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Best College Gallery

Posted on Jul 30, 2010

Metroland, the Capital Region's alternative newsweekly, named the Mandeville Gallery as the top college gallery in the area in their annual "Best Of"  issue.

The text is below:

Best College Gallery

Mandeville Gallery at the Nott Memorial

Union College, 807 Union St., Schenectady

The Mandeville gallery is located on the second floor of the Nott Memorial, a spectacular 16-sided and domed Victorian building that is a national historic landmark. The gallery is a circular space that displays changing exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as exhibitions that address history and that demonstrate links between the arts and sciences. Like all good college and university galleries, it uses the many resources available on campus to highlight various disciplines and timely ideas. The exhibitions are creatively designed to make the best use of the unusual space in order to enhance the pieces on display.

To see all the winners, click here.


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2010 summer research

Posted on Jul 29, 2010


Pearl Jurist-Schoen ‘11

     Topic: The recent effects of tourism on Barbadian culture

     Advisor: George Gmelch

Chelsea Tussing ‘11

     Topic: The aftermath of ethnography: How the Barbadian Culture has Changed Since the Writing of "Parish Behind God's Back"

     Advisor: Sharon Gmelch

Art History

Kira Simon ‘11

     Topic: Museum Education and Exhibition Studies

     Advisor: Lorraine Morales Cox


Tauseef Ahmed ‘13

     Topic: Development of a robust PCR-based DNA test for Canine Epilepsy

     Advisor: J. Stephen Horton

Christina Brown ‘11

     Topic: Cell proliferation patterns during cyclic blastogenesis in Botryllus schlosseri: an immunhistochemical study

     Advisor: Robert Lauzon

Isaiah Buchanan ‘11

     Topic: Behavioral and ecological interactions between the lizard species Anolis carolinensis and Anolis sagrei

     Advisor: Leo Fleishman

Michael Danise ‘11

     Topic: The tradeoff between polyuronic acid content and photosynthesis rates in Sphagnum

     Advisor: Steven Rice

Robert Davis ‘12

     Topic: The relationship between tick body burdens and intestinal parasites in gray squirrels and chipmunks

     Advisor: Kathleen LoGiudice

Johanna Geoghegan ‘11

     Topic: Molecular investigation of human follicle stimulating hormone receptor through mutagenesis of the caveolin binding motiff

     Advisor: Brian Cohen

 Matthew Goodwin ‘12

     Topic: Searching for a correspondence between differences in MC1R sequence and color morph in P. cinereus

     Advisor: Barbara Pytel

Matthew Hanley ‘11

     Topic: Investigating the function of a metacaspase in the development of the mushroom Schizophyllum commune by means of an improved “Knockout-Ready” strain

     Advisor: Stephen J Horton

Shabana Hoosein ‘11

      Topic: Limitations to seeding establishment in clear clayplain forests

      Advisor: Jeff Corbin

Yaw Kwarteng '11 summer research 2010

Yaw Kwarteng ‘11

     Topic: Analyzing posttranslational modifications to microtubules

     Advisor: Barbara Danowski

Nancy Miorelli ‘11

     Topic: Fecundity of prairie warblers (Dendroica discolor) in the Albany Pine Bush   Advisor: Jennifer Bishop

Patrick O'Hern ‘11

     Topic: Investigation of palmitoyl protein Thioesterase 1 RNAi knock-down during Drosophila embryonic neurogenesis

     Advisor: Patrick O'Hern

Suzanne Ostrow ‘11

     Topic: Studying the relationship between tick infection prevalence and gut parasite helminth egg densities in grey squirrels and chipmunks

     Advisor: Kathleen LoGiudice

Alyssa Simeone ‘11

     Topic: Characterizing an embryonic intestinal primary cell culture from Leucoraja erinacea

     Advisor: Nicole Theodosiou

Rachael Singleton ‘11

     Topic: Color identification ability in different light conditions in two species of lizards of the genus Anolis

     Advisor: Leo Fleishman


Sarah Bercovici ‘11

     Topic: Studying the effects of photochemical degradation on two UV filter chemicals

     Advisor: Laura A. MacManus-Spencer

Nicholas Dunn ‘11

     Topic: Increasing aerogel production efficiency for use in catalytic applications by utilizing the rapid supercritical extraction technique

