Scholars Symposium 2018

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NOTE: All Allegheny students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the following events. In addition, we welcome family members as well as members of the Meadville community. Please share this schedule with anyone who would be interested in joining us.


Global Health Studies Senior Project Symposium

1:30 to 4:30 PM both days in Carr Hall, room 120

Presentations of all of the senior comprehensive projects completed by Global Health Studies students.


Dance & Movement Studies Minors Concert

7:00 PM, Montgomery Performance Space

The DMS minors will present their own choreography in a concert titled The Game of Life and will feature eight pieces and the work of nine choreographers. The dances presented will explore the unique aesthetic experience and exploration of each choreographer.


Biology Senior Project Symposium

1:10 PM – 4:30 PM, Steffee Hall of Life Sciences, Rooms 208, 212, 306, and 312

Students who carried out their senior projects with biology faculty will present their projects over the course of 3 afternoons.


Senior Projects Art Show

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, The Bowman~Penelec~Megahan Art Galleries

Opening Reception and Celebration. Every Allegheny College student completes a Senior Project in his or her major field–a significant piece of original research or creative work. Studio Art and Art & Technology majors create bodies of artwork around a central idea or theme and then present their works professionally in the galleries at the end of the semester. All participating students will talk about their works at the gallery reception on April 24th.


Senior Projects Film Screening – Night 1

7:00 PM, Gladys Mullenix Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts


Senior Projects Film Screening – Night 2

7:00 PM, Gladys Mullenix Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts


Advanced Studio Projects and Junior Seminar Exhibition

7:00 PM, Parkside Commons, Diamond Park, Meadville

Opening Reception for 500-level seminar Studio Art courses.


Senior Projects Creative Writing Readings

6:30 PM, Voodoo Brewery & Brewpub, 215 Arch Street, Meadville

De-comped Department of English creative writers will read excerpts from their projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.


Mentor Breakfast–RSVP REQUIRED

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, Campus Center Lobby

Are you a first or second year student interested in opportunities to engage in research, internships, civic engagement, or other Allegheny opportunities like these? Would you like to talk with students and faculty who have participated in such opportunities in the past?  If so, please apply to attend the Celebration Day Mentor Breakfast on Tuesday, May 1st. The Mentor Breakfast is a casual, catered breakfast where first year and second year students can mingle and talk with seniors, professors, and Gateway representatives about how to get involved in these opportunities at Allegheny. Because breakfast will be provided and we want to have a sufficient number of mentors available, this is an RSVP event and is limited to the first 75 students who sign-up. If you are interested in participation, please fill out the Google Form no later than Friday, April 27th at noon.

Gateway Spotlight Session


During this session, concurrent panels will highlight student work and experiences that were selected by offices of the Gateway to demonstrate the kind of opportunities available for students in the Gateway. They include:

Interfaith Leadership in Action, Carnegie Hall Room 100

How do you bring people from different religions together? Are there any similarities in order for these people to interact comfortably? Come to our presentation and learn how people from different religions come together under the umbrella of service. Service is an important aspect of these three Abrahamic religions and what better way to learn about each others’ religions than while you are doing service together.

Gateway 100 – Discovering Who You Are, Carnegie Hall Room 101

Students who participated in the new Gateway 100 course will share their experiences and describe how the course helped them think more about questions of who they are, why they are in college, and what they hope to do after they graduate.

Stories from Study Away, Carnegie Hall Room 105

Interested in exploring another area of the world and experiencing a new culture? Come hear about the experiences of Allegheny students who studied away–  learn about what they did on a daily basis, how their language skills improved, academic credit they earned while abroad, where they lived, and new friendships they made both in and outside of the classroom. Students will also share about the benefits of study abroad, advice for the application process, explain how they funded their experiences, and how they imagine it will impact their future plans.

Gators Give Back – A Response to a Visit to Nicaragua, Carnegie Hall Room 110

Students who completed the 2016 EL Travel Seminar to Nicaragua will present the Gators Give Back collection of discarded items and rummage sale, a fundraiser for the residents of Project Chacocente in Nicaragua.  The residents of this community formerly lived in the Mangua city dump.  The student panelists can discuss structural violence, community health challenges, development, poverty, and the impact of the Gators Give Back collection and rummage sale on the Meadville and Project Chacocente communities.

Allegheny Health Coaches, Carnegie Hall Room 112

Allegheny students participating in this partnership program with the Meadville Medical Center will describe their experiences as health coaches. Learn more about the work they do and about future opportunities to become a health coach. Students presenting include Sam Thomas, Megan Arnold, and Morgan Ritchie.

