Audrey McNeely

Art and Conflict through Ecuadoran influenced Fiber Art
Sponsored By: Daniel Bryan

This project explores conflicts, indigenous ways of knowing, and symbolism in different Ecuadoran communities as a single coherent fiber art piece. The piece itself is a blanket of 49 individual squares, crocheted and knitted in primarily Andean wool but in part US American fibers. The pattern replicates the Andean Wiphala, which is known in the Andean region of South America as an indigenous symbol of interconnectedness and ancestral knowledge. This blanket represents my personal experience and relationships built in Ecuador among different communities. It is the result of Juniata's partnership with the Pachaysana Rehearsing Change program in Ecuador. 

Jack Badger

Role of entertainment in Politics
Sponsored By: J Barlow

N/A at the moment

Sean Perrine

The Efficacy of Economic Sanctions Post-Cold War
Sponsored By: J Barlow

In this presentation, I elaborate on economic sanctions and uncover under what circumstances economic sanctions fulfill their intended objectives in the Post-Cold War political environment. In addition, Girl Scout cookies may or may not be given to those attending.

Audrey McNeely

Temporal stratification of demographics of Sceloporus undulatus (Eastern fence lizard) entering hibernation
Sponsored By: John Matter

This study intends to determine which demographics of Sceloporus undulatus enter hibernation at what time, and the factors that may be involved in this behaivoral disparity. Data collected over the course of 24 years during the period of August to late October regarding temperature, location, reproductive state, size, and behavior on capture was analyzed to establish the role of temperature tradeoffs in different life stages of this species. 

Brian Standfest

The Baxter University of Music: The First Non-Military Band Academy West of the Appalachian Mountains
Sponsored By: James Latten

The nature of my research was to try and determine the origin of the genre of American school band music, and band director training. There is evidence in writings that suggest the genre originated in the small town of Friendship, New York, in the mid-19th century by a man named James Baxter. He built the Baxter University of Music in Friendship, NY, and the school operated from 1853 to sometime in 1883. It attracted a wide variety of students from across the United States, its territories, and Canada, and even by today's standards had an incredibly rigorous curriculum. It was also the first school of its kind west of the Appalachian Mountains, and over its lifetime, many men and women graduated from this school. The school also had its own publishing company and produced and sold music texts not only for the school but for others interested in music across the United States during this time.

Jordan Wilson

Pre-Raphaelites and Painting: How the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Revived and Individualized English Art
Sponsored By: Jennifer Streb

In 1848, a group of young English artists from the Royal Academy banded together to form the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB). Frustrated with the rigid artistic culture in Victorian England, the Brothers collaborated in hopes to reform traditional genre painting and reinstate artistic creativity and individuality. The Pre-Raphaelites also revived national pride by producing works that reflected English culture and history, specifically the English Medieval period and classic literary works.  By analyzing some of the Pre-Raphaelite works, people can gain a deeper understanding of how the artists reformed British art in the 19th century with elements and styles that persist into the 21st century. Today, several of the Brotherhood members’ artworks serve as front cover pages for latest publications of well- known novels. This presentation focuses on how the Pre-Raphaelites reintroduced Italian Renaissance themes and painting styles within England in addition to discussing how the Brotherhood transformed English Medieval history and famous works of literature into their paintings. Finally, I will discuss the extent of the Pre Raphaelites’ impression on British Art through the 20th  and 21st century. 

Rabecka Mason

Mid Victorian Corset
Sponsored By: Alison Fletcher

Shapewear is an important part of creating a fashionable silhouette and reflects what society at the time views as beautiful. My thesis will cover corsets in the mid- Victorian period (1850-1879) in Britain. Corsets were carefully constructed undergarments made and mainly worn by women. This thesis claims that corsets were important tools for Victorian women, because they lessened class divisions, were a socially acceptable form of sexual expression, and allowed women control of their image. Using the scholarly work of Valerie Steele, I acknowledge that the corset has been viewed as an object of oppression, but that was due to anti-corset propaganda by Victorian doctors and politicians who sought to control women’s bodies and expression of identity. Although corsets were worn by men, toddlers, and pregnant women during the Victorian era, this thesis focuses on the interaction between women (not currently pregnant) and corsets.

Arya Dixit

An Analysis of Kiran Nagarkar's 'Cuckold' : The Female Body and Gender Conformity in 16th Century India
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

16th century India was the time of the Rajput — A powerful empire that ruled over regions of Mewar with a dominating fist and unshakeable honor. The Sisodias, and particularly Bhojraj Sisodia, are the characters of the story Kiran Nagarkar weaves in his novel 'Cuckold'. He masterfully uses the blank canvas of this heir-apparent to reflect the toxic patriarchal society of the Rajputs, and the codes of honor they exploit to oppress women. The introduction of Bhojraj inevitably brings into frame his wife, Meera Bai, who subverts the expectations of the female body, sex, and "the good wife". This book is significant for the religious constructs it dismantles through religion itself; 'Cuckold' challenges the expectations of women and their bodies that are prevalent even today in societies around the world. 

Cecelia Telemeco

Neuroscience in Theatre: A Dive Into How Gesture Affects Memory and Recall
Sponsored By: Neal Utterback

Memory and recall are two essential aspects of theatre. The challenge for most actors is how to enhance their memory and recall ability. The idea of memory has been studied for decades by neuroscientists and psychologists all over the world. The purpose of this paper and presentation is to view how our brain makes memories through visual, acousitc, elaborative, and semantic encoding, and connect this to how our brain recalls these memories and information. This paper/presentation will conclude with innovative ways for actors, and the general public, to increase their memory and recall abilities.

Evan Sturtevant

Personalization of Video Games: An Implementation of PaSSAGE
Sponsored By: Elainea Neville

Video games are a modern medium through which story tellers can tell a story. What is unique about them is their ability for player agency and interactivity. PaSSAGE is a technique game developers can use to help take advantage of this unique trait of the medium in order to tell an immersive story. This research documents the creation of a simple video game under the passage framework as well as the results of a short survey about said game in order to determine the amount player agency really achieved through the framework.

Victor Jung

Neural Network Accelerators : Enabling the new generation of Edge AI
Sponsored By: Elainea Neville

Machine learning workloads become increasingly important for IoT devices and intelligent extreme edge devices, due to the desire to move more and more intelligence into the edge. Yet, these workloads come with significant computational complexity, making their execution until recently only feasible on power-hungry server or GPU platforms. To enable the execution of these workloads on IoT devices, designers came up with highly specialized hardware named Deep Neural Network (DNN) Accelerators. Nonetheless, these Accelerators bring new optimizations challenges that need to be assessed to reach their full potential.

This presentation will go over the new optimization challenges induced by DNN Accelerators and discuss the next steps of Tiny Machine Learning, particularly the growing interest of running Transformers on Edge devices.

