Megan Kreiser, winner of the 2012 Jeffrey and Jean Merritt Honors Thesis Award
Megan Kreiser, winner of the 2012 Jeffrey and Jean Merritt Honors Thesis Award
Image: Penn State

Students present honors theses

Media-imposed perceptions of beauty, environmental technologies, sleep and behavioral disorders, and English literature are among the broad array of topics that eight Penn State Harrisburg Honors Program students will discuss during the college’s spring 2013 thesis presentations, Thursday, April 18, 11:45 a.m.-1:20 p.m. in W-132 Olmsted and Friday, April 19, 1:00-2:30 p.m. in W-107 Olmsted. 

“A thesis is an important component of honors education. It enhances students’ analytical and research skills,” said Dr. Oranee Tawatnuntachai, director of the college Honors Program. “These students have worked on their theses for about a year now, and they are ready to share their results.”

Held in conjunction with Penn State Harrisburg Research Week, the presentations are open to the public. Guests planning to attend should register online.

Presenters with major and hometown:

Thursday, April 18

  • Lauren Mehalik; life science; Carlisle, Pa.
    Methods for the Genomic Characterization of the Microbial Community in a Newly Developed Green Roof Media
    Analyzes the pathogenic microorganisms present in recycled rubber green roof media and leachate, using the MoBio PowerSoil® and MoBio PowerWater® protocols
  • Abigail Mickey; life science; Harrisburg, Pa.
    Microbial Community Structure and Function: A Comparison of Conventional Green Roof Medium and a Recycled Materials-Based Medium
    Investigates whether there is a significant difference in microbial communities in a commercial green roof medium currently in use and a recycled medium 
  • Tara Neely; psychology; Mount Joy, Pa.
    Identifying Biological and Environmental Factors Contributing to the Development of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    Aims to answer two main questions: 1.) How does genetic makeup contribute to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? and 2.) How does environment contribute to OCD?

Friday, April 19

  • Jeshanah McLeod; English; Harrisburg, Pa.
    The Image of the Forest in English Renaissance Drama
    Analyzes forests in English Renaissance literature in conjunction with forest laws of the time
  • Marques Paige; communications; Steelton, Pa.
    America the Photoshopped: An Analysis of Photoshop’s Influence on the Perception of Beauty and Self Image in American Culture
    Examines how manipulated images in the media influence how society and individuals view themselves compared to the media’s projection of beauty
  • Cassandra Romanowski; interdisciplinary humanities; Marysville, Pa.
    Disembodied Roots: American Environmentalism from Theodore Roosevelt to Al Gore
    Analyzes the underlying philosophical contexts of the American culture throughout the 20th century to expose the successes and failures of our environmental philosophy
  • Bryan Tarkington; management; Landenberg, Pa.
    The Effects of Web-Based Promotion on Microbreweries
    Seeks to understand how microbreweries are using web-based marketing efforts to reach their customers
  • Luis Vargas; psychology; Jonestown, Pa.
    Restless Sleep Could Mean Restless Days: Correlation of Sleep Disorders and Daytime Behavior Issues in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Identifies the relationships among aggression, attention, anxiety, depression, and sleep related problems for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)