     Advisor: Mary Carroll

Suzanne Estok ‘11

     Topic: Full synthesis and characterization of TEOS aerogels

     Advisor: Mary Carroll

Hyeon Hwangbo ‘11

     Topic: Synthesis of photochromic supramolecular polymers

     Advisor: Laurie Tyler

Rayana Johnson ‘11

     Topic: Development of laboratory modules for a general education course in culinary chemistry: the chemistry of flavor

     Advisor: Joanne Kehlbeck

Alison Kracunas ‘11

     Topic: Photochemical degradation of octyl methoxycinnamate

     Advisor: Laura A. MacManus-Spencer

Danielle Krieg ‘12

     Topic: Development of laboratory modules for a general education course in culinary chemistry: chemistry of chocolate and sugar

     Advisor: Joanne Kehlbeck

Darrin Liau ‘11

     Topic: Morphosynthetic control of anodized aluminum oxide

     Advisor: Mike E. Hagerman

Katherine Morris ‘11

     Topic: The synthesis and evaluation of novel molecular transporters

     Advisor: Joanne Kehlbeck

Anna Mueller '11 summer research 2010

Anna Mueller ‘11

     Topic: Luminescent probes of hydrophobic aerogels

     Advisor: Mary Carroll

Megan O'Connor ‘12

     Topic: The fate and occurrence of ultraviolet filter chemicals in surface waters

     Advisor: Laura A. MacManus-Spencer

Bowman Potter ‘11

     Topic: Five membered rings made easy: organo-catalysis and iodocarbocyclization

     Advisor: James Adrian

Michelle Richter ‘11

     Topic: Cloning of a putative metacaspase gene from schizophyllum commune

     Advisor: Kristin Fox

Misty Shah ‘12

     Topic: Development of laboratory modules for a general education course in culinary chemistry: breads and browning

     Advisor: Joanne Kehlbeck

Clancy Slack ‘11

     Topic: Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy monitored enzyme kinetics

     Advisor: Joanne Kehlbeck

Kelly Zebrowski ‘11

     Topic: Synthesis and activity of platinum anti-cancer drug derivatives

     Advisor: Laurie Tyler

Zeliang Zheng ‘11

     Topic: Purification and analysis of a metacaspase from S. commune

     Advisor: Kristin Fox

Computer Science

Davis Barber ‘11

     Topic: Effects of display size on embodied conversational agent interactions    

      Advisor: K. Striegnitz, A. Tartaro

Sara Block ‘12

     Topic: Interactive technologies for video modeling

     Advisor: Andrea Tartaro

Daniel Gnoutcheff ‘12

     Topic: Simplifying NewtworkManager: a Google summer of code project

     Advisor: Kristina Striegnitz

Rachel Hogue ‘11

     Topic: Statistical analysis and comparison of texts in ancient greek

     Advisor: Kristina Striegnitz and Valerie Barr

Davis Knox ‘11

     Topic: Using a coevolutionary genetic algorithm to produce soft robot morphologies and gaits

     Advisor: John Rieffel

Alex Levine ‘11

     Topic: Research into social robotics

     Advisor: John Rieffel

Michael Lucey ‘11

     Topic: Can a mind-reading game controller detect non-verbal indications of confusion?

     Advisors: Kristina Striegnitz and Andrea Tartaro

Petr Mach exchange

     Topic: Integrating social robotics into the CSC104 curriculum

     Advisor: John Rieffel

Daniel Mendelsohn ‘11

     Topic: Pedagogical tool for the usability science

     Advisor: Chris Fernandes and Aaron Cass

Ramsey Steiner ‘12

     Topic: Visualization of cascading selective undo

     Advisor: Aaron Cass, Chris Fernandes

Tim Stephens ‘13

     Topic: Evolutionary fabrication

     Advisor: John Rieffel

Kirk Winans ‘12

     Topic: Language learning activities for the sugar learning environment

    Advisor: Kristina Striegnitz


David Leavitt ‘12

     Topic: Is the Monte Carlo simulation a useful retirement planning tool?

