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CURF Research Recruits

Research Recruits

The Research Recruits program is a two-semester undergraduate research or creative experience with a Kean faculty member. This is an opportunity to learn about research at the discovery and inquiry level by joining a student-faculty research team. It is an entry-level postition, with no prior reserarch experienece required. 

Interested freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students from all majors are especially encouraged to apply. 

CURF - Research Recruits Program

For our Pilot Year, in Fall 2017, 21 Undergraduate students joined research teams led by 9 Kean Faculty Members.

Research Project Title: Liberty Hall: A Living Time Capsule of America
Students` Name: Anthony DiGeronimo  & Sol Condo
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Craig Konyk
Department: Architecture  

Abstract: This project will use the record of a material culture that architecture represents to describe a narrative of place and its history. The transformation from the New Jersey estate for the first Governor of New Jersey to the present Liberty Hall and home to Kean University and nearby Elizabeth is a narrative that parallels the transformation of America. Indeed, it is especially fitting that the present day use of Governor William Livingston’s original 120-acre estate is a University dedicated to the pursuit of academic achievement open to all residents of the State of New Jersey, serving a mostly immigrant population. The productivity of the original farm function of the Livingston homestead has been transformed into the productive cultivation of the next generation of active learners and achievers; the children of immigrant families who are pursuing an education to better participate in a more diverse and dynamic society. The steady transformations of Liberty Hall from its original are a suitable simulacrum of growth of the nation as a whole. This is the story of America.

Research Project Title: The Value of Ethical Decision Making
Students` Name: Fangqin Zhu & Milton Perez
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kihwan Kim
Department: Global Business

Abstract: As we all know, ethics is use to present the standards of performance. When people think of ethics, people will think or right or wrong. What is the best standard to measure right or wrong? There are many elements such as cultural background, life experiencing, religious and others that might affect personal standard on right or wrong. So we decide to do the research to explain how human being make ethical decision. The research will be focus on ethical decision making in organization place. The research will first collect information through survey and experiment, and by reading on many other articles.  But without the past perspective, the future research would be difficult, so there would a sections to discuss on other’s finding.

Research Project Title: Colorism Harlem Renaissance Ficion. A Prejudice That Negatively Affects Black Women
Student Name: Orella Chichester
Faculty Advisor: Dr. John Gruessser
Department: English

Abstract: Colorism, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. This prejudice affects all Black people, regardless of culture. However, the impact it has on Black women is more significant because of the hyper-sexualization of the Black female body. Their bodies are not only sexualized and abused in the media, but also in reality. Darker-skin Black women are often deemed unattractive and masculine in comparison to lighter-skin Black women, who are seen as the epitome of Black beauty and feminism. It was not until the Harlem Renaissance that authors, more specifically African-American female authors, began to write about the impact colorism has on Black women. Through their works they show that intra-racial prejudice has the same detrimental and systematic effects as Works such as Plum Bun by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston [serve as literary depictions of DEPICT] the effect colorism has on Black that colorism is a prejudice that most often affects Black women by subjugating them to [dehumanization, abuse and a legacy of systematic oppression.

Research Project Title: Biodiversity of Deadwood Fungi from Wawayanda Park
Students` Name: Jenelle Yearwood & Wojciech Marut
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Maria Shumskaya
Department: Biology

Abstract: Deadwood plays a key role in today’s ecosystem. However, even though dead wood has many benefits to the ecosystem, such as providing a home for many species of bryophytes, lichens and fungi as well as animals, deadwood has been removed from woodland ecosystems by humans for centuries. Decomposing fungi that inhabit deadwood play an important role in forest or park ecosystem. Problems with biodiversity of decomposers can lead to deadwood and foliage waste pile up and lack of nutrients for plants. In the areas where no park management is performed, biodiversity of deadwood fungi is usually high since unmanaged areas promote the growth and reproduction of fungi. Areas with more human impact, such as deadwood and foliage removal, greatly reduce the diversity of fungal species.This research is a part of a large project on assessment of biodiversity of deadwood fungi in areas with different human impact. Our goal is to compare such areas in order to assess how human activity such as removing dead wood will affect the diversity of dead wood fungi. The hypothesis is that heavily managed areas will have lesser diversity of dead wood fungi than unmanaged areas. To test the hypothesis we selected several locations such as State Parks in NJ, or urban parks such as Kean University campus. Here we present the results on biodiversity of deadwood fungi from Wawayanda State park, where deadwood in not removed. Fungal specimens were collected, recorded, and identified using both morphology and molecular analysis of DNA, which included DNA isolation and analysis of fungal genes. The results on diversity of fungi are presented. 