Student Spotlight Session

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM, VARIOUS LOCATIONS: Collaboratory and Carnegie Hall (see below)

During this session, concurrent panels will highlight the exemplary and creative work that Allegheny College students have completed this past year. Panel ideas were submitted by the students and selected by the URSCA office for participation. They include:

Migrant Voices in International Studies, Pelletier Library, Collaboratory

Presenters: Students of INTDS 110 including: Anthony, Victoria; Darris, Samantha; Davis, Evan; Dunham, Samuel; Francis, Sydney; Kirkman, Nijon; Leary-Bignayan, Arcadio; Patino, Eisa; Quiroz, Bryan; Robledo, Jesus; Savino, Max; Tran, Anh; Vallejo, Emilce
Mentor: Brian Miller, History

Using the interdisciplinary methods of International Studies, student investigate the Syrian Refugee Crisis through a focus on refugee voices and their understandings of their experiences. This is the capstone project for the Introduction of International Studies where students apply what they have learned throughout the semester. Utilizing refugee interviews gathered from the Sites of Conscience, students communicate a thematic aspect of the Syrian refugee crisis through a digital presentation constructed with a KnightLab digital program.

Age Old Questions, Carnegie Hall, Room 100

A Woman’s Right To Pleasure: Medieval Medical, Religious, and Imaginative Approaches
Presenters: Madeline Hernstrom-Hill ’18, English and History; Rebecca Duch ‘18, English and WGSS
Mentor: Professor Jennifer Hellwarth, English, WGSS

Our project investigated the place of women’s sexual pleasure in medieval medical, religious, and imaginative texts from the Christian, Hebraic, and Islamicate traditions. To accomplish this we close-read translated primary source texts from each tradition, using humoral theory to close read medical remedies and investigate how the religious tradition both influenced and was influenced by the medical discourse. In our final stages, we applied this information to imaginative texts to see how it could deepen our understanding of the text. Examples of texts included Al-Ghazali’s “Medicine of the Prophet” and the Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s “De Secretis Mulierum (The Secrets of Women).” Our work is unique because we present a frequently overlooked aspect of women’s lives in the Middle Ages, one which does not appear in the conventional narrative. Moreover, we show that although the medieval medical/religious discourse can seem bizarre (ie: drinking “dragon’s blood” to increase fertility, or the debate over the properties of female sperm), this discourse was based in a complicated internal logic which still influences how we think about women’s pleasure–and women in general–today.

‘If I Should Fall’—The Functional Role of the Gilgamesh Narrative in the Human Experience of Death
Presenter: Kellie-Sue Martinucci ’18, Religious Studies
Mentor: Professor Glenn Holland, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Human stories have addressed death since the beginning of recorded history. Now, in an age of modernity which is simultaneously obsessed with death and death-avoidant, it is important to explore the ways in which humans have historically coped with knowledge of their own mortality in order to make life livable. This project analyzed narrative episodes from different versions of the Gilgamesh epic through the lens of modern death psychology to demonstrate the functional ways in which its ancient Mesopotamian authors may have personally understood and coped with death through storytelling.

Engaging Environments & Communities, Carnegie Hall, Room 101

Theatre for Environmental Conservation
Presenter: Aleäa Reyes ’18, Theatre
Mentor: Professor Michael Mehler, Communication Arts & Theater

I directed Playshop’s production of Forward by Chantal Bilodeau and acted in Sila by the same author. Students have never directed a Playshop show before due to its faculty run tradition. Bilodeau ‘s plays look at various consequences of climate change and global warming, starting with the Arctic circle. In recent years and leading up to the present day, it still remains a struggle to keep advocating for Environmental stewardship and conservation. Contributing to these shows on Allegheny College’s campus strengthened the sentiments of the necessity to do and be better for the earth, and that since it is so easy for one small action to create a negative chain of events, why not reverse it to nurture positive ones instead?

Increasing Healthy Food Access in Meadville, PA
Presenters: Kristen Locy ‘18 Environmental Studies; Sonya Korzeniwsky ‘18 Environmental Science
Mentor: Kerstin Martin, Environmental Science, Community Wellness Initiative

This is project was created from many years of hard work by both the Meadville and Allegheny community. The Mobile Food Market was launched last summer as part of the Community Wellness Initiative and Allegheny College to help to provide healthy food access to Crawford County residents through a “farmer’s market on wheels”. This spring, Sonya Korzeniwsky conducted her comp on survey data examining how to best improve the market. This coming summer the market will be in its second year and is now a project of the Meadville Market House and fully integrated into the community.

