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Student-faculty teams selected as 2021 Summer Research Fellows

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Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Ten Westminster College student-faculty pairs have been selected as the 2021 Summer Research Fellows by the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research.

Student and faculty partners from all disciplines were encouraged to apply for the fifth annual competitive research fellowship, which provides stipends for both the undergraduate researcher and his or her faculty mentor. Some pairs will work virtually in the early summer to complete their work, while others will perform their research later in the summer if the situation allows for access to research labs and on-campus housing. The Drinko Center covers housing costs for recipients who wish to reside on campus for their four- or six-week research period.

This year’s fellowship winners and their research projects are:

Iris Davis Hall, a junior public communication and leadership major of Niles Ohio, and Dr. Randy Richardson, adjunct professor in communication studies, on the project “The Emerging Feminine Style of Freshmen Congresswomen, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

Jill Douglas, a senior psychology major of Fairhaven, Mass., and Dr. Sherri Pataki, professor of psychology. In their study, the pair will look at the views and understandings of male and female students in regard to sexual violence and rape myths.

Molly Frank, a senior English major from Stow, Ohio, and Dr. Kristianne Kalata, associate professor of English, on the project “Magic, Mayhem, and Womanhood: A Reclamation of the Witch in Modern Fantasy by Women Authors.”

Owen Meilander, a senior physics and mathematics major from McKeesport, Pa., and Dr. Craig Caylor, associate professor of physics, on the project “Exploring the Properties of Electrowetting.”

Noah Pollio, senior biology major from New Castle, and Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology, on the project “Investigating the Role of PCID2 in BRCA2 Nuclear Export and Centrosomal Localization in Breast Cancer Cells.”

Lillian Quick, a sophomore political science major from Cortland, N.Y., and Dr. Shannon Smithey, professor of political science, on the project “Defensive Attorneys of Probationers.”

Sydney Rankin, a senior biochemistry major from Emlenton, Pa., and Dr. Jessica Sarver, assistant professor of chemistry, on the project “Antimicrobial Activity and Antioxidant Levels of Kombucha.”

Seth Schrader, a senior chemistry major from Fredonia, N.Y., and Dr. Peter Smith, professor of chemistry, on the project “Synthesis and Characterization of Europium-Substituted Aluminum Phosphate Catalysts for the Oxidation of Cyclohexane.”

Sara Rose Small, a senior environmental science major from Beaver, Pa., and Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor of environmental science, on the project “Analysis of Microplastics in Honey and Feasibility Study of Local Honey Co-Op.”

Lauren Turturice, a junior molecular biology major from Washington, Pa., and Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology, on the project “The Ability of PCID2 to Regulate Centrosome Duplication through BRCA1 Localization.”

The Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research encourages and financially supports undergraduate research through various grants aimed at either the undertaking of research and creative projects at Westminster College or the external presentation and dissemination of research and creative works at conferences.

For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Resendes, co-director of the Drinko Center, at 724-946-7211 or

Pictured, clockwise from top left, Iris Davis Hall, Jill Douglas, Molly Frank, Owen Meilander, Noah Pollio, Lillian Quick, Sydney Rankin, Seth Schrader, Sara Rose Small, Lauren Turturice