Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry (URCI) exists to foster and strengthen the culture of
undergraduate scholarly inquiry at Towson University.
Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (URCI) seeks to provide guidance and opportunities
for undergraduate students to pursue advanced scholarly work in all fields of study.
Aligned with TU’s core characteristic of “academic excellence,” URCI promotes research and scholarly inquiry as these foster the individualization of students’
academic exploration and intellectual growth.
Undergraduate research is defined as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate
that makes or contributes to an original intellectual or creative discovery to the
discipline. URCI, a unit within the Office of the Provost, oversees university-level
programs that provide opportunities for students to engage in research with a TU faculty mentor.
These close collaborations between faculty and students provide a forum for faculty
to teach and mentor undergraduates on a one-on-one basis outside the classroom.
The Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry Committee is pleased to announce the
2019 recipients of the inaugural Research Impact Award. Every college was represented
in the highly-competitive applicant pool, and the following projects were selected
because of the impact of the research on an significant disciplinary topic and the
impact of the student's work on the university's scholarly community.
college of business & economics
Kiersten Ekstrom '20 - Project Title: Conflict Migration and Shocks Decrease Government
Trust in the DRC. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Seth Gitter (Department of Economics). Kiersten has a minor in History and she is also a member
of the Honors College.
College of Education
Julie Mangano '20 - Project Title: Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding Science
Teaching. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Deepika Menon (Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences).
college of fine arts & communication
Madeline Gorman '19 - Project Title: ADDICT: Dance of Addiction. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hyang-Sook Kim (Department of Mass Communication). Madeline is also a member of the Honors College.
College of Health Professions
Marisa Bennett '19 - Project Title: Impacts of Sleep Duration and Fatigue on Substantial
Postpartum Weight Retention. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Adriane Burgess(Department of Nursing). Marisa is also a member of the Honors College.
Kevin Hamidi '19 - Project Title: Greater Forearm Blood Flow is Associated with Better
Walking Economy and Gait Speed in Older Adults. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicolas Knuth (Department of Kinesiology).
Abigail Poindexter '19 - Project Title: Lactation and Metabolism in Postpartum Women. Faculty
Mentor: Dr. Adriane Burgess (Department of Nursing). Abigail is also a member of the Honors College.
college of liberal arts
Sarah Elsayed '19 - Project Title: The Interaction of Anxiety and Heart Rate Variability on Executive Function. Faculty
Mentor: Dr. Jared McGinley (Department of Psychology). Sarah is also a member of the Honors College.
Sarah Rowan '19 - Project Title: Analyzing Collaborative, Culturally Inclusive Reproductive Healthcare & Education
in Guatemala. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alison McCartney (Department of Political Science). Sarah is also a member of the Honors College.
Teresa Tran '20 - Project Title: Influences of Parenting Styles on the Subjective Well-Being of Young Adults from Diverse
Cultures. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maria Fracasso (Department of Psychology).
fisher college of science & mathematics
Derek Margulies '20 - Project Title: Sports Analytics for Towson University Men’s
Basketball Team. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alexei Kolesnikov(Department of Mathematics). Derek is also a member of the Honors College.
Danielle Reifer '19 - Project Title: Investigating the Relationship between Furin
Cleavage and Cytotoxicity in a RecombinantImmunotoxin Based on Pseudomonas Exotoxin
A. Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Weldon (Department of Biological Sciences). Danielle is also a member of the Honors College.