Research News

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 Faculty Research

Dr. Kelly Orlando's sponsored researchDr. Kelly Orlando, assistant professor of biology, is currently collaborating with Dr. Dennis Wykoff, associate professor of biology and the Dennis M. Cook Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics at Villanova University.  Dr. Wykoff was awarded $548,273  for a three year National Science Foundation grant entitled “RUI: Evolution of Signal Transduction Pathways in Yeast.”  This grant builds on the past six years of NSF funding in the Wykoff laboratory and focuses on how a variety of fungal species synthesizes thiamine.  Thiamine (or vitamin B1) is essential for growth of all organisms, and Dr. Wykoff’s laboratory has uncovered novel regulation of thiamine in fungal species that are commensal with humans. This work in the near term has evolutionary implications and in the long term may uncover potential antifungal compounds. As part of Dr. Orlando’s continuing collaboration with the Wykoff lab, the grant will fund an Immaculata University undergraduate to work in the Wykoff lab over the next two summers, will allow Dr. Orlando to join the Immaculata student at Villanova for part of the summer, and will fund reagents needed for the Immaculata students to continue their research at Immaculata throughout the school year.

Dr. Dawn Kriebel, psychologyDr. Dawn Kriebel, professor and department chair of undergraduate psychology, will be presenting a poster titled “Maternal Age and Sensitivity: Are Younger Mothers Less Sensitive to their Infants than Older Mothers?” at the annual meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Philadelphia on March 21, 2015.  Dr. Keiebel’s co-authors are Jackie Jaeger, Judith Stull, and Marsha Weinraub of Temple University.  Additionally, her manuscript, “Parent Teaching, Cumulative Instability, and School Readiness Among Head Start Children”, co-authored with Eleanor Brown of West Chester University, will be submitted for publication.

Dr. Stephen Miles, theology

Dr. Stephen Miles, associate professor of theology, and sophomore theology major, Kasey Rossell, represented Immaculata on a panel discussion of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelli Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) on February 7, 2015. The panel was comprised of Catholic university representatives, local ordained/religious pastoral leaders, and lay Catholics. The panel discussion was part of the “Joy of the Gospel Program” organized by the evangelization committee of St. Helena parish in Philadelphia.

Sr  Kathleen Doutt, professor of music, Sr. Judith Parsons, assistant professor of philosophy, and Dr. Elizabeth Faunce, assistant professor of business, presented a poster titled, “Test-Driving a Cross-Disciplinary Rubric for Faculty Metacognition” at the 13th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence at Temple University on January 8, 2015.

Dr. Jed Yalof, professor and department chair of graduate psychology, published "Teaching Psychoanalytic Concepts in the University Setting: Issues, Challenges, and Promises" online in the January 6, 2015 issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry. He also co-authored with A.D. Bram an article titled "Quantifying Complexity: Personality Assessment and Its Relationship with Psychoanalysis" in the January 6, 2015 issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry.

Beth Chiatti, M.S.N., R.N., C.S.N.

Dr. Beth Chiatti, nursing instructor, conducted research and recently defended her dissertation at Widner University earning her Ph.D. in December 2014. Her dissertation is titled Culture Care Beliefs and Practices of an Ethiopian Immigrant Community: An Ethnonursing Study.

Dr. Rena Quinton, nutrition

Dr. Rena Quinton, associate professor of foods and nutrition, presented information on providing a nutritious diet on a SNAP (Food Stamp) budget, and on Food Processor diet analysis software at a USDA Nutrition Panel at the National Commodity Food Program Association’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia on October 27, 2014.

Drs. Bill Watson, professor and department chair of history and Gene Halus, associate professor of politics, co-edited the book, “Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People.”


Dr. Rita Colanzi, assistant professor of English, presented a paper titled, “Food and the Creation of Italian American Identity” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, November 6-9, 2014.


Student Research

Immaculata Students Present Their Research

Dennis Alvarez, Dylan Chudoff, and David Witte (pictured above) presented at the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences on October 25 at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Biology student Dennis Alvarez  presented on Microclimatic Conditions among Trees on Parking Lot “Islands" and Biology student Dylan Chudoff presented on Isolation of Novel Arthrobacter Species Phages. Chemistry student David Witte presented on The Effects of Motor Protein Binding on Microtubule Depolymerization. Their travel expenses were funded by a Pathways enrichment grant.  

Graduate nursing students Kimberly Johnson, Joyce Kish, Rosalyn McGrath, Mary Rooney, Marianne Saunders, Celina Siwula, Lisa Springer, Duane Stanton, and Lauren Stoltzfus (pictured above) presented their M.S.N. Capstone Posters at Immaculata on August 11, 2014.  You can view their abstracts here.

Students Alyssa Iulianetti and Kelly Rickert and Dr. Dawn Kriebel (pictured above) presented a poster at the annual American Psychological Association Conference in August 2014 on "Parent Teaching, Cumulative Instability and School Readiness Among Head Start Children."  Their research and conference fees were funded by an Immaculata mini-grant.

Thirteen nutrition thesis students, along with their mentor Dr. Laura Frank (pictured above), presented research posters at the PA Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting on April 23, 2014. The students were Tania Bezerra, Therese Campagna, Rachel Yik Han Chan, JoAnne DeRobertis, Laura DiPiero, Brittany Ford, Lisa Miller Fox, Carrie Gerencher (pictured), Diane Hare, Devon Hurley, Pearl Joshua, Stephanie Mina, and Isabel Tse Wong.


Undergraduate Research at the Capitol--Pennsylvania poster conference


 Sophomore biology major Dylan Chudoff presented a research poster titled “Isolation of Novel Arthobacter sp. Phages with a Robust New Method” at the Undergraduate Research at the Capitol – Pennsylvania on March 3, 2015. Dylan’s poster detailed the research he performed at Cabrini College last summer under the tutelage of Dr. David Dunbar. Senator Andrew Dinniman (pictured) and PA State Representative Duane Milne stopped by to congratulate Dylan on his research accomplishment.


IU Students Participate in Summer Research Internship 

Dylan Chudoff and Libby Graves participated in a 2014 SEPCHE summer research course at Cabrini College called “Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (PHAGES).” This course enabled them to participate in undergraduate research in several scientific disciplines, including microbiology, virology, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. Affiliated with the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute, PHAGES allows students to isolate and characterize their own unique bacteriophage, name it and have their bacteriophage archived in the laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull at the University of Pittsburgh.

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1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345 p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Immaculata University | Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved | Federal Compliance Links | Clery