Press Releases

The 27th Annual Natural and Social Sciences Student Research Symposium April 26

Date Released: 3/21/2008

The Purchase College School of Natural and Social Sciences announces its 27th Annual Student Research Symposium which will be held on April 26 from 8:45 AM to 1 PM. This annual event represents the best of the science programs offered at Purchase, and a forum in which graduating seniors can present their yearlong scientific research.

The topics to be presented this year include research on the effects fatty acids on breast cancer cells, Christian iconography and tattoos, the Sub-Saharan economy, the correlation between asthma and income level, social networking and honesty, solving Sudoku, skateboarding as a subculture, children of the AIDS epidemic, the effects of aging on decision-making, and gender influences on preschoolers.

What makes the science programs at Purchase distinctive is that each student works closely with faculty sponsors on original research for their Senior Project, an opportunity most students don’t have at larger institutions. The Student Research Symposium is also unique in that it allows undergraduate students to report on their research in the same way scientists from major research laboratories do at national and international conferences.

This year’s Symposium has an international flavor as Purchase students from the United States, Russia, Kenya, Germany, France and Japan will discuss their research in all areas of the natural and social sciences.

The Symposium consists of concurrent sessions in anthropology, biology, chemistry, environmental studies, economics, math/computer science, political science, psychology, sociology, women’s studies and media, society & the arts.

Students describe their research during a 15-minute oral presentation followed by five minutes of questions from the audience. Other students participate in a dedicated poster session, in which presenters display their research results with a combination of words, images and graphics. 

Nicole Lawton, a biology major from Milford, N.Y., will present her study of lobsters to determine the effect of the bacterial disease Gaffkemia on their immune systems. With aid of the transmission electron microscope in the Purchase College Microscopy Lab, she has been tracking how this disease can overwhelm the defenses of a lobster’s immune system.  Her research analyzes how the bacteria invade the immune system, disrupting the digestive gland and resulting in eventual organ dysfunction.  Gaffkemia is a usually fatal infection. With fewer than 10 bacterial cells, it can kill a healthy adult lobster in about 17 days.

John-R Clark of Eastchester, N.Y, a senior in the environmental studies program, will present a study of chemical pollutants that mimic natural hormones.  These endocrine-disrupting compounds are present in the environment in ever-increasing concentrations, including in sewage and storm water runoff.  His study examined local wastewater for the presence and concentration of estrogenic compounds. It also explored the efficiency of removal of these endocrine disrupting chemicals by wastewater treatment as functions of plant size and type of treatment. 

Presentations will be conducted in both the Natural and Social Sciences Buildings. Afterward, awards will be presented to students for academic excellence, outstanding research and service to the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Lunch will be served.

Registration begins at 8:15 AM in Room 1001 of the Natural Sciences Building. Registration can also be conducted online at, where further information is also available, including directions to the campus. The Symposium is free and open to the public.

Support for the symposium is provided by Robert and Edith Fehr, Con Edison, John and Jeanette Ambroseo, Peter Compo, the Joseph and Sophia Abeles Foundation, Lucille Werlinich, the National Science Foundation, Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and the School of Natural and Social Sciences, Purchase College.

This year’s oral and poster session presentations include:

Oral Presentation
Saida Balume, Syracuse, N.Y.
“Love and Marriage Among Second-Generation Congolese-Americans”

Mariana Cesar, Yorktown, N.Y.
“Latina? Confronting Issues of Cultural Identification Among Brazilian Immigrant Women in the United States”

Josh Weiss, Sherman, Conn.
“Parameters of Political Discourse in the Virtual Public Sphere: An ethnographic study of the Daily Kos”

Randolph Noisette, Spring Valley, N.Y.
“Politically Conscious Hip Hop and Its Influence on Its Audience”

Jessica Pirc, Ossining, N.Y.
“Thick Tattoos: Layered meanings of Christian iconography in tattoos”

Oral Presentation
James Blinstrub, Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
“Health Knowledge and Behavior in the Purchase Student Body: How Scientific Knowledge Affects Lifestyle Choices”

Nadia El-fawal, Otisville, N.Y.
“Identification of Microbial and Bacterial Genetic Markers Predicting Treatment Success in MRSA Bacteremia”

Jared Munir, Webster, N.Y.
“Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of the Effects of Environmental Stress on Uptake of Foreign Bloodborne Particles by Fixed Phagocytes of the Lobster, Homarus americanus”

Andre Antoine, White Plains, N.Y.
“Transferring Cytoplasm of Drosophila Eggs”

Evelyn Campoverde, Peeksill, N.Y.
“Movement Patterns of Individual Bog Turtles in a Linear Wetland”

Nicole Lawton, Milford, N.Y.
“Histology of Fixed Phagocytes in the American Lobster during Aerococcus Viridans Infection”

Shawn Nanhoo, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
“Does an Increase in Cell Size in the Endemic Hawaiian Drosophila Drive an Increase in Ovipositor and Body Sizes?”

Velgan Rodriguez, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Evaluation of the Effects of Various Fatty Acids on NMU Cancer Cell Proliferation”

Oxana Sharipova, Sterlitamak, Bashkortostan, Russia
“Illustrated Guide to Dental Procedures”

Kernita Sylvester, Bronx, N.Y.
“The Presence of Coliforms in the Bronx River”

Loren Taylor-Raymond, New York, N.Y.
“Transmission Electron Microscopy Studies of Renibacterium Salmoninarum”

Oral Presentation
Marie Pierre, Spring Valley, N.Y.
“Isolation of Gangliosides from NMU Cells”

Jeremy Tholany, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
“In Silico Analysis of Oligonucleotide Inhibitors for the Human Telomerase Enzyme”

Oral Presentation
Sharleen Harichandre, New Hyde Park, N.Y.
“Labor Market Segregation in South Africa: Pre- and Post-Apartheid”

Rebecca Katzenberg, Bronxville, N.Y.
“The Effects of Globalization on Thai Women”

Matthew Kucker, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“Economics of Electronic Business”

Tom Okiro, Nairobi, Kenya
“The Sub-Saharan Economy: In the rearview mirror?”

