Students Receive $70,000 for Summer Research

Nineteen Saint Michael’s College students were awarded $3,700 each, from the college to enable them to carry out individual research projects with their professors over the summer. The grants totaling some $70,300, with living allowance on top of that, are titled Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Research Fellowships. Recipients were determined through a competitive process and were awarded by the Saint Michael's College Undergraduate Research Committee.

Sixteen of the 19 grants were funded by the VPAA fund, and three by the Alumni Fund for Undergraduate Research, a fund established in 2009 by Shelia and Mark Nelson (Saint Michael’s 1991 graduate) to promote faculty-mentored student research.

Subjects ranged from lab science to fiction writing, from such topics as using quasars to visualize distant galaxies to the impact of 'fracking' on agriculture, from the literary impact of the King James Bible on John Milton to the impact of nicotine on coping styles, from sediment effect on Vermont streams to perceptions of health care in Vermont’s refugee community.

“I enthusiastically agree with the committee in its judgment of the quality of the proposals,” said Dr. Karen Talentino, vice president for academic affairs, in announcing the grants.

The student researchers will also be able to apply for funds to travel to a conference to present their research, and for supplies they may need for their work. All students will participate in training in the responsible conduct of research, prior to beginning their projects. This is required of Saint Michael’s undergraduate and graduate students participating in paid research or receiving academic credit for research.

Students and their projects and their advising professors are as follows:

Katherine Baker of Plymouth, N.H., "Accounting for Accountability: Achieving Results Based Accountability by Means of Assessment," adviser, Dr. Laurie Gagne of the SMC Center for Peace and Justice

Thomas Beaudoin of Jericho, Vt., "Perceptions about Healthcare in the Winooski Vermont Refugee Community,” adviser, Anthropology Professor Adrie Kusserow.

Anna Castronovo of Worcester, Mass., "A Multi-faceted Approach to HIV/AIDS Treatment in Gulu, Uganda: A Case Study of Community Health Workers in Gulu, Uganda," adviser, Political Science Professor Trish Siplon.

Chris Crocker of Foxboro, Mass., “Using Quasars to Visualize Distant Galaxies,” adviser Physics Professor John O’Meara

Nicholas Hogan of Dallas, Texas, "Intersections of Race and Sexuality in the Campaign for Same Gender Marriage," adviser, Political Science Professor Michael Bosia

Alison Lajoie of Litchfield, N.H., "Neuron Physiology in the North American Hirudinea Heartbeat System," adviser, Biology Professor Adam Weaver

Alihya Mann of Montclair, N.J., "What Does it Mean to be Black? Cultural Stereotypes as Portrayed by the Media and How Black Writers are Working Against these Stereotypes," adviser, English Professor Lorrie Smith

Megan Olsen of Glenmont, N.Y., “Cigarette use and Stress-induced Cardiovascular Reactivity: The Influence of Environmental Enrichment n Childhood,” adviser Psychology Professor Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo

Mariclaire O’Neill of Cranford, N.J., “A Novel: Green Mountain,” adviser, English Professor Elizabeth Inness-Brown

Jared Peick of Penacok, N.H., “Sediment Profile Effect on Macroinvertebrate Species Richness in Forested and Urban Stream Ecosystems of Vermont,” adviser Biology Professor Declan McCabe

Dylan Renca of Essex Junction, Vt., “Analyzing the Literary Impact of the 1611 King James Bible on the Theological Compositions of John Milton,” adviser, English Professor Nicholas Clary

Nicholas Rucci of Livonia, N.Y., “Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing on the Agricultural Sections in New York and Pennsylvania,” adviser, Environmental Studies Professor Laura Stroup

Christine Skrzat of Lansdale, Penna., “Informed Consent among Elderly Patients using Polypharmacy,” adviser, Philosophy Professor Crystal L'Hôte

Daniel Tolan of South Burlington, Vt., “Thinking about Self: An Upbuilding Approach to Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Works,” adviser, Philosophy Professor R. Michael Olson

Sara Vaclavik of Hudson, N.H., “Theoretical and Practical Implications of Information Asymmetry on Product Marketing,” adviser, Economics Professor Herb Kessel

Marci Wood of Chateaugay, N.Y., “The Role of Neuronal Physiological Properties in the Heartbeat systems of three North American Leech Species,” adviser Biology Professor Adam Weaver

Natalie Zimmer of Ingleside, Ontario, Canada, “The Effects of Coping Style on Stress-Induced Cardiovascular Reactivity with Habitual/Daily and Light/Intermittent Cigarette Smokers,” adviser Psychology Professor Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo