March 2019 Achievements
April 8, 2019   //   By:   //   Achievements


Justin Badgerow, associate professor of music, adjudicated at the Capital Area Music Teachers Festival at Messiah College on March 23. Piano students ranging from beginners through advanced high school students from the greater Harrisburg area performed two pieces for a rating. Badgerow and emeritus professor, Debra Ronning, performed on Lancaster Church of the Brethren’s Starlight Tea Series. They performed solo and four hand piano repertoire by Poulenc, Kapustin, Dvorak and Ravel.

Diane Bridge, associate professor of biology, Jane Cavender, professor of biology and Jodi Yorty, associate professor of molecular biology presented research with their students; Kristen DeRosa ’19, Britani Graver ’19, Renee Grill ’19, Shannon Monro ’19, Steven Muscio ’19, Sandeep Saini ’19, Shelby Simon ’19 and Claire Weckerly ’19, at the 2019 Beta Beta Beta Northeast District II Convention at Bloomsburg University. They received the most Delegates Award.

Peilong Li, assistant professor of computer science, will present and serve as a Session Chair on the ninth annual Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy (CODASPY) in Dallas, Texas.

CODASPY is a top conference in the domain of data and network security. Li’s paper, “A Blockchain Future for Secure Clinical Data Sharing (A Position Paper),” I’ll be presented in a workshop during the CODASPY conference. As a session chair of the workshop, Li is responsible for time management, Q&A and networking with attendees.

Ian MacFarlane, assistant professor of psychology, co-presented student research at the Eastern Psychological Association’s annual conference in New York City with two current students and one alum.

Briar Tarbert, ’18 presented his senior research project “Multiple Minority Stress in Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Individuals with Chronic Illness/Disability Conditions.” Tarbert is currently pursuing their master’s in counseling at Millersville University. Moh Mohammad ’20 was unable to attend because he is currently studying abroad, but his research project “Social & Economic Independence of College Students” was presented for him. Finally, Megan Piercy, ’20 presented her research “Predictors of Test Anxiety in Undergraduate Engineering Students.” Piercy’s work was part of a larger Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship Program grant funded study that is a collaboration between the engineering and psychology departments. All three studies were well received and the students who were able to attend (Tarbert and Piercy) had a fantastic time at the conference.

James MacKay, associate professor chemistry and biochemistry organized participants from eight Elizabethtown College chemistry and biochemistry majors for the NSF sponsored RNA workshop at Binghamton University. Participants learned synthetic, analytical, and biophysical techniques used to study Ribonucleic acids (RNA), heard a lecture about Nucleic Acid chemistry, and engaged in stimulating discussion around the collaborative project between Dr. MacKay and Professor Eriks Rozners (Binghamton University). In addition, students had the opportunity to learn more about graduate studies at BU in chemistry, biochemistry and materials science by interacting and engaging with BU faculty and graduate students.

MacKay also published an article titled “Synthetic, Structural, and RNA Binding Studies on 2‐Aminopyridine‐Modified Triplex‐Forming Peptide Nucleic Acids” in Chemistry: A European Journal, an international journal aimed at chemists of all sub-disciplines.  The collaborative research (with Dr. Eriks Rozners, Binghamton University) highlights preparation of modified Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA) that are can be used for fundamental studies in Biotechnology. The work highlights the synthesis and binding of several new PNA monomers and presents the first solution phase structure of an RNA-RNA-PNA triple helix lending new insight into this mode of binding. The work was chosen as a cover article for the journal and tagged as a “very important paper.”

Jared Miller, lecturer in accounting, participated in the annual WGAL-TV News 8″Tax Talk” phone bank on Wednesday, March 6 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. This program was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and WGAL-TV.

During the two and half hour program, Miller answered calls from the station’s viewers and consumers and answered various tax questions from the central Pennsylvania community. Topics included tax responsibility for homeownership, social security and pension income and necessary forms and documents for filing.

Tara Moore, visiting assistant professor of English, presented “Adapting Student Research into Podcasts: Growing Revision, Audience, & Collaborative Writing Skills” at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Kevin Shorner-Johnson, associate professor of music, recently published the article “Music and the Sin of Sloth: The gendered articulation of worthy musical time in early American music” in the Philosophy of Music Education Review. The article explores the sin of sloth and how Christian constructions of time affected music making in Puritan worship and American homes. In particular, it examines how music making began as an activity of intertwined genders and later became an increasingly gender-stratified activity. This study extends Shorner-Johnson’s peacebuilding inquiry into how human orientations of time build and fragment a relational community.

Debra Wohl, professor of biology, gave a presentation at the University of Oregon’s Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals Center on research done in collaboration with Phillip Belder ’16 and Braxton Mitchell. The talk was titled “Comparative Study of the Oral Microbiome of Amish and Non-Amish Individuals.”


Melissa Spencer, senior English major, presented her English Honors in the Discipline project during an undergraduate poster session at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.  Her project, “‘Just Google It’: Keywords, Digital Marketing, and the Professional Writer,” examines how web writers can leverage an understanding of keywords and data analytics to produce effective online content.

Stevie Caronia ’19, Stephanie Hanus ’19, Emily Modrak ’19, and Emalie Rell ’20, students from the Sociology and Anthropology Department, presented their undergraduate research at the 89th annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society which took place March 15 through 17 in Boston. Funding for travel and lodging at the conference was provided by a Student Research Travel Grant from Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) Sociology Honor Society.

Michele Lee Kozimor ’93, associate professor of sociology, accompanied the students as the faculty advisor and AKD Chapter Representative. Kozimor also was the recipient of an AKD Chapter Representative Travel Grant.

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