Holy Family University Students Present at SEPCHE 2023 Honors Conference

SEPCHE 2023 Group

On March 25, 18 Holy Family University students traveled to Salus University in Elkins Park, PA for the annual Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium (SEPCHE) Honors Conference.

SEPCHE member schools include Arcadia University, Cabrini University, Chestnut Hill College, Holy Family University, Neumann University, Rosemont College, and Salus University. 

Family, friends, faculty, and administrators accompanied students to the Conference. Student presentations spanned research in the areas of art, business, education, history, nursing, psychology, and science, among other subjects. 

Student presenters were nominated for participation by a professor with whom each worked closely on an aspect of research or art. 

Mary Carroll Johansen, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program at Holy Family, noted, “Students in the Honors Program worked on their projects throughout the academic year, in addition to their coursework and internships; they all worked really hard, and I was thrilled to see how well their projects came together, how much they had learned, and how interested others were in learning about the work they had done. Students in the art program presented amazingly well done works and spoke really movingly and insightfully about their creative process and finished work. I am grateful to all of the faculty mentors who advised and prepared the students for the SEPCHE Honors Conference, to interim vice president Shelley Robbins for her support of the conference, and to Salus University for hosting, but mostly I am grateful to the student presenters for their work because there would not have been a conference without their participation."

A complete list of student presenters and abstracts of their works follows:

Cole Belinsky
Perceptions of student engagement in popular culture themed courses
Pop culture-themed courses (e.g., Psychology of Harry Potter) can build student comprehension and engagement by relating course material to real-world scenarios. However, there is a dearth of research on the impact of themed courses on student outcomes (e.g., engagement, enjoyment), or demographic differences (e.g., gender, age) in these associations. Thus, the goal of this research was to examine demographic differences in students’ perceptions of pop culture-themed courses. Findings will inform instructors about a more engaging approach to student learning.
Faculty Mentor: Jill Swirsky, Ph.D.

Olivia Bennett
Human Trafficking and The Relationship Involving Healthcare Providers in Preventing, Recognizing, and Treating Victims
The purpose of the following research is to assess human trafficking and the responsibility of healthcare providers to prevent, recognize, and treat victims. Human trafficking is a major problem with over 27.6 million victims recorded internationally as reported by the U.S. Department of State. Research indicates that human trafficking victims frequently come into contact with healthcare providers during their captivity but rarely does this lead to rescues. Literary analysis was conducted to attempt to develop a plan of action to narrow this gap.
Faculty Mentor: Mary Collins

Kristin DeFulvio
Nuclear Fission
My painting, nuclear fission shows a grim picture of our future if peace is not prioritized by world leaders. The call for money and power should not be at the citizens' expense. With the war in Ukraine and the tension between the United States and Russia, it is sad that the entire world must beg for peace.
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

Abigail Dolan
Dietary Preferences of Adult Black Soldier Flies
The topic of this project is the nutritional needs and preferences of adult black soldier flies. Determining the optimal diets for these flies, as well as understanding the changes feeding may have on their life, will be essential for guiding the industry in improving their welfare. The purpose of this research is to collect and analyze data to determine the dietary preferences of black soldier flies, and the impact that feeding them has on their lifespan and behaviors.
Faculty Mentor: Edward Waddell, Ph.D.

Emily Flora
The effects of habitat loss in predator-prey dynamics
As habitat loss continues to accelerate globally, studies have shown that habitat loss negatively impacts many ecological processes. Using a predator-prey model system, we aim to test the effects of habitat loss on predation rates. Artificial plants will act as a habitat for Daphnia Magna from Danio rerio. We will arrange five habitats, each receiving 20 D. Magna and two D. rerio. We will filter the water to calculate the predation rate after 20 minutes. We hypothesize that the predation rate will be lower in the habitats with less fragmentation.
Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Carroll, Ph.D.

Kevin Flynn
Selling the War: An Analysis of World War II Propaganda
The major members of the Axis and Allied powers all had one major shared factor between them. All powers in question were incredibly effective at utilizing propaganda to sway public opinion in favor of the war. Not only were they attempting to sway the minds of their own people, but also those of the people living in other countries, be they Axis or Allies. This presentation aims to analyze the different uses of propaganda across the various allied and axis nations in World War II, as well as how this propaganda impacted overall public opinion, both at home and abroad.
Faculty Mentor: Mary Carroll Johansen, Ph.D.

Samantha Ho
The World of Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is a phenomenon hurting the modern medical field and killing thousands around the globe every year. Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi all can change over time and combat antimicrobial medications such as antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals. As a result, scientists and researchers are looking for different ways to combat this life-threatening phenomenon to save the lives of many.
Faculty Mentor: Edward Waddell, Ph.D.

Breanna Hoey
Implementing a Medical Humanities Course into the Nursing (BSN) Program
My project focuses on the importance of why a Medical Humanities Course should be implemented into the BSN Program as well as what the course could potentially look like to instructors/students.
Faculty Mentor: Melissa Rampelli, Ph.D.

