2017 Summer Brackenridge Fellows

Krutarth Amin

Major: Materials Science and Engineering; Minor: History

Why the Puritans Left England for the New World

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Janelle Greenberg, Department of History


Miranda Aristone

Major: English Literature

Drawing Conclusions from Illustrations: Analyzing Illustrations in Charles Kingsley’s

“The Water Babies, a Fairy Tale for a Land Baby”

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Murray-Twyning, Department of English


David Augustine

Major: Neuroscience; Minors: Chemistry and German

Elucidating Neural Pathways Underlying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susanne Ahmani, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Emily Bogen

Majors: English Writing (Fiction), English Literature

A Look at America’s Sexual Landscape:

Piloting a Parent-Child Podcast and Launching Productive Dialogue

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julie Beaulieu, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies


Claire Chu

Majors: Psychology, Chemistry; Minor: Chinese

Chinese Student Attitudes Toward Accented English

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Martha Ortega-Lleberia, Department of Linguistics


Louis Collins

Major: Neuroscience; Minor: German

Neural Synchrony: An Investigation into the Interconnectivity Between Brains

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Perlman, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Katie Copley

Major: Neuroscience

Linking O-GlcNAcylation Deficits to Protein Mislocalization in ALS Models

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Donnelly, Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine


Nicholas Corrado

Majors: Physics, Mathematics

A Search for New WbJ States in e+e- Collisions

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Vladimir Padunov, Department of Physics & Astronomy



Catherine Crevecoeur

Major: Environmental Studies

Is Pittsburgh the New Flint, Michigan?:

A Case Study of Lead Concentrations in Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ward Allebach, Department of Geology & Environmental Science


Quinn Danielson

Tina & David Bellet Brackenridge Research Fellow

Majors: Economics, Philosophy

Comparing Infrastructure Quality between Autocracies and Democracies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Daniel Berkowitz, Department of Economics


David Denberg

Beckman Scholar

Major: Bioengineering

Contraction Wave Propagation in an Excitable Epithelial Tissue

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lance Davidson, Department of Bioengineering,

Swanson School of Engineering


Thomas Dolan

Major: Politics & Philosophy

Politics is Good for Us: Aristotle on the Nature of Political Activity

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Whiting, Department of Philosophy


Margaret E. Farrell

Majors: Ecology and Evolution, History and Philosophy Science;

Minors: Chemistry, Philosophy

Darwinian Species Realism

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sandra Mitchell, Dept. of History & Philosophy of Science


Mariah Flanagan

Major: Anthropology; Minor: Museum Studies

The Religioscape of Museo-Tourism:

Understanding Modern Interactions with Ancient Sacred Spaces

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Erin Peters, Department of History of Art and Architecture


Sarah Fribance

Major: Neuroscience

Deficits in Attentional Modulation of Auditory Stimuli in First Episode Schizophrenia

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dean Salisbury, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Zachary Fulker

Majors: Mathematics, Economics; Minor: Computer Science

Comparison of Bootstrapping Methods

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lucas Mentsch, Department of Statistics, DSAS


Gabriel Garcia-Borrero

Major: Molecular Biology; Minor: Chemistry

Atomistic Simulation of the Foldon Domain from Bacteriophage T4 Fibritin Protein

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lillian Chong, Departments of Chemistry


Jerome Givi

Major: Biological Sciences; Minor: Chemistry

Skin Elastin Content as a Diagnostic Variable in Cutis Laxa

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Zsolt Urban, Department of Human Genetics,

Graduate School of Public Health


Adrianne Glenn

Majors: Sociology, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Social Justice Advocacy in Rural Pennsylvania:

Attempting Alternative Frameworks for Oppression Discourse

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julie Beaulieu, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program


Alexis Gray

Major: Neuroscience; Minor: Chemistry

Targeting Cancer by Selectively Inhibiting Alternative RNA Splicing

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kazunori Koide, Department of Chemistry


