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 SRU to Present Six Research Projects at Academic Alliance Symposium 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199; e-mail:


              SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Research work of 15 Slippery Rock University faculty, students and graduates will be spotlighted Saturday [April 17] at the Academic Alliance Symposium being hosted by Youngstown State University in its McKay Auditorium.

          The papers and posters were selected through peer review and range from examination of Type 2 diabetes to a review of possible exploitation of prospective adoptive children on the Internet. The student/faculty work will be highlighted at the all-day symposium designed to bring together the best undergraduates scholars from northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania to share their research information.

          Dr. Patrick Burkhart, coordinator of SRU’s annual Symposium for Research and Scholarship and associate professor of geography, geology and the environment, explains SRU is continually expanding its efforts in faculty-mentored research, scholarly activities and creative works. “We continue to build on our plan of expanding opportunities for student-oriented research as a way of improving undergraduate scholarship and education. We know by involving students in scholarly projects, they see real-world applications and are able to participate in experiences that better link their classroom studies to their chosen study area.”

           Participating in the symposium and their projects are:

     Dr. Barbara Billek-Sawhney, associate professor in SRU’s School of Physical Therapy, and Jacqueline J. Gay, a doctor of physical therapy graduate student from Slippery Rock, whose research poster is titled “The Functional Reach Test: Art Three Trials Necessary?”;

     Akash Fernando, an SRU biology major from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Dr. Jeffrey H. Taylor, assistant professor of biology, will present their poster “The Impact of Commercial Mycorrhizal Inoculum on the Growth of Capsicum Chinese (Habanero Pepper Plant)”;

     Katie Renee Graham, a biology undergraduate major from Sharon, Jessica Arblaster, a graduate student in secondary education mathematics and science from Hilliards, Megan Majcher, a 2002 SRU graduate from Janette, Sarah Weinschenk, a 2001 SRU graduate from Canal Fulton, Ohio, Dennis L. Guberski, with Biomedical Research Models, Inc., and Dr. Paul Birchbichler, assistant professor of chemistry and physics, will present their poster “Kidney Changes in BBZDR Rats: New Model for Type 2 Diabetes Based on Extracellular and Glomerular Aspects”;

     Allison M. Mastroianni, an elementary education graduate student from Butler, will present her paper titled “Providing Authentic Literacy Instruction within a Skills Driven Curriculum: One Teacher’s Balancing Act.” The paper was under the guidance of Dr. Kathleen Strickland, professor of English.

     Michael McNamara, an undergraduate majoring in computer science from Clintonville, will present “Microarchitecture Simulation: The MIC Series” His research adviser was Dr. Beverly Gocal, assistant professor of computer science.

     Marianne Cecelia Sieniawski, an undergraduate student majoring in information systems from Pittsburgh, will present “Exploitation of Prospective Adoptive Children on the Internet.” Her adviser was Dr. David Valentine, associate professor of computer science.

Students and faculty from Youngstown State, Thiel, Walsh and Westminster universities will also participate.





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