May 21, 2021
Class of 2021 Students Earn Distinction in the Field of Study

This spring, nearly 50 students from the Class of 2021 were awarded Distinction in the Field of Study for the culmination of their senior research projects. Candidates presented virtually to classmates, faculty, staff and more during Emmanuel’s annual Candidates for Distinction in the Field Presentation Day on Thursday, May 6th.

Distinction in the Field of Study is an honor for Emmanuel students. The opportunity to conduct and present a significant research project is only granted to senior students who hold a 3.5 grade point average or higher in their major course of study. It is representative of the candidates' dedication to their field and commitment to academic excellence.

This year's projects spanned a wide range of academic areas, including communications & media studies, mathematics, political science, biology, history, business and economics, education and more.


Maria Amodeo
Cutting the cellular brakes: Characterizing the role of Hrp1 in pre-mature transcription termination
Advisor(s): Jason Kuehner, Ph.D.

John Cavanaugh
Life on a sand grain: Tintinnid ciliates unexpectedly attach to sand grains as a part of their life cycle
Advisor(s): Paul March, Ph.D.

Samantha Coté
Belonging in Biology: Biology labs in a remote world
Advisor(s): Ben Slavitskiy, Ph.D. Anupama Seshan, Ph.D.

Katheryne Esqueda
Understanding the neurons linked to reproduction and fertility: DREADD-induced silencing of kisspeptin neurons in the posterodorsal medial amygdala in female mice
Advisor(s): Elizabeth McCarthy Ph.D. Victor Navarro, Ph.D. 

Emma Johnson
Nutrition: Could it be the key to enhancing immunity and combatting COVID-19 in elderly individuals?
Advisor(s): Natalie Karagodsky, Ph.D.

Megan Long
A platform for discovery and characterization of transcription factor-RNA Polymerase interactions in bacteria
Advisor(s): Padraig Deighan, Ph.D. 

Shane Mitchell
Cellular stress relief: Pre-mature transcription termination is a biologically significant regulator of the DNA damage response
Advisor(s): Jason Kuehner, Ph.D.

Kayla Oliveira
Cleavage data under construction: the development of computer vision tools for biophysical particle analysis
Advisor(s): Allen Price, Ph.D.

Cassandra Pietryski
Exploring optimal Insertion of GFP into elongation factor LepA to create a functional fusion protein utilizing course-based undergraduate research
Advisor(s): Anupama Seshan, Ph.D. Derek Lau, Ph.D. Liane Hartnett, Ph.D.

Carrie Rodriguez
Exploring the effects of a viral infection mimic during pregnancy on spatial expression of an autism-associated protein
Advisor(s): Matthew Anderson M.D., Ph.D.

Cali Sweitzer
Refining the C.U.R.E. to tuberculosis: Updates to a course-based undergraduate research experience
Advisor(s): Padraig Deighan, Ph.D.


Timothy Hedspeth
Analysis of Carcinogenic Mutations on Chromosome 1 using Probability Functions
Advisor(s): Yulia Dementieva, Ph.D. 

Christopher Reilly
Statistical Analysis of Color Perception in Languages without a Writing System
Advisor(s): Yulia Dementieva, Ph.D.


Kayla Beiter
Knowing the Killer, Avoiding the Crime: Identification and Parasocial Interaction in True Crime Consumers
Advisor(s): Mark Flynn, Ph.D.

Felice Cabral
I Ain’t Watching That: Black Trauma Films, Twitter Discourse, and the Black Experience
Advisor(s): Mark Flynn, Ph.D. Caitlin Lawson, Ph.D.

Emily Geary
Resisting Individualism: 'Self-Care,' 'Community Care,' and the Politics of Wellness on Instagram
Advisor(s): Caitlin Lawson, Ph.D. 

Jacob Manchester
New friends in old places: White Audiences’ Engagement with Black Characters on Screen
Advisor(s): Andrea McDonnell, Ph.D. 

Carly Silva
Romanticizing Romance: How Idealized Romance Media Influences Young Adults' Confidence and Satisfaction in Relationships
Advisor(s): Mark Flynn, Ph.D.


Conor Coleman
Examining Economic Allocation and Impact of Hosting the World Cup on Emerging Economies
Advisor(s): Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D. John Barrett, M.S.

Luca DePalma
Increasing Low-Income Financial Literacy through Behavioral Economic Solutions
Advisor(s): Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D. Florencia Gabriele, Ph.D. 

