SURE presentations highlight faculty-student research collaboration

Mary Dellas ’18 (Public Relations) presents “Strangers in a Strange Land: News Photographs of Syrian Refugees in U.S., Canadian, and Lebanese Newspapers”

Student scholars who received funding from the Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) program presented their findings in a series of presentations that showcased work from the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) at SUNY New Paltz.

The SURE program supports important faculty-student collaboration by providing students with the opportunity to work full-time on a project over an eight-week summer period. This year’s presentations highlighted the work of 20 students who, along with their faculty mentors, explored a wide array of subjects and research in art history, biology, biochemistry, English, environmental studies, geography, mechanical engineering, mathematics, public relations and physics.

RSCA is an important resource for New Paltz undergraduate students across all areas of study who wish to gain valuable, real-world research experience that prepares them for graduate-level study or careers in their field.

Lucas Tracy ’19 (Physics) connected with Assistant Professor Catherine for research that focuses on using optical tweezers – highly focused laser beams that are able to isolate and manipulate very small particles. Tracy shared his research findings “Determining Elliptical Polarization of Light from Rotation of Calcite Crystals on campus on Sept. 14, and went on to present at the Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 17.

“I’ve been learning about the research process in general: how to answer open-ended questions and think on your own,” said Tracy. “In classes you’re asked questions where you know that there’s definitely an answer. But when we’re doing research we’re searching for the answer for the first time.”

More information about student research opportunities provided by the RSCA can be found online. 

2017 SURE Presentations

Dan Hulseapple ’18 (History)
The First “Empire”: Political Artistic Responses to the Akkadian State
Mentor: Keely Heuer, Art History

Andrea Bialosuknia ’18 (English)
Acts of Contrition: Penitence, Performance, and the Ghost of Richard II
Mentor: Thomas Olsen, English

Carina Kohn ’18 (English/Creative Writing)
The Keeper of the Belt: Exploring Objects, Family, and the Russian Diaspora
Mentor: Cyrus Mulready, English

Megan Stone ’18 (Geography)
Geospatial Insights: Providing a Comprehensive Analysis of Safety on the SUNY New Paltz Campus
Mentor: Melissa Yang Rock, Geography

Mary Dellas ’18 (Public Relations)
Strangers in a Strange Land: News Photographs of Syrian Refugees in U.S., Canadian, and Lebanese Newspapers
Mentor: Rachel Somerstein, Digital Media & Journal

Ada Bellantoni ’18 (Geography)
Quantitative Content Analysis of Urban Transportation Studies
Mentor: Scott LaVine, Geography

Lucas Tracy ’19 (Physics)
Determining Elliptical Polarization of Light from Rotation of Calcite Crystals
Mentor: Catherine Herne, Physics and Astronomy

Hailey Springston ’18 (Geology)
Evaluating the Potential for an On-campus Ground Water Supply Wellfield
Mentor: Shafiul Chowdhury, Geology

Jonathon Colon ’17 (Mathematics)
Backlund Transformations for Finite Difference Equations
Mentor: Francis Valiquette, Mathematics

Emily Correia ’18 (Environmental Studies)
Milankovitch Cyclicity in the Lowe Devonian of the Hudson Valley
Mentor: Alex Bartholomew, Geology

Sarah Robinson ’19 (Biology)
Color Banding Birds to Track Individual Behavior Across a Suburban Campus
Mentor: Kara Belinsky, Biology

Katherine Dobosh ’19 (Biology)
Sampling the Genetic Diversity of Paramecium in Local Ponds
Mentor: Lydia Bright, Biology

Nicholas Gonda ’17 (Environmental Geochemical Science)
Examining the Potential for Disinfection Byproduct Formation in Wallkill River Water
Mentor: Megan Ferguson, Chemistry

Emily Steward ’19 (Mechanical Engineering)
“And by Sea”
Mentor: Michael Gayk, Art/Metal

Gregory Krupp ’19 (Geography)
Georeferencing Historical Maps of New Paltz with LIDAR
Mentor: Lawrence McGlinn, Geography

Elizabeth Chase ’17 (English, Jewish Studies, German)
Woman as Ideological Bridge: Assessing Continuities in Weimar and Nazi German Cinema
Mentor: Vanessa Plumly, Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Heather Wander ’19 (Biology)
Effect of Predation on Diel Vertical Migration of Lake Zooplankton
Mentor: David Richardson, Biology

Esther Chan ’18 (Biochemistry)
Optimizing BPA detection Using HPLC and Studying its Effects Using AFM
Mentor: Pamela St. John, Chemistry

Megan Gangewere ’18 (Mechanical Engineering)
Small-Scale Tesla Turbine Redesign with Removable Rotor Configuration
Mentor: Rachmadian Wulandana, Engineering

Carmina Chloe Taduran ’18 (Biology)
When Holospora Infect: Steps in Invasion of Paramecium Cells
Mentor: Lydia Bright, Biology