     Advisor: Tomas Dvorak

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Anas Alghbari ‘12

     Topic: Investigation of acoustic cues in medial-consonant voicing contrasts in the speech of American English kids

     Advisor: Helen Hanson

Omar Hassib ‘11

    Advisor: Shane Cotter

Saem Hur ‘13

     Topic: Acoustic study of medial stop consonants in American children

     Advisor: Helen Hanson

Aung Soe ‘11

     Advisor: Shane Cotter


Shannon Brady ‘11

     Topic: Early Holocene edifice failure and sector collapse of Volcán Barú, Panama

     Advisor: Holli Frey

Kaitlin Clark ‘11

     Topic: Provenance of Calstic sediments in cores form Collins Pond, Scotia, New York

     Advisor: Donald Rodbell

Jonathan Griffith ‘11

     Topic: Geomorphologic and paleoenvironmental change in Glacier National Park, Montana

     Advisor: Donald Rodbell

Tyler Izykowski ‘11

     Topic: Determining thermal history and age of zircons in Southeast Alaska strata

     Advisor: John I. Garver

Elizabeth Morgan ‘11

     Topic: Geochemical and thermodynamic modeling and analysis of Gore Mountain Garnets, Adirondacks, NY

     Advisor: Kurt Hollocher


Sergio Azcona ‘12

     Topic: Amid slavery and freedom

     Advisor: Kenneth Aslakson

Gabrielle Contelmo ‘11

     Topic: Gender perspectives: women as heroes and martyrs in Jesuit propaganda during the early modern period

     Advisor: Mazin Tadros

Leland Garivaltis ‘11

     Topic: The struggle of influential women in Latin American and Caribbean History

     Advisor: Teresa Meade

Jessica Johnson ‘12

     Topic: Unpacking the "Quadroon-Placage" myth

     Advisor: Kenneth Aslakson

Scott Power ‘11

     Topic: Schenectady’s New Deal: the effects of the WPA on Schenectady county

     Advisor: Andrew Morris

Joseph Privitera ‘12

     Topic: Union College and the Civil War

     Advisor: Andrea Foroughi

History and American Studies

Sarah O'Connor ‘11

     Topic: Cultural lag theory

     Advisor: Andy Feffer

Mechanical Engineering

Kyle Abrahamson ‘11

    Advisor: Andrew Rapoff

Max Balter ‘12

     Topic: Explaining the mesial groove of maxillary canines in Cercopithecoid Monkeys

     Advisor: Andrew Rapoff

Robin Barabasz ‘11

     Topic: Effects of superhydrophobic aerogel surface coatings on drag reduction

     Advisor: Ann Anderson

Maxwell Becton ‘11

     Topic: Catalytic aerogel research

     Advisor: Bradford A. Bruno

 Walter Chin ‘12

     Topic: Thermal strains in radio frequency microelectromechanical systems Microbridge Structure

     Advisor: Rebecca Cortez

Steven Gacin '12 summer research 2010

Steven Gacin ‘12

     Topic: Fabrication and characterization of hydrophobic aerogels

     Advisor: Ann Anderson

Rotislav Haruda, exchange student

     Advisor: Richard Wilk

Jiri Havran, exchange student

     Advisor: Richard Wilk

Mitchell Lee ‘11

     Topic: Real time monitoring and control of a photovoltaic-electrical system

     Advisor: Richard Wilk

Marc Nash ‘11

     Topic: Mechanical characterization of a healing fracture callus in a mouse model

     Advisor: Jennifer Currey

Bernadette Peace ‘10

     Topic: Atomic force microscopy of a polymer-based solar cell

    Advisor: Becky Cortez

Kelly Pearson ‘11

     Topic: Vertical axis wind turbine analysis and design

     Advisor: Richard Wilk

Christopher Pillsbury ‘12

     Topic: Design of a pressure burst tester for the quantifying of the healing of ionmer samples

     Advisor: Stephen Kalista

Justin Rodriguez ‘11

     Advisor: Ann Anderson and Brad Bruno

John Russell ‘11

     Topic: Design and fabrication of a small-scale tensegrity robot

     Advisor: William Keat

Elias Samia ‘11

     Topic: Design of lighting and propulsion systems for the Ballston Lake                                                                                    submersible

     Advisor: William Keat

Emmet O'Connell ‘11

     Topic: Design and fabrication of a catalytic aerogel testbed

     Advisor: Ann Anderson

Modern Languages and Literature

Keerti Murari ‘11

     Topic: Deportation process and migrant labor

     Advisor: Victoria Martinez


Jennifer Granina ‘11

     Topic: Exploring the field of bioethics as it pertains to the creation of books : before bioethics and the Cambridge Dictionary of Bioethics