Elizabeth Irwin
Examining the Labor Market in Major League Baseball
Advisor(s): Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D. John Barrett, M.S.

Lindsey Murphy
Energy Alternatives for Utah: Incentivizing Consumers and Producers to Sustainably Source Their Energy
Advisor(s): Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D. Shuyi Jiang, Ph.D. 

Meaghan Price
The Effects of Agricultural Commodity Price Shocks on Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from 1997-2017
Advisor(s): Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D. Florencia Gabriele, Ph.D.


Jenna DelMastro
Teaching and Learning During a Pandemic: The Emmanuel Education Department’s Best Teaching Practices and Strategies
Advisor(s): Lisa Schneier, Ph.D.


Catherine Hayes
Forming the Band of Brothers: Homosociality and National Identity in British War Cinema
Advisor(s): Kelly McGuire, Ph.D.


Conor Coleman
Analyzing if valuation methodologies maintain accuracy with evolving companies
Advisor(s): Lenard Guida, M.B.A.


Alexandria Fincher
The Trip Around the World: Hallucinogenic Influence on the Counterculture of the 1960s
Advisor(s): Jeffrey Fortin, Ph.D.

Margaret Hannon
The Experience of the Irish Immigrant Women in America During Post-famine Emigration
Advisor(s): Jeffrey Fortin, Ph.D.

Karen Luu
Role of Religion within Back to Africa Movements
Advisor(s): Jeffrey Fortin, Ph.D.

Jacob Manchester
Boston Stereotypes in Film
Advisor(s): Jeffrey Fortin, Ph.D.


Isabella Rocha-Rodriguez
Black-owned Business in a Post-2020 Society: Systemic Barriers to Capital Equity
Advisor(s): Kelly Basile, Ph.D.


Matthew King
Sit or Sell: Predicting Profitability in the Sneaker Resale Market
Advisor(s): Rebecca Hehn, M.S.


Margaret Rosemond
El bilinguismo y los negocios entre los Estados Unidos y México
Advisor(s): José Álvarez-Fernández, Ph.D.


Carol Abedelnour
Performance on Trail Making Test for Individuals with Psychosis
Advisor(s): Melanie Leussis, Ph.D.


Giulia Benvenuto
The Emergence of the Muslim Democratic Party: The Case of Tunisia's Ennahda Party
Advisor(s): Petros Vamvakas, Ph.D. Lenore Martin, Ph.D.

Caelyn Faria
Voter Suppression and Race: How the Shelby County vs. Holder Decision Undermines Democracy in the United States
Advisor(s): Petros Vamvakas, Ph.D. Adam Silver, Ph.D.

Ashleigh Litcofsky
Economic Incentives for Environmental Policy: Tourism in Southern Europe
Advisor(s): Petros Vamvakas, Ph.D. Adam Silver, Ph.D.

Dina Malual
The Criminalization of Immigration: An Analysis of the Intersectionality of Race and Immigration
Advisor(s): Petros Vamvakas, Ph.D. Katrin Križ, Ph.D.

Mary Pociask
SNAP and Food Insecurity in the United States
Advisor(s): Petros Vamvakas, Ph.D. Adam Silver, Ph.D.


Italia Camillone
Understanding the Differences in Career/Work Values of Emerging and Established Adults
Advisor(s): Clare Mehta, Ph.D.

Dylan O'Dell
Relationship Between Body Talk and Body Satisfaction
Advisor(s): Linda Lin, Ph.D.

Alice Hibara
Conceptualizing Adult Identity: A Quantitative Study on Emerging and Established Adults
Advisor(s): Clare Mehta, Ph.D.

Sophia Mello
Comparing College Student and Adult Attitudes toward E-Cigarettes
Advisor(s): Linda Lin, Ph.D.


Keaton Bergeron
Volunteer Retention in a Food Justice Nonprofit
Advisor(s): Catherine Bueker, Ph.D.

Kathleen Guerin
Failing to Connect the Past to the Present: Findings from the Social Studies Standards of Massachusetts and South Carolina
Advisor(s): Katrin Križ, Ph.D.

Kelly Truong
Cancel Culture: The Practice of Boycotting, Educating, and Ceasing Engagement to Achieve Accountability and Remove Harmful Discourse
Advisor(s): Ivy Krull, Ph.D.


Selena Malaterra
Performance Activism vs. Performative Activism: The Contradictions within Social Justice Theater When the Institution is upheld by Inequality
Advisor(s): Scott Gagnon, M.A.

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