
Roger Kuhl, Steven Troxell and Jason Fritz
These students investigated the temperature dependence of OH nightglow emission on the occurrence of sprites. They have been involved in the following paper and presentations:
- Huang, T.-Y., Kuhl, R., & Troxell, S. (2006). An investigation of sprite-induced variations in the mesospheric OH nightglow emission. John T. and Paige S. Smith Undergraduate Science Research Symposium Proceedings, The Pennsylvania State University College, York.
- Huang, T.-Y., Kuhl, R., & Troxell, S. (2006). An investigation of sprite-induced variations in the Mesospheric OH Nightglow Emission, John T. and Paige S. Smith Undergraduate Science Research Symposium, York, Pennsylvania, USA (invited talk).
- Huang, T.-Y., & Troxell, S. (2006). On the OH nightglow emission in the occurrence of sprites, CEDAR meeting, Santa Fe, California, USA.
- Fritz, J., & Huang, T.-Y. (2005). On the OH nightglow emission at Sprite temperatures in the MLT region, CEDAR meeting, Santa Fe, California, USA.
Kevin Abdo and Thien Hoang
They investigated the wave-induced secular variation of OH nightglow, of OH intensity-weighted temperature, and of minor species with a 2-D, time-dependent, fully nonlinear OH chemistry-dynamics model. They were involved in the following presentations:
- Hoang, T., & Huang, T.-Y. (2005). The secular variations of OH nightglow emission induced by gravity wave forcing, CEDAR meeting, Santa Fe, NM, USA.
- Abdo, K., & Huang, T.-Y. (2005). The wave-induced non-periodic response of minor species in the MLT region, CEDAR meeting, Santa Fe, NM, USA.
Bonnie has been involved in a project that numerically simulates the formation of the mesospheric inversion layer observed during the ALOHA-93 campaign. She gave the following presentation:
- Hanner, B., & Huang, T.-Y. (2005). Investigation of the temperature inversion layer observed in the MLT region during the ALOHA-93 campaign, CEDAR meeting, Santa Fe, NM, USA.
Peter Behrens, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Currently, Dr.Peter Behrens is engaged in 3 research projects, any of which can involve student participation. One project is the completion of a historical review and analysis of the published works of Otto Klemm (1884-1939), who contributed significantly to applied psychology in Germany during his career at Leipzig University. This is a compendium of his works and was undertaken, in part, with the assistance of an Applied Psychology student who has since graduated. A second project is a history of radio psychology from its early days in the late 1920s through the Depression era. Several well-known and not so well-known psychologists regularly conducted radio broadcasts on various topics for the general public. Finally, a study has been completed with the assistance of a former Penn State student on the significance of patients’ locus of control in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, with emphasis on the effect that treatment has on perception of internal and external control in life.
David Livert, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dr. David Livert is currently working on two research projects:
A longitudinal study of students pursing a chef’s degree at the Culinary Institute of America with the assistance of Lehigh Valley undergraduate assistants. Students are being tracked who entered the CIA in the fall of 2005 through the completion of their degrees in 2007. Our focus is on group dynamics in the kitchen, the role of group composition on prejudice, and the pressures faced by female students and non-traditional students. As students progress further into their studies, observations have indicated that female and older students experience prejudice. This research interest began with Livert’s thesis and his interest continues especially since females are a statistical minority as chefs.
- A replication of a study conducted 2005-2006 for Penn State’s International Studies Program is also being conducted. The online study investigates the experiences of Penn State students who spend their spring semester abroad. Students’ interactions with host country citizens is being examined as well as the potential effects of these interactions on friendships and on long term change in the student’s worldview. The findings so far suggest that just being in foreign country – even non-Anglophonic – does not necessarily ensure a meaningful experience for the study. Formation of friendships with host citizens and the pursuit of small group interactions (with attendant emotional highs and lows) are critical.
Kevin J. Kelley, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dr. Kevin Kelley is currently working on three projects. The first examines the relationship between emotional intelligence, health, and life satisfaction. This project continues work started with a student who graduated and is currently attending graduate school at Kutztown University. The second examines the relationship between empathy and health. The third project is attempting to formulate a new treatment for school-age children who were abused when they were infants or toddlers.
Jennifer Talwar, Associate Professor of Sociology
Dr. Jennifer Talwar has been awarded a year-long sabbatical for 2008-2009 to work on a project entitled "Urban India and Global Commodity Culture: A Focus on the Urban Poor." She will be researching "the role(s) India's traditionally marginalized populations (the urban poor) are playing in shaping India's new commodity culture and associated ideologies of mobility. This research extends an on-going project that began as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in India (2002-2003). It comprises the last phase of research that is necessary to complete a book manuscript. Talwar's research in India has focused on two interrelated questions that are significant to both public policy and academic debates about India's socio-economic changes since liberalization began in 1991: 1) how and why socioeconomic inequalities continue to be regenerated even while economic development and wealth generation take place, 2) the degree to which socioeconomic categories have become more or less fluid with new patterns and ideologies of mobility. In India, where global commodity culture signifies "high end" consumption and where socioeconomic categories have been historically static, an understanding of the poor's relationship to commodity culture provides a window for viewing class (and in some cases caste) specific adaptations and interpretations of socioeconomic mobility".