Malcolm Macdermid

Culture and Entheogens : Mescaline and the Native American Church
Sponsored By: Susan Prill

Mescaline is the world’s oldest psychedelic, dating back to 6000 years ago in South America. Despite Mescaline’s prolific history, it has become known as an “orphan psychedelic” with many other substances eclipsing it. The Native American Church began using Mescaline in the early 1880s as an entheogen, a holy sacrament given to the Indigenous people’s from God to heal the wounds colonialism left. As the drug war began and the scars of European conquest set in, Mescaline has been a symbol of healing and controversy for the Native American Church.   

Elyzabeth Graham

Andrei Amalrik: Prophet, Puppet or Pasquinade
Sponsored By: Belle Tuten

Parasite, KGB informer, lucky guesser, or someone who truly saw the flaws in the Soviet system years before anyone else? Andrei Amalrik was accused of being all and more in his short life as an active participant in the Dissident Movement of the 1960s and 70s. Despite hard labor sentences, exile, and threats of death, he still spoke truths about the regime. Upon returning from prison and exile, he continued to denounce the Soviet government, while intimately aware of the consequences his words carried. Andrei Amalrik was a lesser known, but integrally important member of the Dissident Movement in Soviet Russia. A prolific writer, he penned his own biography, compelling and brutally honest, written with confidence and no fear of consequences. Analyzing the memoirs of Andrei Amalrik, I will discuss his background, his understanding of duty to the Soviet people, and embodiment of the Russian soul amid soul crushing conditions, appreciating how the Soviet Union created one of their strongest critics, and how the circumstances surrounding his life led him to be insightful beyond his years, answering the question of how Amalrik was able to see into the future.

Jackie Eberle

Andrea Insalaco

Anna Sule

Zachary Wyland

McKenna Brooks

Moriah Hall

Stephen Prosser

Integrated Internships in IMA
Sponsored By: Ryan Gibboney

Abstract: Accessible for asynchronous viewing all day, this exhibition is a showcase of a series of creative internship experiences from Fall 21-Spring 22. 


Erica Lybarger

The impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on elementary school students: Positive or Negative?
Sponsored By: Katie Hoffman

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the globe in an abundance of ways. We could have never imagined that schools would be forced to close leaving children and youth in a vulnerable state with little to no educational support. The COVID pandemic continues to impact the nation’s students. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to share the research that has been published thus far specifically on school students and their social and emotional well-being. Preliminary findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students’ social interactions and behaviors negatively. There is still a great need for additional research on how the pandemic has affected children and youth, as we are just beginning to understand the impact of COVID and changes that are happening frequently.

Rose Snyder

The Power of Narrative Rationality Through Character Development: Analyzing Zagreus from Hades (2018)
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer

Video games hold the same power as film and television to create diverse stories through character building for their participants. One key aspect is through interactivity or how audience members can become immersed in the world and action on the screen while able to take their experiences and bring it into their everyday lives. As such, game developers strive to make a narrative that is not only probable but also faithful to the expectations of their players. This study aims to explore how games provide shared meaning to audiences and guides their beliefs through a narrative analysis on Supergiant Games’ latest indie game, Hades (2018). I use Zagreus’ journey to analyze how his presence as the main protagonist contributes to a true and complete story for players. I argue that Supergiant Games creates narrative rationality in Hades (2018) through Zagreus, the protagonist, who creates shared meanings of strengthening relationships to make a true and complete interactive story for players.  

This research explores the development of character relationships through the discourse level of process and stasis. Specifically, I focus on voice-over, dialogue, and action through Zagreus’ interactions with various characters as grows closer with them through constant interaction, specifically with Hades, Nyx, Achilles, and Thanatos. Fisher's narrative approach provides the framework to explore the game at the discourse and story levels to determine if it has narrative rationality for audiences. I aim to contribute to the field of multimedia communication by exploring how video games, using Hades as an example, create meaning and impact players on and offscreen. 

Mansi Chandra

Effects of Walnut Consumption on the Gut Microbiota
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

This project is designed to study the effects of walnut consumption on the gut microbiome at both microbial and functional level that would help us discover what leads to their beneficial effects on human health like reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, obesity, etc. In our experimental design, we put individuals on a random controlled feeding trial consisting of four groups: RunIn (standard western diet), WD (walnut derived), WFMD (fatty-acid matched diet devoid of walnuts) and ORAD (diet replacing ALA with oleic acid). Fecal samples were collected from these individuals and the samples were then subjected to metatranscriptomics analysis to study the differential gene expression across the diet groups. 

In our analysis, taxonomic richness did not differ significantly among the diet groups, but the functional gene richness did differ. Differential gene expression analysis revealed the enrichment of an interesting microbe, Gordonibacter in the WD group. This bacterium is responsible for converting ellagitannins and ellagic acid to urolithins which is the primary form in which ellagitannins are absorbed by our body. 

This study has helped us in figuring out the metabolic pathway changes and the gene expression that leads to changes in the gut microbiota. It has helped us gain a more thorough insight on the effects of walnut consumption on the gut microbiota. 

Madison Kyle

Paige McConnell

Olivia Wright

A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Anthelmintic Baiting Techniques to Control Baylisascaris procyonis in Raccoons
Sponsored By: Uma Ramakrishnan

Baylisascaris procyonis is a microparasitic roundworm which commonly infects North American Raccoons (Procyon lotor). B. procyonis is also attributed to the population decline of the Allegany Woodrat (Neotoma magister) due to this species serving as an intermediate host. N. magister become infected with raccoon roundworm by consuming the parasitic eggs found in the feces of P. lotor. Researchers have become interested in combating this parasitic disease because it is causing high mortality rates in the now threatened N. magister. Our research compares three anthelmintic baiting techniques - free bait, sheltered bait, and automated bait dispensers in and effort to find the most efficient method of treating B. procyonis infection in P. lotor to manage N. magister populations.

Danielle Formato

Spatial and temporal variation in water chemistry over two decades in a central Pennsylvania reservoir
Sponsored By: Sharon Yohn

Raystown Lake, in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania is important to the economy of the region, drawing in nearly two million visitors each year. To evaluate the health and trophic status of the reservoir, students and faculty from Juniata College have collected data in early July intermittently since 1998. Eleven years of data have been collected from seven sites along the reservoir, including dissolved oxygen concentrations, temperature, and Secchi disk depths, and four years of data for epilimnetic total phosphorus concentration. These data were examined to evaluate changes in the health of the reservoir over time. Overall, there was an increase in average temperatures in the epilimnion from 1998 to now. Increasing temperatures over time can lead to algal blooms and low oxygen zones, resulting in fish kills. Dissolved oxygen values, total phosphorous concentrations, and Secchi depth readings varied over time but did not show a distinct trend. Monitoring these trends is essential to maintaining the health of the lake as well as the economy in the area.

Emilie Falaux-Bachelot

Maude Royden, A Preacher For Women's Rights
Sponsored By: Belle Tuten

I would like to present Maude Royden, a British feminist preacher, who was also a pacifist. I would like to present her life and her fight for women's right, especially in the field of priesthood, but also her work as a pacifist. 

