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    Thank you to all who participated in the 2024 STEM Day event!

    STEM Day provides opportunities to develop a broader understanding of current issues and career pathways in the STEM fields and highlights student and faculty research.

    This annual event consists of scientific sessions and presentations from both professional and undergraduate research projects, giving prospective and current students, and employers, the opportunity to see the many ways Harford's STEM programs apply to relevant, real-world learning experiences.  See for yourself by exploring Harford's many STEM programs, internships and research opportunities.


    2024 STEM Day Recap

    Keynote Speaker: Dr. Angelia L. Seyfferth

    Dr. Angelia L. SeyfferthDr. Angelia Seyfferth
    Professor & Associate Dean of Research
    Department of Plant & Soil Sciences
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    University of Delaware

    Seyfferth earned her BS degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry at Towson University, her PhD in Soil and Water Sciences at the University of California-Riverside, and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Earth System Sciences at Stanford University prior to starting her faculty position. Seyfferth’s research focuses mainly on using tools and concepts rooted in soil biogeochemistry to develop sustainable ways to lower human exposure to harmful contaminants from food. She uses both laboratory and field experiments as well as conventional and advanced spectroscopic techniques to illuminate the dynamic chemistry of the rhizosphere and to understand localization of contaminants and nutrients in soils and plants. Her research also includes understanding mineral control on below-ground carbon cycling in coastal environments that are prone to sea level rise and storm surges. She has won several awards, including the 2022 Jackson Award in Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy given by the Soil Science Society of America and the 2022 Charles S. Falkenberg Union Award co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union and the Earth Science Information Partners.


    Breakout Session Presentations

    Coffee to Go
    Alexis Russell, Eliana Matthews, Rowan Temby
    We investigate a case scenario where a plaintiff sues a coffee company for serving their coffee too hot, when he spills it on himself. We use Newton’s Law of Cooling by substituting given information into the equation by solving for the cooling constant k. By utilizing the cooling constant, as well as information from several possible scenarios, we are able to calculate whether or not the coffee was above Maryland’s industry standard.

    ABRCMS Conference Experience
    Alexandra Fender, Druscilla Darkwa, Kellie Simon, Izora Williams, Benjaporn Perkins
    During the week of November 15-18th 2023, five students at Harford Community College had the incredible opportunity to travel to Phoenix, Arizona and present at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists on the work done through the biotechnology program. This was a national conference where research from multiple disciplines was shared, including over 500 poster presentations and over 6,000 individuals in attendance.

    Secrets of the Slime: How Salamanders Tell Us about the Changing World
    Andy Adams
    Salamanders, like many amphibians, are extremely sensitive to even small environmental changes in their respective ecosystems, and many can be considered "indicator species" that sound the alarm bells for greater environmental issues that may be unseen with the naked eye. But how do they give us these warnings? And how are the salamanders themselves affected?

    NHL Draft Player Data 
    Andrew Wallace
    Every year since 1963 the NHL has hosted an "Entry Draft" where each team selects prospective hockey players to join their organization. My presentation covers general statistical insights related to various statistics collected from these events.

    How would neighbors make life more dangerous?
    Caoze Huang
    The correlation between urbanization and disease spread illustrating an observational study on how population density can potentially impact the rate at which communicable diseases spread. Its implications can help gain insight into fields such as urban planning and epidemiology. 

    Transfer Process and Experiences of Community College Transfer Students into a Flagship Institution
    Christopher A. Clark, Joessel A. Ruiz
    Navigating the transfer process, applying for scholarships, and ensuring that our selected courses at Harford actually transfer for credit in degree programs. How our Harford experience prepared us for UMD and describe differences and challenges that one might expect from transferring to UMD.

    A Quick Introduction to Immunotherapy
    Dan Ford
    Historically, most cancer treatments have involved surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.  Immunotherapy is a new category of treatment, which stimulates the immune system to attack cancer cells.  This covers how immunotherapy works and describes some of the progress being made in this area of research.