Nicole Wiktor, Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
“Economic Moodswings: The happiness & public policy predicament”

Environmental Studies
Oral Presenation
John-R Clark, Eastchester, N.Y.
“Bioassay for Estrogenic Compounds in Domestic Wastewater”

Katerina Korolov, Cortland, N.Y.
“Integrating Agriculture and Fisheries Management to Improve Water Quality in Upstate New York”

Erin Roth, Greenwood Lake, N.Y.
“Salted or Unsalted? Chloride concentrations in the sub-basins and tributaries of the Great Swamp Watershed”

Joanna Chisolm, Bronx, N.Y.
“Exploring Asthma and Its Correlation to Income Level and Traffic Using GIS”

Ted Nathanson, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
“Perceptions, Attitudes, and Reported Water Use Behaviors of College Students Throughout the United States”

Travis Winthers, Katonah, N.Y.
“Exposure Hazards for Firefighters Due to Air Contaminants During and After Operations”

Math/Computer Science
Oral Presentation
Ernesto Arreguin, Cold Spring, N.Y.
“Reach-preserving Vertices of Products of Trees”

Alex Fierro, Monroe, N.Y.
“Inverse Surveillance: Using online social networking to track security cameras”

Robert Mattson, East Hampton, N.Y.
“ An experiment in social networking and honesty”

Brent Solly, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
“Solving Sudoku”

Nicolas Ducher, Lyon, France
“Triangular Numbers”

Media, Society and the Arts
Oral Presentation
Anna Dinardo-Smith, Green Brook, N.J.
 “Behind the Lens, in Front of the Stage: An ethnographic research into rock concert photography”

James Emmerich, Warwick, N.Y.
“Skateboarding as a Subculture”

Scott Fitzpatrick, Massapequa, N.Y.
“Sonic Truth”

Kathryn Mikulak, Marlborough, Conn.
“Performance vs. Play: Play weddings and everyday performances”

Eric Stewart, Suffern, N.Y.
“Beyond the X: Identity, politics and straight edge subcultures”

Political Science
Oral Presenation
Jacquelyn Coffin, Bellerose, N.Y.
“Divine Inequality: Women, religion, and progress in Lebanon”

Sade Greene, Bronx, N.Y.
“Gaza, a Region in Crisis: The negative impact of political and economic instability on civilians living in the Gaza Strip”

Esther Krafchow, Albany, N.Y.
“Children of the AIDS Epidemic: the Uganda experience”

Tamika Reece, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“An Assessment of the Effectiveness of AIDS Policies in Guyana”

Gavita Kissoon, Queens, N.Y.
“Women in Politics: A Comparative Study of Chile, Argentina and the United States of America”

Oral Presenation
Ashley Alicea, Ooltewah, Tenn.
”The Effects of Gender on Memory and Problem-Solving Abilitites in Preschoolers”

Nicole Donato, Suffern, N.Y.
“Decline in Functions Related to the Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex and the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex with Age”

Marilia Dossantos, Harrison, N.Y.
“Gender Stereotyping: Do adults and children rely on gender knowledge to interpret emotions?”

Helayna Herschkorn, Irvington, N.Y.
“After-School Involvement During Childhood and Adolescence: Effects on academic self-management behavior in college”

Daniel Jacobson, Medford, N.Y.
“Decline in the Prefrontal Cortex and Decision-Making in Older Adults”

Hillary Koskinen, Upper Saddle River, N.J.
“Children’s Gender Stereotyping of Occupations: Children raised in childcare compared to children raised at home”

Eric Kristt, Monticello, N.Y.
“Creativity and Associative Thinking”

Alexandra Lanter, Upper Nyack, N.Y.
“The Effects of Gender on Memory and Problem-Solving Abilities in Preschoolers”

Toni Negri, Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
“Cryptomnesia as it Occurs When Using Academic Materials and the Influence of the Testing Effect”

Christopher Odell, Stony Point, N.Y.
“Effects of Motivation on Creativity”

Miki Tomaru, Scarsdale, N.Y.
“The Influence of Attachment Style and Communicative Patterns on Adolescent Romantic Relationships”

Joseph Violette, Monroe, N.Y.
“Effects of Non-conscious Exposure on Fear of Spiders”

Dana Braunschweiger, Chester, N.Y.
“Evaluation of a Prison Theater Program: Arts at Sing Sing”

Avery Maltz, Oakland Garden, N.Y.
“Effect of Nonconcious Exposure on Experience of Fear”

Oral Presentation
Jacquelyn Rollins, Los Angeles, Calif.
“Click Here to Become Pregnant: A sociological inquiry into fertility clinic websites”

Joyi Yeung, Flushing, N.Y.
“Environmental Racism: A case study on the Ramapough Mountain Indians”

Tomomi Fujita, Sapporo, Hokaido, Japan
“Internment Camps and Their Lasting Effects on Japanese-Americans”

Women’s Studies
Oral Presentation
Brandi Wagner, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“The Pilgrimage to Perfection: The social construction of the hairless norm”