Rohit Raj

Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos
Sponsored By: James Borgardt

Explaining Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos. Includes simulation of Double Pendulum on Matlab and a physical model. Finding the example of Chaos and bifurcations in our surroundings.

Nataya Tucker

Khoa Nguyen

Investigating Boundary Generating Curves of Finite Field Numerical Ranges
Sponsored By: Kristin Camenga

In this talk, we will investigate the connections between the numerical range and the boundary generating curve of a 2x2 matrix in M(Zp[i]) over a finite field. We define the numerical range of a matrix as a set of vectors in Zp[i], which can be plotted as ordered pairs onto a small section of the complex plane. The boundary generating curve borders the numerical range and, due to the looping nature of Zp[i], plots itself in an interesting way. Our goal is to investigate characteristics of the boundary generating curve that can show us qualities of its respective numerical range. 

Yitzchak Zirkle

Inclusive Illusions
Sponsored By: Laura Feibush

“Safe space” is a loosely defined term used in many, mainly performative, educational, governmental, managerial, etc. scenarios. In addition many people who use the term “safe space” do not fully understand the term, and they do not take appropriate action to make the space safe for those most in need of that safety. My project, which takes the form of a blog that can be found at [inset URL at a later date]  highlights and synthesizes on research related to “safe space” in order to explore, define, and create a space that is safe for the people who need it as well as argue for establishing the public sphere (Habermas) as a truly “safe space.” This will include advocating for private spaces for marginalized groups and the exclusion of hateful ideologies and people within the public sphere.  Ultimately, my researched blog is intended to help educators, writers, and activists, etc. form and reinforce safety in general spaces to improve the nature of public discourse.

Brittney McMullen

Samantha Baker

A Meta-transcriptomic Analysis of Complicated Diverticulitis Tissue: The Role of Xenobiotics in the Gut
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

Diverticulitis, a common inflammatory disease characterized by infected pouches in the intestinal wall, can become especially painful when complications, such as abscesses and fistulas, arise. Despite affecting over 58% of adults over the age of 60, not much is known how the gut microbiome may influence or change as a result. Herein we resected diseased and adjacent tissue from both complicated and uncomplicated diverticulitis patients, extracting DNA and RNA from all samples. 16S rRNA gene Illumina-tag PCR was performed on all samples extracted, analysis revealing an abundance of sulfur oxidizing bacteria in complicated diseased tissue compared to their adjacent tissue counterpart. This discovery led us to perform microbial gene expression using shotgun meta-transcriptomics analysis on these complicated diseased tissues and their adjacent counterpart tissue to confirm expression of sulfur oxidizing behavior. However, differential gene expression revealed a fascinating trend in the increased expression of microbial xenobiotic degradation pathways in diseased tissue. Specifically, increased expression of Cytochrome-P450 and Glucuronosyltransferase was found. Detailing how these environmental biotransformation enzymes could be activated or influence the  immune response notorious of complicated diverticulitis will have profound impacts of treatment of the disease, as well as our understanding of how xenobiotics affect human health.

Collin Delsite

Controversies in the Capital: An Analysis of Conservativism from Watergate to January 6th
Sponsored By: J Barlow

American citizens are typically proud of the political system and democratic principles on which the nation was founded upon. Some of the key elements of a democratic system include equality, fairness, accountability, and justice. However, despite this national pride, the American political system has witnessed various levels of corruption and scandals orchestrated by elected officials. Two scathing controversies within the past fifty years include the Watergate Scandal in 1973 and the Capitol Insurrection in 2021. Both of these events deeply shook American politics and were linked to the respective sitting presidents, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. Watergate and the Insurrection cannot be directly compared because of the differences between the events. However, there are striking similarities and differences in the events leading up to and following both controversies. For example, why did the Republican Party largely abandon Nixon in the aftermath of Watergate, but still support Trump in the following months after the Insurrection (and still do today)? I plan to focus on the Republican party, and what has changed internally that could possibly explain the different responses.

Rebecca Case

Tackling the Flaws of Social Media Activism
Sponsored By: Laura Feibush

For my capstone project, I discuss the dangers of social media activism and the specific conventions of social media that detract from activist causes. Social media is a popular means to communicate information to large groups of people within seconds, and we often think of it as the perfect way to communicate information with people to gain awareness for causes and to encourage activism. However, the power of social media is often not utilized properly and can harm more causes than they help. 

I identify several different aspects of social media activism on my independently created website “The Digital Resistance”, meant for a general audience, such as performative activism, cancel culture, and clicktivism. I tackle the difficulties associated with each through a series of blog posts. I also offer ways that we can identify these drawbacks online in order to become better at using the Internet to our advantage for activist causes. There are a lot of difficulties in navigating the world of online activism, but if we can work together to identify what is not working, then I believe that there is hope for making the Internet a place that can help foster real change offline. My goal is to call out the flaws within social media activism so we can better utilize social media as a tool for change that is truly educational and successful, not simply a tool for gaining social capital. 

Sydney Shearer

Predicting Juniata Enrollment Using Random Forest Techniques
Sponsored By: Kimberly Roth

I plan to uncover what variables are best at determining whether, once admitted, a student will enroll at Juniata College. The data included are variables associated with first-time, first-year applications from the fall application cycles of 2018 through 2021. To do this, I will be using random forests, a type of machine learning algorithm that can be used to classify a dataset. I plan to compare different models made by using recently developed random forest methods and to compare these models using varying comparison methods.

Elizabeth Bond

Change in Political Opinion from High School to College
Sponsored By: Kathryn Westcott

Through teen years and young adulthood, people are impressionable and begin to form their personal stances (Niemi & Sobiezek, 1977; Hatemi et al., 2009; Hufer et. al., 2019). There is a perception in the United States that attending college can cause students’ ideas to shift to more liberal ideologies. The current study seeks to find if political opinions shift in the transition from high school to college and if parenting style and centrality of religion influence that change. This study also seeks to find if there is a greater degree change in ideologies when comparing upper-level students to first and second-year students. We hypothesize that political opinions will shift to more liberal affiliations and that, though there is a greater observed change for upper-level students, it will not be significantly different from change exhibited by first and second-year students. We also predict that students who report little change in opinion between high school and college were raised by authoritative parents and also have a strong centrality of religion.

Emily Sarro

Isabel Dinan

Namuka Ishii

Modeling Parcheesi Using Markov Chains
Sponsored By: Kristin Camenga

Markov Chains are a tool used by mathematicians to model phenomena like the stock market, algorithms, and in our case, board games. Previously, games like Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, and Hi-Hi Cherry-O have been modeled using Markov Chains; we modeled Parcheesi. Parcheesi introduces new challenges, including sending players’ pawns back to start and keeping track of multiple pawns per player. We kept track of the states of the game, that is, the location of each pawn on the board and which player’s turn it is, in a transition matrix. We investigated the following questions: What is the probability of landing on a given space? What is the expected number of moves? What is the probability of winning the game?

