Spotlight on Faculty and Student Scholarship, Research & Creativity

Unlocking New Worlds of Research
Albright College’s virtual reality lab uses cutting-edge technology to help students explore a seemingly endless array of questions.
Senior Spotlight
Meet some extraordinary members of the Class of 2017 who embody the Albright spirit and represent their fellow students and their alma mater with distinction.
Deconstructing Gender Roles
Albright College senior Heather Prince researched how women fare in traditionally male-dominated roles, drawing on her own experiences operating heavy equipment at a quarry.
Lost Art Found
Albright College senior Leah Williams is digitizing and archiving thousands of photographic slides taken by the late economics professor David Schwartz during his trips to Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s. The photos tell the story of revolution and include murals since painted over and lost to history.
No Limits
A Q&A with Albright College senior Mykala Harris, a first-generation college student who is seizing every opportunity that comes her way.
On the Path of Discovery
Cancer researcher Clint Stalnecker ’09 has returned to his alma mater to teach and inspire the next generation of Albright students.
On the Front Lines of the Fight against HIV & Heroin Addiction
Albright College senior Jordan Zehr spent his summer working on the development of a combined HIV-heroin vaccine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Indian Summer
Cynthia Rann ’17 spent the summer in Bangalore, India, as a Cultural Vistas fellow, interning with Habitat for Humanity. Her time there has reinforced her passion for helping others, and has shed light on her own personal story.
Ambassador for the Arts
This summer, Albright College rising senior Alexis Jenofsky ’17 spent several weeks in India helping to introduce the arts to some of that country’s poorest children. The trip was an extension of work Jenofsky has undertaken locally for the last few years.
Wealth of Experience
Myanmar native Toe Aung ’17 came to the United States a few years ago after winning a green card through a U.S. visa lottery program. The Albright psychobiology major is certainly cashing in on the opportunity. After he graduates, he will serve as a research assistant at Harvard University.
Double Act
Assistant history professor Shreeyash Palshikar, Ph.D., is an expert on South Asia and spent several years as a government analyst. He’s also a magician and infuses his act with tricks derived from his Indian heritage.
Senior Spotlight
Meet some extraordinary members of the Class of 2016 who embody the Albright spirit and represent their fellow students and their alma mater with distinction.
Gold Standard
As part of an Interim ACRE project, Albright College senior Freddy Diaz has designed a striking avant-garde wedding gown using his signature color of gold. Diaz didn’t set out to create a wedding dress, but he’s grown accustomed to adapting to life’s twists and turns.
Trading Places
The first students to take advantage of the new exchange program between Albright College and Sookmyung Women’s University of South Korea share their adventures exploring a new country and culture.
Global Designs
Alison Kluxen was named runner-up in an international fashion design contest based in India. It was the first time the Albright College senior had ever constructed ethnic Indian couture.
The Circle of Life
Alexio Barboza has graced the Broadway stage and played Carnegie Hall, three times – all before reaching high school. Today, the Albright College senior is hoping to return to his acting roots.
The Last Time I Saw Paris
Julianne Lowenstein ’17 is studying abroad in Grenoble, France, about 300 miles southeast of Paris. Hours after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on the capital, her phone was abuzz with text messages from concerned family and friends. Julianne was safe but faced a difficult decision: visit Paris the following week as planned or cancel the trip? In the end, Julianne went to Paris and reflects on the experience.
Laying Down a New Track
Albright senior Brianna Cotugno, a music business/communications major, had her sights set on a career in public relations for a major record label. But a summer internship with the Harry Fox Agency in New York has introduced Cotugno to the licensing side of the industry and has launched her on a new track.
Ripped from the Headlines
Assistant sociology professor Elizabeth Kiester, Ph.D., researches gender inequality, labor markets and immigration. Her new course, “Immigration and Transnational Families,” is examining the very scenarios playing out across Europe and the United States today.
On Music, Poetry and Politics
Albright senior Ethan McDonnell and his band, seasonal, have released their first EP, with songs inspired by McDonnell’s love of literature and poetry – ingrained in him at a young age by his mom, Maria, a longtime Albright lecturer. McDonnell’s love of music is nearly eclipsed by his passion for politics.
