Spring/Summer 2024 / Features

Experiencing the Love of the Game and Love for the Law

Students don’t have to travel very far to find a rewarding internship. Practical hands-on experiences
are available right here in the Chambersburg area as the following students discovered.

Casey Kauffman ’25

Major: Sport Management
Minor: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

When Casey Kauffman ’25 started seeking an internship in sport management, she knew she wanted to complete
one during the fall semester, so she needed to find something in the Chambersburg area. She approached
Linda Boeckman, director of career development, who connected her with the Shippensburg University
athletics department, and within days, Casey received an offer to work as the assistant to the sports information
director for their fall football season.

Her first day on the job turned out to be the team’s fall media day, and Casey stepped into her role with
confidence. She said she felt comfortable from the start as the director placed her in charge of social media game
day operations for the season, working full game days editing and sharing content online. “[The director] let
me do my thing. He said I want you to feel as comfortable as possible when you step into this career,” she said. “I’ve always loved sports. I always knew I wanted to work with athletes from a young age, and Wilson provided me with that experience.”

Ben Looper ’24

Major: Sport Management
Minor: Exercise Science and Athletic Coaching

Ben Looper ’24 landed his first internship in January with the Hagerstown Flying Boxcars baseball team during
their inaugural season. Ben worked with the team’s marketing and promotions department, assisting with
departmental duties and helping to operate a marketing kiosk. He helped spread awareness about the team,
sold merchandise, and promoted season ticket plans. He loved connecting with the local community in the
process and even attended two promotional events donning the team mascot costume.

During the spring semester, Ben also worked a second internship as pitching coach for the Wilson baseball
team after playing on the team for four years. During his time working both internships, he realized how much
administrative work goes into running sports programs. “Every single day, something could change, somebody’s
not feeling well, the game gets moved back a day, you need to evolve and adapt. Looking back over all the
rudimentary stuff we went through in class, … that’s the stuff I do every single day now and [having these
opportunities] to apply what I’ve learned has been great.”

Alyssa Wenger ’24

Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Psychology

“It was always my dream to be a police officer, I just didn’t think I could do it,” said Alyssa Wenger ’24.

When Alyssa started taking criminal justice courses at Wilson, she found the inspiration to follow her dream
of working in law enforcement. She solidified her goal during an internship with the Chambersburg Police
Department (CPD), where she was able to experience their day-to-day routines firsthand. CPD has four
squads, and each intern they hire is assigned to one for the duration of the internship. When any emergency
calls came in, Alyssa went on the call with her squad to observe how the officers interacted with the public. She
also helped with paperwork and accompanied squad members on their rounds.

This internship helped Alyssa realize she is capable of performing the job duties, while also solidifying her
passion for working with the local police force due to their strong community orientation. Because Alyssa
made such great connections during her internship, she now plans to test for a position with the CPD.

Haden Hoff ’24

Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Psychology

When Haden Hoff ’24 arrived at Wilson, he knew he wanted to major in criminal justice. He soon developed
a strong interest in law enforcement through his course work and an internship with the Chambersburg
Police Department.

Like Alyssa Wenger’s experience at CPD, Haden was assigned to a specific squad, which included a sergeant,
a corporal, and five or six officers. His work was mostly observational, riding around with each squad member
and occasionally serving alongside the detectives. The department also gave him the opportunity to observe at
the Franklin County Probation Office.

Haden shared that a lot of his internship experience was very broad, allowing him to learn about the many different aspects of the department’s operations, which was great because he still wasn’t sure in which area he most wanted to work post-graduation.

Since the internship, Haden has applied to several state and county police departments. “The internship let me
know that I was headed in the right direction and that I have a strong passion for what I’m going into,” he said.

