2019 Beacon Conference Panel Award Winners

The 27th Annual Beacon Conference was held Friday, June 7, 2019, in the Lisa Scheller–Wayne Woodman Community Services Center at Lehigh Carbon Community College's Main Campus in Schnecksville, PA.

Over 200 people participated in this event, including 51 Panel Presenters, 16 Panel Judges, 13 Poster Presenters, a dozen Moderators and Volunteers, the Beacon Conference Steering Committee, and an array of classmates, friends, family members, and guests.

All students invited to participate were selected through a competitive process and deserve recognition. Congratulations to you and your Faculty Mentors!

In addition, 17 students won the Most Outstanding Paper award for their respective competitive panels. Each winner was selected by a Panel Judge who is a professor at a four-year college or university in the region. Papers selected as Most Outstanding in their respective panels will be published July 1 in the 2019 edition of the Proceedings and made available at beaconconference.org. Special congratulations to all panel award winners and their Faculty Mentors!

Most Outstanding Paper Awards for Beacon 2019

Allied Health and Nursing

Christina Scourlas’s “U.S. Nursing Shortage: Fact or Fiction”

  • Mentored by Prof. Elaine Torda and Prof. Alan McGlynn of Orange County Community College
  • Selected by Angela R. Hess, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Biology

Muhsin H. Younis’s “Epigenetics: Lying Beneath the NCD Crisis”

  • Mentored by Prof. Shweta Sen of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Ann Yezerski, PhD, Professor of Biology, and General Science Program Director at King's College

Business and Economics

Alec Wrana’s “Resistance Is Futile”

  • Mentored by Prof. Christine Pipitone of Raritan Valley Community College
  • Selected by Pats Neelakantan, PhD, Professor of Economics, and Research Director of the Business and Economics Research Group at East Stroudsburg University

Communications and Media Studies

Angela Bourret’s “Mass Media and the Homeless”

  • Mentored by Prof. Scott Rudd of Monroe Community College
  • Selected by Steven Weitz, MFA, Associate Professor and Chair of New Media/Digital Media Arts at Cedar Crest College

Environmental Studies

Jennifer Vargas’s “Can Veganism Help?”

  • Mentored by Dr. Nathan Zook of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Joseph Colosi, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at DeSales University

Gender Studies

Amber Diaz’s “A Woman of Action: The Revolutionary Theatrics of Valerie Solanas”

  • Mentored by Dr. Leigh Jonaitis of Bergen Community College
  • Selected by Marcia Morgan, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Affiliate Faculty Member in Sustainability Studies and Women's & Gender Studies at Muhlenberg College

General Science

Michelle A. Karlsberg’s “The Scientific and Moral Implications Behind Terraforming Mars”

  • Mentored by Dr. Christina Devlin of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Bruce Richards, PhD, Associate Professor of Animal Science at Delaware Valley University

History

Veronica Uribe Kessler’s “The Pacific War in World War II”

  • Mentored by Prof. Karl Smith of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Jacqueline Antonovich, PhD, Assistant Professor of History at Muhlenberg College

International Studies

Nao Miura’s “Authenticity or Comprehensibility: What Gets Lost in Translation?”

  • Mentored by Dr. Nathan Zook of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Bruce Whitehouse, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lehigh University

Literary Studies

Zuzu Tadeushuk’s “Performing Deformity: Uses of Impairment in Richard III and Hamlet

  • Mentored by Prof. Stephen Burke of Rockland Community College
  • Selected by Margaret Christian, PhD, Associate Professor of English and Penn State Lehigh Valley

Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science

Maximino DiGiacomo-Castillo’s “Cryptocurrencies: Research Perspectives and Implementation Techniques”

  • Mentored by Prof. Marc Yeung of Passaic County Community College
  • Selected by David Reiser, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Engineering Technology at Temple University

Political Science

Christopher Lee’s “Exploring the Origins of American Climate Change Skepticism”

  • Mentored by Dr. Carole Wolin of Montgomery College
  • Selected by Steve B. Lem, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science & Public Administration at Kutztown University

Philosophy and Religion

Kris Amels’s “An Analysis of Symbols in ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’”

  • Mentored by Dr. Geoffrey Sadock of Bergen Community College
  • Selected by Joshua Schulz, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy at DeSales University

Psychology, Group 1

Evan Greenbaum’s “The Comorbidity Between Eating Disorders and Depression”

  • Mentored by Dr. Laura Ochoa at Bergen Community College
  • Selected by Cynthia Gooch, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Temple University

Psychology, Group 2

Emma Wright’s “The Psycho-therapeutic Effects of Human-Horse Relationships”

  • Mentored by Dr. Danelle Bower of Reading Area Community College
  • Selected by Cynthia Gooch, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Temple University

Sociology, Group 1

Cathryn Seibert’s “Planning & Design: Perpetuating Inequality through Racialized Spaces”

  • Mentored by Dr. Christine Bowditch of Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Selected by Sarah Stanlick, PhD, Professor of Practice, Sociology and Anthropology; Director of the Center for Community Engagement at Lehigh University

Sociology, Group 2

Ashley Beck de Muñoz’s “Caring for Foster Children the Plain Way”

  • Mentored by Dr. Danelle Bower of Reading Area Community College
  • Selected by Katrin L. Blamey, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of Education at DeSales University