Jesse Chorba

Olympia & Olympiad
Sponsored By: Belle Tuten

Since their foundation, the Olympic Games have always been a representation of international cooperation and competition, but also display the wealth and progress of their host nations. In few cases was this latter clause more important than the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Japanese film director, Kon Ichikawa, was given the role of presenting the Olympic Games and Japanese postwar recovery to the wider world through the medium of documentary film, a genre often overlooked in conversations on cinema. The end result of Ichikawa's labors produced a film which was not only remarkable for its cinematography, but also groundbreaking in its controversial presentation of Japanese society and the triumphs and sufferings of Olympic athletes themselves. His film, Tokyo Olympiad (1965), challenged the gold standard of Olympic documentary film, previously established by Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia (1938), which captured the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. The nationalistic and grandiose tones of Olympia were rejected by Ichikawa in favor of creating a film that was both sincere and deeply personal for both domestic audiences and viewers abroad, creating a new divisive standard in documentary filmmaking which continues to inspire directors to the present day.

Allison Helferty

Optical tweezing with a red Helium Neon laser
Sponsored By: Mark Pearson

That light exerts a force has been recognized since the 1600s but was not utilized until after the invention of the laser. Optical tweezers involve a focused laser beam traveling through a microscope that exerts forces on microscopic and sub-microscopic objects like cells, DNA, and bacteria. I use a 632.8nm red Helium Neon laser to hold and manipulate 4.5μm polystyrene particles in a solution. With this optical trap and targets, I obtain estimates for the trap's maximum strength and the elasticity of polystyrene particles. The particles can also be manipulated with an acousto-optical wave to spell words and play Tetris.

Kali Pupo

Jekyll Wilkinson

Sierra Nawalinski

Covid Impacts on Juniata College Carbon Emissions
Sponsored By: Uma Ramakrishnan

Juniata College has collected data on our campus’ carbon emissions for the years 2008-2010 and 2017-2021. Some of the data included in the calculations are water and sewage usage; land and air travel by students and employees; electricity usage; and heating. The campus’ carbon footprint for these years was calculated using the Clean Air Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator V5 (2006). The goal was to identify and measure the different sources of emissions and use this data to find ways to reach carbon net neutrality; the college’s goal is to reach carbon net neutrality by 2027. Our emissions dropped by about 8% from 9464 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide (MT eCO2) to 7989 MT eCO2 from 2006-2008 to 2017-2019. Our study then continued this project by documenting carbon emissions in 2020 and 2021, the years impacted by the pandemic. After calculating the corresponding carbon footprint for 2020-2021, the data was compared to pre-pandemic emissions levels.

Julia Wedeking

Pencils over Tampons: Period Poverty and Its Effects on Educational Settings
Sponsored By: Territa Poole

Period Poverty is the inability to access period products and proper menstrual hygiene. It affects daily life and is honed by menstrual discrimination and menstrual inequity.  Period Poverty is at a global and local scale. It can affect academic success in educational settings including Juniata College. A research presentation about period poverty and its effects on educational settings based on the experiences of college students. 

Allison Helferty

Annika Stare

An analysis of eclipsing binary systems exhibiting the O'Connell effect
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Over half of the stars in our galaxy are binary stars, which consist of two stars orbiting their common center of mass. Eclipsing binaries are variable stars that appear to overlap each other from the Earth's vantage point. One complete cycle includes two eclipses: the primary eclipse, in which the brighter star is obscured, and the secondary eclipse, in which the fainter star is obscured. Some binaries also have a difference in their maxima due to the O'Connell effect, a yet unexplained phenomenon. The O'Connell effect is counterintuitive, as the orientation of adjacent stars should not affect their intensity. In our research, we analyzed the light curves of several beta Lyrae and W Ursa Majoris type eclipsing binaries that exhibit the O'Connell effect. Using the program VSTAR and Excel's Solver tool, we obtained a Fourier fit for their light curves and estimates for the difference in maximum brightness. We will present raw light curves for these binaries along with calculated fits and differences in magnitude. A comparison between our new data and previous observations from the literature can reveal how the orbital period and difference in maximum brightness change over time.

Quinn Girasek

Analyzing the Mesopelagic Ecosystem Along the Southeastern United States
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

The mesopelagic zone is found 200 to 1000 meters below the ocean surface and is home to a variety of organisms. Acoustics and environmental data can be used to assess the distribution of organisms in this hard-to-reach environment by providing information about the presence of organisms and physical properties of the water in these ecosystems. This project focused on how environmental conditions (e.g. oxygen, salinity, and temperature) influenced the biomass of mesopelagic organisms. Data were collected by NOAA Ocean Exploration between Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia in May of 2021 on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Environmental data were collected via CTD casts and acoustic data were collected using a hull-mounted calibrated multi-frequency (18 and 38 kHz) Simrad EK60/EK80 echosounder. Analysis of acoustic data was used for determining the biomass of mesopelagic organisms. Generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) were used to determine how changes in the environmental variables influenced changes in the nautical area scattering coefficient (NASC; m2nmi-2) and mean volume backscattering strength (Sv; dB re 1 m2m-3), proxies for biomass. Based on preliminary results from the GAMMs, it was found that the NASC varied based on the changing water column environmental conditions in the 38 kHz data: fluorescence (F = 7.688, p < 0.0001), oxygen (F = 10.776, p < 0.0001), salinity (F = 3.272, p = 0.00217), and temperature (F = 22.811, p < 0.0001). Sv varied based on the changing environmental conditions in the 38 kHz data: fluorescence (F = 7.792, p < 0.0001), oxygen (F = 12.366, p < 0.0001), salinity (F = 3.122, p = 0.00477), and temperature (F = 23.435, p < 0.0001). This furthers our understanding of organisms’ presence in these regions of the mesopelagic zone. We now have a better understanding of how changing ocean conditions could affect their distribution, which is important because the mesopelagic contributes to the food web and carbon cycle. As the ocean warms, it is also important to investigate the effect of warmer water temperatures on organisms.

Isabelle Croteau

Culverts are Associated with Disjunct Aquatic Assemblages
Sponsored By: George Merovich

Recently there has been an increase in awareness of the negative effects of culverts. To quantify the effects of culverts, NAACC (North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative) has created a scoring system for barriers. This scoring system is used to rate the barrier’s passability for aquatic life. In this study we assessed the effects of culverts that scored in the middle range of the NAACC scale, because this is an area of uncertainty. The grey area of the scale we defined as between “Minor barrier” and “Moderate barrier” or .79-.40 scores. We want to hone in on these barriers because of their significant effect on aquatic passage yet they are downplayed based on their descriptors. To measure their effect on aquatic passage, we collected data on the water chemistry, fish assemblages and macroinvertebrate surveys above and below culverts. In a small watershed in Chester County, we found the net difference in diversity (from above and below culverts) of the macroinvertebrates as well as the fish. We can find out if there is a positive or negative correlation between net difference of diversity and culvert scores. From this small sample set, we did find a positive correlation between culvert scores and the net difference of diversity in fish. Although, as culvert scores got higher the net difference became less, meaning the passability of those culverts was better. In this talk we will compare these results to a similar study we are doing in Huntingdon county. If we continue to find the positive correlations between these two metrics, the “minor” or “moderate” barriers will be proven to be detrimental to aquatic life. The culverts that were previously down played could actually be hurting the aquatic environment more than we know.


