Three CHC students were recently named Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Scholars by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE).
Brittany Afflerbach, Meghan Catherine Guagenti and Megan Malvoisin, all first-year students, each received a $5,000 award through the Clare Boothe Luce Program of The Henry Luce Foundation. The program supports women in the physical science and engineering fields, in which women are historically underrepresented.
Since 1989, this program has supported more than 1,900 young women in their pursuit of an education in science, mathematics and engineering. The scholars spend the summer working with professors at SEPCHE institutions, conducting research in chemistry, mathematics, mathematics education and computer science. Afflerbach is a mathematics major and Guagenti and Malvoisin are majoring in forensic science.
“This opportunity will grant me experience in my field and hopefully look good on resumes in the future,” says Afflerbach, who will conduct her research on the effectiveness of online learning communities in post-secondary mathematics education with Holy Family University’s Sister Marcella Wallowicz, CSFN, coordinator for mathematics and natural sciences and assistant professor of mathematics.
“Since research is mainly done on my own time, it will help me build my time-management skills and prepare for working on my own in the future,” she says. “On top of the research itself, the award money will go directly toward tuition for my sophomore year, which is always helpful.”
Malvoisin believes the opportunity will help her when applying for internships. “By the end … I should know if research and chemistry are what I want to do with my life,” she says.
And Guagenti says she is humbled and knows the experience will help build a framework for her professional interests.
“The experience in the lab will strengthen my background in chemistry, which is an important facet in attaining my career ambitions,” she says. “It will catalyze my ability to form more meaningful connections between the classroom and the lab.”
Malvoisin and Guagenti will both perform research with Karen Wendling, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry. Although their specific projects are yet-to-be determined, each student will work with Wendling on projects that involve detecting drugs of abuse which contaminate currency as well as emerging water contaminants (like sucralose, the active ingredient in Splenda).
SEPCHE is composed of eight independent institutions of higher education in the greater Philadelphia region that collaborate to improve the quality and efficiency of academic programming, student access, faculty development, institutional operations and community outreach through shared activities, services, technology and information. SEPCHE institutions — Chestnut Hill, Rosemont and Cabrini colleges and Arcadia, Gwynedd Mercy, Holy Family, Immaculata and Neumann universities — enroll about 22,000 students, combined.
- Brenda Lange
This story originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Connections.