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Scholar Spotlight - SEPCHE Honors 2019

Tawny Sverdlin - May 17, 2019

Image of biology professor and undergraduate student in lan examining a slide with bacteria spores on it.Among the many activities and programs sponsored by SEPCHE (The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education), the organization holds a conference that presents undergraduate honors students the opportunity to present their outstanding scholarship to their peers.

This year’s Conference, hosted by Cabrini University, took place on Saturday, March 23rd 2019. Under the direction and guidance of Rosemont College faculty, the following honors students offered academic presentations on topics that ranged from Russian politics to biology. 


 Michael DiRenzo and Deaynna Koskulitz

Viewing Politics Through the Lens of Harry Potter

Pop culture and politics influence our lives in a variety of ways, but they are rarely perceived as related. Using illustrations from the Harry Potter franchise, the students examined how politics are represented in popular culture, especially around the issues of counter- terrorism and responses of a state during a crisis.


 Ellie Mumma

Gothic of Harry Potter

Anyone familiar with the Hogwarts Castle of the Harry Potter series has been exposed to the forms and figures of Gothic and Medieval art and architecture, even if they do not realize it. Upon careful examination, one can begin to identify how the important themes of the Gothic have been translated into the unmistakable features of the beloved school.


 Abigail Wolfe

Twilight: The Critically Condemned Phenomenon

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer remains one of the most successful young adult novels in recent years. Ironically, the novel is considered terrible by critical standards.

In order to understand its success in relation to its failure, it is necessary to identify three relationships: text and author, author and reader, and reader and text. These relationships outweigh the failure of Twilight according to critics, making it a worldwide phenomenon.


 David Brown

The Bloody Chamber: Essential Insights of Masculinity

 Angela Carter’s, “The Courtship of Mr. Lyon” and “The Tiger’s Bride,” represent early commentaries concerning current issues and struggles encompassing masculinity such as its often-overlooked expressions and its harmful aspects reaching a breaking point through the #MeToo Movement. This presentation examined and critiqued aspects of masculinity that Angela Carter's revisionist and feminist take offers.


 Hope Smalley

Praying with Walt Whitman

In seeking to write the “new American Bible” Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass not only changed the literary world but helped to develop a new idea of spirituality for the common American. Inspired by the medieval practice of Lectio Divina, this presentation explored the ways Whitman's literary works can strengthen a Christian understanding of the divine. 


Shequana Callendar, Renee Vanish-Mclaurin, Leah Pierre

Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs and Black Woman Suffragists

 The Empire State Federation of Women’s Clubs was a coalition of Black clubwomen. In 1913 at their annual meeting that body formally endorse woman suffrage. This research focused on the delegates presentation at that meeting and the history of the Federation.


 Leah Pierre

Fairytales: Deconstructed and Reimagined

This presentation is an exploration of the methods in which authors, Angela Carter and Nikita Gill, have deconstructed the male gaze, dismantled female stereotypes, and redefined the message within fairy tales in their respective works, The Bloody Chamber and Fierce Fairytales, Poems, and Stories to Stir Your Soul.


Sarah Schork

A Wordsworthian Friendship

Inspired by a two-part course series analyzing the research of interdisciplinary engagements with friendship, The Project for Friendship Studies is an ongoing, student- faculty endeavor striving to emphasize conceptions of friendship as a necessary field of study. This presentation serves as a supplement to the project by applying the ethical implications of the field in William Wordsworth’s The Prelude.


 Dillan Leonard

War - Do We Even Care Anymore?

Despite the importance of war for international relations, younger generations in North America and Europe do not list war as one of the main concerns. In this project, factors that explain this generational gap include socialization, geographic proximity, and the decline of interstate violence.


Elizabeth Cunningham

James Joyce: A Study of Circular Narrative in Ulysses and Dubliners

By utilizing the circular narrative within his writing, Joyce shows the reader that the travel for better understanding never leads beyond where you began, leaving many characters, such as Leopold Bloom, Evelina, and many others within their own learned ways, or forcing them to reevaluate what drove them to circulate their own lives in the first place, but never allowing them the ability to escape entirely from their lives before.


 Ashira Frager

Harry Potter and the Cracked Canon

A phenomenon of public interest, the Harry Potter series has amassed a dedicated following. That said, the series seems to have hit a snag as even hardcore fans now find themselves disengaged.

This presentation is an exploration of the relationship between author J.K. Rowling and her readers to the series’ canon to and to the greater canon of literature.


 Isabella Moraschi, Jazmyn Royall, and Kathryn Wharton

Project Hopper

With the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship, these three Rosemont scholars had the opportunity of working hands-on with Raspberry Pi's to develop a computer program.

The project familiarized the students with operating programs like Unix, Python, and Mathematica. With these tools they designed a program that became an easy-to-use tool for use in a mathematics classroom.


 Rhea Trainson

Mushroom Anemone Hybrids and DNA Barcoding

Captive marine ecosystems present a unique situation with the potential for interspecific hybrids or crosses to form. We will present our efforts on utilizing DNA barcoding to discriminate between different species of mushroom anemone parent colonies. The collected DNA information will be used to identify the taxonomy of a true mushroom anemone hybrid.


Moriah Kirk, Grieshma Thomas

Photo-synthesis and Characterization of Au-Ag Bimetallic Nanoparticles Using Green Tea and Cinnamon Extract

A green method for the synthesis of Au-Ag bimetallic nanoparticles was developed using aqueous extract of green tea and cinnamon. The effect of different synthesis variables on the nanoparticles was studied.

The Folin-Ciocalteu (FC) assay was used for the determination of the total phenolic content of the aqueous extract. Characterization of these nanoparticles by UV-Visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) will also be reported. 


 Grace Beecher

PAUSE: People Against Unwanted Sexual Experience

PAUSE is a campus club intended to be a conduit between the Title IX Committee and student body. Initially, the club focused on increasing awareness of clear consent, but survey feedback showed that campus needs are changing.

Montgomery County Victim Services has started working with PAUSE by interviewing students, faculty, and staff to design a program with our club to address campus’ needs.


 Zach Young

The Quantitative Analysis of Manchester City F.C.;
How this Large Soccer Club is Able to Scale on the Global Level

This presentation will include the investments that continue to grow the Manchester City F.C.'s size on the world stage. What is this club doing that separates them from other soccer teams?

How do they make their money? And what are their main sources when looking at investments and profits? These questions will all be posed and answered in the statistical analysis of this club.


 David Kleiner and Christopher Cortes

The Role of Dityrosine in the UV Sensitivity of Haploid Spores of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

 The presence of dityrosine in the outermost yeast spore wall may play a protective role against UV radiation. This study compares the UV sensitivity of haploid spores in three strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a wild-type, a dityrosine-deficient, and a heterozygous strain. Spores were exposed to UV light at different time intervals and their ability to survive was examined.


Collette Paris

Kremlin Complications: Russia's Changing Relationship with the West

Russia’s relationship with the US and Western countries has historically fluctuated because of international and domestic factors. By analyzing Russia’s political and economic environments through theories of International Relations, we may identify the ways Russia's relationship with the West has changed since the 1990s, identify the reasons for these changes, and demonstrate how these changes impact the world today.