NEWS

Mount scholars enjoy summer research

July 13, 2017

NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

Mount Saint Mary College SURE student Annie Ruvolo of Carmel, N.Y., a biology major on the pre-dental track, studies the effect of mouthwash on the chemical composition of human teeth during her research with chemistry professor Lynn Maelia. 

 

For nearly two dozen Mount Saint Mary College scholars, happiness is a stunning view of the Hudson River, a warm breeze, and the opportunity to conduct their own diverse research projects through the college’s annual Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

Coordinated by assistant biology professor Evan Merkhofer, Mount professors from across disciplines are currently acting as mentors to the students as they explore a plethora of subjects.

As in previous years, the program is a hotbed for research in the natural sciences. Chemistry professor Lynn Maelia and Annie Ruvolo of Carmel, N.Y., a biology major on the pre-dental track, are studying the effect of mouthwash on the chemical composition of human teeth. For the project, the pair measured calcium and phosphorus composition of human teeth via X-ray fluorescence before and after exposure to mouthwash. Nearly 50 human teeth of varying levels of wear and decay were subjected to 24 hours of vigorous swishing with half a dozen name brand mouth rinses, mimicking the effect of two years of exposure.

Ruvolo noted that “No change in calcium or phosphorus was observed in the control or in any of the mouthwashes tested.”

Also in the natural sciences, associate biology professor Douglas Robinson and biology student Angelica Termine of Staten Island, N.Y. are continuing Robinsons’ ongoing avian research with “White Blood Cell Counts in American Crows.” Robinson has been marking crows since 2001, focusing specifically on the crows of the Newburgh, N.Y., area since 2011.

 

Mount Saint Mary College SURE students Francisco Mojica (left) of New Windsor, N.Y., a math major going into his sophomore year, and Andrew Shultis (center) of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., an information technology major going into his junior year, work with associate economics professor A. Reza Hossain (right) on their project researching a comparative look at the Affordable Care Act and American Health Care Act.

 

In a project that spans several disciplines, Francisco Mojica of New Windsor, N.Y., a math major, Andrew Shultis of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., an information technology major, and A. Reza Hossain, associate professor of economics, are taking a comparative look at the Affordable Care Act and American Health Care Act.

“With this research, we are looking to determine which parts of the Affordable Care Act have been effective and ineffective,” explained Mojica. “We will take this information and determine whether actions enforced by the American Healthcare Act will help or hurt the industry, as well as making our own recommendations.”

Other SURE projects include “The Effect of Inhibition of Gene Expression in Broccoli Seedlings on Germination and Metabolism” by biology professor Carl Hoegler and Andrew Suleiman of Highland, N.Y.; “A Complete Genome Annotation of Mycobacteriophage Adlitam” by Merkhofer and Heather Polgrean of Lagrangeville, N.Y.; and “Compliance Cost of the Dodd-Frank Act – A Bankers Point of View” by Hossain, assistant finance professor Ying Xiao, and Steven Tobey of Stratford, Conn.

Other faculty mentors are Suparna Bhalla (biology), Jodie Fahey (chemistry), James Moran (biology), Daniel Pena (biology), and Janet Petroski (chemistry, natural sciences division chair).