Record Number of Arcadia Students Present at SEPCHE Honors Conference

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 23, 2012

A record number of Arcadia University students—41—will present research and creative projects at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Higher Education (SEPCHE) Honors Conference on Saturday, March 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Family University. Arcadia’s contingent will be the largest among all the universities participating.

The conference consists of student music performances, academic presentations, art presentations and a closing program. Most events will be held in the Education and Technology Center, with a few sessions in the Campus Center.

SEPCHE members are Arcadia University, Cabrini College, Chestnut Hill College, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Holy Family University, Immaculata University, Neumann University and Rosemont College. The conference is supported in part by grants from the Foundation for Independent Higher Education and The Barra Foundation.

Arcadia participants include:

Lucy Jenkins-Young

Catastrophic Disease as the Greatest U.S. National Security Threat

This presentation will examine catastrophic pandemic disease as the greatest U.S. national security threat today. The growing risk and transmittance of both naturally occurring disease and weaponized disease will be analyzed separately, followed by an examination of how U.S. critical systems that support social and economic life would be affected by either. The presentation will conclude with policy recommendations that could prepare the U.S. for this potentially cataclysmic threat.

Jonathan Roemer

Guilt or Innocence in 140 Characters or Less

Social media presents unique challenges for the American criminal justice system. Everyday interactions, previously inaccessible to law enforcement or legal professionals, are now publicly broadcast on a wide range of social media outlets. This presentation demonstrates how social media analytics is being used in the criminal justice system, and what factors will influence use of this data in the future.

Joseph Spearot, Nicole Corcoran, Samantha Weate and Madison Wierzel

TEDx ArcadiaUniversity

Arcadia University Honors Program has been planning, and will host a TEDx conference on April 1, 2012. Students have been working to contact speakers, raise funds, meet deadlines, and organize the conference in just under a semester. This presentation will discuss the process and steps taken to make TEDxArcadiaUniversity 2012 a reality.

Jessica Sillaman

Pittsburghese: The Dialect of the Steel City

Pittsburghese is the dialect associated with the inhabitants of the regions surrounding southwestern Pennsylvania. Although the area is well-known for its peculiar dialect, the origin of the speech is not always clear. A thorough description of the relevance, history, and usage of Pittsburghese as examined by a native of Pittsburgh will allow for a better understanding of general linguistics and diversity of the Pittsburgh area.

Jordyn Austin

A Selfish Manifesto

The Selfish Manifesto is a study of manifestos and propaganda. An explanation of manifestos will be given, along with their history and a look at some famous (and rather infamous) examples. Finally, an original manifesto with an accompanying propaganda poster will be presented. The presentation will be given orally in conjunction with a PowerPoint and the aforementioned poster.

Joshua Baskin

The Trial of Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, a name that echoed through history. This is the tale of a girl, born a peasant that went from clairvoyant to military strategist to the stake, and all by the age of 19. The political, social, and religious factors that led to this legends rise and fall will be examined in this presentation.

Kate Dufner

Pollution in China

This is a PowerPoint based presentation on the pollution in China and the effects that it is having on the population, government, and the environment. China is the largest manufacturing country in the world and the country having to pay the price because of the poor air quality due to the lack of regulation for pollution and waste .

Kayla Kroll

Testing the Effects of Non-Opioid Analgesia on Two Different Stressors in Rats

Analgesia is a response to environmental stress detected within the body. When stress occurs, receptors are activated and chemicals are released to help alleviate these symptoms. In rats, analgesic responses are seen following exercise, specifically treadmill running and swimming. This study investigates the effect of these two stressors on these analgesic systems. Rats were exposed to the swimming condition for 15 minutes and the running condition for 10 minutes. Tail-flick latencies were used to measure the degree of analgesia, measurements were taken at baseline, immediately following exercise and at 10, 20, and 30 minutes following exercise. While no effect for type of stressor or time of tail flick was seen, a significant effect for the interaction of time of tail flick test and type of stressor was observed.

Fire Suppression and its effect on Pitch Pine (Pinus Rigida) on North Fork Mountain, Monongahela National Forest, WV

Pitch Pine (Pinus Rigida) is a species found on North Fork Mountain, a region in the Monongahela National Forest, WV. Presence of Sandy soils, high ridgetops, and cliffsides with little shade make this area an ideal habitat for this fire-adapted tree species. This study aims to reconstruct past fire damage and history through core borings and dendrochronology. Sites were chosen based on past fire in the area which was determined by presence of fire scarred trees, charcoal, and soil sampling. On sites, cores were taken from trees to construct a master chronology. This master was later used to cross-date cross-sections of fire-scarred samples taken from the site. We hypothesize fire suppression in this area has led to a reduction of PIRI and an increase in more shade tolerant species, including maples, black gum, and mountain laurel. Further, we predict fires to have occurred in the earlier part of the 20th century, in the 1920-1940’s, before fire-suppression regimes were implemented. Information gained will be provided to the Nature Conservancy in West Virginia, where it will serve to identify potential burn sites for prescribed fires.

