SEPCHE Honors Conference 2019

Among the many activities and programs sponsored by SEPCHE throughout the year, the annual undergraduate Honors Conference is an opportunity for students to present scholarship in a setting beyond the classroom and individual college or university: “The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) is a consortium of eight independent higher education institutions in the Greater Philadelphia region that collaborate to improve the quality and efficiency of academic programming, student access, faculty development, institutional operations and community outreach, through a range of shared activities, services, technology and information (SEPCHE homepage).”

This year’s Conference, hosted by Cabrini University, was held on Saturday, 23 March 2019. Under the direction and guidance of Holy Family University’s Honor Council and nominated by their mentoring professors, 18 students offered 19 varied academic and artistic presentations.

The next SEPCHE Honors Conference will be hosted by Holy Family University on Saturday, 28 March 2020.

Kenneth Brightcliffe

« Mayfair »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Mary Carroll Johansen

Philadelphia is known as a city of neighborhoods. Philadelphians, perhaps more so than people from any other major city in America, have pride in the section of the city that they grew up in. Philadelphians love their city, but they have a connection with their specific neighborhood. Mayfair, in the Northeast section of the city, is one of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

Kenneth Brightcliffe

David Butkiewicz

« Genetic Engineering of Influenza Virus A antigenic sites »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Jaclyn Myers

The influenza virus is continually changing due to its high mutation rate. High variability in antigenic sites prove difficult for vaccine production. In this research, we systematically introduce point mutations into hemagglutinin antigenic regions to observe how single point mutations influence viral characteristics. The purpose of this research is to understand viral changes through reverse genetics.


Melissa Cahill

« Sabermetrics Applied to Faculty Evaluations »
Faculty Mentor: Sr Marcella Louise Wallowicz CSFN, Phd

Thanks to generosity of The Clare Boothe Luce Program and the assistance of my faculty mentor, Sister Marcella, I was able to continue research on sabermetrics, statistics made to evaluate baseball players, applied to university faculty. This past year, we gained the approval of an IRB (Institutional Review Board) to evaluate a specific cohort: full-time faculty at Holy Family University.


Rachel D'Angelo

« Oil Painting: 3,2,1 »
Faculty Mentor: Prof Pamela Flynn

My work is about the human experience. These experiences are reflected through consciousness. This piece expresses a futile struggle, specifically through a female perspective. This piece suggests that although we may face hardship, we do not have to accept this as part of our identity. Who we are is made up of memories, but the past does not exist.


Christina Erwin

« The Reality of Police Suicide »
Faculty Mentor: Dr David Whelan

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and almost 45,000 Americans die by suicide each year. While suicide can affect people of all ages, races, and genders, one group in particular has seen a disturbing rise in suicide rates, police officers. In recent years, there have been more police officer suicides than line-of-duty deaths.


Christopher Ewing

« Suicide Awareness »
Faculty Mentor: Prof Pamela Flynn

As a graphic artist, I present this video to raise awareness of suicide. It is my intent that this presentation helps to prevent anyone from committing this dreadful act that also significantly impacts the lives of family and friends.


Rachel Fox

« Chick Fil-A Whitman Square Community Relations Case Analysis »
Mentor: Dr Janice Xu

Chick Fil-A is a family oriented restaurant with locations across the United States that serves millions of guests daily. This presentation will focus on the community relations activities of Chick Fil-A of Whitman Square, a fast food chain located in Northeast Philadelphia. The community relations case analysis will be based on the results of surveys and focus groups conducted in 2018 among customers and staff at Chick Fil-A Whitman Square.

Rachel Fox

Amanda Gurecki

« Understanding the Relationship between Organized Crime and the States: A Complex Nexus »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Jonathan Rosen

This presentation is drawn from a chapter of an edited volume which strives to understand the different ways in which organized crime penetrates the state apparatus in Latin America. The presenter assisted with the compilation of the chapter. Book citation: Jonathan D. Rosen, Bruce Bagley, and Jorge Chabat, eds., The Criminalization of States: The Relationship Between States and Organized Crime (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019).


Nicholas Ihnatenko

« PDX, Furin, and Ovarian Cancer »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Daniel Bassi

Ovarian cancer remains a difficult cancer type to treat due to its late stage detection and diagnosis. Furin, a proprotein convertase, has been shown to be involved with tumor growth and progression through the activation of growth factors, their receptors and matrix metalloproteinases. To counteract this development, the gene PDX is utilized to silence the furin gene and stop subsequent tumor growth. PDX acts as an inhibitor of furin in ovarian cancer cells and we aim to successfully transfer the gene for PDX to these cell lines. The transfer and then activation of PDX results in a decrease of cell proliferation or possible decreased tumor growth.