Keywords: aquatic passability, culverts, fragmentation, net difference in diversity.

Abigail Molnar

A Role for Inositol Pyrophosphates in ER Protein Translocation?
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

The purpose of this study is to identify proteins involved in endoplasmic reticulum to cytoplasm transport of the Gag protein of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ty1 retroelement. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or bakers/brewer’s yeast, exists as a model organism due to its quick growth time and easily manipulated genome. A multitude of yeast genes are also homologous to ones found in larger eukaryotes. During Ty1 transposition, Gag is translocated by the signal recognition protein (SRP) from the cytoplasm to the ER lumen where it adopts a stable conformation.  The stabilized Gag protein is then translocated through an unknown mechanism to the cytoplasm where it aggregates to form virus-like particles. Screening of a yeast deletion library identified SIW14 as a potential candidate gene involved in Gag translocation. The yeast deletion library was transformed with a Ty1 Gag-Ura3 fusion protein on a LEU2 selectable plasmid. In wild type cells, the Gag-Ura3 fusion is transported to the cytoplasm, thus yeast cells are unable to survive on media containing 5-fluoroorotic acid (5-FOA), as the URA3 gene converts 5-FOA to the toxic product 5-fluorouracil. Cells with an siw14 deletion are viable on 5-FOA containing media, presumably sequestering the Ty1 Gag-Ura3 fusion protein in the ER.  Siw14p is an inositol phosphatase that hydrolyzes the beta phosphate on 5-diphospho-1,2,3,4,6-pentakisphosphate (5PP-IP5) to inositol hexaphosphate (IP6). Inositol pyrophosphates are energy-rich signaling molecules and can act as biological messengers. Vip1p, Ddp1p, and Kcs1p are also proteins involved in the phosphorylation state of inositol pyrophosphates in yeast. IP7 or IP8 are substrates for pyrophosphorylation of phosphorylated serine residues in proximity to acidic amino acids, such as aspartate and glutamate. No energy is expended during pyrophosphorylation; it is dependent on the presence of an Mg2+ divalent ion. We hypothesize that the deletion of a pyrophosphatase kinase results in the inability of an unknown transport protein from being pyrophopshoprylated to facilitate Gag transport across the ER. Strains harboring deletions of siw14, kcs1, vip1, and ddp1 will be assayed for Ty1 transposition. Fluorescence microscopy of deletion and wild type cells containing a fluorescently labeled Gag protein will be observed for Gag localization.

Benjamin Haussmann

Environmental contaminants in Northern Map Turtles and their prey items in Mount Union, PA
Sponsored By: Roy Nagle

Northern Map Turtles, Graptemys geographica, are a long-lived, highly aquatic riverine species.  The largest known nesting site of Northern Map Turtle is located in Mount Union, Pennsylvania, along the Juniata River. Approximately one third of the adult females in this population exhibit shell shape abnormalities. Since developmental abnormalities have been associated with environmental contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and some metals, our research examined levels of contaminants in turtle eggs, tissues, and prey items to identify the source of shell shape abnormalities. PCBs were detected in turtle eggs and mollusks and PAHs were detected in mollusks and crayfish. We also deployed semipermeable membrane devices (SPMD) into the Juniata River and detected PAHs in the water. We discuss implications for turtle toxicology, human health, and directions of future research

Haley Carrasco

The investigation of uncharacterized ORFan gene YNR029C in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast) is a model eukaryote that has been sequenced but has several genes for which functions remain uncharacterized. These genes with unknown functions are referred to as orphan genes, or ORFans, which are categorized as dubious or uncharacterized. This project uses bioinformatics and wet lab procedures to better understand the function of an uncharacterized gene. The informatics data analyzed was compiled from the Saccharomyces Genome Database. YNR029C is a gene of unknown function, described as a putative protein which expresses reduced fitness in saline, localizing in the cytoplasm.  YNR029C is a Zn-regulated GTPase metalloprotein activator 1, indicating that the protein function may depend on or is affected by a protein bound to Zn metal ion in the cytoplasm. The gene contains several physical and genetic interactions that suggest that it’s involved in gene expression and regulation. The theoretical data gathered from the databases proposes this gene is non-nuclear and could likely be in the cytoplasm. Aligning the known characteristics of gene YNR029C with bioinformatic data and gene specific experimental design will help in predicting the possible function of ORF YNR029C.  

Robert Hankes

Nietzsche and Morality
Sponsored By: Wade Roberts

In this paper, I explore some of the ways that morality and politics intertwine. I begin by analyzing the moral system of Confucius and the objections raised to it by his competitors, the Legalists. Their moral philosophy has echoes in the work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, and I use his insights to evaluate their position. Ultimately, I argue that the notion of realpolitik as developed by the Legalists and alluded to by Nietzsche is neither necessary nor desirable in politics.

Ethan Stenley

The Nandar Su

Developing an Automated Bioinformatics Pipeline and Database for Identification and Classification of Novel Pathogenetic Variants within the Kish Valley Amish and Mennonite Population.
Sponsored By: Vincent Buonaccorsi

The Kish Valley population encompasses Amish and Mennonite plains people that live in Kish Valley Pennsylvania, located in Mifflin and Huntingdon counties. The Kish Valley population is a branch of the North American Anabaptist population that originated from Europe and migrated to North America during the 16th-century protestant reformation. Their religious practices and voluntary segregation from the general population led to their persecution by a Catholic majority (Payne, 2011). This population experiences ramifications of the founder effect. Founder effect refers to a phenomenon in population genetics in which a smaller group of a population migrates, carrying with them a minimized subset of genetic information, and thus genetic variation within the population is reduced. Thousands if not tens of thousands of members of the Kish Valley population can be traced back to an ancestry stemming from less than a hundred migrant individuals.  

Lack of genetic variation from the founder effect in combination with higher occurrences of consanguineous marriage results in recessive disorders being expressed at high rates in individuals of the Kish Valley population. Additionally, a lack of migration, which is the exchange of mating individuals between the local and general population, does little to curb the prominence of rare pathogenetic variants in the Kish Valley. This is a result of their cultural and religious seclusion from the general population with little to no influx of individuals from the assimilating into Amish or Mennonite culture and having children. The Kish Valley population is inherently marginalized and underserved, as many individuals within Amish and Mennonite communities lack health insurance. In combination with a distrust of modern medicine that is attributable to their religious commitments, the Kish Valley population often spends excessively on healthcare participating in crowdfunding to support the treatment of individuals in their communities battling severe genetic disorders (Gleason et al., 2007). 