     Advisor: Robert Baker

Philosophy and Bioethics

Chandni Vaid ‘11

     Topic: Cambridge Dictionary of Bioethics

     Advisor: Robert Baker

Physics & Astronomy

Pavel Aprelev

     Advisor: Chad Orzel

Halley Darling ‘13

     Topic: A survey of neutral hydrogen properties of the NGC 5846 group of galaxies

     Advisor: Rebecca Koopman

Jay Dulmaa

     Advisor: Samuel Amanuel

Karel Durkota exchange

     Topic: Development of a JAVA program to image data for a table-top radio astronomy interferometer

     Advisor: Jon Marr

Tim Kuehn ‘12

     Topic: Neutron capture rates of R-process nucleosynthesis in a specific environment

     Advisor: Rebecca A. Surman

Adam Margulies ‘13

     Topic: Use of IDL to model R-process nucleosynthesis in supernovae

     Advisor: Rebecca A. Surman

Ana Mikler ‘12

     Topic: ALFALFA HI upper limits in NGC 5846 group galaxies

    Advisor: Rebecca Koopman

Rob Moore ‘11

     Topic: The analysis of environmental materials using proton induced gamma-ray emission spectroscopy

    Advisor: Scott LaBrake

Katelyn O'Brien ‘11

     Topic: Studying star formation properties in the galaxy NGC 5846 using H-alpha

    Advisor: Rebecca Koopman

Erin Osgood ‘12

      Topic: Studying the Aggregation of Insulin using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter

     Advisor: Jay Newman

Hannah Ryan '12 summer research 2010

Hannah Ryan ‘12

     Topic: Characterization of different pigments on the micro raman spectrometer

     Advisor: Seyffie Maleki

Katie Schuff ‘11

     Topic:  Proton induced X-ray emission spectroscopy of red wine samples using the Union College pelletron accelerator

     Advisor: Scott LaBrake

Anna Sise ‘12

     Topic: High density percolation

     Advisor: Gary Reich

Mark Sullivan ‘13

     Topic: High density percolation

     Advisor: Gary Reich

Colin Turley ‘13

     Topic: Proton elastic scattering analysis of environmental materials

    Advisor: Michael Vineyard

Michael Varughese ‘11

     Topic: The effects of L-Arginine on the aggregation of Insulin

     Advisor: Jay Newman

Pengfeng Zhang ‘13

      Topic: Astronomy photograph

      Advisor: Francis Wilkin

Maria Battaglia ‘12

     Topic: Seasonal variation and trace elemental mapping of the composition and concentration of New York rainwater samples using the Union College pelletron particle accelerator & proton induced X-ray emission

     Advisor: Scott LaBrake

SreyNoch Chin ‘12

     Topic: A continuing study of stellar and neutral hydrogen properties of the NGC 5846 group of galaxies

     Advisor: Rebecca Koopmann

Colin Gleason ‘11

     Topic: Elemental analysis of atmospheric aerosols in urban areas

     Advisor: Michael Vineyard

Charles Harrington ‘11

     Topic: Ion beam analysis of atmospheric aerosols in the adirondacks

     Advisor: Michael Vineyard

Amer Khraisat ‘13

     Topic: Influences of molecular polarity on the phase transition of physically confined molecules

     Advisor: Samuel Amanuel

Political Science

Andrew Churchill ‘11

     Topic: Federalism issues in drug enforcement: marijuana, narcotics and the evolution of a national drug policy

     (circa 1940s-1960s)

     Advisor: Phil Nicholas


Danielle Ayers ‘12

     Topic: Eating disorders and body image

     Advisor: Josh Hart

Ciro Griffiths ‘12

     Topic: Cybercycle study

     Advisor: Cay Anderson-Hanley

Molly Head ‘11

     Topic: Relationship between self-monitoring and perspective-taking abilities, & relationship between self-monitoring and early dating

     Advisor: Linda Stanhope

Jaclyn Mandart ‘12

     Topic: Analysis of collective intelligence

     Advisor: Christopher Chabris

Caitlin Miner ‘11

     Topic: Neural network modeling: simulating the brain in introduction to cognitive neuroscience

     Advisor: Steve Romero

Amanda Snyder ‘11

     Topic: Social facilitation and competitiveness: impact on exercise of older adults in the Cybercycle study

     Advisor: Cay Anderson-Hanley

Vadim Yerokhin ‘11

     Topic: Resting EEG: effects of exercise on alpha and beta waves

     Advisor: Cay Anderson-Hanley

Kseniya Zhuzha ‘11

     Topic: Effect of mortality salience on gambling

     Advisor: Joshua Hart

Religious Studies

Andrea Meyers ‘11

Joseph Abate '12 and Annora Brennan '11 perform in “Hamlet” with the Saratoga Shakespeare Company.

