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Centenary University selects 19 students to present independent research and professional experiences at Annual Academic Symposium

Event showcases in-depth research and professional experiences conducted by students, alongside faculty researchers who are experts in their fields

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) — Centenary University showcased outstanding research and professional experiences by 19 students at its annual Academic Symposium on Thursday, April 6.

At Centenary, student researchers and interns are mentored by faculty who are experts in their fields.

“Independent research and professional experiences are hallmarks of the Centenary University academic experience,” said David Dauwalder, Ph.D., interim vice president for academic affairs.

“Working alongside faculty members, Centenary students develop important career skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, statistical analysis, and presentation. Smaller universities like Centenary offer unique research opportunities that aren’t often available to undergraduates at larger universities. That sets our graduates apart on applications for graduate and veterinary school, as well as employers,” Dauwalder said.

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


Burlington County

  • Marlton—Hannah Kent, senior, “Disruption of the Equilibrium Influences Swim Patterns of Danio rerio

Monmouth County

  • Howell—Victoria Schirripa, senior, “Researching Empathy Between Dogs and Human Social Situations: Analyzing Sex and Age”

Morris County

  • Lake Hiawatha—Haley Brown, junior, “Internship at Mount Olive High School”
  • Rockaway—Joseph Porretta, junior, “Disruption of the Equilibrium Influences Swim Patterns of Danio rerio

Passaic County

  • Newfoundland—Olivia Marion, senior, “Disruption of the Equilibrium Influences Swim Patterns of Danio rerio
  • Passaic—Carmen Escano, senior, “Events Internship”

Sussex County

  • Andover—Ashley Buchman, senior, “The Sound of Gunfire”
  • Hopatcong—Kyle O’Brien, senior, “Internship”
  • Newton—Kyle Szuszkowski, senior, “Centenary University Baseball: Assistant Coach & Student Internship”
  • Sparta—Joseph Liotta, junior, “Disruption of the Equilibrium Influences Swim Patterns of Danio rerio

Warren County

  • Great Meadows—Thomas Morris, senior, “Behavior of Mussels Burrowing in Two Different Substrates”


  • East Hartford—Olivia Serrano, senior, “Behavior of Mussels Burrowing in Two Different Substrates”
  • Torrington—Kylie Dailey, senior, “Effect of Leg Wraps on Skin Temperature in Exercising Horses”


  • Perry Hall—Michael Rash, sophomore, “Behavioral Effect of Sound Exposure on Zebrafish (Danio rerio)”


  • Cicero—Melinda Bara, senior, “Is Breed a Factor in Canine Empathy?”


  • Columbus—Adrianna Strait, senior, “Evaluation of Effectiveness of Three Common Equine Thrush Treatments”
  • Hughesville—Hunter Wentzel, senior, “Laboratory Synthesis of Methylglyoxal”
  • Muncy—Hailey Armstrong, senior, “Rapid Change in Fecal pH in Horses Fed Either a Mixed Diet or Pasture”
  • Tamiment—Brianna Soule, senior, “Voluntary Water Intake of Flavored Water in 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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