College of Arts and Sciences

John P. McNulty Scholars Program for Excellence in Science and Math

Meet Our Fellows

Academic Year 2014-2015


welcomefellows

From left to right: Megan O'Donnell, Merissa Misiura, Anne McNulty, Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., Christina Mirarchi, Stephanie Tittaferrante, Elizabeth Krohn

 

Elizabeth Krohn '15
Elizabeth is a biology major and works in the laboratory of biologist Dr. Scott McRobert.  She examined the sexual behavior of Drosophila suzukii, the Spotted Wing Fruit Fly, which is an invasive agricultural pest in Europe and North America.  Elizabeth sings with the University Chapel Choir, and traveled to Rome to sing for Pope Benedict in 2013.  She is a member of Just Encounters and CRS Ambassadors, both social justice groups on campus.  She is a GeoKid Fellow and helped teach a 4th grade science class in Fall 2013.  She served as both a teaching assistant in biology and a koinoia leader this semester.

Christina Mirarchi '16
Chrisitina is a biology major, with a minor in health ethics.  She is working with Dr. Catalina Arango to identify the phosphotransferase system (PTS) protein that interacts with the global regulator of carbon catabolite repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti, a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium.  Christina is the fundraising chair of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and an assistant coach of the Hawk Hill Swim Team.  She is also working as a lifeguard and as resident assistant during this school year.

Merissa Misiura '15
Merissa is a biology major and has been working in the laboratory of biologist Dr. Jonathan Fingerut to assess the effect of different environmental factors on Achnanthidium minutissimum, a very common and diverse species of diatoms which are ubiquitous ecological indicators of water quality and environmental health.  Merissa volunteers at the ARC of Philadelphia, working in the art center with adults who have mental and physical disabilities.  This year, she is leading the Saint Joseph's volunteer group that visits this center.  She is also a member of the Biology Club and Sigma Delta Pi.  She plans to attend medical school after graduation and pursue a career in oncology.

Megan O'Donnell '15
Megan, a biology major, is continuing her research under the guidance of biologist Dr. Christina King Smith.  She has been studying the localization and distribution of the RPE65 enzyme in the retinal pigment epithelium layer of the fish eye.  She has been invited to present her findings at the American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting in December 2014 in Philadelphia.   Outside the lab, Megan is an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta health pre-professional  honor society and the vice president of the Pre-Dental Society. She spent last fall studying in Cork, Ireland, and plans to attend medical school after graduation, with the goal of becoming a surgeon.

Stephanie Tittaferrante '15
Stephanie is pursuing a major in biology, as well as a minor in chemistry.  She has conducted research with biologist Dr. Scott McRobert to study aggressive and bold behavior syndromes in juvenile convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata), a freshwater species native to Central America.  At SJU, Stephanie is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national health pre-professional honor society, and Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.  She is a teaching assistant in biology and works as a swim instructor.  She has volunteered extensively in different clinical settings, including occupational therapy, physical therapy and in the emergency room of Cooper University Hospital.  She plans to attend medical school. 

Academic Year 2013-2014


Fellows1

From left to right: Anne McNulty, Lauren Kozlowski, Gianna Valentino, Victoria Angelucci, Elena Montoto, Kelsey Berger, Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J.

 

Victoria Angelucci ‘14
A chemical biology major, Victoria is a chemistry and biology tutor and participates in the McNulty freshman peer-mentoring program.  She is an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta and Alpha Sigma Nu honor societies and a volunteer at Lankenau Hospital, Inglis House, and Keystone Hospice.  She has played three different Division I sports at SJU and is a Hawk Mascot for the SJU Women’s Basketball Team. Victoria participated in 2012 and 2013 Summer Scholars research with chemist, Dr. Jose Cerda, and hopes to continue research while pursuing her goal of becoming a physician. 

Kelsey Berger ‘14
Kelsey is a chemical biology major with a minor in Spanish.  She transferred to SJU after spending two years at the US Air Force Academy.  She has worked with biochemist Dr. Mark Reynolds to study the biochemical mechanism of the heme-based oxygen sensor FixL from S. meliloti and the effects of anti-cancer inhibitors on human IDO.  This research has been a collaborative project between Dr. Reynolds’ laboratory, Lankenau Hospital and chemists from Bryn Mawr College.  Outside the lab, Kelsey plays on the SJU women’s basketball team.

Lauren Kozlowski ‘15
Lauren is a biology major, pursing minors in health care ethics and chemistry. She has performed research in neurobiologist Dr. James Watrous’ lab since her freshman year, focusing on neuronal activity in the hippocampus during epileptic seizures using computer simulations to model neural networks. Most recently, Lauren has been a co-founder and organizer of a new STEM-based freshman peer mentoring program. She is also a fellow in the SJU Institute of Catholic Bioethics, treasurer of the Biology Club, and a member of the hospice-based volunteer group, Shooting Stars, and the SJU Tennis Club.  She has served as a Teaching Assistant and Tutor for several biology and chemistry courses. She has volunteered at the NeuroIntensive Care Unit and Emergency Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and has a goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.

Elena Montoto ‘14
Elena is a chemistry major pursuing a business administration minor while continuing research on the synthesis of pentacyclo[4.3.0.02.4.03.,8.05,7]non-4-ene in Dr. Mark Forman’s organic chemistry laboratory.  She is focused on synthesizing important precursor molecules needed for their research. Elena has also served as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) leader for General Chemistry I and as an SI Mentor for her subject area. As a member of the student-run Molloy Chemical Society, she was selected to participate in the DOW-MIT ACCESS program, hosted by MIT to expose undergraduate students to graduate education and opportunities in chemistry and allied fields.

Gianna Valentino ‘14
Gianna, a physics major and mathematics minor, aspires to attain a graduate degree in mechanical engineering.  She engages in research with SJU physicist, Dr. Yu Gu, fabricating micro devices termed “lab-on-chip” which miniaturize and automate traditional laboratory techniques. She is specifically using ferrofluids to create a light switching device. Along with Lauren Kozlowski, Gianna co-founded a new STEM-based freshman peer mentoring program. Gianna has served as a Teaching Assistant for General Physics and a Peer Tutor for physics, mathematics and chemistry.