Dr. Holmes Morton, clinician and founder of the Central Pennsylvania Clinic (CPC), located in Belleville, PA, established the CPC in 1989 as a non-profit initiative providing comprehensive medical care in the service of people with special needs caused by genetic disorders (Noren, 2022). The establishment of the CPC came as a result of Morton’s interest in solving the unique medical cases of Amish children he first encountered while working as a medical fellow in Philadelphia (Deppen, 2016). Morton actively engages with the bioinformatics program at Juniata, sharing with students his research and expertise on the genetic and biochemical implications of diseases in the Kish Valley and other sub-populations of Anabaptist peoples. 

Through his close association with Juniata’s bioinformatics program and the appointment of Dr. Buonaccorsi as a scientific advisor to the CPC, Morton has requested assistance with analyzing exome data from one hundred Kish Valley individuals and counting. Exome data refers to specific regions of a patient's genome that code for proteins. This data excludes large intronic and intergenic regions of the genome. Exome data is easier to obtain and analyze than whole genome data, and contains a large proportion of disease-causing variants. Patient exomes are a complete catalog of the individual's exons, which are the portions of a genome that code for proteins and result in phenotypic traits such as eye color, hair color, and more importantly disease. 29 of these exomes are sourced from patients of the Kish Valley who are homozygous recessive for the disease causing allele for propionic acidemia (PA), meaning that these individuals inherited both disease-causing alleles at the PCCB gene from their parents. PA is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by a defective enzyme that is unable to adequately metabolize amino acids and lipids. Metabolic dysfunction by PA contributes to metabolic cardiomyopathy, a condition that results from the interruption of energy pathways in the heart that compound to be cardiotoxic and compromise ventricular function. PA is unlikely to result from solely the PCCB gene that these patients have been identified as homozygous for, but it is believed to originate from an umbrella of multiple other diseases that have unique causal variants. Dr. Morton is interested in identifying these additional causal variants that would help to answer the question: what other cardiac variants influence the risk for heart failure and arrhythmia?

The goal of the project is to help Dr. Morton in the analysis of the 29 exomes homozygous for PA,  using an automated bioinformatics pipeline. This pipeline will be enabled by the the software Snakemake, which at its core is a workflow engine that is based on the computer language Python. This powerful workflow definition language inhabits an equally powerful execution environment that is capable of scaling from single-core workstations to magnitudes more powerful compute clusters without any modification to the original workflow (Köster, Rahmann, 2021). This is quite useful as it allows for the pipeline to be executed at maximum performance on any system however small or large. Using the cluster system that is on campus, I hope to develop the project into a full-fledged genetic analysis tool that can digest large exome data sets into analyses that are more immediately helpful to Dr. Morton, both for his research and for use in a clinical setting at CPC. Classifying novel variants that may contribute to cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias will help to further an understanding of these variants and their effect on the disease natural history of the Kish Valley population. 

The design of the bioinformatic workflow involves the transformation of patient exome data into a file system that can be operated on by genetic analysis software.The alteration of the patient data into the variant call format (VCF) file system will enable bioinformatic annotation tools such as SnpEff and Ensembl Variant Predictor (VEP) to function. SnpEff is a computer program that annotates genetic variants based on their genomic locations and predicts coding effects (Pablo et al., 2012). SnpEff annotation will combine individual VCF files into a single multi-VCF file for submission to VEP (fig. 1). VEP is a powerful tool distributed by the genomic database Ensembl that predicts the effects of variants outlined by SnpEff. These variants are submitted against genes, transcripts, and protein sequences that are a part of Ensembl’s extensive database (McLaren et al., 2016). VEP will constitute most of the analyses workload that will be performed by the pipeline. After VEP results are collected, they will be further interpreted in compilation, and additional analyses processes will mold the results of the findings with respect to their clinical significance that will be interpreted by Dr. Morton (fig. 1). The final step of the workflow will be the submission of the completed analyses into an Amazon Web Services (AWS) relational database that will preserve the connection between the patients and their genetic data in a manner that is secure and anonymous to people accessing the database.

Figure 1. can be provided upon request. The figure is a flowchart that helps to visualize the bioinformatic pipeline described above. 


Anders Noren. (n.d.). Our Mission. Central Pennsylvania Clinic. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from

Deppen, C. (2016, June 21). Founder of famed Amish Genetic Disease Clinic is moving on. PennLive. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from

Gleason L, Calcar S. Plain Talk about Providing Health Care to Plain Communities. 2nd Edition. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. Accessed 30 Jan 2022.  

Johannes Köster, Sven Rahmann, Snakemake—a scalable bioinformatics workflow engine, Bioinformatics, Volume 34, Issue 20, 15 October 2018, Page 3600,

McLaren W, Gil L, Hunt SE, Riat HS, Ritchie GR, Thormann A, Flicek P, Cunningham F. The Ensembl Variant Effect Predictor. Genome Biology Jun 6;17(1):122. (2016) doi:10.1186/s13059-016-0974-4

Pablo Cingolani, Adrian Platts, Le Lily Wang, Melissa Coon, Tung Nguyen, Luan Wang, Susan J. Land, Xiangyi Lu & Douglas M. Ruden (2012) A program for annotating and predicting the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms, SnpEff, Fly, 6:2, 80-92, DOI: 10.4161/fly.19695

Payne, M., Rupar, C. A., Siu, G. M., & Siu, V. M. (2011). Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite genetic disorder database. Paediatrics & child health, 16(3), e23–e24.

Stephanie Hyland

ISIS Combatants' Theology of Rape: How do Jihadists Justify Acts of Sexual Violence During War?
Sponsored By: Ziaul Haque


Between 2014 and 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) in a vast swath of Iraq and Syria committed brutal atrocities and sexual violence against Yazidi women.  ISIS Jihadists, as a part of systemic assault and rape against a religious minority group, captured, traded, and sold Yazidi women into sex slavery. While sexual violence in armed conflicts is often used as a strategy of war, a sizable amount of feminist literature links these acts with masculinity and violence in order to shame, humiliate communities, and assert power.  Another group of scholars, however, argues that feminist frameworks are too rigid to explain the subject nuances of Jihadists’ use of sexual violence. This study contextualizes these debates and explores the applicability of the feminist masculinity-violence framework to assess and explain the dynamics of sexual violence committed by ISIS Jihadists. This presentation will explore these frameworks and different religious and cultural norms that aid in Jihadist justification of acts of sexual violence.

Abigail Madar

It's Not Perfect, But It's Ours: Parasocial Relationships with LGBTQ+ Characters in Legends of Tomorrow Fanfiction
Sponsored By: Hannah Bellwoar

Fanfiction, and the deep connections with characters that often inspire it, can be a way for people to actively develop compassion and empathy for others while at the same time working through personal issues. Parasocial relationships are psychological connections to people you do not know in real life. Fictional characters can feel real, and our relationships with them are meaningful. Fanfiction demonstrates the agency from fans to interact with a narrative and its characters. Writing fanfiction about characters while sharing with them a marginalized identity such as being LGBTQ+ provides a safe space for people to express themselves and build community. There is a stigma around fanfiction: that all of it is unintellectual and people who have parasocial relationships with fictional characters are abnormal and lonely, but the opposite is true. As Sara Lance from the TV show Legends of Tomorrow tells her wife Ava Sharpe, "It's not perfect, but it's ours."

