Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Spring 2023 Mentor Spotlight

Full of Surprises!

At this spring's undergraduate research symposium, mentees and faculty friends plotted to surprise two of the most beloved mentors at Fordham, Professors Nathan Lincoln-Decusatis and Molly Zimmerman, with mentor of the year awards. We even snuck in their families! What a special day of celebrating our FCRH undergraduate research community.

The Scope and Impact of Undergraduate Research

Each semester, Fordham College at Rose Hill is proud to share highlights from our thriving undergraduate research program. Our students are actively involved in faculty-mentored research across disciplines, participating in a range of activities including utilizing state of the art equipment in our labs, meeting with patients in medical settings, spending time in the community interviewing and surveying members to achieve a greater understanding of historical and contemporary questions, reviewing source data in New York City and even around the world, as well as collecting specimens in the field for our many projects based in environmental settings. Excitingly, our students' contributions have considerable impact in their respective fields and to their professional development.

  • On the Road Again!

    Max Luf presenting at a research conference

    FCRH is so excited to share that our students are back on the road presenting their research at prestigious external conferences. Max Luf (Class of 2022, pictured here) recently returned from the Genetics Society of America's Annual Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego, California. Max, who has been consistently funded by FCRH research grants for the past three years, wowed the crowd with his impactful work. His next stop is the Pfleger lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, before he applies to medical school. In March 2022, Kristina Stevanovic (Class of 2022) and students from last year's FCRH "Foundations in Research Engagement" seminar presented projects at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting in our very own NYC. Due to her tremendous accomplishments in undergraduate research, Kristina also was quickly recruited by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for a research assistant position upon graduation. We are so proud of our students' accomplishments and their representation of FCRH near and far.

  • Triple Threat!

    Lizzy Galbo, FCRH 2022

    It is such a joy to spotlight the accomplishments of Lizzy Galbo (Class of 2022). Lizzy is currently the Editor-in-Chief of FURJ. In this role, she has assembled an incredible team and they have worked so hard to create transparent, inclusive procedures for submissions.

    In addition to her leadership in our undergraduate research community, Lizzy is also an undergraduate research star in two different fields! This past summer she received a FCRH grant to support her work with Dr. Elissa Aminoff. To acheive her aims, Lizzy analyzed fMRI data to determine if the presence of people within everyday scences affects cognitive processing of these scenes. Her significant results have now set the stage for a behavioral experiment that she is conducting. Remarkably, Lizzy just received a spring grant to build on her fall Senior Neuroscience Capstone project which is investigating the link between visual and auditory cognitive processing. On the auditory side, Lizzy is working with Dr. Nathan Lincoln-Decusatis to determine where music fits in. She single-handedly compiled a dataset of 64 original piano compositions to determine if they elicit a positive or negative reaction as opposed to an emotional response; this work may well provide updates to prevailing theories. We are just blown away by Lizzy's incredible program of research before even leaving Fordham!

  • FCRH Mentors of the Year!

    Dubrovsky Lab 2020

    At this year's Undergraduate Research Symposium, FCRH proudly honored two faculty members for their extraordinary mentorship. In the summer of 2020, as our faculty and students were heroically keeping their research afloat during such challenging times, we received inquiries from a cherished colleague asking when he would be able to bring his very large team of undergraduates back. As soon as he could, he did, and his students began reaching out to consider ways that we could honor him.

    We were so pleased to name Dr. Edward Dubrovsky one of our award recipients. One of his mentees had this to say in his nomination:

    Working under him has been the defining feature of my time here at FCRH and I cannot even begin to express how thankful I and all of the undergraduate and graduate students in his lab are for him.

    Mark Naison

    In the fall of 2021, as our students returned to college life, one of the most poignant sites was a man in black teaching on Eddies Parade. Our recipient has given all he has to Fordham for 50 years now. He has mentored 100s of students in landmark efforts like the Bronx African American History Project and never ceases to invite new ones to join his team. He was named by USA Today as one of the educators who got students through the pandemic. He brings his students and colleagues such palatable joy and he will do anything for them, including hosting regular dance parties in class. In many ways, this award is for a lifetime of mentoring undergraduate research and unwavering support to our community. It is with much admiration that we honored Dr. Mark Naison, our very own Notorious Ph.D.

    We are deeply grateful for the contributions and time that so many faculty give to our undergraduate research efforts and we look forward to a wonderful year back together filled with discoveries and lots more dancing!

  • Welcome Back Beloved Class of 2020!

    We are so excited to reunite with the Class of 2020 at their Commencement on June 6. In honor of this, FCRH is delighted to spotlight one of their undergraduate research stars, Ashley Chenery. In the summer of 2019, Ashley received a FCRH Undergraduate Research Grant to complete an independent project. Her research in the field of Communication and Media Studies (CMS) was focused on Instagram use and adolescent male body image. She conducted surveys to gather data under the supervision of Dr. Lewis Freeman; and in the end, she was given the opportunity to present her findings at the Eastern Communication Association’s Undergraduate Scholars Conference as well as at the FCRH Undergraduate Research Symposium. Ashley describes so well our hopes for this program:

    "It was incredible to participate in the scholarly investigation of things I care about, and I realized that, hey, I can actually do this!"

    We poignantly remember Ashley getting ready to travel for her presentation just as the country shutdown in March 2020. Now, Ashley intends to pursue research, hopefully one day as a CMS professor. Since graduating, she has taken a gap year to focus on teaching, serving an AmeriCorps position with Reading Partners in NYC, tutoring public elementary school students in literacy. Ashley is also a Fulbright semi-finalist. We relish celebrating her continued success and the chance to see her again soon!

  • The Dubrovsky Lab: Our Lords and Ladies of the Flies!