Kabir Kolawole

« Left handedness »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Dan Mankowski

Multiple factors such as culture influence the way this trait is perceived around the world. Fortunately, vast majority of those who possess it have managed to paint a “good” picture of it. The main cause of left-handedness has not been found yet, it has been associated with intelligence and excellence, but it has a few cons too.


Vanessa Lakatosh

« Alzheimer’s Disease »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Dan Mankowski

Alzheimer’s is a disease that damages the brain through the buildup of tiny proteins that block messages, preventing people from performing their normal tasks, and it is thought to be developed as age increases. No one knows why it occurs and there is no cure, yet it continues to deteriorate the brains of many people.


Erica Longobardi

« Painting: The Heart of the Matter »
Faculty Mentor: Prof Pamela Flynn

Pain and hardship is a reality that we experience in our lives. These experiences shape our perspectives of the world around us. As an artist, I aim to affirm the various emotional hardships we endure by exploring vulnerability, violence, sadness, and pain. My artwork is a combination of oil paint on canvas and mixed media elements that contain powerful symbolism demonstrated through the subject matter and color schemes. I aim to make a connection with the viewer by engaging the viewer visually; to encourage the viewer to think, feel, and process, even if it is painful. Ultimately, this piece is about the viewer and the viewer’s interpretation of pain and vulnerability in the deepest sense


Nicholas Ihnatenko

« The crime scene: A simulation activity »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Daniel Bassi

Simulation techniques may help in the application of learning techniques to real-world model. The analysis of a mock crime scene is amenable to include simulation techniques that involve the collection of samples, sketching, note-taking and photographing techniques. Simulation techniques stimulate observation and knowledge in a criminal investigation. This group activity represented a combined effort between the School of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.


Anna Muller

« Chernobyl »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Dan Mankowski

On April 25, 1986, Chernobyl, Ukraine faced an explosion from their nuclear reactor. A violation of safety policy and a design flaw led to a catastrophic event. Several researchers study the event itself and its long-lasting effects on its environment and its people. The radioactivity levels have led to abnormalities in animals and diseases within individuals.


Patrick Murray

« The Border: Finding a Balance Between Security and Cooperation »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Mary Carroll Johansen

The elements of drugs, violence, and extortion are leaving the common Mexican people with no choice but to flee their homes. The United States should continue to adopt policies that work toward assisting Mexico and Central America with financial aid and ensuring that corruption and cartel violence are not necessarily eradicated, but minimized to lessen the necessity of illegal immigration.


Jillian Nugent

« Safe Injection Sites »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Dan Mankowski

Safe Injection Sites - On paper, safe injection sites look good and seem to have all the right answers, but in reality, they are doing more harm than good. In this presentation, I will explain why this practice is harming our children, and share the content of interviews with both a Philadelphia Police Officer and a recovering heroin addict.


Meghan Rakus

« Everyday Mindfulness for the Everyday Classroom »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Kimberly Heuschkel

With intellectual curriculum being in the forefront of the United States’ education system, emotional intelligence is often overlooked by teachers and families. Everyday Mindfulness for the Everyday Classroom will display lessons and classroom techniques that align with Pennsylvania State Standards while simultaneously helping students become more mindful students and citizens.


Grace Van Thuyne

« Video Games and Gun Attitudes: Are College Students' Views on Gun Control Influenced by the Video Games They Play? »
Faculty Mentor: Dr Stacy McDonald

In the United States, 24% of “E” (everyone) rated video games and 57% of “T” (teen) games involve guns (Smith et al., 2004). With such easy access, adolescents may view gun violence quite often. To examine if exposure to violent video games influences gun attitudes, undergraduate students completed an online survey. Correlations between the variables and implications will be discussed.

            Van Thuyne

Donald Wallace

« Plaster: Two Foxes »
Faculty Mentor: Prof Pamela Flynn

It started with a thought that I transferred it to paper in sketch form, from there it became a small clay model no taller than 6 inches. Then plaster and water were combined in a plastic bucket where it would dry and take the form of the bucket, once it dried enough so to take it out of its mold. Before completely dry with the assistance of chisels and mallets, I tried my best to recreate my original thought, Two Foxes.