Alexander Hoyt

Major: Biological Sciences

The Role of EBP50 Molecular Pathways

in Right Ventricular Hypertrophy and Failure in Pulmonary Hypertension

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Imad Al-Ghouleh, Division of Cardiology, School of Medicine


Ryan Kaufman 

Major: Engineering Physics

Designing a Tool Using Geometric Algebra for Easy Visualization of Physics

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Arthur Kosowsky, Department of Physics & Astronomy


Maura Kay

Majors: Urban Studies, Political Science; Minor: English Literature

Re(de)fining the Rust Belt:

Uncovering the Variables of Resilience in the Monongahela River Valley

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Glass, Department of History


Harrison Kline

Major: Biological Sciences; Minors: Classics, Chemistry

A Hyperplexed Approach to Analyzing Protein Turnover in Age-Related Diseases

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Renã A.S. Robinson, Department of Chemistry




Noah A. Krampe

Majors: Biological Sciences, Economics; Minors: Chemistry, Spanish

Investigating the Role of Liver Dysfunction in SIV/HIV Pathogenesis

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ivona Vasile-Pandrea, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine


Michael Krawchuk

Major: Neuroscience; Minors: Chemistry, History

Understanding the Role of Inhibitory Neurons in the Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alberto Vazquez, Department of Radiology, School of Medicine


Alexander Lai

Major: Psychology; Minor: Chemistry

Testing a Collaborative Care Intervention to Manage Cancer-Related Symptoms

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Steel, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine


Olivia Lapinski

Majors: English Writing, English Literature

‘A Guardian to Herself”: Exploring the Female Byronic Hero

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Murray-Twyning, Department of English


Harrison Lawson

Major: Chemical Engineering

Metal Organic Frameworks as Potential Tuberculosis Drug Delivery Devices

Faculty Mentor: Professor Steven Little, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering


Andre Lebrun

Major: Philosophy; Minors: Chemistry, French

The Problem of Inferred Experience: Rethinking Epistemic Upgrade and Perceptual Justification

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dmitri Gallow, Department of Philosophy


Jennifer Liu

Major: Philosophy; Minors: Studio Arts, Chemistry

Scaling the Macro with the Micro: Philosophical Investigations of the Living through Art

Faculty Mentors: Dr. Erica Shumerer, Department of Philosophy,

and Dr. Lenore Thomas, Department of Studio Arts


Stephanie Liu

Major: Chemistry

Synthetic Amino Acid Substitution and Peptide Proteolysis

Faculty Mentor: Dr. W. Seth Horne, Department of Chemistry


Wyatt Macejka

Major: Psychology

Everyday Learning Study

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melissa Libertus, Department of Psychology

Samyuktha Manikandan

Major: Neuroscience

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Relevant Persistent Avoidance Behaviors in Mouse Models

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susanne Ahmari, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Daniel Manjooran

Majors: Neuroscience, Economics; Minor: Chemistry

Genetically Programming a Neuroprotective Pathway in Fly Models of Neurodegeneration

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Palladino,

Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine


Renata Mitchell

Major: History and Philosophy of Science; Minor: Classics

“Adaptation Handbook”: Writing Intercultural Adaptations to Diversify Children’s Literature

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Courtney Weikle-Mills, Department of English


Khusbu Patel

Major: Neuroscience

The Effect of Odorant Concentration on Odor-Source Seeking Strategies in Mice

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nathan Urban, Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine


Jon Rutkauskas

Major: Computer Science

Development of an Interactive Dashboard for Visualizing an Injury-Related Database

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Qi Mi, Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition,

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Linda Saikali

Majors: Neuroscience, Religious Studies

Investigating Sensorimotor Gating Deficits in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susanne Ahmari, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine


Jeanna Sybert

Majors: Communication, Political Science; Minor: Film Studies

A Symbol of the Horrors in Aleppo: U.S. and the Polarized Discourse on Syrian Refugees

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Meredith Guthrie, Department of Communication


Samantha Varela

Dick Thornburgh Summer Fellow

Major: Political Science; Minor: Administration of Justice

Three Mile Island and Disaster Response: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Andrew Lotz, Department of Political Science