    Dubrovsky Lab 2020

    As we usher in 2021, a year where scientific discoveries will truly change the world, FCRH is incredibly proud to highlight our very own work on disease prevention and treatment. and his team study the molecular mechanisms of various diseases, using fruit flies as a genetic model. What's more, Dr. Dubrovsky's lab has been the home to dozens of undergraduate research assistants. He is currently mentoring seven students! During the summer months as the University prepared to reopen, Dr. Dubrovsky worked tirelessly to safeguard his lab so that he could resume his experiments, knowing how important this experience is to his students' professional development. We were inspired by how quickly he brought undergraduate research back to FCRH. His students, too, are overjoyed to be resuming their fascinating projects. And so, as we enter 2021 with so much hope, we thank Dr. Dubrovsky for all that he does to inform medical treatments and the way that he has made our students an integral part of this impactful work. 

  • State or Trait? Supreme Court Justice Behavior and Implications of Election 2020

    Andrew Millman UR Spotlight

    No question, stakes are high as we head into the upcoming presidential election. Andrew Millman (FCRH '21, Political Science), funded by a FCRH summer grant, offers a fascinating analysis of the supreme court judges' behavior and how things may not be what they seem and why. The conservative bloc of the Supreme Court is fractured in its positions on a range of important issues facing the Court, as demonstrated by recent decision such as Bostock v. Clayton and McGirt v. Oklahoma. Sometimes, the Chief Justice is the swing vote on cases, both other times its Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch or another justice. Under the mentorship of , Andrew's project seeks to understand in what circumstances justices deviate from their expected judicial behavior through a study of their opinion-writing and joining-patterns and to test whether these deviations can be explained through aspects of a justice’s social background that deviate from their colleagues’ backgrounds. It is no longer the case, as when Justice Kennedy was on the court, that one conservative is almost uniformly more moderate than their colleagues, but now it really depends on the issue before the court in each case. With undergraduate research charging back, we can't wait to learn more about the implications of this important work!

  • FCRH Senior Research Celebration-2020

    FCRH Spring 2020 Senior Research Celebration

    The FCRH undergraduate research spotlight for the summer of 2020 honors our senior researchers and their mentors who perserved on their projects last spring and gave us memories that will last a lifetime. We celebrated their work on May 13; over 60 seniors attended as well as several mentors and friends of our program. Students presented their findings and we loved every second of it. CONGRATS to all of our undergraduate researchers, and especially to those from the Class of 2020. Thank you all for your grit and giving us such a wonderful community that banded together even while we were apart. Our program continues this summer with 40 grant recipients who are setting the stage for new discoveries in creative, innovative ways despite the pandemic and we can't wait for more showing off and celebrating in the fall!

  • Brett Musialowicz Spotlight

    Where Are They Now? Inspiration From Our Undergraduate Research Community

    In the days that followed the need to transition FCRH online for the semester, we felt great pain over the loss of this spring's undergraduate research events. Out of the darkness though came so much light from our undergraduate research community. We have heard from many students, past and present, expressing how committed they are to their projects and our program. We are grateful and humbled. This spring, we planned to spotlight a wonderful alumni, Brett Musialowicz (Class of 2019) who is now attending medical school at Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) University. Brett was a total rock star in the Chemistry Department and we miss him dearly. He reports that medical school has been changed due to COVID-19 as they too have no in-person instruction for the duration of the semester, including any clinical learning, and all classes have become podcasts. Yet he is looking towards the future. We were so excited to hear that he was offered a research position at RWJ Hospital in the Emergency Medicine Department. In his words, the researching spirit continues on long after Fordham! Brett also shared a few thoughts for our senior researchers:

    The knowledge and skills they have developed will follow them to the next big beautiful challenge in life and they will succeed! It feels like everything was taken from them, but what they will realize very quickly after school is that there is so much more offered in this world. The adventures are endless.

    We are overjoyed to celebrate Brett and his many peers from past, present and yet to come. No matter what the obstacles, they will thrive and shape the world with their discoveries. Thank you for inspiring us.

  • From South Africa to Hawaii: The Global Lens of Undergraduate Research

    Stephanie Galbraith

    This winter we are so pleased to spotlight an incredible student, Stephanie Galbraith (Class of 2020), and the way that undergraduate research supported her scholarship ideas and goals. 

    After studying abroad in South Africa, she was inspired to research the emerging importance of Chinese investment in the region. With the help of Professor Bastiaens and a FCRH Research Grant in Spring 2019, she designed and completed a quantitative analysis of how Chinese investment influences the opinions of individuals living in Sub-Saharan Africa towards China. With this regression as a starting point, she wrote a paper that was published this fall in World Outlook: Dartmouth Journal of International Affairs! Currently, she is preparing to present her research at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii this spring, supported by a FCRH Travel Grant. We are so proud of Stephanie's accomplishments. We sure wish that we could go see her present in Hawaii but we'll stay tuned to this year's Symposium instead! 

  • Fall for Fall Spotlight: An Undergraduate Research Family

    Patricio Meneses

    This fall, we are so pleased to spotlight an undergraduate research superstar mentor, Dr. Patricio Meneses. Each year, dozens of students get involved in his research- and he gets involved in their lives well beyond this. His lab is a place where everyone has a voice (and old school rap reigns supreme). The long-term goal of Dr. Meneses' research is to understand the basic processes that are necessary to establish HPV infection. Understanding the process of initial viral entry and trafficking can result in novel approaches to decrease infection and lessen the burden of HPV related cancers. His students, who go on to truly saving lives as scientists and health professionals, are supported by his dedicated mentorship, deep engagement in lab techniques, and the opportunity to disseminate their work at conferences and even in publications. We are very grateful to Dr. Meneses for all that his does and the family atmosphere he creates for our students.