Elizabeth Wolf

Artistic Resolve

This project explored the process of creating and filming a screenplay. A fictional story was developed and the proper methods of pre-production, production, and post-production were used to arrive at a short film. Select scenes from the script and storyboard were filmed and edited. There was immense exposure to new technology in the forms of various computer software and cameras which allowed for the production of this original film.

Margaret Keenan

Cold War Decisions in the Congo: The United States’ Support of Mobutu

Mobutu Sese Seko, dictator of the Congo from 1965 to 1997, blatantly disregarded human rights and embezzled billions of dollars, yet enjoyed the United States’ support. This presentation will analyze the reasoning behind the United States’ backing of Mobutu in the period leading up to his coup in 1965 and its alternative options within Cold War context.

Nicole C. Bednar

Pharmacists should be allowed to prescribe medicine here in the United States because it will greatly improve our drastically changing healthcare system. Pharmacists will be able to provide a faster way to facilitate the prescription medicine for citizens of all ages in a cost-effective and facilitated manner.

Sabine Leichtman

Life with Disabilities: Living Blind, Deaf, and Mute

Over the course of a three month period the author researched, observed, and attempted to simulate life with disabilities. The disabilities studied were: blindness, muteness, and hearing impairment. This presentation describes the author’s personal experiences and observations of difficulties that people with disabilities may face on a daily basis including self-awareness, external reactions, and peer participation.

Samantha Taylor

Teachers on Television Through the Decades: The Portrayal of Educators

Education is a topic that has been featured in many television series, from the beginning of broadcasting, to the current programs being developed today. While shows hint to the current trends of the time in which it is being produced, the representation of teachers on the small screen has shown to be consistent, with many reoccurring characteristics, behaviors and storylines.

Erika Clark

The Barefoot Debate

This presentation includes results from several recent, scientific studies surrounding the topic of running and athletic training without shoes. Statements from shoe companies like Nike and Adidas are compared to scientific evidence, testimonies from professional athletes, and studies on a new competitor that claims to revolutionize barefoot sports: Vimbram FiveFingers.

Nicole Spevak and Brooke Hiban

AU 411 Business Plan

This project done in a Business Writing course centers on how to start up an Internet business and our idea for the business we would start. AU 411 is an online course evaluation website for Arcadia students to rate their courses, professors, and textbooks.

Rebecca Hannaford

Storytelling and Leadership

Everyone has a story, and their own unique leadership experiences. In my Honors course Explorations in Leadership I my class and I recently completed leadership narratives to further understand each other and ourselves better. After writing the narrative I became interested in reflecting on everyone else’s narratives, which we all read, and how the experience effects the class.

Megan Wiley


With the subtle flicker of a candle in the night, a boy’s gaze becomes captivated by what lies ahead.

Megan Wiley

Portrait of a Man

This is a portrait of a man basking in the warmth of a bright light. His gaze is turned downwards and away from the viewer, unaware of our presence. The viewer almost invades his personal space, but lost in this own thought, we go unnoticed.

Rommy Marquez

Geodesic Graphs

In this presentation, I will introduce the concept of geodesic graphs which are formed from a vertex in a connected graph. I will discuss geodesic graph properties, Cartesian product graphs and the Cartesian product of geodesic graphs. This work was done in collaboration with my fellow students Heather Urban, Marlana Young and Yunus Akkaya.

Emily Zavada

Ready or Not, Here They Come: Should Computers Replace Books?

As we progress into the computer age, it seems that books are becoming a thing of the past. The state government in Pennsylvania has made a powerful statement in regards to the transition from books to computers through the implementation of the Classrooms for the Future (CFF) Initiative. For hundreds of years, books have been an integral part of education and life. Has the era of books run its course?

Ashling Suppan

The Young Adult’s Guide to Childhood Cancer

The inspiration for this book came from my own personal journey with childhood cancer. The book was designed to provide useful information to children and young adults about what to expect when faced with a cancer diagnosis. It is set in a scrapbook style to contrast the technical medical pamphlets that are generally distributed in hospitals.

Gina Blechman

How Affect and Success Effect Motivation and Performance

Can failure increase motivation? Does positive thinking and success predict future achievements? In my study on goal motivation, I attempted to answer these questions, giving participants either possible or impossible tasks, priming them to think either positively or negatively, and then recording their results on a final test.

Frank Loeb

Expedition to the Real North Pole: A ‘Human Achievement’ and its Legacy

This is the remarkable story of human kind’s only voyage to the world’s actual geographic North Pole. I t is not the ever changing patch of ice that people pant flags on and get their pictures taken, but the dark abyssal plane, many kilometers below. It was a great achievement not only for Russia, but also for all humanity.