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Pushing the Envelope on Deliverables

Taking Wilson’s business program to the next level

By Sandra Huffman ’86

Imagine stepping into a classroom where seasoned business professionals share not just their knowledge, but their real-world experiences and lessons learned from decades in the industry. At Wilson College, the business program offers more than just a degree; it provides a transformative journey that equips students with practical skills, valuable connections, and the confidence to thrive in any business environment. Here, every class, every project, and every internship is a step towards success.


Game Changers
The backbone of the Wilson College business program is its faculty. “Not that you wouldn’t find faculty experience at other institutions, but at Wilson, it is more pronounced because of the number of adjunct faculty or lecturers that teach in the business department. That kind of skill set, coupled with the academic aspects of business management, is just invaluable to the students,” said Alan “Jeff ” Rock, Education and Business Studies adjunct instructor.

Jeff Rock, M.B.A.
Adjunct Instructor of Business and Education
• M.B.A. Management, C.W. Post/Long Island University
• M.A. Sociology, University of Oklahoma
• B.S. General Engineering, U.S. Military Academy
• US Military Officer for over 20 years
• CEO and Chief of Staff for over 20 years




Rock is referring to the level of experience among the business faculty and instructors across the board. Rock teaches business communications, marketing management, the capstone business course, and strategic management. His experience alone includes over 20 years in the corporate world, 20 years in the military, and over a decade of teaching. He is also involved in local development groups.

“Professor Rock is so knowledgeable. He’s got experience in a lot of different areas. I mean, he is scary good at what he does. He also did a wonderful job in class by painting pictures of his experiences, real-life experiences, and tying them into the lessons,” said Kristen King ’22, who now works as a small business tax associate for a consulting firm.

One thing Rock tries to instill is that the business world has and always will be full of challenges that will require creative solutions and critical thinking. “No matter what generation it is, no matter what era it is, you still have to lead and manage people,” he says with a caring smirk. Rock often draws on his previous personal business challenges to provide informative reflections for students, or as Linette Hernandez ’24 put it, “Professor Rock told us about his mistakes so that we don’t make the same ones.”

Joseph Cunningham, C.P.A.
Associate Professor of Accounting and Business
• Certified Public Accountant in Pa.
• Charted Global Management Accountant
• M.B.A. Widener University
• B.S. Accountancy, Villanova University
• Member of Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)




On the accounting side, Joe Cunningham, associate professor of Accounting and Business, also relates his experiences to enhance students’ applications of financial concepts. “He worked in the tax world and in inventory, and he would talk about his experiences, which helped me understand what he was teaching,” said King. “It’s nice to have professors with a lot of knowledge, who have done real world jobs and then went on
to share that experience with their students.”

Lance Cain, D.B.A.
Assistant Professor of Business, Economics, and Finance
• D.B.A. Walden University
• M.B.A. Malone University
• B.S. Education with Mathematics Certification for Secondary School, Kent State University
• Worked in business sales, marketing, and operations for over 25 years.



The newest member of the faculty is Lance Cain, assistant professor of Business, Economics, and Finance, who worked in sales, marketing, and operations for several years before earning his master’s and doctorate in business administration. “Cain is great. I had a human resources class with him,” said Hernandez. “His teaching style is nice—he keeps you entertained, and he seems to really care.”

Linette Hernandez ’24,
B.A. Business Management with a Veterinary Business Management Certificate

Better Mousetraps
The knowledge and real-world experiences professors bring to the classroom are invaluable. However, just as important are the hands-on learning activities students complete at Wilson. That’s where business case studies and simulations come into play. Students tackle real-world scenarios and learn to navigate and resolve complex business challenges. Semester-long simulations immerse students in business environments, allowing them to experience the impact of their decisions firsthand and hone their skills.

“Leadership and management are not something you walk into and are good at. You’ve got to practice it, just like athletes must go to batting cages to practice hitting. In the business world, you have to practice your craft. You have to continue to be a lifelong learner. You have to look and analyze decisions you made, both good and bad, to see what you can learn from them,” said Rock.

