Congratulations to our AY 2019-2020 Honors Graduates!

As the Spring 2020 semester has finally come to a close, we are pleased to announce our group of Academic Year 2019-2020 Honors graduates!

Normally we would’ve had the opportunity to celebrate each of these graduates at the annual Honors Celebration event but, unfortunately, this year’s global pandemic prevented that event from happening as planned. Students will be receiving their Honors steins and medallions by mail this year. The latter have been graciously sponsored by Honors alumnus Peter D’Anieri ’85H.

Despite the circumstances, this group of graduates persevered through the challenges of the new world we find ourselves in, whether that meant defending their thesis via video call, making do without their normal on-campus facilities, or even needing to adjust their project’s topic. Read on for a listing of the AY 2019-2020 Honors graduates, their majors, and the titles of their theses.

Please join us in congratulating this outstanding group of graduates! We look forward to seeing what you all accomplish next.

December 2019 Grads

Maine Business School

Mariza Budri
Major: Management
Thesis Advisor: Stefano Tijerina
Can Training Restaurant Servers on Managing Customer Harassment Influence Turnover Intentions?


College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture

Margaret Aydlett
Major: Marine Science
Thesis Advisor: Susan Brawley
Examining the Microbiome of Porphyra umbilicalis the the North Atlantic

Rachel Brooks
Major: Biology
Thesis Advisor: Alan Rosenwasser
The Potential Roles of Melanopsin Signaling in Mediating the Effects of Environmental Light on Voluntary Ethanol Intake in Mice

Kaj Overturf
Majors: Biology and Wildlife Ecology (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Erik Blomberg
Land Cover Composition, But Not Weather, Affects Female Wild Turkey Roost Site Selection

Benjamin Tero
Major: Biochemistry
Thesis Advisor: Melody Neely
CpSA Protein-Protein Interactions in Group B Streptococcus


May 2020 Grads

Maine Business School

Bryce Nitchman
Major: Finance
Thesis Advisor: Stefano Tijerina
The Impact of Climate Change: an In-Depth Analysis of Warming Ocean Water Temperatures and the Effects on Maine’s Lobstering Industry and Subsequent Effect on the State Economy

Meredith Stephens
Major: Marketing
Thesis Advisor: Stefano Tijerina
Emotional Engagement of Consumers: A Case Study Between Peloton and ClassPass and their Differences in Branding Initiatives on the Facebook Platform

Samuel Varga
Major: Management and Finance (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Grant Miles
Predictors of IPO Underpricing 


College of Education and Human Development

Courtney Jurson
Major: Kinesiology & Physical Education
Thesis Advisor: Christopher Nightingale
Incorporation of Civilian Care in Emergency Medicine: Retainment of Training and Familiarization of Resources at the University of Maine


College of Engineering

Madeline Logan
Major: Chemical Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Thomas Schwartz
Selectivity of the Catalytic Hydrogenation of Cinnamaldehyde Using a Polymer Cross-Linked Catalyst

Claire Lupien
Major: Chemical Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Chris Mares
Generic Bad Guy #312: A Novel-Length Creative Writing Work Exploring Covert Discrimination in Mainstream Media

Jacob Marchio
Major: Engineering Physics
Thesis Advisor: Sam Hess
Design and Construction of a Computer Controlled Astronomical Spectropolarimeter

Erin Merchant
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Thesis Advisors: Kristy Townsend, Rosemary Smith
Designing A Platform to Detect Peripheral Neuropathy with Microneedle Electrodes and Neurophysiology

Lauren Ryan
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Michael Mason
Comparison of Drying Methods of Cellulose Nanofibrils Low Density Foams and Their Effects On Structural Properties

Sierra Yost
Major: Chemical Engineering
Thesis Advisor: Douglas Bousfield
Using Cellulose Nanofibrils and Calcium Carbonate in Single-Use Utensils


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Marshall Abbott
Major: Media Studies
Thesis Advisor: Michael Grillo
Can Spoilers in Online Reviews Impact Viewer Enjoyment?

