Penn State Fayette announces Fall 2019 Learning Fair winners

Fall 2019 Fayette Learning Fair

The winners of the Fall 2019 Learning Fair.

Credit: Penn State Fayette

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus held the Fall 2019 Learning Fair on Dec. 12 at the campus library to showcase and award undergraduate research and class projects.

A total of 160 students displayed visual presentations of nine research projects and 59 class projects completed under the guidance of faculty advisers over the course of the fall semester. Each project examined topics in relation to courses in integrative arts, psychology, human development and family studies, marketing, theater and humanities.

The campus has recently expanded opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct intensive research under faculty supervision. This semester, the committee for undergraduate research, in collaboration with Mary Budinsky, learning fair coordinator, instituted a new judging process. Faculty judges will now review entries in their respective disciplines submitted ahead of the event.

“The faculty is now more involved in the process, which will increase the diversity and quality of research presentations as well as promote undergraduate research and engage more students,” said Julio Palma, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the undergraduate research committee.

“We are identifying opportunities to help students prepare quality posters for the event, to improve the judging process, and to better acknowledge our undergraduate research participants and Learning Fair winners,” said Budinsky. “We aim to provide students with a positive, meaningful experience that they can share when applying for graduate school or employment. The quality of undergraduate research and class projects improves each year as a result of our dedicated, hard-working students and faculty.”

Guest judges included Jared Rebick and Justin Grimm, learning facilitators at Fayette County Career & Technical Institute; Jacob Wheatley, assistant professor at California University of Pennsylvania; Susan Morris-Rutledge, associate professor at California University of Pennsylvania; Zach Follador, western region employer engagement and career specialist at Penn State; Susan Frank, human resources specialist at Ford Business Machines; Doug Sanner, sales account executive at Ford Business Machines; and Rob Edwards, agent at State Farm.

Undergraduate Research Awards
First Place: Maria Schultheis
“The Future of Photovoltaics: Using Amino Acid Chains as Molecular Electronics” (Course: CHEM 294, Instructor: Julio Palma)

Second Place (tie): Nicole Bush
“Theoretical Studies of the Solubility of Glimepiride (GMP) and Irbesartan (IBS)” (Course: CHEM 294, Instructor: Julio Palma)

Second Place (tie): Gannon Lenhart and Keaton Wright
“Magnetic Monopole-Defect Interactions” (Course: PHYS 212, Instructor: Andy Royston)

Third Place: Kaylee Aaron
“Need for Status: An Evolutionary Explanation for Mental Health Issues from Social Media” (Course: PSYCH 496, Instructor: Aris Karagiorgakis)

Class Project Awards 
First Place (tie): Aubree Bowers, Alaina Shaffer and Hayley White
“Laaaaactation” (Course: BIOL 110, Instructor: Carol Evans)

First Place (tie): Alyssa Rice
“Marketing Then and Now” (Course: MKTG 422, Instructor: Peter Eberle)

Second Place: Sarah Earnesty and Kyle Slavic
“Slogan Awareness” (Course: MKTG 422, Instructor: Peter Eberle)

Third Place: Annamarie Ball, Nicole Bevard, Emily Lacey and Madison Vinch
“The Anatomy of Forgetting” (Course: BIO 161, Instructor: Carol Evans)

Winning projects will be displayed in the hallways of Eberly building.