Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Penn State Lehigh Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium is held annually in the spring. This event affords Penn State Lehigh Valley students the opportunity to share their academic research projects with the Penn State Lehigh Valley community through the presentation of scholarly posters. This year's symposium will be held beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in room 135 at the Lehigh Valley campus.

Many project types will be presented during the Undergraduate Research Symposium. These will include independent research and research-based course projects, honors research projects, and traditional course-related projects that required significant research.

Undergraduate Research Symposium Registration Form >>

Keynote Speaker

Each year, this event features a prominent speaker that is well-accomplished in their area of research. This annual speaker is sponsored by the Penn State Faculty Invitational Lecture Series.

This year's keynote is Dr. Verónica Montecinos, professor of sociology and coordinator of the Teaching International Program at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

Verónica Montecinos on left

Dr. Veronica Montecinos

Dr. Verónica Montecinos (left) will serve as the keynote speaker at Penn State Lehigh Valley's Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 4, 2017 at the Lehigh Valley campus.

Image: Verónica Montecinos

Dr. Monetcinos will present "Studying Political Elites Across Nations."
The make-up of high-level political elites seems less predictable than in the past. Her talk will examine two historically novel transnational trends: the rise of economists and of women to the heights of political power. Some common factors seem apparent as both trends emerged around the turn of the twenty-first century. Lessons learned in the course of editing two books: Economists in the Americas (2010) and Women Presidents and Prime Ministers in Post-Transition Democracies (2017) will be used as a basis for discussion.

The 2017 winning student research projects include:


First Place
“Gender Conditioning Inadvertently Sets Women Several Steps behind Men When Negotiating Job Salary”
Naseeba Saeed
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nichola Gutgold

Second Place
“Analysis of Social Media Posts in Severe Weather – Focus on Facebook & Twitter”
Marie Tabshi
Faculty Mentor: Drew Anderson

Third Place
“Big Box Stores, Hyper-Branding, and Diversity in Children’s Books: An Application of Critical Race Theory”
Devon Cunningham, Reema Kaskas
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Parker


First Place
“The Effects of Collagen – Substrate on the Expression and Co-expression of a-Smooth Muscle Actin and Myosin Light Chain Kinase”
Paige Allen, Daniel Wright, Zunish Saqib, Nianja Carenard
Faculty Mentor: Kandiss Schrader

Second Place
“Expression and Localization of HDAC2 and Klf4 in A10 Cells”Mahbub Ali, David Stevens, David Emrick, Paige Allen
Faculty Mentor: Kandiss Schrader

Third Place – tie
“Myocardin Expression in A10 Cells: Its Influence on a-Smooth Muscle Actin Expression and Cell Morphology”
Joanna Haddad, Stephanie Shoemaker, Paige Allen
Faculty Mentor: Kandiss Schrader

Third Place – tie
“Compression Strength of Mechanically Worked PLA”
James Morris, Hazim Ramzy, Matthew Mammen
Faculty Mentor: Tracey Carbonetto

The winners will present their work at the seventh annual Penn State Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will be held at Penn State Brandywine this year on April 21.