Hugh Garry

US Strategic Nuclear Defence: Eliminating Nuclear Capable Bombers
Sponsored By: J Barlow

Put abstract here

John Mohney

Amelia Wall

How Professor's Style Influences Student Performance
Sponsored By: Territa Poole

In our amiability study, we are interested in examining the relationship between professors’ social style, perceptions of classroom climate, and students’ engagement. Our goals of this study are to see how the climate of a classroom is directly affected by a professor’s social style, record perceptions of classroom climate from various students, understand student success in the classroom and its correlation with the classroom climate, and examine how a professor’s social style intervenes with a student’s social style.  Our measures in this study include social style among the professor and students, classroom climate as a result of feedback from students and professors, and emotional cognition in the classroom.  Our procedure will include a self-rating of social style, and randomly assigning students to two groups: group one, favorite class; group two, least favorite class.  We will use the self-rating scale in both groups to determine differences among the two key aspects of good and bad social style and classroom climate.  

Priscilla Diamond

A Comprehensive Review of Social Emotional Learning
Sponsored By: Kathryn Westcott

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is an approach to education that is designed to promote optimal youth development, helping all students to become well-rounded individuals in society. A nonprofit organization, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), created this framework when a group of psychologists and educators began advocating for the “missing piece” in education. The current SEL framework emphasizes the development of: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. This presentation is a comprehensive review of SEL, from how it developed to what is known about its effectiveness. How SEL can be used to address disparities across various cultural and socioeconomic populations, critiques and limits of current research and practice, and a synthesis of best practices for implementation will also be reviewed.

Peter Kruse

Generative Modeling for Microbiome Data
Sponsored By: Kimberly Roth

The amount of microbiome data being produced in various fields is vast, and its potential for modeling is large. Microbiological data can be used for various tasks, such as disease prediction, sample classification, and more. However, there are several drawbacks associated with microbiome modeling. Due to resource constraints, datasets typically contain less than 200 samples. Furthermore, they are sparse, with many 0 values, and high-dimensional, including thousands of variables per sample. Due to the sparsity, high dimensionality, and low sample size of the data, modeling is challenging. Therefore, we must find ways to reduce the dimensionality of data and increase its sample size. In this presentation, we will explore several generative modeling approaches, which involve using deep learning and artificial intelligence in order to create realistic, synthetic data and compress existing data into a smaller latent dimension.

The Nandar Su

Tai Pham

Cameron Trowbridge

The Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Microbial Communities in Northern Pennsylvania Stream Ecosystems Using 16S Data
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

            Fracking is a process that allows natural gas to be removed from rock formations. From 2014 – 2050, the global usage of natural gas is predicted to rise from 90.8 to 218.2 quadrillion BTUs. Some concerns regarding fracking include components of fracking fluid, fracking fluid spills, air pollution, and contamination. In the summers of 2019 and 2020, water and sediment samples were collected for this study from twenty-one streams in northern Pennsylvania to better understand how fracking affects microbial communities in stream ecosystems. For each sample, water chemistry and biomass data were collected. For each sample, DNA and RNA were extracted, the 16S rRNA gene was amplified, and sequenced to uncover microbial diversity in these streams. Samples were filtered into four categories of analysis including all water samples, water samples in upstream and downstream locations, all sediment samples, and sediment samples in upstream and downstream locations. Alpha diversity was found to be significantly higher between samples in streams with active wells (HF+ samples) than samples in streams without active wells (HF-) for all water samples and upstream and downstream sediment samples. Beta diversity was significantly different between HF+ and HF- samples for all categories of analysis stated above. The order Burkholderiales, an indicator taxon of fracking activity, was highly enriched (LDA score > 4) in all water samples, all sediment samples, and upstream and downstream sediment samples. Overall, streams being exposed to fracking fluids can cause antibiotic resistance to develop in bacteria in stream ecosystems and the potential degradation of biocides which collectively can have effects on the environment.

Neha Roy

Glial cell expression of glucocerebrosidase rescues lifespan in a Drosophila melanogaster model of Parkinson's Disease
Sponsored By: Kathryn Jewett

Changes in expression of the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene have been shown to play a role in Parkinson’s disease. GBA mutations causing lower GBA protein expression are associated with formation of protein aggregations known as Lewy bodies. We are using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study the effects of knocking out the GBA gene. Flies without GBA have many symptoms similar to human Parkinson’s disease such as protein aggregation, trouble flying and climbing, memory defects, and a shortened lifespan. Previous work showed that expression of the GBA gene in muscle cells could successfully rescue the lifespan of GBA-deficient flies while neuronal expression partially rescued lifespan (Jewett, 2021). We are trying to see if lifespan could be rescued by expressing the GBA gene specifically in glial cells. 

Hanneliese Scheel

Brianna Shortell

Using Virtual Reality to Train Spatial Reasoning Skills
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

The Water Level Test (WLT), which was invented by Piaget and Inhelder in the 1950s, is one test that is used to determine people’s spatial skills. Spatial abilities are very important in the geosciences in practices like finding the strike and dip of strata and reading topographic maps. Some people are better with some spatial tasks and thus are able to succeed at higher rates in areas like the geosciences. Luckily, research suggests that with practice and training people may be able to improve their spatial capabilities. One possibility for training these skills is by using a specially created virtual reality (VR) module. In the present study, we developed an experiment with the structure: pre-test, intervention (either pen and paper or a VR module), and post-test. All participants will be sorted by performance on the pre-test: if they receive a score below our predetermined threshold, they will undergo training in either the control or experimental groups. Students who score above the threshold will complete the post-test with no training intervention. The control group will be given the pen and paper intervention and the experimental group will be given VR training.   The VR module contains a 3D recreation of the WLT. Participants are able to manipulate the different containers of water, allowing them to look at water levels from multiple angles, then use a quiz similar to that on the pre- and post-test to receive instant feedback.

We hypothesize that students in the experimental group will show a greater improvement from the pre-test to the post-test in comparison to the students in the control group. If our hypothesis proves to be correct, we can conclude that virtual reality is a successful method in training spatial skills and thus can be implemented in other geo-education settings. 

The experiment is concluding in March and we will be presenting our results.