Jarrett Rickerds ’20,
B.S. Accounting with a Sport Management Minor

Jarrett Rickerds ’20 was quick to recall his growth as a business professional through these exercises of collaboration and presentation. Currently working as an auditor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General, he attributes his ability to communicate effectively with colleagues to lessons he learned at Wilson. “I didn’t realize how essential it would be,” said Rickerds.

Win-Win Situations
King was immediately able to validate what she was learning in class through her job, working as a manager for a nearby convenience store while completing her bachelor’s degree. This opportunity gave her experience with training, coaching, and development. “I’ve had those hard conversations with employees. The business communications class really helped me formulate them professionally.” But not all Wilson students are working during their time in college, which is one reason the business program highlights the value of internships.

“One hallmark that I’ve seen in my 18 years of teaching experience is that academic programs excel with internship programs attached to them,” said Cunningham. “Internships validate not only technical knowledge but also how to be professional, how to communicate, how students can use qualitative and quantitative skills, and their business ethics.”

Darryl Garib ’24,
B.S. Accounting and Business Management with a Sport Management Minor

Professor Cunningham played a significant role in the academic journey of Darryl Garib ’24, who began his education at Wilson as a business management major and later added a second major in accounting. He said Professor Cunningham offered guidance on internships and career preparation.

During summer 2023, Garib completed an internship at RSM International, a multinational network of accounting firms, in their Washington, D.C. office, which led to a post-graduation job in auditing. He will start in fall 2024 with a corporate training program in Chicago. He feels his coursework at Wilson, particularly the classes involving practical applications, adequately prepared him for his internship and upcoming job.

Kristen King ’22,
B.S. Accounting and Business Management

Like Garib, King received a job offer after her internship, too. “I worked an internship at an accounting firm in Chambersburg during my last semester and accepted a full-time position that started just after graduation.”

When arranging an internship, the business program students work closely with an internship advisor and an internship site supervisor to create learning objectives. In this way, the company, student, and advisor all know the objectives of the internship and work together to ensure they match overall experience.

“We have students imagine what internship they want to do. They have the option to do it here in Chambersburg or back home. We work with every company, because, as happened with Darryl and Kristen, it may end up being a job offer for the student,” said Cunningham.

Strategic Partnerships
Building strong relationships within the community is key to the success of Wilson’s business program. The goal is to foster the program’s growth and visibility within the greater-Chambersburg area as well as with alumnae and alumni across the country. “We want to make sure the business program at Wilson is at the front of people’s minds,” said Cain.

This visibility includes faculty involvement in volunteer organizations. Cunningham, for example, is a volunteer with Junior Achievement of South-Central Pa. and the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). He explained how going out into the community to volunteer gives him the opportunity to promote the entire  college, not just the business program. “With PICPA, just like Junior Achievement, I get to talk about what I do as an accounting professor and then put a spotlight on Wilson,” he said.


Visibility also includes maintaining a connection with former students. “I’ve been here at Wilson now 10 years. I have students within the six-year mark who still stay connected, still ask questions, still ask what I think, or just how am I doing,” said Rock.

Wilson class sizes also help establish strong relationships between students and professors. “Class size made it more personable. I would see Professor Rock around campus, and he would know me by name,” said King. “You know the professors really care about what they do, and they care about seeing students succeed.”

From the faculty perspective, Cunningham said advising students, maintaining office hours, and providing peer tutoring support helps students feel comfortable. Graduate assistants do not teach or answer questions. Faculty are available to a student while they are in the program and after. It is a lifelong connection.

“Kristen will reach out with a tax question, even though she has access to the IRS and the master tax guide. If she cannot find the answer quickly, she looks for someone with experience or someone she trusts,” said Cunningham. “And really, it is such a pleasure to be able to assist these students, and it is very much a compliment.”