Brianna Ballard
Major: Anthropology and History (dual degree)
Thesis Advisors: Bonnie Newsom and Sky Heller
Other Fish in the Sea: Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata) and Evidence for Past Environmental Change in the Archaeological Record

Lilja Bernheim
Major: Anthropology and Human Dimensions of Climate Change (dual degree)
Thesis: Advisor: Gregory Zaro
Exploring the Intersection of Climate Change and Cultural Heritage: the Case of Croatia’s Eastern Adriatic Coast

Olivia Bradstreet
Major: Studio Art
Thesis Advisor: Ronald Nadeau
Paper, Pulp, And Place: Investigating Connections Through Process Art

Kendall Butler
Major: Physics
Thesis Advisor: Neil Comins
Investigating the Stability of Observed Low Semi-major Axis Exoplanetary Systems With Hypothetical Outer Planets Using The Program Mercury6

Jake Buttarazzi
Major: New Media
Thesis Advisor: Aaron Boothroyd
Room for Opportunity: An Investigation of Catholic Student Life at the University Of Maine

Julia Casey
Major: Political Science
Thesis Advisor: Mark Brewer
The Educational Needs of Children Ages 0-5 Born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Maine

Cormac Coyle
Major: Philosophy and French (double major)
Thesis Advisors: Frederic Rondeau, Kirsten Jacobson
Interviews With Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Sophia Crockett-Current
Major: New Media and Theater (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Richard Corey
Pursuing Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Revitalization Through Song

Arianna Giguere
Major: Physics
Thesis Advisors: Michael Wittmann, John Thompson
Applying Cluster Analysis to Student Responses from Energy Surveys for Identification of Commonalities in their Understanding

Keely Gonyea
Major: Media Studies
Thesis Advisor: Jennie Woodard
“Putting Out Fires”: An Original Situational Comedy Pilot Episode Examining Modern Motherhood

Cliff Greco
Major: Economics (BA) and History (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Joel Anderson
Projecting Imperial Power: The Synods of Aachen (816-819)

Patrick Groening
Major: International Affairs
Thesis Advisor: Kristin Vekasi
Participation in the Belt and Road Initiative: Who Joins and Why?

Raegan Harrington
Major: Psychology
Thesis Advisor: Rebecca Schwartz-Mette
Adolescent Depressive Symptoms, Co-Rumination, and Friendship: A Longitudinal, Observational Study

Sara Imam
Major: Anthropology
Thesis Advisor: Darren Ranco
The Effects of Food Insecurity on Indigenous Women in Maine

Madalyn Jackson
Major: English and Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Jennie Woodard
Exploring the Marginalized Voice: Queering Form in Contemporary Short Fiction

Hannah Meidahl
Major: Psychology
Thesis Advisors: Douglas Nangle, Michelle Buffie
The Impact of Emotion Regulation on ADHD and Depressive Symptoms in Emerging Adults

Harley Rogers
Major: Political Science
Thesis Advisors: Rachel Snell, Amy Fried
Female Political Campaigns: Just the Right Amount of Femininity

Sierra Semmel
Major: Journalism
Thesis Advisor: Holly Schreiber
“Things are Going to Get a Lot Worse Before They Get Worse”: Humor in the Face of Disaster, Politics, and Pain

Katherine Skvorak
Major: English
Thesis Advisor: Gregory Howard
Madonna, Monster and Other Stories: Surrealist Short Fiction

Jessie Sweeney
Major: Sociology
Thesis Advisor: Karyn Sporer
Terms of Erasure: The Jewish Experience in a Rural New England Town

Elizabeth Theriault
Major: Journalism and Political Science (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Jennie Woodard
An Examination of Pervasive Language Around Sexual Harassment Through the Lens of Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, and #MeToo

Spencer Ward
Major: Mathematics
Thesis Advisor: Justin Dimmel
An Evolutionary Approach to Crowdsourcing Mathematics Education


College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture

Alan Baez
Major: Biochemistry
Thesis Advisor: Julie Gosse
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Effects of Antimicrobial Agent Triclosan on Cellular Function and Signaling: Triclosan Disrupts Immune Cell Function by Depressing Calcium Influx via Acidification of the Cytoplasm

Molly Bennett
Major: Wildlife Ecology
Thesis Advisor: Danielle Levesque
Characterizing the Range Shifts of Two Peromyscus Species in Maine

Molly Brown
Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders
Thesis Advisor: Christopher Grindrod
Idiom Comprehension in Adults With and Without Reading Comprehension Difficulties

Skye Cahoon
Major: Zoology
Thesis Advisor: Alessio Mortelliti
The Role of Personality in Large Nut Dispersal by Sciurus carolinensis and its Implications for Seed Dispersal Across Human-Modified Landscapes

