Gannon Students Present Research To Lawmakers, Others in Harrisburg
Posted: May 31, 2017
The opportunity to conduct research is a powerful motivation for
many students to come to Gannon University, but the opportunity to
present that research makes the experience even more valuable.
In late April, several Gannon students presented their research
at the 15th annual Undergraduate Research at the
Capitol-Pennsylvania Poster Conference in Harrisburg. The event
brings undergraduates from Pennsylvania colleges and universities
to the Pennsylvania Capitol Building to showcase their research
talents to the Commonwealth's legislators and other officials.
Biology major Jared Wilczynski presented a poster entitled
Monitoring Predation on Aquatic Invasive Species Using DNA in the
Feces of Piscivorous Fish, research for which Kelly Grant, Ph.D.,
assistant professor of biology, was principal investigator.
Wilczynski received the Award for Academic Excellence in Biology at
the annual Founders Day Convocation earlier this month.
Kyle Rodewald, a philosophy major who will be attending Duquesne
University School of Law in the fall, used the 2016 election as the
source for Plato vs. Democracy; Philosophy Divided. Rodewald also
met with Ryan Bizzarro, member of the Pennsylvania House of
Representatives representing the 3rd District. Collaborating with
Rodewald were Aaron Kerr, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy,
and Dominic Prianti, instructor of philosophy.
The largest group of students attending the event presented High
Altitude Ballooning Exploration, research that encompasses two
projects. One was an ongoing project funded by NASA and the
Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium to send a student-designed
instrument package to near space aboard a high-altitude balloon.
The other project is part of a coordinated effort by a select group
of 52 colleges and universities nationwide and three from
Pennsylvania to conduct balloon flights from about 25 locations to
record and live-stream the solar eclipse in August.
The team of undergraduate students led by Wookwon Lee, Ph.D.,
associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and
Nick Conklin, Ph.D., associate professor of physics, was composed
of biology major Lauren Reilly and Kaitlyn Babiarz, Alejandro
Ferrero, Stephen Karpinsky, Maia MacKellar and Donovan Starks, all
electrical and computer engineering majors.
Speaking of the day at the Capitol, MacKellar said, "It was
definitely interesting and a good experience to present our project
to people who aren't involved in our technical world, and to
explain to them what we're doing and have them get as excited
about it as we are. Presenting the information was fun, but the
bonding on the trip was a great opportunity to feel closer as a