Rickerds also reached out this semester requesting to speak in one of Cunningham’s classes. He said, “Once I established my career, I knew I wanted to come back and share my story of how I went from sitting in Warfield Hall to sitting in Washington, D.C. working for the federal government, in a career I never would have thought about without the Wilson business program. Wilson has the best educators and if you just talk to them and let them in on where you want to be and your interests, they can really help you get there.”

Instructor Rock and Professors Cain and Cunningham agree. Wilson’s business program has a lot of positive, forward momentum, and is putting students on the right track to a successful career in the business world.

Undergraduate Business Degree Programs
Business Management
Esports Management
Sport Management
Supply Chain Management

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Shared Governance at Its Best

Faculty Announce New Organizational Model

By Cassandra Latimer

Wilson College will be operating under a new faculty governance model beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year. Approved by nearly all professors after two plus years of comprehensive conversation and fact finding, this new model lays the foundation for Wilson to continue its evolution and growth as an institution.

The new two school model will be led by Elissa Heil, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Faculty (VPAA). In her new role as Provost/VPAA, she will continue to lead the overall pedagogy of Wilson. Individual academic programs will be divided into two schools – The School of Professional and Graduate Studies and The School of Arts and Sciences. Each school will be led by a dean. A new Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies and a new Dean of Arts and Sciences will report to Heil and assist with accomplishing the day to day operational and managerial tasks of Academic Affairs, as well as supporting each school’s degree programs strategically and administratively. Joshua Legg, M.F.A., associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of the Master of Fine Arts program, and Michael Cornelius, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Master of Arts in Humanities program and the Master of Organizational Leadership program, will transition into the new dean roles, respectively, this summer.

“The higher education industry has been changing drastically, and our faculty have weathered difficult change with measured aplomb, equanimity, creativity, and collegiality. Their work on assessing governance and planning for a new model are no exception and demonstrate their willingness to evolve to meet the changing needs in higher education,” said Heil.

L to R: The leaders of the new two school model will be Joshua Legg, M.F.A., dean of The School of Professional and Graduate Studies, Elissa Heil, Ph.D., provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, and Michael Cornelius, Ph.D., dean of The School of Arts and Sciences.

Legg and Cornelius helped lead the assessment process with their faculty colleagues, which ultimately led to the governance change. Both Legg and Cornelius are pleased with the number of faculty who were fully engaged and involved in the process. Cornelius shared, “I so appreciate the openness of people. In the end, so many voices came together.” Legg took the observation a step further in relating that faculty embraced a “healthy approach to participating, and, that made conversations, even difficult ones, easy to hold.”

The current governance model, adopted in 2014, focused on academic divisions, and the intention was to reassess the approach and needs of the College after five years.

Unfortunately, changes in higher education, not the least of which was turning to remote instruction because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and launching Wilson College Online, caused a delay in that assessment until 2022. “Recognizing how higher education has changed and how Wilson has evolved, faculty and administrators realized we needed change,” shared Cornelius. In the last decade, Wilson has experienced a steady increase in enrollment, reaching the second highest overall enrollment in its history with the Fall 2023 Census of 1,555 enrolled students. This, coupled with the addition of more online courses and degrees, and additional student experiences, has resulted in a need to rethink how Academic Affairs is organized to best serve students and faculty.

Faculty and administrators expect the new model to provide more professionalization and clarity around the College’s academic structure, ultimately creating more academic possibilities for students. Having two deans will allow each to be more present in the programs they manage and to play a part in deepening the relationship between students, their faculty members, and programs of study. With these changes, students can expect to have a more direct relationship with their dean versus the current model, which has the VPAA/Dean of Faculty
fielding questions and requests from all faculty and students. Also, students will know who to contact should they have questions or concerns.

“My hope is that the new governance structure (also) gives time back to faculty. They will have more time in their
schedules to connect with and mentor students, to advise clubs, find internship opportunities, explore new methods of teaching and sharing knowledge, and nurturing lasting relationships with alumnae and alumni,” said Cornelius. “That deep time with students is what transforms them. That’s the Wilson experience.”