The Italian Job
Albright senior Autumn Galka, an aspiring costume designer, gained hands-on experience over the summer interning with a traveling opera company in Italy. She hopes to return to Europe after graduation to pursue a career in the industry.
Young Philosophers, Age-Old Questions
Accelerated Degree Programs students created a video to stir philosophical discussion, turning to children for insight. The video marks the first major collaboration between Albright College and BCTV since the nonprofit community media organization moved to campus last year.
And the Emmy Goes To...
Deane Barnhardt, a digital communications major in Albright's Accelerated Degree Programs, honed his media and video skills in a combat zone. He earned a Bronze Star and an Emmy Award for his efforts.
Now Playing at a Theatre Near You
Albright College students collaborated with the charity KidsPeace to create short video advertisements promoting foster care. At least one video is airing in a local movie theatre.
Paying it Forward
Jorge L. Orozco spoke no English when he enrolled in a Reading middle school. But thanks to dedicated teachers and hard work, Orozco learned the language and excelled. Today, the rising Albright College senior is giving back, helping a new generation of Reading ESL students succeed.
Senior Spotlight
Meet some extraordinary graduates of the Class of 2015 who embody the Albright spirit and represent their fellow students and their alma mater with pride and distinction.
The Power to Change the World
Albright College senior Eyoel Firew has made it his life mission to increase awareness of, and ultimately see an end to, the problem of human trafficking.
On Air
Albright College's radio station, WXAC 91.3 FM, marks its 50th anniversary in 2015. The College community will take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the occasion on April 18.
A Play on Words
Albright College junior Elizabeth Bengtsson spent winter Interim in Nicaragua assessing whether a method known as Total Physical Response Storytelling can help children learn English, and if this method would work in American classrooms.
Poetry in Motion
Albright College senior Mariah Gibson brought the rhythm of the spoken word to life in a senior seminar project that earned her top honors at an undergraduate women's study conference.
Chasing Dreams
Albright College senior Tiara Willis is interning for a digital platform that helps people achieve their dream jobs. It's a perfect gig for a student intent on gaining as many real-world experiences, and making as many connections, as possible on her own path to success.
Silent Operas Resound
Maelstrom, the third chapter of the Domino Players' silent opera trilogy, left audiences speechless at the recent Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. It represents the culmination of a journey that began in 2003. But is this really the end?
Remembering Matt
Students in Albright's fall 2014 Design 1 course created a book of artwork to honor classmate Matt Rein '17, who died in an off-campus fire in September. The book was presented to Matt's family and is available to preview or purchase online.
Three for Three
A trio of Albright College juniors and student-athletes applied and got accepted early into the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.
From Classroom Lessons to Community Service
Students in one Albright College psychology course spent the semester researching topics such as self-esteem, media use and adolescent substance abuse, and then presented information to community groups.
Playing to a Younger Crowd
The Children’s Theatre of Albright College is introducing area youth to the magic of the theatre and providing Albright students with invaluable hands-on experience producing shows.
Sewn from the Heart
A love of fashion and a passion for helping others have Albright College's Sarah Swank '16 making her mark at home and abroad.
From the Battlefield to the Classroom
Travis Mertz never thought he would earn his bachelor's degree. Thanks to Albright's Accelerated Degree Programs, the 28-year-old Army veteran will be the first in his family to graduate college.
From the Archives
With a passion for history and an appreciation for bygone relics, Albright College senior Sara Baum draws connections among the past, present and future.
Mission to Africa
Shawn McCarthy '15 spent part of his summer helping to provide medical care to impoverished villagers in the tiny African nation of Swaziland.
Sinking Her Teeth into Her Research
With the help of Albright College's 3D printer, aspiring dentist Milca Mendez-Ceballos '15 is spending the summer exploring how 3D printing can be used in dentistry.
Searching for Sarah
Albright College archivist Sidney Dreese and Professor Karen Jogan traveled to Argentina in the spring to investigate the life of Pennsylvania native Sarah Eccleston, a little-known but influential early education reformer.
