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       Send story and noteworthy ideas to Jessica Reyes, jmreyes@widener.edu.

      Summer Research

      Undergraduate Students Shine at Summer Research Symposium

      Sharing Research

      Widener students shared research at the Summer Research Symposium on Sept. 21.

      While many students spend summers vacationing or working, 46 undergraduate students at Widener used their time off to conduct research with 26 faculty mentors. They shared their research findings at the ninth annual Summer Research Symposium on Sept. 21.

      In University Center, the students presented 37 posters ranging in topics from the stock market to the sciences to civil engineering. The symposium, coordinated by Professor Loyd Bastin and Associate Professor Angela Corbo, gave students the opportunity to talk about their research with faculty and peers in different disciplines and was the culmination of the 12-week summer program.

      Minimum wage effectiveness

      Nicholas Dulepski, a senior political science major, was excited to share his research on the effectiveness of minimum wages since it’s a hot button issue in the November elections.

      With help from his faculty mentor Associate Professor Rebecca Jones, Dulepski compared data across eight U.S. cities that had minimum wages ranging from $7.25 to $15. He found that a $15 minimum wage can lead to unintended consequences, such as a reduction in work hours or benefits. Dulepski concluded that other anti-poverty measures should accompany a higher minimum wage.

       “I thought a lot about how we can improve this policy so it really improves people’s standard of living,” he said. “I liked sharing the research, and I realized a lot of other people are also interested in this topic, especially with the election coming up.”

      Community development projects

      Hannah Guth, a junior social work major, studied how residents and students can combat blight in Chester. Guth received the Schmutz grant, an annual award that supports undergraduate student-led, Chester-focused projects, in 2018.

      Over the course of the summer and with guidance from Professor Bruce Grant, Guth worked alongside John Bush, owner of The Nebula Gallery, to lead multi-faceted community development projects.

      Projects included repurposing a private lot into a public community garden, developing learning sessions on ownership and real estate, and offering walking tours to inspire residents to change how they view their community.

      “You can use resources and find properties and utilize them in different ways that the community can benefit from,” Guth explained. “I think that macro social work is the way to fix communities, and I think that that will trickle down to the individual.”

      Cancer immunotherapy research

      Biomedical engineering sophomore Juliette DiFlumeri focused her research on repurposing FDA-approved drugs for cancer immunotherapy, a type of treatment that uses certain parts of an individual’s immune system to fight cancer. She worked alongside faculty mentor Sachin Patil, interim dean of the School of Engineering.

      By using FDA-approved drugs, the treatment can get to consumers faster, she said.

      “Right now there are three major techniques for treating cancer: radiation, chemotherapy and then this new breakaway star which is treatment through protein antibodies,” explained DiFlumeri. “We’re looking for a way to combine the positive effects from all of these treatments, as well as reduce the side effects and costs.”

      Award Winners

      Award Winners

      Eleven students were recognized for their poster design, verbal presentations and professional at the Summer Research Symposium.

      The symposium ended with 11 students and their faculty mentors being recognized for excellence. They were judged on their poster design, verbal presentation and professionalism. Winners included:

      Samantha Scoma (Dr. Alexis Nagengast and Dr. Krishna Bhat)
      Rebecca Senski and Allison DeHass (Dr. Katherine Goodrich)
      Ryan Yost, Jonah Boileau and Annamarie Burns (Dr. Babatunde Odusami)
      Vitaliya Lypyak and Aslinur Yamci (Dr. Angela Corbo)
      Juliette DiFlumeri (Dr. Sachin Patil)
      Sophia Corbo (Dr. Michael Toneff)
      Inesha Ellis (Dr. Katherine Goodrich)

      See more photos of the Summer Research Symposium.


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