Assessing the current faculty governance structure was no small task. Over the course of more than two years, faculty identified opportunities for improvement, researched models used at our aspirant schools, reviewed industry best practices, and entered into deep conversation to determine a new path forward that will better serve Wilson now and into the future. In summing up the assessment process, Legg shared “(At Wilson), we have a desire for a very democratic approach, to foster collegiality, and have all programs on equal footing. We treat people respectfully on this campus. We do that well. (We demonstrate) professional respect and courtesy that is
not political.”

“Wilson College is not just a name, it’s a feeling,” stated Cornelius. “The administration gave us (the faculty) the
freedom to explore and see where the conversation would go. …That’s shared governance. We are in our most democratic phase—again, that’s Wilson.”

For more information about degree concentrations, visit
www.wilson.edu/undergraduate-programs and www.wilson.edu/graduate-degree-programs

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The Epitome of a Scholar

Pursuing advanced study and research is a long-held tradition at Wilson. That practice culminates with the Annual Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day and the annual Academic Awards Ceremony, where students present their advanced study and receive recognition for their scholarly pursuits.

A highlight of these events is the announcement of next year’s recipient of the esteemed Margaret Criswell Disert Honors Scholarship, and a presentation by the current Disert Scholar, summarizing their senior research project made possible by the award. Named in honor of Disert ’20, who served as dean of the college in the mid-1900s, this award is presented to a rising senior who has, in the judgment of the selection committee, submitted the proposal for senior advanced study and research considered most worthy of support.

Elissa Heil, Ph.D., provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, presented the Disert Scholarship to Hailey Steele ‘ 25


Hailey Steele ’25 was selected as the 2024–2025 recipient. She plans to focus her senior research and advanced study on the damaging effect of the synthetic dye Allura Red AC (Red 40) on the DNA of human colon cells.

Lydia Story ’24, the 2023-2024 Disert Scholar, shared her senior research project entitled “The Effectiveness of Sulfur-Containing Compounds on the Inhibition of Growth of Streptococcus pyogenes.” During her introduction of Story, Deborah Austin, professor of chemistry, described her as the epitome of a scholar. “It has been a privilege to serve as Lydia’s instructor and one of her research advisors,” said Austin. Story previously presented her work at the annual meeting of the Pa. Academy of Science, where she received an honorable mention for her research. Her project received partial funding from an E. Grace White Research Grant, a Barsy-Colgan Student Research Grant, and the Disert Scholarship.

Lydia Story ’24, the 2023-2024 Disert Scholar, shared her senior project at the Annual Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day.

Story finished her Wilson career strong as she graduated in May summa cum laude with a dual major in biology and chemistry, earning honors in the major. She excelled in her coursework, receiving awards in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and Latin, and serving as a peer tutor for several science courses. Her academic achievements culminated in her induction into Omicron Delta Kappa, a leadership honor society.

Following her first year at Wilson, Story was selected as a research assistant for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) project on water quality that took place on the Wilson campus. After her sophomore year, she worked as a biology lab assistant at Wilson, and last summer, she secured a competitive summer internship at the Boyce Thomson Institute at Cornell University, where she analyzed the composition of aphid saliva to identify metabolites that could influence the aphid host relationship.

This summer, she will intern as a research assistant for the USDA Agricultural Research Service Northeast
Summer Program. There she will work on gene editing of poplar trees to control the tree architecture and examine the alterations in their growth patterns in their ratio of leaf to wood. Story’s professional interests are
phytochemistry and the use of natural products in drug discovery. In August, she will begin graduate studies at Michigan State University where she will pursue a dual doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology, and molecular plant sciences.

2023-2024 Academic Awards

Each year, students from all disciplines are chosen by their professors to receive a variety of Wilson College awards based on exemplary and outstanding academic merit and achievement. An awards ceremony is held in their honor at the closing of the annual Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day.

