Explore the 2022 Abstracts


Stacey Alston
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: Links among Age, Perceived Health, Physical Functionality, Experienced Stigma and Body Image in the Context of Chronic Pain
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Charlotte Markey

Stacey’s research is an analysis of the links between age, perceived health, physical functionality, the experience of stigma, and body image in the context of chronic pain.  The findings of this study suggest that general health and physical functionality are unique predictors of experiences of stigma and when people feel good about themselves their perceptions of general health and interactions with others as it pertains to their health tend to be more positive.  


Iris Bercovitz
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: The Relationship between Caregiver Stress, Beliefs, Anxiety and Pain during Pediatric Cancer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lauren Daniel

The study evaluates the relationship between caregiver stress, family beliefs, and caregiver and child report of pain and anxiety in a sample of caregivers and their child undergoing cancer treatment 2-12 months after diagnosis. Findings showed significant positive association between caregiver stress and family beliefs as well as caregiver stress and caregiver proxy report of child pain and anxiety levels. Caregiver stress may be an important target of interventions in the pediatric cancer population. 


Devin Bristow
Program: Mathematical Science
Title of Project: Adinkras in Super-Yang Mills Theory
Faculty Mentor: Howard Jacobowitz

This paper seeks to examine several extended SUSY Theories on the 0-Brane by obtaining the L and R matrices, generate the corresponding adinkra, and studying their correlators. The 10D N=1 Maxwell Theory is investigated, and the SUSY algebra is studied analytically and verified with previous work. The 4D N=4 Yang-Mills and Maxwell Theory, as well as the 4D N=4 Vector multiplet with N=1 Off-shell, and the 4D N=4 Vector-Tensor multiplet with N=2 Off-shell, are investigated using new computational methods. The structure of the SUSY Algebra, L and R matrices, and adinkra are found. Permutation elements are found for the theories with square L matrices.


Christopher Denaro
Program: Computational & Integrative Biology
Title of Project: Applications of Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Modeling: Tuberculosis and Parkinson’s Disease
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Benedetto Piccoli

In this project, we aim to show the uniqueness of the Linear-In-Flux-Expressions (LIFE) methodology. We also aim to adapt an existing pipeline for treatment optimization of Tuberculosis to biomarker discovery in Parkinson’s Disease.


Jesse Elliot
Program: Public Administration
Title of Project: In Pursuit of Trust: Determining the Impact of E-government on Public Trust in Government Across Democracies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Angie McGuire

In Pursuit of Trust: Determining the Impact of E-government on Public Trust in Government Across Democracies” offers scholars and practitioners insights into the impact of e-government on public trust in government across democracies, as well as the impact of quality of life and government economic performance factors on such trust. While no statistically significant relationships between measures of e-government development and public trust in government were found in the study, statistically significant relationships between measures of public trust in government and government economic performance and corruption, as well as subjective wellbeing, social trust, and economics, were identified.


Liam Fleming
Program: English
Title of Project: WebRat
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jim Brown

WebRat is an interview-based podcast about the modern labor movement, discussing cultural assumptions about organized labor.


Erika Frick
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: What do early adolescent girls like and dislike about their appearance? A qualitative and quantitative examination of body appreciation among ethnically diverse girls
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Charlotte Markey

Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, the current study examined an ethnically diverse sample of early adolescent girls’ perceptions of their appearance and their body appreciation.


Geneva Gerwitz
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: Motivations for Spousal Involvement in a Partner’s Diabetes Management
Faculty Mentor: Kristin August

In this study, I addressed a gap in the literature by examining why spouses were involved in their partner’s diabetes management and whether these motivations were related to how and how much spouses are involved in the form of diet-related social support and control. In addition, I attempted to further understand if associations differed by gender.


Gaylene Gordon
Program: Childhood Studies
Title of Project: Black Girlhood, Identity Development, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lauren Silver

This study seeks to clarify how criminalization, through adultification bias and teacher/administrator bias, aids in the maltreatment of Black girls in school settings.


Tyler Jones
Program: Chemistry
Title of Project: Effects of Hydrogen Bonding on Modified Nylon Polyamides
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Georgia Arbuckle-Keil

N-alkoxyalkyl polyamides were originally synthesized by Theodore Cairns in the late 1940s. These polymers, specifically N-methoxymethyl polyamide 6,6 (Nylon 6,6), were easily dissolved in aliphatic alcohols like methanol, and a clear, matte finished, cast film could easily be formed. This polymer was of use in the art conservation field where it was used as a coating for art ranging from paintings to cedar wood doors. Unfortunately, N-methoxymethyl Nylon 6,6 (soluble Nylon) is no longer used in art conservation due to the accumulation of dust and dirt, yellowing of the film, peeling, and extreme difficulty of removal. This project aims to observe the changes in hydrogen bonds present in Nylon 6,6 and its soluble Nylon derivatives using temperature dependent Raman spectroscopy.