On Fertile Ground
In Albright's community garden, four student interns are cultivating fruits and vegetables, promoting sustainability, and nurturing a sense of community.
Best Foot Forward
Albright College junior Kevin Ostromecki's company, Altix Clothing, is kicking off a new shoe line that aims to help impoverished children, spread hope and connect customers on a global scale.
Senior Spotlight
Meet 10 graduates of the Class of 2014 who embody the Albright College spirit and represent their fellow students and their alma mater with pride and distinction.
Climbing the Charts
With one of the top music business programs in North America, Albright College is helping to jumpstart careers on the stage and behind it.
Stepping Back in Time in their Finest Dress
Albright College students displayed their design skills at the 11th annual Civil War Preservation Ball in Harrisburg. 
Under the Dome
An internship in the Pennsylvania Capitol has given Albright junior Dan McGurl a behind-the-scenes look at the political process and a chance to help reform the juvenile justice system.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Albright senior Kelsey Zenna analyzed the gender bias in the media's coverage of the 2008 presidential election, questioning if and when a woman will break the glass ceiling to reach the White House. Zenna presented her findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
6 Degrees? Try 1
While watching movies one snowy afternoon, three Albright College students created "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." Twenty years later, the parlor game has morphed into a social phenomenon. To help mark the anniversary, co-creator Brian Turtle '95 recently appeared at South by Southwest with the man himself.
The Fruits of Her Labor
Ronya Nassar '15 is encouraging children to adopt lifelong healthy habits, including eating more fruits and veggies. And she's spreading that message via educational programs, an Albright ACRE, a blog, and behind the wheel of a pick-up truck.
Digging Deeper
When he's not teaching writing courses at Albright College, Craig Czury is hitchhiking in Northeastern Pennsylvania, gaining insight and material for his poetry about natural gas drilling.
For All the World to Read
In lieu of a traditional term paper, assistant psychology professor Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., asked her senior seminar students to research, write and collaborate on Wikipedia articles.
Beauty in the Bacteria
Move over Picasso. Albright College biology students tapped into their artistic sides, using a rather unusual type of paint, to create their masterpieces.
Philosophy in the Wider World
John C. Morgan, who teaches philosophy and ethics in Albright's Accelerated Degree Programs, has released a new version of his book A Teacher, His Students, and the Great Questions of Life to include a guide for taking philosophical dialog out of the classroom and into the public sphere.
Monkey Business
Assistant professor Justin Couchman, Ph.D., the newest addition to Albright College’s psychology department, studies metacognition, or thinking about thinking. Through his research, he’s discrediting common test-taking advice, revolutionizing what we know about monkeys (and by extension ourselves), and proving that everything is better with a puppy by our side.
Just Like Jesse James
Albright College religious studies faculty members Robert Seesengood, Ph.D., and Jennifer Koosed, Ph.D., have co-authored a new book, Jesse's Lineage: The Legenday Lives of David, Jesus, and Jesse James, which explores the interconnectedness of these three social bandits.
On the Trail of Ancient Art
Albright College religious studies professor Bill King, Ph.D., spent fall 2012 traversing the difficult terrain of the Colorado Plateau to find and document the rock art of ancient American Indians.
Of Mice and Men
With the addition of assistant professor of biology Adam Hersperger, Ph.D., Albright College will offer a course dedicated to virology and students will get hands-on experience working with mammalian viruses, including mousepox.
Restoring Updike's Place in Berks County
Albright instructor and John Updike expert, Maria Mogford, Ph.D., is serving as curator of the John Updike Childhood Home in Shillington, Berks County. The circa-1880 home is being renovated and converted into a museum for people to discover and rediscover the author's works.
Singing Jersey's Praises
Laura Warren '14, and her musical family, had their song, "The Jersey Shore," selected as a top three finalist in the Stronger than the Storm campaign music contest. The contest, which seeks to raise awareness about the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, asked local musicians to compose what could be New Jersey's next summer anthem.