1957 Civic Engagement Award: Keaira Lutz ’26

Barsy-Colgan Academic Research gift award: Hailey Steele ’25 and Erin Roszkowiak ’25

The Donald F. Bletz Awards for Excellence in Teaching:
• Sr. Faculty: Wendell Smith
• Jr. Faculty: Bonnie Rock-McCutcheon
• Adjunct Faculty: Hailey Haffey

E. Grace White Prize: Lydia Story ’24

E. Grace White Summer Scholarship: Katherine Kimmel ’25 and Cassidy Sowers ’25

Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award: Judith Wolf ’25

General Chemistry Award: Kaylee Pomfret ’27

Joan M. Thuebel ’52 Earthwatch Prize (see page 34):
• Student: Erin Roszkowiak ’25
• Student: Zeke Changuris ’24
• Faculty: Chris Mayer

Lt. Colonel William A. Knaus Award for Veteran’s Service:
Victoria Cooper ’24, Alyssa Wenger ’24, and Shawnee Cordero ’24

Lucy Bremmer Global Citizenship Award: Ryan Reinhardt ’25

Sophie’s Six Award: Sydney Caprara ’24 and Haiden Brookens ’24

The Alice Martin Brumbaugh Award in Sociology: Ryan Reinhardt ’25

The Alta Lindsay McElwain Prize: Matthew Line ’25

The Carolyn Zeleny Prize: Hennessy Strine ’25

The Davison Greenawalt Grove Award: Abby Sentz ’24

The Donna Gomer VMT ADP Award: Nicole Sadlowski ’25

The Dorle Haas Memorial Prize: Hannah Lyons ’24

The Edward and Sarah Anderson Psychology Prize: Haiden Brookens ’24

The Estep-Lawson Memorial Prize: Brittney Parker ’24

The Gloria Randle Scott-Frances Richards Hesselbein Prize: Rebecca E. Galvin ’24

The Grace Tyson Schlichter Award in Communications: Jordan F. Hastie ’24

The Helga Rist Prize: Maddie Flores ’24

The James Applegate Award:
• Performance: Chelsea Zimmann ’25
• Scholarship: Julianna Vaughan ’24

The Joanne Harrison Hopkins Literary Achievement Award: Natalie Beckner ’26

The Josef Michael Kellinger Award: Emma Lowman ’24

The Margaret Criswell Disert Honors Scholarship (see above): Hailey Steele ’25

The Margaret Strode Haines Award: Andrew Gervasi ’26

The Mary Beers Sheppard Prize: Mariah Kiefer ’24 and Madeline Neway ’24

The Mildred Franklin Prize: Jasmine Gruver ’25

The Nicky Hoffman Reich Award (preference to a veterinary nursing student): Paige Schade ’24

The Richard C. Grove Award in Business and Economics: Saria Alshaikhali ’24

The Robert Shannon McElwain Prize: Ellisa Gamby-Mickey ’27

The Suzanne Blumenthal Prize in Healthcare and Medical Humanities: Andrea Sandoval ’24

The Virginia Dodd Cooper Prize: Madelyn Bush ’24

The William and Ivy Saylor Prize: Madeline Neway ’24

The William P. Van Looy Business Prize: Brady Andre ’24

The Wilson Glencairn Bowlby Equestrian Award: Victoria Cooper ’24

Wilson College Nursing Clinical Leadership Award: Melissa Green ’24

Wilson College Nursing Division Award: Raina Sylvestre ’24 and Mercy Osei ’24

Wilson College Nursing Leadership Award: Abigail Buck ’24

Photos of those in attendance for the awards ceremony can be found online at www.wilson.edu/2024-academic-awards

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An Opportunity to Study the World

