Lafayette Fraternity and Sorority members continue to have close working relationships  faculty members. 27 Fraternity and Sorority Members did research on their own, with faculty guidance, through independent studies and honors theses and to undertake research jointly with a faculty member this past summer 2012. Many of our members participated in the EXCEL Scholar programs.

“You Are Always Wearing Your Letters!” Please see the experiences shared below…..

First Name Last Name Year Reason FS Group
Kristin Anderson 2014 EXCEL Pi Beta Phi
Elizabeth Anderson 2014 EXCEL Alpha Gamma Delta
Jacqueline Bible 2014 EXCEL Kappa Kappa Gamma
Julia Brodsky 2013 EXCEL Delta Delta Delta
Laura Brotzman 2013 EXCEL Pi Beta Phi
Jason Ewer 2013 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Tyler Fruneaux 2014 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Renee Gallo 2014 EXCEL Alpha Phi
Kathryn Gramigna 2013 EXCEL Kappa Kappa Gamma
Julia Harris 2013 EXCEL Delta Delta Delta
Ryan Hughes 2013 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Stephanie Kass 2014 EXCEL Alpha Gamma Delta
Emily Landau 2013 EXCEL Pi Beta Phi
Kelsey Lantz 2013 Research Alpha Gamma Delta
Lenny Nguyen 2013 Research Delta Kappa Epsilon
Andre Rafizadeh 2013 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Jessica Rothstein 2013 Research Pi Beta Phi
Thomas Swaffield 2013 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Mark Tajzler 2014 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Margaret Tiedemann 2014 EXCEL Alpha Gamma Delta
Joshua Tufts  Research Delta Kappa Epsilon
Kyle Tucker 2014 EXCEL Phi Kappa Psi
Joseph Tumulty 2014 EXCEL Delta Upsilon
Wesley Von Dassaw 2013 Research Delta Upsilon
Emily Wallitsch 2013 EXCEL Alpha Gamma Delta
Nevin Whalley 2014 EXCEL Delta Upsilon

I am an Excel Scholar with Dr. Megan Rothenberger. My grant is entitled the “Think Tank-Multi Pilot Capstone Grant.” We are testing water quality in the Rartitan Bay (NJ) and  also in the Bushkill Creek by performing analyses and plankton/macroinvertebrate indentifications. We are also studying the invasive Asian Shore Crab around parts of the Raritan Bay, and are testing the effectiveness of newly constructed vernal pools at specific sites in Jacobsburg State Park and Martin’s Creek. ~ Ryan Hughes ’13 Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity

“I am working with Professor Lauren Myers Ph.D. a developmental psychologist in the Department of Psychology.  We are conducting a child development study on whether children ages 1-2 years can learn from online video interactions such as Skype or FaceTime.  We are working with children over video chat to teach them new words and actions and seeing whether they can transfer what we have taught them over a screen to the real 3D world.  This research is extremely cutting edge with the current state of technology getting much media coverage. Everything is going great and we can’t wait to see the results!” ~ Renee Gallo ’14 Alpha Phi Women’s Sorority

Professor Bookwala (Psychology Department) and I have been working with Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 to assist them with assessing ongoing truancy prevention efforts in Northampton County schools so as to help them expand their services. The project involves collecting information about past and present truancy intervention programs implemented locally and in different parts of the country through an extensive literature review; data analyses on truancy prevention outcomes; and interviews with the truancy counselors themselves.” ~ Jackie Bible ’14 Kappa Kappa Gamma Women’s Sorority

“We are conducting research on oomycetes, organisms that are similar to fungi. We are attempting to determine which genes play a role in their successful infection of potatoes. Our research revolves heavily around molecular biology concepts and techniques, especially extracting RNA, synthesizing DNA and monitoring gene expression levels. My research team consists of Brad Bormann(2014), Juan Hernandez(2013), Abdul Dopson(2014), and myself. It’s a great opportunity to put into practice techniques that we have learned in classes such as Microbiology or Molecular Genetics. Another beenfit is that we get to delve into the rapidly expanding field of bioinformatics.  We work under Professor Manuel Ospina-Giraldo, in the Biology Department.” ~ Jason Ewer  ’13 Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity 

“I worked with Professor Hines in the Chemistry Department on a project about Prions. Protein floats in solution in the body when it has the proper structure, however, proteins can spontaneously miss fold which causes them the come out of solution. Once one protein miss folds, all other proteins of the same kind will also take on the same incorrect fold and stick together. These aggregates are called prions and they can be passed on to the next generation of cells. In order to be passed on to the next generation, the aggregates must interact with a chaperon protein. The research we are conducting is studying which specific parts of the chaperon protein are necessary in order for the prions to pass on and to learn more about the process by which prions pass from generation to generation. We use DNA cloning techniques to change the construct of the chaperon protein and manipulate it to figure out which sections are necessary for prion propagation.” ~ Julia Harris ’13 Delta Delta Delta Women’s Sorority

“I’m doing research with Professor Lauren Anderson (Alpha Phi) of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department. My research is concerned with growing continuous cell sheets on thermoresponsive surfaces, and then examining gene expression in the cells. Usually, when someone needs a skin graft, a cell sheet is grown on tissue culture plastic, but to harvest the cells chemicals must be used, which can destroy some of the cells and the continuity of the sheet. Professor Anderson’s research is examining thermoresponsive surfaces, which cells can grow on easily above a certain temperature; however, when the temperature is lowered below the lower critical solution temperature (LCST), the polymer thermoresponsive surface will collapse, leaving a free-floating cell sheet that can be easily harvested. We are looking into varying the LCST of the thermoresponsive surfaces for different applications, and examining the biocompatibility of these polymers.” ~ Tyler Fruneaux ’14 Phi Kappa Psi Men’s Fraternity

“I am working with Nestor Gil in the art department.  As his EXCEL assistant I am not only working to create the objects and pieces for his projects, but I am also involved in the development of ideas for these artworks which will be showing in the Grossman Gallery and other exhibitions across the nation.” ~ Mark Tajzler ’14 Phi Kappa Psi Men’s Fraternity