Under The Microscope, Carnegie Hall Room 105

Understanding the “DEAD”: Thermodynamic and Limited Proteolysis Analysis of a unique DEAD-box protein
Presenters: Megan Arnold ’19, Biochemistry; Lisa Yoder ’19, Biochemistry
Mentor: Professor Ivelitza Garcia, Chemistry, Biochemistry

RNA has many fascinating and diverse roles in the cell. RNA’s function strongly depends on its structure; however, it is only made of four building blocks, so the probability of it misfolding is high. DEAD-box proteins are RNA helicases that bind misfolded RNA and use energy from ATP to aid it in refolding to the correct structure. Rok1p is a very unique DEAD-box protein that facilitates ribosomal RNA folding in yeast. Our projects study the relationship between structure and function in Rok1p, but in different ways, using a variety of experimental techniques. We find meaning in studying Rok1p because it’s human analog (DDX52) is found mutated in multiple forms of cancer. Our talk would be a unique contribution to the Scholars Symposium because we can really speak to the beauty of the collaborative nature of scientific research. Our projects complement each other but are different enough that we are constantly learning from and being inspired by each other’s work.

The neuroprotective effects of estrogen on an STZ Alzheimer’s model in the female rat
Presenter: Susannah Chilton ’19, Neuroscience
Mentor: Professor Rodney Clark, Psychology, Neuroscience

My project has been a year-long study looking at the protective effects of estrogen in Alzheimer’s disease. I created a streptozotocin model that imitates the tau protein pathology of Alzheimer’s. All of the rats underwent ovariectomies and only half were given supplemental estrogen following the procedure. Streptozotocin was injected into the lateral ventricles to create the model several weeks after the ovariectomies. The learning and memory of the rats was assessed with a labyrinth water maze. Water maze testing was conducted a few weeks after STZ injections and again two months later to assess immediate and long term effects. After completion of behavioral testing the brains were removed and sliced for nissl staining in order to look for cell death in the hippocampus and surrounding areas. My project was unique in that it focused on the tau protein pathology, rather than the amyloid-beta plaques commonly found in Alzheimer’s pathology.

Telling Community Stories, Carnegie Hall Room 110

Meadville: Writing Its Own Story
Presenters: Emily Hayhurst ’20, Communication Arts; Ben Ptak ’20, Communication Arts
Mentors: Professors Emily Yochim and Julie Wilson, Communication Arts

For this project, our class conducted ethnographic and scholarly research to analyze what community organizing in Meadville brings to the community and how it guides Meadville’s creation of its own story. Under Professors Emily Yochim and Julie Wilson’s guidance, our class interviewed around twenty prominent members of the Meadville community and attended/took field notes at several events such as Winterfest. We then connected our research to scholarly themes and found that Meadville’s organizing work helps to overcome our society’s feelings of alienation and bring a sense of rich togetherness to the community. We designed 3 podcasts and a multimedia website illustrating our research. This project has allowed us to gain a rich understanding of the town we live in and we would love to share this with the Allegheny community.

The Jewish Meadville Project
Presenters: Royse Bachtel ’18, Political Science; Josh Cohen ‘18, Political Science, Community and Justice Studies
Mentor: Professor Adrienne Krone, Religious Studies and Director of Jewish Life

Our project is an ongoing one, requiring archival and organization of documents that were recently discovered regarding the Jewish community in Meadville and Allegheny over the past one hundred years. This information was not previously known and sheds light on the different identities and faiths that make up our community.

Art in the Gallery

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM, The Bowman~Penelec~Megahan Art Galleries

Another chance to see the senior projects of students from the art department.

Refreshments will be served and all are welcome!

History Senior Project Oral Presentations

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM, Arter Hall, Second Floor, Various Rooms

History majors enrolled in History 600 will present their senior project topics to the History Department and other interested parties. This is the final assignment for the course and will set the students up to begin writing their senior projects in the Fall. Topics include the Black Death, drug policy and enforcement, Brown vs Board of Education, antisemitism and Zionism, race and ice hockey, Roman roads, and Reagan-era education policy. Lunch will be served following the presentations.



At this session, Professor M. Soledad Caballero will give the Keynote address which will consider the impact of the  Andrew W. Mellon Collaborative Undergraduate Research in the Humanities grant on the culture of student-faculty research in the Humanities at Allegheny. Following her remarks, three seniors will give eight minute presentations of their senior projects. These students were nominated by their respective department or program and selected from among over 50 students to share their work. Titles and abstracts for these three talks are given below. Finally, the 2017-2018 Library Research Award recipients will be recognized.

