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Centenary University selects 15 students to present independent research at annual Academic Symposium

Virtual event showcases in-depth research conducted by students, alongside faculty researchers who are experts in their fields

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – Centenary University showcased outstanding research conducted by 15 undergraduate and graduate students at its annual Academic Symposium, which was held virtually Thursday to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

This year’s represented research topics span a wide variety of fields, from psychology and social work, to equine studies, environmental science, biology, and business. At Centenary, student researchers are mentored by faculty who are experts in their fields.

“Independent research on the undergraduate and graduate levels is a central part of the academic experience at Centenary University,” said George R. Petersen, chair of the University’s Student Research & Development Committee and assistant professor of criminal justice. He noted that this year, Centenary University students earned two of the top five awards at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium: “That’s a remarkable accomplishment that speaks to the quality of Centenary faculty and students. Tremendous opportunities are available at smaller universities like Centenary, especially for undergraduates, who often don’t have the chance to participate in research at larger universities.”

Centenary students presenting at this year’s Academic Symposium include:


Essex County:

  • Irvington—Darnel Burnette, “VITA/TCE Program”

Hunterdon County:

  • Califon—Kevin Chroback, “In-Silico Determination of a Protein 3-D Structure”

Morris County:

  • Budd Lake—Brittany Adams, “Canine Behavioral Study”
  • Kinnelon—Nikolina Perrelli, “Developing Our Understanding of the Influence of Environmental Factors and Microplastics on Seal Microbiomes”
  • Landing—Kelsey Denison-Vesel ’16 (graduate student), “Prior Incarceration Impact on Experience of Trauma History in Older Adult Offenders”

Ocean County:

  • Ocean—Brianna Delmar, “Short-term and Long-term Recall in Horses”

Passaic County:

  • West Milford—Alissa Mor, “Spotted Lanternfly Microbiomes: An Initial Investigation into an Invasive Insect”

Sussex County:

  • Andover—Kimberly Ervey, “Centenary Core Course ‘The Rights of the Child’”
  • Byram Township—Morgan Pierson, “The Impact of CJS Mandated Status on TC Treatment Process”
  • Sparta Township—Katherine Lyman, “Veterans and Trauma in a Prison System: Comparisons Between Combat/Non-Combat Histories”
  • Tranquility—Victoria Viersma, “Spotted Lanternfly Microbiomes: An Initial Investigation into an Invasive Insect”

Warren County:

  • Blairstown—Janell Chuddley, “How did the case cross the fence?”
  • Hackettstown—Samantha Johnson, “Determination of Microplastics in the Sediment of the Musconetcong River”; Kayezhia Alviola, “VITA/TCE Program”


  • Salisbury—Abigail Reilly, “Incidence of soft tissue injury and hours of daily paddock turnout in non-elite performance horses”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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