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UML Well Represented at America East Research Symposium

10 Undergraduate Students Invited to Present Their Research in Binghamton, N.Y.

Students look at research posters at University Crossing Photo by Tory Wesnofske
Ten undergraduate students were invited to share their research posters at the inaugural America East Research Symposium in Binghamton, N.Y.

04/11/2019
By Ed Brennen

Senior psychology major Patricia Ferreira finds that sharing her research work is just as important as actually conducting it.

“The moment research is shared, it instantly becomes more meaningful,” says Ferreira, who will get a chance to present her work this week at the inaugural America East Research Symposium in Binghamton, N.Y.

Hosted by the America East Academic Consortium (AEAC), the symposium gives undergraduate students from the conference’s nine member schools an opportunity to present their current research as poster presentations in front of students, faculty and administrators. The symposium is held April 12 at Binghamton University.

“I never imagined I would be presenting my research at an out-of-state symposium,” says Ferreira, who is among 10 UMass Lowell students invited to share their funded research at the symposium.

Working with Assoc. Prof. Andrew Hostetler, associate chair of the Psychology Department, Ferreira’s research focuses on the relationship between self-esteem, alcohol attitudes and rash impulsiveness. 

The other UML students presenting their research at the symposium are:

  • Freshman plastics engineering major Greg Reimonn: “Microplastic Pollution in the Environment and Emerging Solutions” (sponsored by Asst. Prof. Wang-Ting Chen)
  • Freshman mechanical engineering major Katherine Vail: “Assessing Soft Robotics Actuators for Bio-Inspired Flight” (Assoc. Prof. David Willis)
  • Sophomore physics and mathematics major Andrew Burns: “Attitude Control System Testing for the SPACE HAUC Satellite” (Asst. Prof. Timothy Cook)
  • Senior computer science major Matthew Demoy: “Using Figurative Language to Build Healthier Habits” (Asst. Prof. Ann Kronrod)
  • Senior business administration major David Seybert: “Questions Encourage Financial Planning?” (Kronrod)
  • Junior business administration major Leaksmy Heng: “Mispricing, Arbitrage and ETF Returns” (Asst. Profs. Eunju Lee and Chi Zhang)
  • Senior chemistry major Julie Pieslak: “Screening Potential Inhibitors of the Sigma-28 Transcription Factor” (Assoc. Prof. Matthew Gage)
  • Senior business administration major Sherlin Thomas: “Blockchain: Toward a Trust-based Digital Identity for Vendor Onboarding and Management” (Asst. Prof. Amit Deokar)
  • Senior psychology major Kelly Lewis: “Toxic Emissions and Autism Prevalence Across the U.S.” (Assoc. Prof. Doreen Arcus)

Vail, an Honors student, is researching the viability of using soft robotics (robots made from highly pliable materials) to manipulate wing geometry and pitch angle to enhance maneuverability and lift generated by the wing. She received an honors fellowship this semester to conduct her research with Willis. 

“As a freshman, this is an amazing opportunity for me to experience what attending and presenting at a research symposium is like,” Vail says. “I am excited not only to present my own research, but also to see what other people are researching in their fields.” 

Vice Provost for Student Success Julie Nash sent out a call about the funded research opportunity to students earlier this semester. She was happy to see UML students submit the first 10 abstracts for registration.

“This is another proud moment for UMass Lowell,” says Nash, who praised the efforts of  English Prof. Todd Avery, the university’s faculty athletics representative, and Alison Quandt Westgate, associate athletic director for academics and student-athlete services, for promoting the opportunity to students.

The AEAC is a collaboration of the nine institutions that make up the Division I athletic conference. The consortium seeks to elevate the conference’s academic profile by providing unique learning experiences for students. In 2017, UMass Lowell hosted the AEAC’s popular Hack AE hackathon