    Aviation Accident Data Analysis
    Toby Mullan
    Using and explaining the principles and processes of data science such as cleansing and preparing data to analyze a set of aviation accident data to draw conclusions from its contents, summarize patterns that appear in the data, and make unique inferences about the data to gain insights into the field of aviation and how future accidents can be limited or avoided based on the findings.

    Poster Presentations

    Alexis Russell
    Identifying an Unknown Bacterium

    The use of many laboratory methods including gram staining, FTM, catalase testing, mobility, and many others to determine the cause and treatment for an infected patient.

    Damilola Fapohunda
    Hematopoietic Stem Cell-Related Transcription Factor Overexpression using Lentiviral Vectors

    Produced hematopoietic stem cell related transcription factors by utilizing plasmid DNA found in E. coli, the lentiviral vector system, and cell culture techniques.

    Jacob Chaney, Matthew Primus, Research Mentor Dr. Susan Walker
    The effects of Benadryl on CHO-K1 cell viability

    Histamine plays a role in allergic reactions and inflammatory responses in the body by binding to histamine type 1 receptors (H1R). The results showed that increased concentrations of DPH led to decreases in cell viability and changes in cell morphology. These results suggest that higher doses of DPH may inhibit H1R and affect the cells’ ability to adhere to each other and the culture wells.

    Kellie Simon, Druscilla Darwka, Alexandra Fender
    Effects of Murraya koenigii Leaf Liquid Extract on the Viability of CHO-K1 Cells

    The Indian spice Murraya koenigii, commonly known as curry leaf, has been suggested to possess therapeutic properties including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic effects (Balakrishnan et al., 2020). To investigate the safety of this holistic medicine, a modified cell viability assay was performed using CHO-K1 epithelial cells.

    Isabella Helinski, Brenna Franklin
    Forensic and Medicinal view on SIDS and Possible Prevention Methods

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a condition where it is the abrupt death of an infant or any small child. While the causes are unknown, it is presumed that factors such as genetic, environmental, social, homeostatic, and socioeconomic factors could explain why an infant or small child succumbs to SIDS. Review the data and discuss methods that every parent may employ to mitigate SIDS.

    Wayne Manrakhan
    Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences in Physics

    Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have been identified as a means of positively impacting students' interest and retention in the sciences, with the additional benefits of accessibility and impacting large numbers of students. I will also discuss how students' experiences during their research project impacted their perceived growth on completed the CURE.

    Santino J. Fazio, Gabriel Q. McGill, Weslie Wade
    Thermal Expansion of Industrial Grade Metal Samples

    Non-destructive testing of industrially produced alloys and structures is fundamental to ensuring that the tested material is of high-quality and reliability. Interferometry is an excellent method for low temperature determination of thermal expansion due to its high precision and accuracy. 

    Clarissa DeSalvo, Zachary Mittman, Nickolas McClelland, Andrew Goff, Joshua Shatto Wilson
    Construction, Testing and Evaluation of CosmicWatch Desktop Muon Detectors

    The CosmicWatch Desktop Muon Detector is a self-contained, low-cost cosmic ray muon detector designed to be built, evaluated, and used by university students with access to electronics and machine shops. Our experience constructing these detectors from sources parts and troubleshooting issues during and the construction process.

    Professional Panel Participants

    Professional Panel

    Dr. Mina IzadjooDr. Mina Izadjoo, Integrated Pharma Services, President and Chief Science Officer

    Prior to her current position she was the Vice President and Chief Science Officer of Trideum Biosciences. Formerly, she was “Senior Distinguished Scientist” and Director of the Diagnostics and Translational Research Center (DTRC) of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF) for Advancement of Military Medicine. She served as the Chief of Microbiology and Wound Biology and Translational Research (WBTR) Division at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington DC prior to her position at HJF. While at AFIP, she was awarded the title of “Distinguished Scientist” in accordance with the Public Law 94-36 for demonstrated ability and experience to enhance the activities of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in consultation, education, and research.

