Sixth Annual Forum Showcases Student Research, Collaboration

Sixth Annual Forum Showcases Student Research, Collaboration

Thomas More College (TMC) will highlight its most significant and outstanding student research contributions during the sixth annual Student Research Forum to be held Friday, March 27, 2015, on the college campus.

The research forum—which has grown significantly in size and prominence this year—features more than 50 students presenting 38 research projects in various disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A student poster and paper exhibit of undergraduate research will be held from 9 a.m. to noon outside of the library in the Administration Building. Both undergraduate and graduate student research will be presented from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Connor Convocation Center, followed immediately by a presentation of the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence.

This year’s accepted abstracts range from such topics as parasitic nematodes in biting midges to a media coverage analysis of shootings of unarmed citizens.

“The depth of our students’ research is quite remarkable,” says Maria McLean, PhD, professor of psychology. “The forum is a way for us to promote the strong research activity that exists here at Thomas More College, as well as celebrate the valuable collaborations that exist among our students, faculty and the wider scientific community.”

Catherine Luck, a freshman physics major and member of the women’s softball team (Maineville, OH/Little Miami High School), will present her impressive work on plasma medicine—a new and rapidly developing area of medical technology. Working under the supervision of scientist Sylwia Ptaskinska, PhD, of the University of Notre Dame, Luck studied DNA damage induced by atmospheric pressure plasma exposure.

The results of Luck’s work may lead to alternative tools for cancer therapies and applications in hospital hygiene, dental care, skin diseases, antifungal care, chronic wounds and cosmetic treatments.

“I think that the research forum is a great way for students to show the research that they’ve been working on,” says Luck. “A lot of work goes into projects like these and it’s interesting to learn about the research that all the students at Thomas More are doing in their respective majors.”

The TMC Student Research Forum is free and open to the public. A College Preview Day for prospective students will be held prior to the evening forum session, beginning at 4 p.m. in Steigerwald Hall in the Saints Center. Faculty and staff will be on hand to answer questions about the college experience, guide attendees on a campus tour and showcase their disciplines at a browsing fair. Guests will then be escorted to the Student Research Forum where they can experience the academic work of current TMC students. Registrations are encouraged, but not necessary. To register for the event, visit

2015 Thomas More College Student Research Forum Topics

Undergraduate Programs


  • Burridge, Kevin, Rao, Rahul & Ho, Shuk-Mei. Design and processing of aptPSMA-iRNA: targeting of BPA-regulated miRNA and lncRNA in prostate cancer. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Pheruza Tarapore, University of Cincinnati, and Dr. John Hageman, Thomas More College.
  • Childers, Leah. Occurrence and prevalence of parasitic nematodes in biting midges (Ceratopogonidae). Faculty sponsor: Dr. Dustin Swanson.
  • Curnutte, Peter. Scrubgrass Creek Tributary restoration project. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Christopher Lorentz and Dr. Dustin Swanson.
  • Klocke, Kristin, Myers, Emily & Schutzman, Craig. Improvement of fathead minnow breeding in aquaculture at Thomas More College Biology Field Station. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Emily Imhoff and Dr. Christopher Lorentz.
  • Merrill, Andrew. A structural and functional analysis of cryptosporidium parvum pyruvate kinase. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Debasish Chattopadhyay, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Dr. John Hageman, Thomas More College.
  • Stephens, Michael & Hagedorn, Katherine. The effect of oral tolerance on the IL-17 response. Faculty sponsor: Dr. K. Siobhan Barone.
  • Taul, Lane & Kriege, Mitchell. A bioassessment of the fish populations in the Ohio River near Zimmer power plant. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Christopher Lorentz.


  • Black, Lydia L. & Clutterbuck, Amberlie A. Trace metal analysis of brood XIV periodical cicadas by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Joseph A. Caruso, University of Cincinnati, and Dr. William C. Wetzel, Thomas More College.
  • Torbeck, Jessica. Analysis of fire debris by Headspace Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Faculty sponsor: Dr. William Wetzel.


  • Juenger, Rebecca, Morgan, Leann, Moss, Sydney & Dastoor, Shaniah. First and second level agenda setting effects on media coverage of ISIS. Faculty sponsor: Professor Michelle Geiger.
  • Mapes, Julie, Bravo, Jennifer, Miller III, Otis, & Webber, Kristen.  Clinton, Cosby, and Jackson – the victims of agenda setting?  Faculty sponsor: Professor Michelle Geiger.
  • Valentine, Alex, Best, Randy & Miller, Logan. Effects of Agenda-Setting Theory in cases of police shooting unarmed citizens. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Michelle Geiger.


