Summer Research Discoveries

Students from an array of academic disciplines are conducting Manhattan College research in 2018.

For Jaspers, advanced learning extends far beyond the academic school year.

Students from the Schools of Business, Education & Health, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Science are pursuing Manhattan College research this summer to learn more about the areas they’re passionate about (video game research, anyone?). And they’re analyzing data that they’ve collected in laboratories, on computers, and throughout New York City to do it. 

Here are some of the summer research projects that are currently happening on campus:

  • Biofilms in Plant Life

    An image of female professor and student looking at plants in greenhouse

    Just like higher organisms, bacteria need signals in order to communicate with each other so that they can best respond to environmental changes. Currently, chemistry and biochemistry professor Sarah Wacker, Ph.D., is teaching biology majors Alexis Brown 19 and Tameryn Huffmann 19 more about Bacillus subtilis, a bacteria that lives in the soil and on the roots of plants. So far, their results have been intriguing as well as savory — in the tomato plants they are growing in the Leo Hall greenhouse, Wacker and her students are also quite literally enjoying the fruits of their labor.

  • Concussions in Women's Lacrosse

    People playing lacrosse on field
    Mechanical engineering students Miguel Diaz 20 and Michael Calicchia ’20, and kinesiology major Emma Kaishian ’19 are together studying the effectiveness of concussion helmets in women’s lacrosse by examining a a commonly used concussion helmet in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to determine whether they are effective in preventing brain injury. If they are, the group will propose that these helmets should be worn by all players. Advisers on the research project are kinesiology professor Lisa Toscano, Ph.D., and mechanical engineering professor Peyman Honormandi, Ph.D.
  • Car Seat Safety

    Woman and man look and point at computer screen
    Studies have shown that infants may be at risk of serious spinal injuries, neck pain and positional asphyxia, while strapped into a car seat. Throughout the summer, Manhattan College mechanical engineering major Jack Consolini ’20, and professor Parisa Saboori, Ph.D., are conducting an in-depth stress and strain analysis of an infant’s cervical vertebrae and sternocleidomastoid muscles while in a variety of slumped-over positions. This fall, the Manhattan research team will design an adjustable mechanical car seat that works to prevent injury.
  • The World Around Us

    Female student stands at podium presenting data on a large screen.
    Last spring, economics majors Sierra Arral 20 (Liberal Arts), Heyi Cheng 20 and Veronica Cheng 20 (Business) surveyed Manhattan College students about their environmental attitudes, knowledge and behavior. Currently, the group is summarizing and analyzing the data they collected using programming language R, which they are learning from Jimena Gonzalez, Ph.D., economics and finance professor.
  • Video Games

    Image of video game controller
    In our hyper-connected world, how does modern technology affect who we are and our perceptions about reality? This summer, English major Liam King ’20 is exploring "cyborg identities,” which refer to the union between human and machine, and how both can change the ways we think about ourselves and the power dynamics that shape our experiences. Under the advisement of professor Maeve Adams, Ph.D., King focuses specifically on cyborg identity politics in video games.