Makenna Dudley

Group Identity Building Among Star Trek Fans on Tumblr: How Sharing Fantasy Themes and Types Informs a Fan's Shared Rhetorical Vision
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer

Identity is characterized in part by an individual’s experiences in the world and interactions with other people. Many aspects of an individual’s sense of self are communally built on shared knowledge, interest, and experiences. It is through interaction that the implications of that commonality are defined, redefined, and ultimately translated into the individual’s sense of self. In examining the posting and response patterns of Star Trek fans on the microblogging platform Tumblr, this paper seeks to demonstrate how identity is communally built within fan spaces based on how fans interpret and engage with the narrative elements of character and theme. My data collection consists of posts placed from November 14, 2021 to December 14, 2021. It includes all posts in the “Top Posts” section of Tumblr’s primary Star Trek tag (#star trek) with at least 5,000 notes, as well as the first 20 comments within that post’s note (excluding comments that simply tag another user). Tags on gathered posts and comments are included. My content analysis of these posts focuses on how fans interpret and engage with the narrative elements of character and theme within the established world of the Star Trek canon; how they maintain and negotiate interpretations with other fans within Tumblr’s #star trek tag; and how fan-to-canon and fan-to-fan interplay translates into the values a user carries with them into the offline world. Through the analysis of Star Trek fan-to-canon and fan-to-fan interplay on Tumblr, this research argues that members of the Star Trek internet fandom use humor to build and express the community’s shared values of diversity, individuality, and human connection. 

Tri Tran

Detecting Methane Gas Leak using IR laser fitted on a drone
Sponsored By: Mark Pearson

My project deals with detecting potential methane gas leak along natural gas pipelines using IR laser fitted on drones. Until now, natural gas pipelines required constant inspection using a handheld device refer to as a "sniffer" to detect gas leak. This is both inefficient as inspectors have to cover long distance of pipelines, and it is also unsafe as methane is flammable and being close to a leak is dangerous. Using IR laser, we can calibrate the laser to use specific wavelengths that methane only absorbs and reflects off of, and outfitting drones with these lasers, we can mechanize methane inspections entirely. The challenges that we tackle in our research is about how to improve the precision and reliability of the lasers on these drones, identifying and potentially limiting false positives and negatives caused by random and systematic elements. 

Gianna Canale

Seth Strawser

Habitat and Spatial Ecology Patterns of Eastern Box Turtles Following a Timber Harvest
Sponsored By: Roy Nagle

Habitats and the spatial ecology patterns of animals can be impacted by timber stand management practices. Eastern Box turtles (Terrapene carolina) are a long-lived species of conservation concern that inhabit forested areas throughout central Pennsylvania. As a result of human impacts, box turtle populations have declined throughout their range, and some forestry practices may be detrimental. During the fall of 2021, we attached radio-transmitters to four adult box turtles near Raystown Lake to track their movement patterns prior to a timber harvest. During 2022, we continue to monitor the spatial ecology of the four turtles to determine the effects of the timber harvest on their movement patterns and habitat use. Our study highlights the collaborative effort between Juniata College and the US Army Corps of Engineers to support management for biodiversity and species of concern at the Raytown Lake Project.

Cameron Manal

Morphological Characteristics of Rusty Crayfish in the Core vs Periphery of their Range
Sponsored By: George Merovich

Morphological Characteristics of Rusty Crayfish in the Core vs Periphery of their Range


The Rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus) is an invasive species characterized by large bodies, strong claws, and rusty dark spots on both sides of its carapace. Over the past few decades, this species has invaded Pennsylvania water ways, devastating the aquatic communities it encounters. While it is known that the Rusty crayfish have been hybridizing with Allegany crayfish (Faxonius obscurus), it is not known if the non-hybrid Rusty crayfish living on the edge of their habitat have acquired different morphological characteristics. Our research focuses on investigating if there is a correlation between morphological traits, expressed by the Rusty crayfish, depending on where they are located within the species’ known range. The hypothesis is there will be no morphological differences between crayfish found in the center of their range and those found in the periphery. We based our hypothesis on data that shows true to form Rusty crayfish have already expanded there range into Standing Stone Creek. We sampled three different locations that reflected the species’ core habitat and the peripheral edge of its range. We collected 30 specimens from each site and placed them in jars filled with ethanol. We followed the standard practice taking measurements of the total length, rostrum length, claw length and width, carapace depth and width, abdomen length, width, and height, areolar length and width, telson length and width, and sex. The measurements were used to assess if there were morphological differences between the crayfish from each site. This study will use various analytical procedures to quantify differences if they exist. If Rusty crayfish located on the edge of their range are morphologically distinct it may aid in their expansion into areas that were previously inaccessible.

Payton Miller

An Analysis on Habitat Evaluation: Mayflies in the Little Juniata Watershed
Sponsored By: George Merovich

This study was conducted from the 17th of May 2021 throughout a four week period concluding on the 11th of June 2021. Throughout the first two weeks of the study data samples were collected through the use of a kicknet located in the riffles of various tributaries ranging from Sandy Run located near the headwaters of the Little Juniata River towards Altoona and concluding with testing at the 305 Bridge directly above the Little Juniata River’s confluence with the Frankstown Branch Juniata River. During the study mayfly nymphs were identified and separated from the rest of the collected organic material by hand and placed in separate receptacles based on the site location and test number. Four samples were taken at each site location, each sample being conducted at separate, but similar areas of riffles in the direct vicinity of each other. The samples were collected over a two week span of time, after which the samples were taken and observed under a microscope in an attempt to determine species. At each site I also measured water quality in, pH, conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen levels at all collection sites. The goal of the study was to further understand the species of mayfly present in the Little Juniata, understand where in the water system different species of mayfly were present, and possibly discern the health of the watershed.

Gillian Letson

Host-Bacterial Interactions and the Genetics of Aging
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

Intestinal bacteria establish symbioses within hosts which can be commensal, pathogenic, or mutualistic depending on the type of bacteria and host’s genetic background. Our lab previously used bacterial transcriptomics to understand these interactions in several long-lived mutants of C. elegans. That study shed light on several aspects of host-bacterial interactions on a molecular scale and validated transcriptomics as a powerful technique for their study in a C. elegans model. Here we present a follow-up study utilizing additional lifespan extension mutants and performing transcriptomics with three temporal samples demonstrating advanced age. C. elegans mutant types daf-2, eat-2, asm-3, and N2 (WT) were fed E. coli OP50 and grown to 5, 7.5, and 10 days old. Thereafter, mRNA was extracted, sequenced, and analyzed for enrichment across time and host genotype. The data presented here provide novel insights into microbial influenced mechanisms of aging.

Anna Sule

Katie Mace

Zachary Wyland

Emily Kaltenbaugh

Siddiq Smouse

Integrated Community Partnerships
Sponsored By: Ryan Gibboney

Abstract: Integrated Media Arts Practicum student researchers are required to work with a local community client to design and develop practical and functional deliverables that are both user-friendly and sustainable for the business or organization. Individual student learning objectives are connected in response to the needs and requests of the community client at the start of the research project. This experiential learning opportunity offers both the student and the client the option to seek and obtain real-world knowledge and skills related to various areas of visual communication design. A series of client-based research projects from Fall 2021-Spring 2022 will be presented by IMA students.


Meeting ID: 928 3784 4131

Passcode: 193247

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Griffin Lacarte

The Political Polarization in the United States
Sponsored By: Bradley Andrew


Meeting ID: 920 4589 8410

Passcode: 150543

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