Skip to main content

Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research Announces First Class of Summer Research Fellows

Share on:

Posted on Monday, May 15, 2017

The Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research at Westminster College announced its first group of summer research fellows. Student and faculty pairs from all academic disciplines were encouraged to apply for one of the highly competitive research fellowships, and only six were accepted.

“This is our first attempt at a summer research program and we are really excited about the opportunity for our students and the possibility of expanding this program in future years,” said Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology and co-director of the Drinko Center.

The fellowship includes stipends for both the undergraduate researcher and their faculty mentor. Partial support for on-campus housing will be provided to recipients to help with residential costs during their four-week research period.

The group of researchers include:

Tessa Altman, a junior English major, paired with Dr. Kristianne Kalata. Altman and Kalata are researching Anne Bronte and her progression as a progressive through her writing.

Trevor Arrigoni, a junior mathematics major, paired with Dr. Natacha Fontez Merz. The two are collaborating on a project entitled “Generalizing the Pill Problem.”

 Alicia Clark-Williams, a senior sociology major, paired with Dr. Kristenne Robison. Clark-Williams and Robison will collect and analyze police-citizen interactions in an undisclosed city.

Bridget Herlihy, a junior neuroscience major, paired with Dr. Deanne Buffalari. Herlihy and Buffalari are testing the effects of ethanol and MPH on fear memory.

Christina Robb, a junior chemistry major, and Dr. Jessica Sarver are researching the curvature effects on membrane binding of a protein using spectroscopy.

 Tristan Toca, a senior biochemistry major, and Dr. Erin Wilson are observing how an eye protein’s function changes when exposed to UV light and how this affects the formation of cataracts.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190