Penn State Behrend Funds $58K in Summer Research

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, is funding nearly $58,000 in undergraduate research this summer. Forty-nine students will participate in the studies, working directly with faculty mentors.

Psychology students will continue a pilot program with the Cleveland Clinic, working with college athletes and a Wii gaming console to measure the long-term effects on memory and balance as athletes recover from concussions.

Biology students will study the bacteria on Purple Martin feathers in order to learn how the birds use gland secretions to protect their eggs during incubation. House wrens and flycatchers coat their eggs with a similar layer of protective bacteria.

Biology students look for hellbender salamanders in French Creek.Faculty-guided research is a vital component of the undergraduate experience at Penn State Behrend. The college provides funding for research studies, fellowships and travel grants each year, and students present their work at an annual conference that is open to the region’s other colleges and universities.

“Through undergraduate research, in the lab or in the field, students have the opportunity to explore a research question while working closely with faculty members,” said Bob Light, senior associate dean for research and outreach and chief operating officer at Penn State Behrend. “They can have their work published in scholarly journals and presented at regional and national conferences. In the process, they begin to have an impact in their chosen field.”