W&J students Jeffrey E. Seabury, Jr. ’22 , Lillien Shaer ’22, Mario Sanchez Isabas ’23, and Nickolas Bartel ’23 bookend a podium at the Pennsylvania Political Science Association (PPSA) 83rd Annual Meeting & Conference in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

Presidential Presentations: W&J students take research on the road; showcase their findings at academic conferences

Created: April 14, 2022  |  Last Updated: May 5, 2022  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (April 14, 2022)—Fueled by facts and findings, the W&J presidents have traded campaigns for conferences and are forging new trails to tomorrow.

Over the last several months, more than a dozen students have presented their work to hundreds of peers and professionals at major state and national conferences. Learn more about their experiences below.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2022 National Meeting & Exposition

March 21, 2022 | San Diego, California

A non-profit organization with a focus on chemistry, ACS is one of the world’s largest scientific societies with membership of over 151,000 in 140 countries. The organization’s Spring 2022 National Meeting saw nearly 13,000 in-person and virtual attendees, and the following students presented at this conference with the support of W&J’s PrezProject to Support Students Presenting at Biology-Related Conferences and the Departments of Biology and Chemistry.

Alex Timperio ’22 (Majors: Chemistry)

Timperio’s presentation, “Lab-in-a-box: A New Approach to Analytical Chemistry Lab,” proposed a new approach to scientific information based on an online lab model she helped design, which allows students to complete hands-on lab work in their own homes.

“I loved seeing how many people were interested in my work,” said Timperio, who received additional funding from the American Chemical Society of Pittsburgh to present. “After graduation, I will be attending UVA, [the University of Virginia], to earn my Ph.D. in Chemistry, and this experience has helped me gain more experience communicating my scientific research to others.”

Jesse Reardon ’22 (Majors: Biochemistry)

Reardon’s presentation, “Development of HPLC -UV Conditions for the Detection of the Small Molecule Platelet-derived Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitor Crenolanib in Mouse Serum and Tissue,” established parameters for investigating the biodistribution of crenolanib (a drug recently shown to reduce the growth of breast cancer-associated brain metastases) in mice.

“W&J has done a great job in preparing me for attending a large conference like this,” Reardon said, citing courses with biology professors Dr. Jason Kilgore and Dr. Kelly Weixel, and chemistry professor Dr. Mark Harris. “A large part of working in any STEM field is working together and sharing your research and ideas with other scientists. This has definitely prepared me to do that.”

Kimber Randolph ’22 (Majors: Psychology and Spanish)

Randolph’s presentation, “Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) Chapter Success at Washington & Jefferson College,” showcased the work of SAACS at W&J.

“My favorite part of the conference was meeting all the W&J alumni,” Randolph said. “My poster was right next to the University of Michigan, and seeing about ten people come straight to my poster because they wanted to support their alma mater was an amazing experience.”

Quinn Pickering ’22 (Majors: Chemistry and Philosophy)

Pickering’s presentation, “Improving Planewave DFT Calculations for NMR Crystallography of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients,” offered insight on computational chemistry and the use of computational techniques to ascertain the crystalline structure of a synthesized, experimental compound.

“In whatever career I find myself in,” said Pickering, who received additional support for his project from a Duquesne University grant, “I can use the skills of how to present work, market myself, and network that I gained from this conference experience.”

As a note, seniors Cayleigh Pratt and Tyler Hines also presented research at this conference, but were unavailable for an interview.


North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) 2022 Annual Meeting

January 13-15, 2022 | Orlando, Florida

Formerly the American Neuromodulation Society (ANS) and a chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS), NANS is a non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of the field of neuromodulation within the United States. It’s 2022 Annual Meeting had 1,950 attendees and the following students presented at it with the support of W&J’s PrezProject to Support Students Presenting at Biology-Related Conferences and the Department of Biology.  

Alex Keith ’22 (Major: Biology)

Keith’s presentation, “Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus Colonization in Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) Patients,” detailed the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonization in SCS patients, and identified specific at-risk patient populations.

