Undergraduate research, Maker Mayhem at Abington

Abington undergraduate research

Penn State Abington students Hudson Marsh and Gigi Fleurentin earned first place for their undergraduate research project, "A Roaring New Look: The Redesigned Nittany Lion Mascot as an Important Branding Opportunity at Penn State University."

Credit: Natalie Haggard

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington's thriving community of undergraduate researchers showcased the fruits of their experiences collaborating with the college's faculty at the annual Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities (ACURA) poster fair.

Students can participate in undergraduate research beginning their first year at Abington. ACURA students: 

  • collaborate closely with faculty research mentors on hands-on research projects and/or creative works over the course of one academic year;
  • receive academic credit;
  • gain valuable research, technical, and artistic experience for more advanced levels of scholarly work, and/or for use in their careers;
  • present research findings at the Annual ACURA Poster Fair, at a research lecture at the Fall Colloquium, and/or at a local or national research conference; and
  • publish original works and discoveries in partnership with the research mentor.

For the last several years, the campus' makers have been joined the undergraduate research celebration through Maker Mayhem. This event showcases the products resulting from collaborations with faculty mentors.

The judges voted on winners from each academic division at Abington. The campus library initiated new awards for information literacy tied to the undergraduate research fair.

Division of Arts & Humanities

Blue Ribbon

— "A Roaring New Look: The Redesigned Nittany Lion Mascot as an Important Branding Opportunity at Penn State University" by Gigi Fleurentin and Hudson Marsh

Faculty Advisers: Ross Brinkert, Michael Bernstein

Honorable Mention

— "Beyond Mindfulness: Varieties of Buddhist Healing in Multiethnic Philadelphia" by Angelina He, Patrick Lee, Alex Medina and Ryan Rose 

Faculty Adviser: Pierce Salguero

Division of Science & Engineering

Blue Ribbons

— "LIDAR Assist Spatial Sensing for the Visually Impaired" by Carolyn Ton, Abdelmalak Omar, Vitaliy Szedenko, Viet Hung Tran, Alina Aftab and Mostafa Elghorab
Faculty Adviser: Yi Yang

Two of the students students and the faculty mentor behind the LIDAR project presented their findings in Harrisburg last week at the 15th annual Undergraduate Research at the Capitol poster conference.

— "Intensity Mapping of the Smith Cloud" by Zac Michaels and Spencer Yeingst

Faculty Advisers: Ann Schmiedekamp, Carl Schmiedekamp

Honorable Mentions
— "Sex Differences in Hepatic Peroxiredoxin Expression" by Samantha Buongervino
Faculty Adviser: Steven A. Bloomer

— "Modeling and Characterizing Stiff-Knee Gait in a Computer Simulation on a Physics-Based Neuromusculoskeletal Model" by John Stevens
Faculty Adviser: Mukul Talaty

Division of Social Sciences

Blue Ribbons

— "Don't Go Toward the Light! How Light Pollution Affects Perceptions of Natural Settings in National Parks" by Robert Nutt
Faculty Adviser: Jacob Benfield

— "Students' Engagement In and Perceptions of Hunger, Food Waste, and Recycling" by Mary Catherine Hess, Rena Kassak and Faye Ko

Faculty Adviser: Kathleen Fadigan

Honorable Mentions

— "The Decision to Shoot: Is It Only Skin Deep?" by Taylor Miller, A'la Streater and Centia Thomas 

Faculty Adviser: Oren M. Gur

— "Drug, Set, and Setting: Accidental Overdoses Among Young Adults in Montgomery County" by Annie Dinh, Nusrat Jahan and Melaney Santana

Faculty Adviser: Oren M. Gur   

Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus. Lions Gate, our first residence hall, will open in August.