Dr. Cory Scherer, associate professor of psychology, and his students conduct research in social and evolutionary psychology. In social psychology, Dr. Scherer is interested in person memory and how memories affect emotion. In evolutionary psychology, he has conducted research looking at the sex differences in jealousy hypothesis and the long-term attractiveness of widows and widowers. He has also had students present research at national conferences and publish in research journals.
Dr. Valerie Lynn Schrader, associate professor of communications, directs students in rhetorical criticism research. Though her own research focuses on bringing to light the rhetorical messages found in musical theatre works, and how those messages are conveyed to an audience, she encourages her students to choose rhetorical texts relating to their own interests and then guides them in applying a communication or rhetorical theory to the text of their choice in order to bring to light messages about life or society. Her students have examined political debates and speeches, films, musicals, advertisements and even social media posts as rhetorical texts. Several of her students have been competitively selected to present their work at the Pennsylvania Communication Association’s Annual Conference and the Eastern Communication Association’s James C. McCroskey and Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference.
Dr. Lee J. Silverberg, associate professor of chemistry, has involved many students in his organic chemistry research. Approximately half of those students have been authors on papers published in refereed journals. Overall, the research being done involves the synthesis, reactions, structures, properties and biological activities of cyclic compounds that contain carbons, a nitrogen and a sulfur in the ring. Compounds known as 2,3-diaryl-1,3-thiaza-4-ones are synthesized by the students by a method the group has developed. A collaboration with Dr. Hemant Yennawar of the Penn State University Park campus has allowed determination of x-ray crystal structures of many of these. Collaboration with Dr. Carlos Pacheco, University Park campus, has provided Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra of all compounds. Dr. Anthony Lagalante of Villanova University has provided infrared (IR) spectroscopy. In collaboration with Dr. Hany Sobhi, Coppin State University, the compounds prepared are being tested for antimicrobial activity. Investigation of the reactivity of these compounds by students currently includes conducting laboratory reactions including reduction, oxidation and complexation with triphenyltin chloride.