Vidhi Bansal (’22)
“Effect of Appearance-Related Negative Feelings During Videoconferencing on College Students' Task Performance”
“Even with life normalizing in the U.S., it is possible that video conferencing may leave a lasting effect on individuals. Indeed, many institutions may adopt video conferencing or remote working as another option to conduct their duties.”
- Recruited W&J students during the upcoming fall 2021 semester. Those participants will be asked to perform a timed task (e.g., a set of math problems or anagrams of varying difficulties)
- Examined how being monitored in a virtual (vs. in-person) setting affects students’ performance on academic tasks
- Demonstrates that participants’ self-consciousness––which stemmed from their focus on their image/presentation during video conferencing––negatively impacted their academic performance during 2020-2021
“The honors thesis process was an incredibly fulfilling experience for me. It allowed me to explore research beyond what we were required to do in our usual psychology and sociology classes. Through this process, I was able to utilize the tools and guidance provided to me to further enhance my understanding of research (in general) and the topic of my interest.”
Vidhi graduated with majors in psychology and sociology. Since 2022, she has been pursuing a doctorate in experimental psychology at Oklahoma State University. Her research investigates romantic relationships from the perspectives of social and evolutionary psychology. In their free time, they enjoy watching tv, listening to music, reading books, or painting.
“Predicting Counterproductive Work Behavior: Exploration of an Alternative Personality Inventory”
- Studied links between counterproductive work behaviors and personality traits using the HEXACO personality model.
- Identified a moderate correlation between workers' self-reported agreeableness and engagement in counterproductive work behaviors.
- Extended the findings to develop a predictive model of employees’ engagement in workplace deviance.
“I developed my skills as a researcher through conducting a correlational study from start to finish. Furthermore, this project prepared me for conducting applied research within organizations."
Maxwell Box is a PhD. Candidate at Bowling Green State university, pursuing research on industrial/organizational psychology. He has also worked on ACT’s Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning Team, developing psychometrically valid measures for use in educational settings.
“MP2 and planewave-DFT improves crystal structure prediction landscapes of photosalient polymorphs”
“CSP is a process used to find polymorphs viable for synthesis] A Python script is used to produce hundreds of thousands of crystal structures using the General Atomic Force Field. The structures are then optimized by increasing levels of model chemistry to find the lowest energy structures.”
- Earlier models acquired an energy landscape that did not predict what was being observed experimentally; the goal of my project was to apply a new method to improve the data.
- The calculations agreed with what was being observed experimentally, and predicted the existence of an undiscovered polymorph.
- This success supported the new method, and overall furthered the development of a photo-actuator.
“Undertaking an undergraduate research internship has been the most valuable experience of my career thus far. I had planned on becoming a medical doctor before doing this project… This experience changed the course of my whole career, gave me a real appreciation for science, and has convinced me to become a scientist.”
Zachary Gardner will begin attending the University of Kentucky in the Fall of 2023 in pursuit of a PhD. in chemistry. He hopes to become a quantum/computational chemist.
“What attracts foreign-born workers to the US?”
“The results indicate that employment growth, rather than median income, appears to be a crucial factor influencing the location choices of high-skilled foreign-born workers. Furthermore, the availability and use of local and international mobility options play a significant role in their decision-making process. Finally, highly skilled foreign-born workers are more drawn to MSAs characterized by greater diversity.”
- Delved into the multifaceted factors that entice individuals from around the world to seek professional opportunities in the U.S.
- Explored the characteristics of metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) that may attract high-skilled foreign- born workers.
- Provided material for researchers and governments to make changes to their local policies if they are seeking to grow their highly skilled workforce through attracting foreign-born workers.
“This project allowed me to investigate my topic of interest via an analysis at a deeper level than what I did in my previous coursework. I identified areas of concern within the dataset and found ways to control the irregularities being observed.”
Linh joined the PhD in Economics program at American University in the Fall of 2023.
“The Financial Impacts of Breast Cancer”
“Financial toxicity refers to the financial impact of the cancer diagnosis and treatment and includes direct costs, like premiums and co-pays, but also indirect costs. These indirect costs include any additional expenses that a patient takes on due to their treatment as well as any negative impacts on the patient’s ability to work.”
- Investigates the key factors that contribute to financial toxicity during a breast cancer patients’ journey through treatment.
- Found that economic factors for the patient before their diagnosis play a large role in their likelihood of financial toxicity.
- Showed that the diagnosis of type and stage itself plays very little role in subsequent financial impacts.
“This project allowed me to get close to a local cause and help out a faculty member and her mission. I am truly thankful for this opportunity. It was a lot of work but I am able to walk away and say “I did THIS, this is my research!” it is extremely rewarding. ”
Gabriella is continuing her research with UPMC’s Cardiothoracic group during two post-baccalaureate gap years, while completing a Master’s in Public Health management and policy. Later, she plans to attend medical school.
“Tracking our body image: An eye-tracking study on cognitive dissonance within our personal health decisions”
“Cognitive dissonance is a well-studied phenomenon involving ideals, thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors that do not line up with one another... A common way is to change a behavior to fit the inner thoughts. This eye tracking study tries to determine this change in behavior by looking at a change of attention.”
- Examined ways in which subjects would ease the mental dissonance and reduce the internal state of distress.
- Participants in the experimental group were more likely to look at healthy images than unhealthy images.
- However, the control group looked at both the healthy images and the unhealthy images for roughly the same amount of time.
“This was the first time I did an entire research project start to finish. By doing this entire process by myself, I was able to confirm that research was the path I truly wanted to go down. I also learned a lot about myself when it came to problem solving and trying to find new and different ways to do something.”
Sarah will be starting PhD in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at the University of Delaware in the Fall of 2023. There, she will be researching emotions and motivations.
Jesse Reardon (’22)
“Development of HPLC-UV conditions for the detection of the small molecule platelet-derived growth factor receptor inhibitor crenolanib in mouse serum and tissues”
- Investigated the bio-distribution of the small molecule platelet-derived growth factor receptor inhibitor crenolanib in mouse serum and organs, with a major focus on the brain
- Worked toward determining if crenolanib was acting directly within the brain tumor microenvironment
- Developing chromatographic parameters and extraction techniques for addressing this question
“The really great thing about this project was learning how to communicate my research…I wrote a full-length manuscript and presented/defended my research…In the process of writing my manuscript, as well as preparing to present my research to both a technical and general audience, I learned how to create a compelling story out of my research, which is a really crucial skill for any scientist to have.”
Jesse graduated in 2022 with a degree in biochemistry. He now works as a research assistant in Dr. Gina Sizemore’s laboratory at The Ohio State University. In the fall of 2023, he will begin a Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences at OSU.
Leslie Watkins (’21)
“Gastrointestinal Pathology and Neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s Disease”
- Synthesized wet-lab research and an in-depth literature review to propose a novel hypothesis about the causes and progression of Parkinson's disease
“Through this project, I gained invaluable lab experience, improved my literature review skills, and deep knowledge of Parkinson's disease etiology. Being able to focus so acutely on one unique topic would not have been possible in a class setting.”
Leslie graduated in 2021 with a degree in biology. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her lab studies protein production at the single-molecule level, and her thesis aims to design a tool to spatially and temporally control the production of endogenous proteins in live cells.