SEPCHE Honors Conference 2017

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 was held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 and hosted by Neumann University. Under the direction and guidance of the Holy Family University’s Honor Council and nominated by their mentoring professors, 17 students offered art and academic presentations.

Art Presentations

Artwork by Iesha Liberto

Iesha Liberato

« Prayers »
Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

My artwork reflects my belief in God; I want to provide a better insight of who I am by creating artwork that portrays my belief. In addition, I take into consideration colors, symbols, and much more to create artwork that is a true representation of my belief. When a person views my artwork, I hope to activate a positive reaction.

iesha liberto
Artwork by Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo

« Suspended Foundations »
Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

The hanging, seemingly precarious mobile piece was inspired by the difficulties of life balance which I faced while creating the project. The piece that is placed on the foundation represents what kept me balanced; the support of my loved ones and my desire to learn. I hope that this piece can relate to those faced with turbulent times. I also hope that it will provide a calming effect to anyone who views it.

nicole russo
Artwork by Katelyn Scherber

Katelyn Scherber

« Campus Cuisine »
Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

Living as a student on a college campus has become a routine of what I eat and how much I can afford to buy. The irony in my work comes from how college students, who can have the busiest of schedules as they study to get a job to afford ‘luxurious’ food, can only find time to eat quick food.

katelyn scherber
Artwork by Suesan Baehr

Suesan Baehr

« Focus »
Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

I let myself go free, for the first time, allowing imperfections along the way. The curves of the face and visible strokes show vulnerability. Her eyes are focused yet calm and the red lips present a nice contrast next to the lighter blue hue. The layers of blues, fading into darkness resemble an unconscious mind.

suesan baehr
Artwork by Christina Little

Christina Little

« Ocean Blues »
Mentor: Pamela Flynn, MFA

In this piece, I was inspired to having a part of the human form as it relates to nature. I decided to use water and the human eyeball. The light blue is the surface of the ocean, and as the colors get darker it relates to the bottom of the ocean. From the perspective of a person the light blue relates to the outside of the person showing that they’re happy, and content. However, as it gets deeper you realize that they’re actually hurting, and emotional. The person hides their true emotions internally, and tries to show their peers they’re ‘okay’ or ‘fine’ when in actuality they’re hurting.

christina little

Academic Presentations

Nicole Ridgeway

« Dana Beach - Manchester Painting »
Mentor: Dr. Megan Meyer

As part of a Sensation and Perception course, students selected a piece of art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and identified how concepts related to visual perception (e.g., depth perception) were represented in their chosen piece. The selected piece of artwork for this presentation is Dana Beach, Manchester by Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen.

nicole ridgeway

Rachel D'Angelo

« Misogyny in the Video Game Industry »
Mentor: Dr. Dan Mankowski

This discussion will emphasize the role of female characters in the video gaming industry, and how young adults, who play video games, both male and female, perceive these ideas. It will also display how these impressions of women are transposed into real life situations. It reveals that the industry itself has prejudices towards female contributions with regards to game creation.

rachel d'angelo

Jubin Cherian

« Expression and Purification of a DNA Polymerase Zeta Fragment from Dictyostelium discoideum »
Mentor: Dr. Stanley Mauldin

DNA polymerase Zeta (pol Zeta) is one of several polymerases involved in translesion synthesis. In this study, a 577 amino acid fragment of Dictyostelium polymerase Zeta (Pol Zeta) was expressed as a GST tagged protein. The GST tagged Pol Zeta was purified using Glutathione-Sepharose. The purified Pol Zeta will be crystallized for determination of the structure by X-ray crystallography.

jubin cherian

Jennifer Peters

« Developmental Theory Application »
Mentor: Dr. Janice Xu

An overview of the main concepts of Second Generation Developmental Theories and their relationship trajectories This presentation is a supplement to a paper that the presenter wrote for a Communications Theory course. It touches on the main ideas of the paper as well as reflects upon modern relationships.

jennifer peters

Caitlin Coughlin

« Leslie Knope: A Feminist Hero »
Mentor: Dr. Amanda McClain

An analysis of Congresswoman Leslie Knope from NBC’s hit show, Parks and Recreation using the Feminism Theory. Looking at two episodes from the series, I will discuss Leslie’s actions and discussing how she is the ideal Liberal feminist while, also, looking at the behaviors of those in her town and how they fall under the men dominance stereotype.

caitlin coughlin

Angela Smith

« Our ability to change, according to Mad Men: a popular culture study using semiotics and feminist analysis »
Mentor: Dr. Amanda McClain

This study is a textual analysis of the last two episodes of the AMC television series Mad Men. Using semiotics and feminist analysis, the presentation and accompanying paper establish examples in the texts that exhibit Mad Men’s dominant theme of change. The study also explores Mad Men’s use of symbolism to represent the shifting cultural norms of the 1970s.

angela smith

Amanda Moyer

« Father of New Hope, Pennsylvania »
Mentor: Dr. Mary Carroll Johansen

New Hope named Benjamin Parry (1757-1839) Father of New Hope because of his determination and hope for the town. Benjamin Parry was the creator of New Hope Mills, the inventor of a new process to dry grains, and the originator of the bridge that allows travelers to travel from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

amanda moyer

Ugo Uguru

« Extracellular Matrices In Normal and Tumor Tissue »
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Bassi

Proprotein convertases are proteases that cleave and activate other proteins in the cell. Fibroblasts differ in shape and other properties depending on their proximity to tumor cells. In addition, furin, one of the proprotein convertases, may show different expression depending on the shape of the matrix. We seek to understand the role of the extracellular matrix on the process of invasion and metastasis.

ugo uguru

Melissa Goodwill

« Mathematics Behind the H1N1 Influenza »
Mentors: Drs. Jaclyn Myers and S. Marcella Mallowicz, CSFN

The first influenza pandemic of the 21st century occurred in 2009. The influenza strains circulating during the 2009-2010 flu season were mostly H1N1. During that time, the virus was able to mutate and the rate of change between strains can be calculated. This rate of change can be compared to infection rates and mortality rates.

melissa goodwill

Julie Brylinski

« Feminist Theories »
Mentor: Dr. Janice Xu

An overview of the key concepts of feminism as it relates to our society today. This presentation was a supplement to a paper that the presenter wrote for a Communications Theory class. It touches on the main ideas of the paper as well as the important notions of feminism.

julie brylinksi

Nabella Mukith

« Furin activity and cancer progression »
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Bassi

Furin is a protease overexpressed in ovarian cancer. After limited proteolysis, it activates insulin-like growth factor receptor, promoting cell proliferation. Our goal is to inhibit furin with small molecule and protein inhibitors, thus limiting the maturation of IGF-1R, and decreasing cell growth.

nabella mukith

Lesley Reji

« The Role of PDX in Furin Activity »
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Bassi

The roles of furin and PDX, a metastasis promoter in ovarian cancer and a furin inhibitor, respectively, were monitored. However, blocking furin activity with PDX presents challenges, including difficult transport through the plasma membrane. Interestingly, incubation of ovarian cancer cells with extracellularly applied PDX resulted in internalization of this protein, pointing to a receptor-mediated endocytosis mechanism, and to a possible therapeutic approach to decrease ovarian cancer cell aggression.

lesley reji