Stella Goodworth ’18 (Psychology), Creative Fiction Writing in Scriptotherapy: Effects on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

Abstract: Scriptotherapy is a term used to describe any form of therapeutic writing. However, certain forms of writing have been analyzed far more than others. Methods such as journaling and expressive writing have appeared in numerous studies, but other forms of writing—specifically creative fiction writing—have been overlooked (Pennebaker, 1997; Travagin, Margola, & Revenson, 2014). The present study sought to determine whether a fiction writing activity, as opposed to a neutral writing activity, would have an impact on the participants’ (N=27) levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. It was initially hypothesized that the participants in the creative fiction writing group would experience a reduction in symptoms after the three-day period of the study as indicated by pre- and post-test administration of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (S. Lovibond & P. Lovibond, 1996). Although results did not support the hypothesis, they displayed interesting data trends that suggest a reduction in all three categories of symptoms for both groups, with a more pronounced decrease for the experimental group. When considering these trends, in addition to presenting methodological flaws, it becomes apparent that further research into the therapeutic potential of creative fiction writing is needed.

Elsie Campbell Hendricks ’18 (European Studies), A Key, a Tree, and an Almond: A Multilingual Study of Three Cinderella Stories

Abstract: In this study, I made use of the Aarne-Thompson-Uther classification system in order to locate a version of the Cinderella tale (510A) in France, Germany, and Spain. I then conducted a multilingual literary analysis, culminating in a comparison between the three stories. In the first chapter of this project, I analyzed “Finette Cendron” by Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy in French within the context of Louis XIV’s reign, and found a potential for discreet subversion. In the second chapter, I explored “Aschenputtel” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in German to reveal an ethically complex protagonist. In the third chapter, I translated and examined “La Ventafochs,” a Catalonian story by Francesc Maspons y Labrós, in conjunction with “La Cenicienta” by Manuel Milà y Fontanals to explore how the tensions present in 19th-century Spain can be seen in literature. In this multilingual study, we saw how three authors in three countries over three centuries interpreted the timeless and powerful Cinderella story.

Sarah McLafferty ’18 (Global Health Studies), Risk Factors for Hospital Readmissions at the Meadville Medical Center: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Abstract: Hospitals have been receiving increased scrutiny for readmission rates ever since the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) was enacted as a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009. In response, hospitals have been attempting to identify risk factors for readmission to address in order to avoid losing Medicare reimbursements. This retrospective cohort study examined admissions at the Meadville Medical Center of Meadville, Pennsylvania in attempts to identify the specific risk factors for readmission at this rural acute-care community hospital. Using the standard 30-day, all-cause readmission definition, data on all admissions between January 1, 2017 and October 31, 2017 (N = 5,832) were statistically analyzed to identify patient and admission characteristics that correlated with a higher odds ratio for readmission. Four risk factors were identified: age, length of stay, discharge location, and insurance type. These findings document both patient- and hospital-related risk factors for readmissions in a rural community hospital.

Senior Poster Session


For the past 13 years, Allegheny College has held a Senior Project Poster Symposium to highlight work from nominated students across all departments and programs. This year, we continue that celebration and have also added students nominated by offices in the Gateway. At this session, you can learn about research representing the humanities, the natural and social sciences, interdisciplinary pursuits, and Gateway endeavors such as internships, civic engagement projects, and international experiences. Approximately 50 students will present their work. You can find their names and titles of their posters here.

Also at the Poster Session, we will host the annual senior project book fair. Department of English seniors have selected favorite books related to their comprehensive projects. Copies from this curated list of books will be available for purchase at heavily discounted rates, courtesy of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

Honors Convocation

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, FORD CHAPEL

At this special ceremony, student prizes are announced and awarded by representatives of all the departments and programs at Allegheny College. In addition, the valedictorian of the 2018 graduating class will speak and the teaching awards will be announced.

Scholars Symposium Reception


Following the Honors Convocation, we invite everyone to join us at the Scholars Symposium reception on the main floor of the Pelletier Library.

Snacks and drinks will be provided and this will be the last chance to explore the senior posters on exhibit!

13th Annual Student-Athlete Awards Celebration


The Allegheny College community is invited to attend the 2018 Senior Student-Athlete Awards Celebration. The Department of Athletics encourages all faculty, staff, administrators and friends of the department to join us as we look back at the outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes this past year, in addition to celebrating the four-year careers of the senior class. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Bill Ross at (814) 332-2316.