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Celebration of Women in Science: March 6, 2013

Women in Science Day 2013!

Wednesday, March 6th from 11:30AM-12:30 PM
Biology Commons

The School of Science will celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of our women students in all areas of science. A light lunch will be served. Each student will present her recent or ongoing research project, be featured on the School of Science webpage, and receive a certificate of recognition. All are welcome.

Article coverage of the event by TCNJ’s The Signal.


Sneak peek at some of our presenters


Melanie Crampton

Title of Presentation: “Eastern United States Crust Characterization”

Major: Physics. Class of 2013.

I plan to use my research experience to bring research into the classroom when I become a physics teacher.

Maggie Fuller

Major: Physics, WGS Minor. Class of 2013.

Title of Presentation: “Towards a Mechanistic Basis for Individualized Treatment of CF”
I worked for two summers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in the lab of Professor Philip Thomas on the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR), an important chloride ion channel in epithelial cells. Many mutations in CFTR are associated with Cystic Fibrosis, a prominent recessive genetic disease affecting nearly 70,000 people. Understanding the effects of mutations on CFTR folding and function is the first step to identifying and developing specific therapeutics for CF patients. To this end, an ELISA assay was used to measure trafficking of 19 CF-causing mutant proteins to the plasma membrane. I used a β-galactosidase folding assay to measure domain folding to complement this trafficking data. These experiments revealed that some mutants have better folding than wild type and some have better trafficking of full-length CFTR. Other mutants fold more efficiently than wild type yet the full-length proteins traffic poorly. These results together help us to inform hypotheses on the affects of each harmful mutation. 
I have developed double mutants to further define the defects associated with each CF-causing mutant and to determine if they affect multiple steps of folding. The β-galactosidase folding assay will need to be performed on each of these additional mutants in the future to fully understand the mechanisms of dysfunction in many cases.

Kerry Ryan

Title of Presentation: “MOKE Imaging of Magnetic Domains in Thin Multilayer Pt/Co Films”

Major: Physics. Class of 2013.

Future plans: I plan to attend graduate school in the fall to pursue a Ph.D in geophysics.


Maya Williams

Title of Presentation: “Plant Competition in a Greek Island Ecosystem: A Pertubation Experiment”

Major: Biology, International Studies Minor. Class of 2014.

Future Goals: Graduate school for research in undecided subject.

Kayla Spector

Major: Physics, Biomedical specialization. Class of 2013.

Title of Presentation: “A Mathematical Model of Tumor Growth in Variable-Density Environments”

Future Plans: I will be attending Thomas Jefferson University in the fall of 2013 to earn an MS in Medical Laboratory Science.


Victoria Calafut

Major: Physics. Class of 2014.

Title of Presentation: “Modeling the Fluxes Arising from Turbulent Relativistic Jets”

Abstract: Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are characterized by variable emission across all bands; for radio-loud AGN this is mostly synchrotron radiation from relativistic jets of turbulent plasma. We present a numerical model developed to calculate the theoretical observed fluxes of such jets and plot light curves that allow us to analyze the variations over time. We model the jet to contain a Kolmogorov spectrum of turbulent eddies, with varying sizes and velocities. The observed flux of each eddy depends upon its variable Doppler boosting factor, a function of the relativistic sum of the individual eddy and bulk jet velocities, as well as our viewing angle to the jet. The total observed flux is found by integrating the radiation from the eddies over the turbulent spectrum. We examine theoretical light curves for a range of viewing angles, bulk jet velocities, and maximum turbulent velocities. The flux variations produced in the simulations for sensible values of the parameters tested are consistent with the types of variations observed in AGN systems. This semester, structure functions and power spectral densities of these theoretical light curves will be computed and compared with those of observed light curves, including those of radio-loud AGN measured with the Kepler satellite.

After graduation, I most likely plan to go to graduate school for astrophysics.


Kayla Coleman

Major: Applied Mathematics, Statistics Minor. Class of 2013.
Title of Presentation: “Modeling HIV Infection with Data Mining Techniques”
Future Goals: In the fall of 2013, I will be pursuing my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. I have already been accepted into North Carolina State University.






Kristen DeMeester

Major: Chemistry. Class of 2013 

Title of Presentation: “Synthesis of Simplified TMC95A Analogs”

TMC95A is a complex, natural organic product that is a known proteasome inhibitor. The successful implementation of a synthetic route to design simplified analogs of TMC95A is of particular interest to pharmaceutical companies.  

Future Goals: In Fall 2013, I will attend graduate school to work toward my Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.


Rachel Levin

Major: Statistics, Quantitative Criminology Minor and Actuarial Studies Minor. Class of 2013.

Title of Presentation: “A Geospatial Analysis of Residential Burglary”

Using character functions and various procedures in SAS, Lawrence Township 2010 dispatch data was analyzed to find correlate factors in residential burglary, which were then used to predict the risk of the crime occurring in areas of Lawrence Township, using a Zero-Inflated-Poisson model for analysis.

Future Goals: I plan to continue my education by pursuing a Master of Science in Biostatistics. I hope to succeed as an Applied Clinical Statistician for Oncology Research, as this topic is very near and dear to my heart.


Jenna Lobby

Major: Biology, Music Minor and Women’s and Gender Studies Minor. Class of 2013.

Title: “Analysis of the Role of Npl3 in the Coordination of Multiple Steps in Gene Expression”

Future plans: Starting a  PhD program in cellular and molecular biology.


Katherine McGarry

Major: Chemistry, Class of 2013.

Title of Presentation: “Photocleavage of Cyclic Calmodulin Protein Using N-(l-phenylalanine)-4-(1-pyrene) butyramide “

Future Plans: I plan to continue my education and work torwards my Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry






And more to come!