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Westminster’s Drinko Center selects 2020 Summer Research Fellows

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Posted on Friday, May 8, 2020

Ten Westminster College student-faculty pairs have been selected as the 2020 Summer Research Fellows by the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research.

Student and faculty partners from all disciplines were encouraged to apply for the fourth 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:

Frank Antuono, a junior business and sports management major of New Castle, and Dr. Robert Zullo, associate professor of business, will research sponsorship initiative possibilities for Westminster College athletics. Antuono is the son of Frank and Roni Antuono and a graduate Neshannock High School.

Andrius Burnelis, a junior physics and math major of Crescent, Pa., and Dr. Robert Knop, associate professor of physics, on the project “Improving Simulations of Colliding Galaxies.” Burnelis is a son of Alan and Vida Burnelis and a graduate of Moon Area High School.

Emily Cornman, a junior biology major from Templeton, Pa., and Dr. Joseph Balczon, associate professor of biology, on the project “Evaluating Wine to Water Ceramic Silver-impregnated Pot and Candle Filters as a Sustainable Solution for the Global Water Crisis.” Cornman is a daughter of Alan and Marilyn Cornman and a graduate of West Shamokin Junior Senior High School.

John Daniels, a junior music education and performance major from Hermitage, and Dr. Melinda Perttu, associate professor of music, on the project “Understanding the History of the Double Bass.” Daniels is the son of John and Tracy Daniels and a graduate of Hickory High School.

Marcus Diniaco, first-year biochemistry major from Erie, and Dr. Erin Wilson, associate professor of chemistry, on the project “Understanding the Regulation of Mineralization in Biological Systems.” Diniaco is the son of Phillip and Andrea Diniaco and a graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy.

Garrett Garlock, a sophomore political science major from Erie, and Dr. Michael Aleprete, associate professor of political science, on the project “Terrorisms Impact on Nigerians’ Participation in Civil Society.” Garlock is a son of Rebekah Garlock and a graduate of McDowell High School.

Emily Gellatly, a junior political science major from Ravenna, Ohio, and Dr. Shannon Smithey, professor of political science, on the project “The Use of Plea Bargaining to Obtain Convictions.” Gellatly is a daughter of Clayton and Catherine Gellatly and a graduate of Southeast High School.

Christian Keegan, a junior English major from Fruitland Park, Fla., and Dr. Deborah Mitchell, professor of English and Film Studies, on the project “Family, Rulers, Rivals: The Letters of Elizabeth I of England and Mary I of Scotland.” Keegan is a son of James and Wanda Keegan.

Emily Krinos, a junior biochemistry major from Hubbard, Ohio, and Dr. Peter Smith, professor of chemistry, on the project “Asymmetric Synthesis of (-)-Geosmin and its Derivatives.” Krinos is a daughter of George and Mary Krinos and a graduate of Hubbard High School.

Kara Kutsch, a junior biology major from Home, and Dr. Kerri Duerr, associate professor of biology, on the project “Measuring the Effect of European Starling Removal on American Kestrel Nest Box Use.” Kutsch is a daughter of Jamie Kutsch and a graduate of Marion Center Area High School.

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 above: Summer Research Fellowship recipients in a recent Zoom meeting.