“I really enjoyed meeting other professionals in the field of neuromodulation and having insightful conversations with them regarding the implication of my research,” Keith said. “I learned how to convey relevant clinical findings to experts in the field of neuromodulation, and that will help me after I graduate from W&J.”


Pennsylvania Political Science Association (PPSA) 83rd Annual Meeting & Conference

April 1, 2022 | Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Founded in 1939, PPSA is the nation’s oldest state political science association. The following W&J students presented at PSSA’s annual meeting and conference with the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant and W&J’s Political Science Department.

Jeffrey E. Seabury, Jr. ’22 (Majors: Political Science and Psychology)

Seabury’s presentation, “Social Media & Political Division: A Study of the Perception of Political Hyperpolarization on College Campuses,” revealed that social media promotes tribalism which leads to student discomfort in political discussions.

“I received a lot of positive feedback on the methods and results of my research,” Seabury said. “And thanks to [Professor of Political Science and International Studies] Dr. [Zheya] Gai’s research methods class and the success of my project, I am on the brink of having published research.”

Lillien Shaer ’22 (Majors: Political Science and International Studies)

Shaer’s presentation, “The Impact of State Politics and Urban Populations on Abortion Access in the United States,” examined the accessibility to abortion in the United States through a quantitative analysis of demographics and legislation.

“My favorite part of the opportunity,” Shaer said, “was being able to network and meet with other political science students from all over the state. It was such a fun opportunity getting to have discussions and compare each other’s research.”

Mario Sanchez Isabas ’23 (Majors: History and Public Policy)

Sanchez Isabas’s presentation, “How Union Memberships and U.S Government Spending Affect the Income & Wealth Gap in the United States from 1990-2020,” revealed that the decline of union memberships and U.S government spending directly affected the income and wealth gap in the U.S from 1990-2020.

“I really enjoyed meeting new people from Pennsylvania and learning more about their research projects,” Mario said. “Thanks to Dr. Gai guidance, I was able to present a research project at this conference that received positive feedback.”

Nickolas Bartel ’23 (Majors: Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Spanish)

Bartel’s presentation, “International Voting Trends Among Generation Z,” discussed factors influencing voter turnout in Generation Z, and revealed that age and encouragement most strongly influence how frequently a young person will vote.

“With graduate school being on the horizon,” Bartel said, “I am confident that, thanks to my research studies class and my experiences in preparation for this conference, I will be better prepared to take on graduate research.”

Peer Kahn (Non-majored; part-time W&J student & junior at Upper St. Clair High School)

Kahn’s presentation, “Democratic Backsliding in West Africa:  Benin, Mali, and Nigeria,” explored the rippling effects of West Africa’s recent experience with democratic backsliding.

“[Professor of Political Science] Dr. Buba Misawa is the reason I am attending Washington & Jefferson,” Kahn said, crediting the professor with his preparedness to present at an academic conference. “He has been an excellent mentor and professor who has a deep understanding of real-life aspects of political science, and real-life applications of the academic field.”

All of the students who attended this conference felt similarly about Dr. Gai, who beamed about their achievements.

“Jeffery, Lillien, Nickolas, and Mario wrote these papers in my POL340 Research Methods class last semester, and I am very proud of them,” Gai said. “I congratulate them on this great accomplishment and for representing the College in such a positive way!”


Sigma Tau Delta 2022 International Convention

March 31, 2022 | Atlanta, Georgia

Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society was founded in 1924 and has over 900 chapters in the United States and abroad with over 1,000 faculty advisors and 9,000 members inducted annually. These advisors and members gather annually at the international convention, which the following students presented at with the support of W&J’s Department of English. 

Hannah Lindsay ’22 (Major: English)

Lindsay’s presentation, “Dissolution of Self: The Depiction of Postmodern Identity in ‘The Secret History,’” argued that the identity of the narrator in Donna Tartt’s, “The Secret History,” is best understood through a postmodernist lens, which provides context for the reader to better understand his role in the plot.

“I was excited to get to know a larger community of people who see the importance of studying literature and continuing to analyze how it affects our understanding of people and the world,” Linsday said. “My favorite part of the panel was hearing how my fellow panelists’ essays worked in conversation with my own, despite covering significantly different works of literature and concepts.”

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-J.