The Dream Endures
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Albright College faculty and staff, alumni and other members of the community gathered to commemorate the occasion and to reflect on the racism and strife still present today.
Reflecting on the Past, Looking Toward the Future
The Holocaust Library and Resource Center at Albright College is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Through a partnership between Albright and the Jewish Federation of Reading, the center works to increase awareness and educate the community about the Holocaust and other genocides in an effort to prevent future atrocities. The center is marking its anniversary with an art exhibit featuring the work of survivor Samuel Bak and a guest lecture by noted Holocaust historian Geoffrey Megargee.
Former Pennsylvania Secretary of State Discusses Diversity
Diversity allows for better communication in business because it shows caring and sensitivity toward others, said Pedro A. Cortés, the first confirmed Latino Cabinet member and the longest serving Secretary of State in Pennsylvania history, as he addressed an audience at Albright in April.
The Evolution of a Brand's Slogan
With guidance from Professor Jayanthi Rajan, M.B.A., Chak Hei (Bill) Chan ’15 conducted an Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) project during January Interim titled “The Evolution of a Brand’s Advertising Slogan.”
Author of Because I Can Shares Inspiring Story
In Maria McDonnell’s “Literature and Disability” class, she and her students often discuss how we see and read about stereotypes and ideals relating to disabilities, when the truth, for everyone, lies somewhere outside of these preconceived images.
Autism Awareness
About 150 students and faculty attended an engaging presentation on the challenges and accomplishments of college students on the Autism Spectrum in early November. The presenter, Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed. D., is a leading authority on Autism and director of student services at the University of Connecticut. She presents at national conferences and universities and has co-authored three books on autism for parents, students, professors and professionals.
Cultural Immersion
Thousands of miles away in Cuenca, Ecuador, people struggle to maintain a desperately needed school for disabled children. Bringing hope, donated school supplies, a willingness to learn, an eagerness to serve, and open minds and hearts, students in an interdisciplinary “Comparative Cultures” course traveled to the South American country during Interim to immerse themselves in its culture and religion.
Spring Break Travel
Check out blogs from Albright students and staff as they travel for spring break. Justin Kollinger reports from New Orleans where a dozen Albright students are completing community service projects on an alternative spring break trip.  Kiersten Gilfoy '13 is traveling across Florida with Albright Softball.  Jesse Grieb ’13 blogs as he tours the east coast, performing in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Florida with the Albright choirs and Doug Mace ’12 is in Phoenix, Ariz., competing with Albright baseball.
Making Music
Ilyssa DePonte '13 spent her summer arranging music for a cappella choirs as part of an Albright Creative Research Experience.  Working with director of choral studies and co-chair of the music department Adlai Binger, she arranged songs, researched repetoire, chose program content and wrote program notes.
The Science of Teaching Politics
"Wheeling and Dealing: The Art and Science of Negotiation" is interactive and challenging, demands critical thinking and has real world applications– whether buying a car or understanding the consequences of the U.S. taking a public stand in the Libyan crisis.

In other words, just the kind of course Professor Tom Brogan, Ph.D., is known for.
Albright College English Professor Receives Fulbright Scholar Grant
Teresa Gilliams, Ph.D., associate professor of English, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for research on her scholarly project, “Retrievable Wrongs: Reading, Preserving and Globalizing African-American Women’s Writing.”
Albright Profs and Students Travel to India to Explore Social Roles and Family Ties in a Rapidly Changing Society
A group of intrepid Albrightans spent their 2011 spring break halfway around the globe as part of an interdisciplinary course exploring how Hindu beliefs about social roles and family ties impact India's rapidly changing society and economy.
Breaking Bonds
Student - Professor research teams working on multi-year research project to make molecules more reactive.
Albright Instructor Bonnie Rohde and Students Win Grant to Help Launch Local Entrepreneur
Albright College business instructor Bonnie Rohde and four students have received an $8,000 grant to help a local business develop an innovative consumer text messaging system.
Prison to Society
Albright Assistant Professor of Psychology Lindsay A. Phillips, Psy.D., shows that most inmates don't have the proper coping mechanisms that will allow them to deal with life outside of prison.