Research Project Title: An Investigation into Social Responsibility and Ethics of Corporations in New Jersey
Students` Name: Olivia Yarfi
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sut Sakchutchawarn
Department: Management

Abstract: Social responsibility and ethical management in organization have been discussed for decades. Yet no consensus progress has been achieved in the social performance. It is very important that those corporations keep good relationship with society at large, this include but not limited to market stakeholder and non-market stakeholder such as customers, local community, and government. Obviously, those who do not manage their public image properly will tend to lose their public trust in the long run. Therefore, corporations need to perform corporate social responsibility properly. The relationship between corporations and society does not only build on the assumption of a reasonably coherent regulatory requirement but also build on other significant factors such as local contribution and charity. This research intends to investigate the pattern of promotions of corporate social responsibility, ethical training, and corporate involvement in communities and philanthropy in New Jersey.

Research Project Title: Implementing Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in NJ High Schools
Students` Name: Kimberley Martes & Jennifer Torres
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Consuella Bonillas
Department: Biology

Objective: Using the “Reducing the Risks” lesson plan in various high schools, to encourage a healthier sex lifestyle in order to decrease pregnancy rates. Surveys are done to keep track of progress rates. Jennifer will present her research work at the annual Kean Research Day 2018 and also publish an article on an online Kean research database.

Research Project Title: Implementing Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in NJ High Schools
Students` Name: Christopher Perez
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Hyde
Department: History

Objective: To thoroughly research and plan the reconstruction of the wedding itself. To add to the experience, Christopher’s research project will enable the use of VR technology to allow people to view the wedding from the point of view of a guest.  Christopher will be presenting his research at the annual Kean Research Day and publishing an article on the online Kean database.

Research Project Title: Comparing environmental pollution factors to leaf matters in urban locations in USA and China
Students` Name: Hederlyn Martinez
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jyoung Ha
Department: Environmental Biology

Objective: To determine the levels of pollution and the effect it has on the environment specifically plants, by investigating leaf matters such as stomata and chrolophyll levels

Research Project Title: Comparison - Endocus vs E-Student Advisor
Students` Name: Kevin Gonzalez
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jenny Li
Department: Computer Science

Abstract: Students Advisors are used around the whole nation with many colleges and universities. These advisors help students pick out what classes to take and what not to take. The average college carries 15k students and with limited student advisors it creates a difficulty of time between the advisors. These E-Advisors some schools have created make the problem go away. These E-Advisors creates a system using the academic catalog and recommends the users on what to take or what not to take depending on their major. Using the student's profile, it recommends on what to take for their major . E-Advisors resolve the problem for students to meet with their student advisors by creating an online AI system.

Research Project Title: Comparison - Endocus vs E-Student Advisor
Students` Name: Philip Kenny
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jenny Li
Department: Computer Science

Abstract: Within the past decade, there have been plentiful amount of technology developed in order to save lives. Some technologies help alert emergency medical technicians to assist people in catastrophes. Medical catastrophes happen less than every forty seconds in the United States. Annually, out of these emergencies, 795,000 people have strokes and 1,200,000 people have heart attacks. These combined account for over 750,000 fatalities and are the leading cause of deaths in the world. Life-saving technologies are created with a simplistic and easy to use designs, with the ideal usages of these are to alert EMT’s before or during a catastrophic, medical emergency.

Research Project Title: Phytoremediation
Students` Name: Julia Scannell
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daniela Shebitz
Department: Environmental Science

Abstract: Students The goal of my research project is to examine the phytoremediation capabilities of native plant species in New Jersey. Phytoremediation is the process by which plants absorb toxins from their environment, typically through their roots, and store the toxin within their tissues. Different plants have varying phytoremediation capabilities and capacities. Using documented cases of successful phytoremediation of the heavy metals arsenic and lead from soil, I have selected similar plant species that are native to New Jersey but have yet to be studied for their phytoremediation capabilities. Portulaca grandiflora has been successful at removing lead from contaminated soil. Using this species as a model, I have selected the native species Portulaca pilosa to test for its phytoremediation capabilities in regards to removing lead from contaminated soil. The plant species Lupinus albus has been successful at removing arsenic from contaminated soil. Using this species as a model, I have selected the native species Lupinus perennis to test for its phytoremediation capabilities in regards to removing arsenic from contaminated soil.

Students` Name: Megan Klutts
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dongyan Mu
Department: Environmental Science

Abstract: When a person is asked the question: “What is renewable energy? And how does it work?” Many would allude to the idea that renewable energy is a seemingly expensive idea that is not practiced throughout the United States due to its cost and lack of awareness of how renewable energy can benefit every person that resides in the United States. The United States, on a total national scale, has a great amount of potential renewable energy that can be stored, used, and distributed throughout our nation. Several, if not the most important, of these renewable energy resources are solar, wind, and hydro power. These resources are the most important because they are known as inexhaustible resources. Inexhaustible resources are resources that modern scientists believe will never run out of its supply during humanity’s lifetime. However, due to the lack of awareness and government backing, the implementation of solar, wind, and hydro power are severely lacking. With the right advancement of technology and benefits of renewable energy, these inexhaustible resources can be implemented in the United States economy. In order to do this properly, research, that will be discussed in this paper, of each state’s major highlighting points of renewable energy must be established in order to best suit each state accordingly.



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