  • Cauhorn, Christopher. Economic consequences of legal origin. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Malcolm Robinson.


  • Poe, Kevin & Holder, Rodney. Science on the River, an outreach program to local schools. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Christopher Lorentz.
  • Poe, Kevin and Norris, Ashley. TSI STEM Institute, an outreach program to local school students. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Christopher Lorentz and Dr. Manish Sharma.


  • Otten, Anthony. The Vinedresser: a novel. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Sherry Stanforth.
  • Smith, Summer.  Blurring the lines between angels and monsters: Gone Girl’s amazing Amy and Flynn’s satire on the Angel in the House. Faculty sponsor:  Dr. Julie Daoud.

Environmental Science

  • Kriege, Mitchell, Richardson, Emily, Slodysko, Kristen, Corbin, Lucas, Kaiser, Rachel, Smith, Amanda & Taul, Lane. Barcode sequencing of Ohio River fish. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Christopher Lorentz.
  • Liles, Tori, King, David, Ramsey, Nathan, & Weyer, Lemuel.  Food waste at Thomas More College. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Dustin Swanson.
  • Rowekamp, Erin. Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) veliger survey analysis. Faculty sponsor: Dr. John Hageman.


  • Kelley, Steven. The Ohio River Valley Flood of 1997 and the effect on Carroll County. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Raymond Hebert.
  • O’Donnell, Ian. The church on John’s Hill: testament of faith. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Raymond Hebert.
  • Orr, Michael. A tale of two soldiers: the beginning of American ground forces in Vietnam as experienced by two Northern Kentucky soldiers. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Raymond Hebert.
  • Seidt, Tyler. The impact of the Brown and Seelbach hotels on the city of Louisville. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Raymond Hebert.

Political Science

  • Kleier, Paul. The rise of party-based Euroscepticism in Germany. Faculty sponsor: Dr. J.T. Spence.


  • Kohrs, Nicholas J. Initial materials study to inspect the properties of galvanized steel, nylon rope, and shock cord in order to determine if they can emulate the ligament of an elbow joint. Faculty sponsors: Dr. Joseph Christensen and Dr. John Hageman.
  • Luck, Catherine. Blazar monitoring at The Bank of Kentucky Observatory. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Wesley Ryle.
  • Luck, Catherine. Plasmid DNA damage induced by helium and oxygen atmospheric pressure plasma jet.  Faculty sponsors: Dr. Sylwia Ptasinska, University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Wesley Ryle, Thomas More College.
  • Plummer, Jacob. Railgun propulsion. Faculty sponsor: Professor Jack Wells.


  • Healey, Sarah. Beauty is in the eye of symmetry: facial symmetry, race, and interpersonal attraction. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Maria McLean.
  • Hinken, Kelsey, Scheidler, Samantha & Rose, Lauren.  Risk-taking and self-exemption: alcohol consumption and cognitive dissonance in college students. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Maria McLean.
  • Holder II, Rodney. Leadership behavior. Faculty sponsor: Dr. John Ernst.
  • Leon, Jaime. The effect of unique identifying features on simultaneous and sequential lineup identification. Faculty sponsor:  Dr. Lawrence Boehm.
  • Powell, Aries & Devine, Hannah. Stress induced coping strategies and physiological characteristics. Faculty sponsor Dr. Maria McLean.

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Teaching

  • Bridges, Kara. The effectiveness of using music video as an instructional activity with grammar instruction to increase content knowledge. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Kathy Dye.
  • Fryer, C.J. Effect of enforcing consequences for missing homework assignments in a standards-based grading classroom. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Kathy Dye.
  • Murphy, Cassondra. World language instructional strategies: developing grammatical accuracy in novice-level learners. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Kathy Dye.

Master of Business Administration

  • Moore, Anna, Hedrick, Michelle & Feld, Tom. The original Molly Malone’s. Faculty sponsor: Dr. Kathy Dye.


About Thomas More College: Thomas More College is a values-based liberal arts institution that is proud to be one of 10 Catholic Diocesan colleges in the nation. Located in Crestview Hills, Ky., just 10 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, it was originally founded in 1921 by the Benedictine Sisters as Villa Madonna College. The college offers personalized attention and strong academic programs that allow students to have a distinctive and transformative experience. Thomas More College is routinely named one of the best values in higher education by Money magazine’s Best College Buys issue and recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching as a “selective liberal arts college.”