Kathleen Kellett
Program: Childhood Studies
Title of Project: The Political Monster Myth in Young Adult Literature: A Digital Ethnography
Faculty Mentor: Lynne Vallone

This project is a digital ethnography in progress aimed at uncovering the links between monstrosity, young adult literature, political rhetoric, and American teenagers’ lives. Thirteen young readers are participating in an online book club to talk about what monsters mean to them as readers and socially engaged young people.


Melissa Malcom
Program: Mathematical Science
Title of Project: Modeling the “Monday Syndrome” Problem in California Traffic Data
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Benedetto Piccoli

Using large scale traffic data provided by the Caltrans Performance Measurement System database Berkeley (2022), the existence of the Monday Syndrome problem in traffic data is currently being investigated. The use of mathematical models such as the fundamental diagram of traffic flow will be presented in the data analysis.


Nicholas Markellos
Program: English
Title of Project: Bearing Witness
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shanyn Fiske

This preliminary research that I conducted in the Fall of 2021 helped to frame the objectives for the Holocaust Studies Program by looking at some of the issues regarding the current state of Holocaust education. For the Capstone Project at Rutgers University, I am going to implement a course of study on Holocaust Studies in the Fall of the 2022-2023 school year, which will be centered on survivors and their stories. The long-term goal of this study will be to provide a standard course at Paul VI High School which will count for school credit and be offered in subsequent semesters.  


Swaraj Parmar
Program: Chemistry
Title of Project: Identification of Stormwater Microplastics using FTIR-Microscopy and Raman Microscopy
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Georgia Arbuckle-Keil

Plastic pollution is distressing the aquatic environment marine life via suffocation, entanglement, ingestion, and respiration of plastic debris. Many studies around the world suggest the pervasiveness of microplastics (MP) in water bodies throughout the world. An important step to understanding the transport of MPs in the marine environment is to identify and characterize the types of polymers reaching these water bodies and quantify the concentration present in the stormwater, which is considered a route of transport for land-based MPs into waterbodies.


Polina Poliakova
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: Household Chaos and Pre-bedtime Behaviors in Young Children
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lauren Daniel

This project aims to explore the relation between household chaos and child sleep health practices. Exploring this interaction may offer potential intervention targets on tackling bedtime resistance and poor sleep quality. Prior research suggests that children experiencing greater household chaos and sleep problems are at risk for increased behavioral and academic struggles.


Sunny Reed
Program: Childhood Studies
Title of Project: “The Baby-Over-There”: Theorizing Transracial Adoption Across Academic Disciplines
Faculty Mentor: Carol Singley

Childhood Studies and Adoption Studies are two related but separate academic disciplines, both concerned with marginalized adopted children but not yet in conversation with each other. My project applies a Childhood Studies lens to intercountry and transracial adoption, constructing a new childhood subtype (the “baby-over-there”) as a discipline-unifying figure. 


Creston Singer
Program: Computational & Integrative Biology
Title of Project: Fabrication of advanced self-folding agarose materials
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Salas-de la Cruz

Agarose is a unique natural material that can form free standing films that are mechanically moldable but become very brittle when dry. With the addition of different plasticizing agents we show that we can tune agarose films’ mechanical properties to encompass a wider range of applications.


Ryan Weightman
Program: Computational & Integrative Biology
Title of Project: Models for the spread of viral infections with mutations
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Benedetto Piccoli

We explore a novel method of Coupling Ordinary Differential Equations with Measure Differential Equations in order to capture the mutability of a virus in a closed population system. This allows for an epidemiological model which can be better informed by bioinformatics and will allow us to study the dynamics of a mutating virus and how they change with changing human imposed interventions such as social distancing.


Kelsey Woodard
Program: Psychology
Title of Project: Description of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) Patient and Parent-Proxy Reports of Nausea and Worry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lauren Daniel

This study aims to better understand nausea and worry in pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant by describing the symptoms as patients experience them, as well as caregiver reports.


Elisabeth Yang
Program: Childhood Studies
Title of Project: Home Nurseries: Medico-Moral Domains of Infants in America, 1850s-1920s
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Wall

This interdisciplinary project integrates the fields of childhood studies, the history and philosophy of medicine, and material culture. It is a historical and philosophical study of how physicians and childrearing advisors in late 19th-c. and early 20th-c. America imagined and aimed to construct moral babies through the construction, design, and management of home nurseries, the objects therein, and infants’ bodies.