Julia Lloyd
Forming the Soul
"Forming the Soul" was created over several weeks through free-hand shaping and many revisions. We establish who we are while we're young and willing to learn, yet along the way, we find holes in our lives and philosophies. Yet even as we go on this journey of self-discovery we are still one being, one mind.
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

Deanna Michalovicz
This sculpture was inspired by my yoga practice, which allows me to match physical movement with emotional balance. The process of this clay sculpture started from the ground up. I began with the figure’s torso and worked my way up through her limbs. The movement of this asana, or pose, is to rise through the arms and legs, so it was symbolic to also move with the clay in that way. For the patina, I chose to mimic the tones of Colorado red rock. A piece of my heart will always be in those mountains so this was my way to keep a small part of that with me.
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

Elizabeth Montgomery
The Consumer Decision-Making Process and its Link to Personal Identity
The consumer decision process is the driving force behind a profitable business. How a consumer chooses to spend their income is a powerful weapon known as purchasing power. Branding is a resource that can potentially drive the consumer decision process resulting in significant sales. This poster presentation, through literature review, will link the consumer decision process, and its influences, to the “purchasing power” of personal branding, which has the power to influence positive future achievements within a person’s lifetime.
Faculty Mentor: Luanne Amato, Ph.D.

Sean Pramnieks
The impact of Covid-19 on the emotional well-being of college-aged students
We investigated whether having Covid-19 negatively impacted anxiety, emotional regulation, and psychological well-being. College-aged (N = 99) students completed online questionnaires via a subject pool. Overall, the pandemic had a negative impact on mental health and interpersonal relationships and caused increased isolation (Liu et al., 2022). Results showed that having Covid-19 led to poorer outcomes (adaptive emotion regulation, anxiety, and psychological well-being). Results have implications for managing mental health in a post-pandemic world.
Faculty Mentor: Jennifer DeCicco, Ph.D.

Kayla Pyrih
From One to Many: The Psychological Formation Behind Cults
Cults have received much recent media attention (e.g., Heaven’s Gate). While hard to pin down a universal definition, cults generally consist of certain defining structures; for example, they often begin with one person who uses manipulation tactics to recruit vulnerable people as members. Although cults are not inherently violent, they can be dangerous as they often involve members who are brainwashed until they become willing to do essentially anything. This project explores some of the defining features and outcomes of cult involvement.
Faculty Mentor: Jill Swirsky, Ph.D.

Sarah Schreiber
Persona and Perception of T.E. Lawrence
Daring, heroic, adventurous, and yet, paradoxically introverted was how traveler Lowell Thomas painted Thomas Edward Lawrence in his biography With Lawrence in Arabia. In exploring the personality perceived by Thomas, the Arabians, the British, and Lawrence himself, it is apparent that Lawrence had a different purpose for every primary agent that was constructing the Middle East during and following World War One.
Faculty Mentor: Madigan Fichter, Ph.D.

Megan Schultz
The Universe in Her Eyes>Fragemented>Mosaic
I have always seen myself as a direct reflection of nature. Common themes emerging, such as space, forestry, and the dark side of nature that exists within our human consciousness. As I bridge the gap between my skill set and my artistic voice, I push forth to create works of art that emulate how I uniquely see the world; Often in a cosmic way.
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

Emily Schwartz
B-cells may get the spotlight but are T-cells the unsung hero of the COVID-19 vaccine?
In this project, we will explore the question “does the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provide a robust and long-lasting t-cell response?” We hypothesize that the vaccine does provide a t-cell response which provides protection from SARS-CoV-2, including its many variants. Diving into the topic we will discuss what is a B-cell and what is a T-cell, what they do, and how they differ. We will also share evidence of the T-cell response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and what the future holds for these vaccines.
Faculty Mentor: Jaclyn Myers, Ph.D.

Abigail Tobin
Nonverbal Communication
In efforts to better educate nonverbal students, I researched means of communication for nonverbal individuals: the picture exchange communication system, sign language, proloquo2go, etc. I included information as to how the communication system functions as well as the pros and cons of each system. This information is valuable as all individuals need to communicate with those who are unable to speak. We must advocate for a group of individuals that cannot always do so.
Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Heuschkel, Ph.D.

Ashton Wenyon
You rarely see transgender bodies in the art world, so I have made it my mission to focus on the complexity and beauty of those bodies as much as I can in my art. This sculpture has a lot of me put into it, with the way I modeled the face after my own, even the mask on the other side is made from my own face and the teeth painted on are my own. Just as I have my progress with my transition to look back on, looking at this piece shows me just how far I have come with my art and stepping out of my comfort zone. I hope I can inspire others to do the same.
Faculty Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

To learn more about the Honors Program at Holy Family University, please visit the program webpage.