   Topic: U.S. foreign relations with Israel and perception on Palestine

    Advisor: Peter Bedford

Theater & Dance

Joseph Abate ‘12

     Topic: Performance with the Saratoga Shakespeare Company

    Advisor: Patricia Culbert

Annora Brennan ‘11

     Topic: Performance with the Saratoga Shakespeare Company

     Advisor: Patricia Culbert

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Research at Union a hot topic for students this summer

Posted on Jul 29, 2010

Each morning this summer, Hannah Ryan ’12 reports to a lab in the basement of the F.W. Olin Center. There, she huddles most of the day with her partner, a micro-raman spectroscope, an impressive instrument that allows Ryan to examine individual pigment grains in an artist’s paint mixture.

Hannah Ryan '12 summer research 2010

The three lasers in the microscope, capable of collecting spectra from samples as small as 100 micrometers, help Ryan compare these spectra with published works. The goal is to create a searchable library of pigment spectra that can help art conservators identify paint in works of art.

The pairing of a biology major employing principles of physics to examine art works is just one of the dozens of projects Union students are carrying out this summer.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Ryan, of Kensington, Md. “I enjoy working with (physics) professor Seyfollah Maleki, who has been extremely supportive. It’s a great way to spend the summer.”

Research is a tradition at Union, and students across all academic departments have opportunities for in-depth, hands-on research of the type usually reserved for graduate students.

“Having students and faculty working together closely in the summer creates a vibrant atmosphere on campus,” said Kristin Fox, director of Undergraduate Research. “Students get the chance to focus on one area of interest for several weeks, and to see how much they enjoy this kind of approach. They also have the opportunity to present the results of their work to their peers and other faculty at seminars on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Explaining their work to others prepares students to be successful in whatever they decide to do after graduation.”

Kristin Fox, director of Undergraduate Research

Across campus and beyond this summer, students are engaged in a diverse mix of nearly 120 projects. Of these, about half are funded internally with a faculty member, through the Union College Summer Research Fellowships, Summer Scholars Program and Future Professors Program. The other half is supported by individual grants to faculty members or departments, or foundation support.

Jonathan Griffin ’11 is working with geology professor Donald Rodbell to monitor the geomorphologic and paleoenvironmental change in Glacier National Park in Montana. Scott Power ’11 is researching the effects of the WPA on Schenectady County with Andrew Morris, assistant professor of history. Under the guidance of Peter Bedford, the John and Jane Wold Professor of Religious Studies, Andrea Meyers ’11 is examining U.S. foreign relations with Israel and the perception of Palestine.

In addition to the academic benefits, summer research has also given students a social perk.

Steven Gacin '12 summer research 2010

“I’m getting a chance to meet and work with professors and students I didn’t know before,” said Steven Gacin ’12, as he peered through a Kruss drop shape analyzer in the aerogels lab. A mechanical engineering major from Providence, R.I., Gacin is studying the fabrication and characterization of hydrophobic aerogels with his advisor, Ann Anderson, the Agnes S. McDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

“It’s been a great experience,” Gacin said.

For a look at some of the projects students are working on this summer, click here.

To learn more about undergraduate research at Union, click here.

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Dr. Steven Chin ’98 to be featured on ABC show “Boston Med”

Posted on Jul 26, 2010

Steven Chin ’98, a doctor in the Neonatal Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, will be featured in the next episode of the ABC documentary series “Boston Med.”

Steven Chin '98

The eight-part series, produced by the network’s news division, follows the professional and personal lives of more than a dozen doctors, nurses and patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital over a four month period.

Chin, who is also an instructor in pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, will appear in episode six airing this Thursday, July 29.

At Union, Chin was enrolled in the seven-year Accelerated Medical Education Program.

He was on the tennis team, served as a resident assistant and was a member of the Dutch Pipers and the orchestra. He received his medical degree from Albany Medical College.

To read a bio from the show’s website, click here.

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Digital alarmists are wrong

Posted on Jul 26, 2010

Assistant Psychology Professor Christopher Chabris recently contributed an op-ed to the Los Angeles Times.

Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, recently released their new book, “The Invisible Gorilla, And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us.”

Chabris joined Union in the fall of 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University, where he was a research associate and lecturer.

To read the article, click here (registration may be required). 

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