Students Erin Roszkowiak ’25 and Zeke Changuris ’24, along with Assistant Professor of Integrated Sciences and Director of the Fulton Center for Sustainability Chris Mayer, will soon travel the world as recipients of the 2023–2024 Joan M. Thuebel ’52 Earthwatch Award. Selected annually and announced at the spring Academic Awards event, this award provides each recipient with a fully funded field research expedition hosted by the international nonprofit organization Earthwatch. It includes expedition fees, travel, and lodging, made possible by a generous donation from Joan Thuebel ’52, who has participated in 27 Earthwatch expeditions over the last few decades. We can’t wait to hear about their adventures and discoveries. No doubt they will follow in the footsteps of the 2022–2023 recipients.

Dean Elissa Heil, Erin Roszkowiak ’25 , and Chris Mayer

In the summer of 2023, recipients of the award traveled to Costa Rica and the Pyrenees mountains to join field expeditions and assist researchers with conservation projects. Myla Owens ’24, Kendi Long ’26, and Julie Raulli, professor of sociology, each took part in separate trips.

Kendi Long’s research expedition took her to the valley of Ordino, Andorra—near the border of France and Spain. For her, the trip was nine days working alongside two biologists to observe the effects of climate change on wildlife in the forest and alpine meadows. She monitored and recorded data at small mammal sites and nest boxes, each requiring different research and data collection. “Waking to the beautiful Andorran sunrise, measuring the adorable Bank Voles, scaling breathtaking peaks daily, and sharing many laughs with my team have become memories I will cherish forever,” she said.


For Owens and Raulli, it was off to Costa Rica. Owens studied marine mammals in Golfo Dulce, an area surrounded by national parks and protected areas. The purpose of her expedition was to gather information about the cetacean species—the bottlenose dolphin, the pantropical spotted dolphin, and the humpback whale. Her expedition crew spent 10-hour days collecting and reviewing data. “This journey was nothing short of transformative,” she said.


Professor Raulli spent a week in the hot and rainy mountains of Costa Rica to investigate the conservation of bees and other pollinators. Her team primarily worked mornings because of the heat and then took side trips in the afternoon, such as a visit to a small-scale coffee business. According to Raulli, each Earthwatch trip is a way for participants to push their own boundaries. For the students, maybe it was traveling to another country for the first time. For her, it was a chance to stretch herself in the natural sciences while observing what she called “such an amazing concentration of biodiversity.”

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Highlighting a Culture of Academic Inquiry

15th Annual Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day

The Wilson College community joined together in person and online Friday, April 19, as students presented academic research and creative projects during the 15th Annual Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day. The much anticipated event was held in the Harry R. Brooks Complex for Science, Mathematics and Technology. President Fugate opened the daylong event by welcoming all in attendance and asking everyone to celebrate the student achievements. “In many ways, this event highlights the best of the Wilson experience,” he said.

Students presented their research in person during morning and afternoon sessions, as well as via poster presentations. The morning session included studies on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a natural education curriculum, Streptococcus equi, and the effects of alcohol on college students. The afternoon session included research on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Sarcoptic mange, bowhead whales, and three honors thesis research projects, one on vestibular dysfunction in mice, another on criminality and mental illness, and a third on racial stereotyping. The final presentation of the day was by Lydia Story ’24, the 2024 Disert Scholar, on Streptococcus pyogenes. All projects were completed with the guidance of faculty mentors.

The Barsy-Colgan Student Research Day is supported by Louise Barsy Colgan ’80 and her husband Sean. Their generous philanthropy supports student academic research and ensures this important Wilson event continues.

“Sean and I are delighted to support this fantastic event! Getting an inside look at what Wilson students are accomplishing is truly inspirational,” said Louise.

Each year, students may apply for grants for research they intend to complete in their senior year for presentation on Student Research Day. Louise and Sean have endowed those grants in honor of Louise and her mother, Helen Yeager “HiY” Barsy ’44.

A full list of the day’s presentations can be found online at www.wilson.edu/srd2024.

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