Erin Norden

Louis D. Brandeis: The Advocate

Louis D. Brandeis was a true academic and legal scholar unparalleled in his willingness to advocate for the people’s interests and fight against those who sought to abuse them. Justice Brandeis spent his life fulfilling his duty as an informed and active American and compelling others to adopt a more proactive approach to life and the law.

David Klein

A Monstrous Society

Why does human culture put such a great emphasis on the “things” that go bump in the night? Through analysis of myth, literature, film, and other popular culture media, this presentation seeks to illuminate human societies’ fixation on monsters, real and imagined, and the influence these monsters hold over our beliefs and actions.

Christine Kershaw

The Issue of Self-Identity within Elderly Communities

My colleague, Julie Moser, and I present our Leadership in Action’s Service Learning Project for the semester: aiming to inspire, renew, and revive a positive self-identity amongst the elderly community by preserving and sharing legacies in a tangible way.

Amy Carpenter

Bipedalism and Increased Cranial Capacity in Hominids

While there are many attributes that separate modern humans from our ancestors, two of the most important evolutionary adaptations are bipedalism and our large brains. Without these two adaptations, human behaviors such as tool use and culture could not have come about. This presentation gives an overview of the evolution of hominids and the consequences of bipedalism and increased cranial capacity.

Ashley Parker


This presentation is an overview of the relatively new and incomplete field of study known as epigenetics. The field of epigenetics is wide-ranging and is not completely understood. Within this presentation there will be short explanations of the mechanisms of epigenetics and a few studies into the physical effects of epigenetics.

Amanda D’Orazio

The Effects Incompetent Teachers Have on Students That Can Impact the World

Many people do not stop and think about how much of an impact teachers have on kids as they mature and develop which in turn impacts the world. In my presentation, I will discuss my past experience, which prompted me to write this proposal argument, and ways I believe we could limit the amount of incompetent teachers hired in schools.

Allison Summy

Pennsylvania Educational Budget Cuts

Before the Pennsylvania Educational Budget Cuts for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, I conducted a survey concerning the reductions and cuts of extra-curricular programs in public schools. The survey was designed to gather information from individuals of different ages regarding the activities they find necessary, over-budgeted and unnecessary in school districts. This presentation analyzes the data from different age categories.

Crista Quiles

Silly Bones Bilingual Children’s Book

SillyBones is a bilingual Children’s Book company that includes a CD so that children can learn both audibly as well as visually. SillyBones provides children with a fun and effective way to learn, build confidence, and gain a familiarity and comfort with other languages. The series includes a trademark character names Carly. Carly goes through the same experiences children her age go through such as learning to deal with bullies, learning to share, and experiencing the first day of school. Carly is meant to be a rode model. The first book written is Carly’s Day at the Zoo and the second is Carly’s First Day of School. SillyBones is a great tool for children and parents to learn together.

Catherine Everett


Our instruction was to create a visual interpretation of an intangible desire; I chose adventure and travel. My inspiration came from my travels in Europe, specifically ascending the Malvern Hills in England and leaving with mud caked onto my sneakers. My intent was to make the form abstractly mountainous but not a literal interpretation of an actual mountain. Instead, it is composed of layers, which symbolize the process of wandering through new territory. The steps are gradual, but the peak is considerably higher than the starting point.

Robin Young

Political conflict and the war on drugs in Columbia

This presentation will provide a deeper understanding of the country of Columbia in regards to its internal conflict and war on drugs. It will give a brief political history of the last century to provide a framework for why the conflict in Columbia is so complex today. It will look at the key players in the conflict, as well as show some social and economic consequences that have arisen from it. It will look at the war on drugs in America and explain the part the United States has played in further exacerbating the drug trafficking problem in Columbia, as well as the violence. In short, what this presentation will provide will be a better understanding of this South American country beyond its drug problem.

Jayson Flores

Television, Film, and Advertisements’ Portrayal of Relationships to Teenagers

Television, film and advertisements’ portrayal of relationships to teenagers focuses on how heterosexual relationships are displayed in film, television programs, and advertisements. The analysis will include a discussion of gender roles for both males and females, and the often hidden messages that can be found with a critical eye.

Alyssa Gross

John Marshall v. Federalists

Former Chief Justice John Marshall is most known for two things: he expanded the Supreme Court’s power, and he was an avid federalist. However, his methods of increasing the Supreme Court’s powers actually go against some federalist principles. This is made evident by analyzing The Federalist Papers, documents which detail the common federalist thought of the time.

Angelique Newmann

Sustainable Trends — Are Trends Sustainable?: The Environment in a High Fashion World.

“Green” styles have been sprouting up in the fashion world recently, stemming from growing concerns about the state of our environment. Now, thanks to new technologies, enthusiastic designers, and an ecologically conscious market, natural sustainable fashion is trending. However, is it within the nature of fashion trends to be sustained? What is beind done to assure a different fad doesn’t take root next season?

Nicole Bednar

Should Pharmacists Be Able to Prescribe Medicine?