    Dr. Izadjoo received her PhD in Microbiology from Louisiana State University in 1992. This was followed by six years of post-doctoral fellowships at Texas A&M University and NIH in molecular biology and immunogenomics. Her research efforts have been focused on developing and evaluating diagnostics and therapeutics.

    She has several patented technologies including platform technology for standardized growth of polymicrobial communities and biofilm research. Dr. Izadjoo is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her work in infectious disease research. Today, she continues pursuing her research interest in the private sector focused on developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for infections caused by drug-resistant pathogens and other hard-to-treat infections related to women’s health.

    Dr. Jared DeCosteDr. Jared DeCoste, XpeRience Science, President and Founder
    Throughout the years, Dr. Decoste’s research interests have mainly focused on the development of novel porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks for the targeted adsorption and destruction of toxic threats. Working as a principal investigator, his research expanded into the use of synthetic biology for the development of novel materials and biomanufacturing of critical material. While the research aspect of his career has always been important, the development of the current and future STEM workforce has continued to be Dr. DeCoste’s passion. Mentoring and STEM Outreach have always played an important role in everything he does. In the past few years, Jared assumed a more active role in developing programs and relationships that help foster the development of the next generation of great scientists.

    Mike DickersonMike Dickerson, US Army Test and Evaluation Command, Director

    Mr. Michael Dickerson serves as the Director of Capabilities Integration for the US Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. In this capacity he is responsible for the management of ATEC test capabilities, the development and training of T&E policy, and serves as the functional proponent for T&E Enterprise IT Systems. Mr. Dickerson began working for the Army in June 2008 as a Test Officer at Yuma Test Center, Arizona. In 2021 he was selected for a broadening assignment in the DUSA-TE office.

    Mr. Dickerson graduated from the University of Arizona in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds a Masters in Engineering Management (2015) and Business Administration (2019), both of the University of Arizona. Mr. Dickerson is a native of Sierra Vista, Arizona. He and his wife Kimberly have been married for 17 years and have one son (Jacob, 14).

    Courtney MillerCourtney Miller, Capital Diagnostics, LLC, Clinical Laboratory Manager
    Ms. Courtney Miller is a Clinical Laboratory Manager for Capital Diagnostics, in Laurel, Maryland, a physician owned and operated laboratory. Courtney oversees toxicology testing and associated results as part of developing a treatment plan for patients suffering from chronic conditions. Before working for Capital Diagnostics, she was a Toxicology Certifying Data Scientist & Interim Technical Supervisor at Vibra Health Laboratory. Ms. Miller earned her MS in Chemistry from the University of Saint Joseph, her BS in Chemistry from Towson University, and is a graduate of Harford Community College. During the Fall 2023 semester, Courtney served as a full-time professor of Chemistry at Harford. She continues to teach Chemistry as an Adjunct Faculty member at Harford while in her full-time role as a Clinical Laboratory Manager for Capital Diagnostics.

    Student Awards 

    Student Awards and Closing Comments

    Hosted by Dr. Pamela Pape-Lindstrom
    Student Awardees will be published following the event.

    Dr. Pamela Pape-Lindstrom“Participation in an undergraduate research experience is known to be a high-impact educational practice. Engaging students in undergraduate research has become an emerging best-practice at community colleges in the last decade. Harford faculty across multiple disciplines embed research experiences into traditional lab courses. For example, our biotechnology students participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program."

    ~Pamela Pape-Lindstrom, Dean of STEM

    NOTICE REGARDING PHOTOGRAPHY: Be advised that photographs and/or video may be taken at this event for use by Harford Community College. By taking part in this event, you grant the event organizers full rights to use the images resulting from any photography or video taken. Photos and video become the property of Harford Community College.