Student-Faculty Collaboration

Whether it’s fieldwork in Alaska or a community art project, Allegheny students put theory into practice under the guidance of faculty mentors through research, conference presentations, co-authored articles, and faculty-led study tours.

At Allegheny, there’s no graduate school buffer between undergraduates and some of the leading scholars in their fields. Allegheny students don’t have to wait behind graduate students for research positions on faculty-led projects. Faculty members in all disciplines actively engage students as research collaborators—and mentor students as they pursue their own independent research pursuits. In the National Survey of Student Engagement, responses by college seniors placed Allegheny within the top 10 percent in the U.S. for close student-faculty interaction.

Allegheny faculty actively seek external grant support for their research, and the Dean of the College provides financial support for faculty and student research through funds established by Allegheny alumni and other donors.

Latest News in Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Forest Research Part of Global Investigation of Acid Rain

Allegheny environmental science professor Rich Bowden and his students know that patience is a virtue. As part of work that began 22 years ago at Harvard University, they’re studying the effects of acid rain in the College’s 283-acre Bousson Environmental Research Reserve.

Learn more here.

Preparation, Collaboration Key to Innovative Physics Research

With graduate school on the horizon, Mallory Scott, a physics major and religious studies minor, and Karl Smith, an English and physics double major, spent a summer researching with Allegheny physics professor Doros Petasis. The students coordinated two independent yet related projects—Mallory studied various metalloproteins and Karl designed and built modulation coils for the spectrometer that makes Mallory’s research possible.

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Personal Hobby Takes Flight as Unique Research Project

Allegheny computer science professor Matt Jadud and chemistry major/psychology minor Ian Armstrong might not seem like the typical student-faculty collaboration. They met in an even more unlikely way. “Matt came strolling into my parent’s hobby shop one day last summer and basically said ‘I want a flying robot,’” says Ian with a laugh. “It just so happened that I was a student at Allegheny and knew how to fly remote-controlled airplanes.”

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Commitment to Summer Research Leads to Presentation at National Convention

After three summers dedicated to research, Julia Harris and John Mahalchak, both senior neuroscience and psychology double majors, earned the honor of presenting at the Association for Psychological Science Convention. A rare but rich experience—contributions to the convention are typically reserved for graduate students or professors—Julia and John’s research explores cognitive studies of eye fixations.

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Neuroscience Research Focuses on Enhancing Immune System Function

Several academic studies have shown that it’s possible to condition the immune system to be suppressed. With this in mind, Allegheny neuroscience professor Rodney Clark made a compelling proposition to his junior seminar: is it also possible to condition the immune system to be enhanced?

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Biology Research Leads to Prestigious Internships

Students who collaborate with biology professor Glen Wurst gain more than valuable laboratory experience on campus—they find a springboard to opportunities in prestigious research settings. “My experience at NIH has been priceless,” says student Jennifer Alabran. “It was such a unique environment to work in and the people around me were some of the most amazing scientists in the world.”

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Junior Seminar Explores New York City Theatre

Students in professor Mark Cosdon’s junior seminar in theatre don’t just discuss the latest developments in New York theatre—they experience them firsthand. “This opportunity has been an extremely special one for me because I had never seen New York or a Broadway show,” says student Caitlyn Smith. “As a biology major, I would have never expected to be able to experience a trip that would target my passion for the theatrical arts.”

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Faculty Mentors Help Music Students Excel on National Stage

Determination, coupled with mentoring from Allegheny College music faculty, took Bonnie Sands and Damon Harvey all the way to playing Carnegie Hall—twice. “The faculty really take a personal interest in what you would like to do with your future,” says Damon, “and move heaven and earth to give you as many opportunities as they can.”

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Student Involvement “Critical” to Lead Poisoning Research

Student researchers play a critical role in professor Caryl Waggett’s study of lead poisoning in the local region—which has uncovered significant quantities of lead in dust in homes and the soil in yards, setting the stage for a program to screen children for lead exposure. “I simply could not have conducted this research without student assistance—and would not have wanted to,” says Waggett.

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Sharing Service Learning with the World

It’s not that unusual for Allegheny faculty to involve students in their presentations at conferences—but it’s certainly less common for them to invite a student to another continent to collaborate. Psychology professor Elizabeth Weiss Ozorak did just that when she and student Amy Warnick presented papers on service learning at a conference in the United Kingdom.

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History Channel Features Allegheny Professor-Student Collaboration

Summer work conducted by physics professor James Lombardi Jr. and his student research assistant, Alexander Brown, was featured in the episode “The Life and Death of Stars,” a segment of the History Channel series “The Universe.”

Learn more here.