Bailey Carter
Major: Zoology
Thesis Advisor: Marie Hayes
CPAP-Compliance of Aging Individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea With or Without Mild Cognitive Impairment

Lily Charpentier
Major: Biochemistry
Thesis Advisor: Benjamin King
Characterization of ncf1 Mutants in a Zebrafish Model of Innate Immune Function with Human Influenza A Virus Infection

Renée Clavette
Major: Earth Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Christopher Gerbi
The Microstructural Heterogeneity of Ice in Jarvis Glacier, Alaska

Emma Freeman
Major: Microbiology
Thesis Advisor: Sally Molloy
The Role of the BPs Immunity Repressor in the Regulation of Pathogenic Mycobacterium chelonae Gene Expression

Avuntaura Gulledge
Major: Marine Science
Thesis Advisor: Paul Rawson
Development of a High Throughput, Whole Organism Assay for Studying Metabolic Capacity in Crassostrea virginica

Abigayle Hargreaves
Major: Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Sharon Klein
A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Community Solar for Low to Moderate Income Residents of Mount Desert Island, Maine

Patrick Hurley
Major: Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Julia McGuire
An Analysis of the History and Current Treatment Trends of the Parasitic Mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Maine Beekeeping

Ashley Kayser
Major: Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Sonja Birthisel
What’s Going to Happen to My Pancakes? The Impacts of Climate Change Upon Blueberries and Sugar Maple

Michaela Kuhn
Major: Forestry
Thesis Advisor: Amber Roth
Effects of Repeated Intensive Harvesting Practices, Prescribed Burning, and Browsing on Northern Hardwood Forest Plant Communities

Katherine Larochelle
Major: Biochemistry
Thesis Advisor: Dorothy Croall
Investigation of the Potential Roles of Calpain-5 C2 Domain

Gabrielle Link
Major: Wildlife Ecology
Thesis Advisor: Alessio Mortelliti
Seed Dispersal Effectiveness in the Penobscot Experimental Forest

Salvatore Magnano III
Major: Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Thesis Advisor: John Daigle
Communication on Cultural and Environmental Implications of the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion in Maine

Sophia Palangas
Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders
Thesis Advisor: Christopher Grindrod
Assessing Health Related Quality of Life, Language Impairment, and Psychosocial Factors in Post-Stroke Aphasia

Emma Paradie
Major: Biology
Thesis Advisor: Kristy Townsend
The Functional Role of Glia in Peripheral Metabolic Tissue

Maura Philippone
Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders
Thesis Advisor: Nancy Hall
The Use of Smartphone Apps as a Supplement to Transgender Voice and Communication Therapy

Colby Rand
Major: Earth Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Seth Campbell
Estimating Bedrock Fracture Density of the Juneau Icefield, AK, to Inform Glacial Erosion Models

Carlton Scott
Major: Forestry
Thesis Advisor: Aaron Weiskittel
Basal Area Factor in Variable Radius Sampling Effects on Stand Level Measurements

James Seuch
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Benjamin King
In vivo Imaging of the Respiratory Burst Response to Influenza A Virus Infection

Bentley Simpson
Major: Marine Science
Thesis Advisors: Lee Karp-Boss, Laurie Connell
A Biogeographical Assessment of Arctic Marine Fungi

Grace Smith
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology (double major)
Thesis Advisor: Benjamin King
Identifying the Link Between Non-Coding Regulatory RNAs and Phenotypic Severity in a Zebrafish Model of gmppb Dystroglycanopathy

Lena Stasiak
Major: Zoology
Thesis Advisors: Robert Wheeler, Clarissa Henry
Leveraging the Transparent Zebrafish to Test for Conserved Gene Function Between Mammals and Fish

Brittany Torchia
Major: Marine Science
Thesis Advisor: Ian Bricknell
Confirmed Presence of Parahepatospora carcini in Carcinus maenas Population of Maine

Jasmine Waite
Major: Biochemistry
Thesis Advisor: Dorothy Klimis-Zacas
Genomic and Proteomic Effects Of Red Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus) Consumption on Inflammation in Perivascular Adipose Tissue of the Obese Zucker Rat, A Model Of Human Metabolic Syndrome

Anthony Zenga
Major: Wildlife Ecology
Thesis Advisor: Joseph Zydlewski
Assessing Lipid Content in Migrating Alewife

Stay tuned for these newly completed theses to be published on the Digital Commons, and for the next edition of Minerva to see Graduate Profiles on each of these students.