ACURA is Undergraduate Research

ACURA is Undergraduate Research

It is the mission of Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities (ACURA) to develop students who are critical thinkers and creative scholars by engagement in scientific experimentation, inquiry-based research, and exploration of the arts through a year long research experience within our community of teacher-scholars.


ACURA hudson gigi

ACURA hudson gigi

Image: Penn State

ACURA offers Penn State Abington students the opportunity to:

ACURA discussion

ACURA discussion

Image: Penn State
  • Collaborate closely with a faculty research mentor on a hands-on research project and/or creative work over the course of one academic year,
  • Receive academic credit (one credit in fall; two credits in the spring) for their research activity,
  • Gain valuable research, technical, and artistic experience for more advanced levels of scholarly work, and/or for use in future careers,
  • Present one’s research findings at the Annual ACURA Poster Fair, at a research lecture at the Fall Colloquium, and/or at a local or national research conference
  • Publish one’s original work and discoveries in partnership with one’s research mentor.

2017 ACURA Winners

Division of Arts and Humanities

Blue ribbon winner

A ROARING NEW LOOK: The Redesigned Nittany Lion Mascot as an Important Branding Opportunity at Penn State University

Students: Hudson Marsh with Gigi Fleurentin
Advisors: Dr. Ross Brinkert with Dr. Michael Bernstein

Honorable mention

BEYOND MINDFULNESS: Varieties of Buddhist Healing in Multiethnic Philadelphia

Students: Ryan Rose, Alex Medina, Angelina He, and Patrick Lee
Advisor: Dr. Pierce Salguero

Division of Social Sciences

Blue ribbon winners

Don't Go Towards the Light! How Light Pollution Affects perceptions of natural Settings in National Parks 

Student: Robert Nutt
Advisor:  Jacob Benfield

Students' Engagement in and Perceptions of Hunger, Food Waste, and Recycling

Students: Mary Catherine Hess, Rena Kassak, Faye Ko
Advisor: Kathy Fadigan

Honorable Mentions

The Decision to Shoot: Is It Only Skin Deep?

Students: A'la Streater, Centia ThomasTaylor Miller
Advisor: Oren M. Gur

Drug, Set, and Setting: Accidental Overdoses Among Young Adults in Montgomery County, PA

Students: Annie Dinh, Melaney Santana, Nusrat Jahan
Advisor: Oren M. Gur    

Division of Science and Engineering:

Blue ribbon winners:

LIDAR Assist Spatial Sensing for the Visually Impaired

Students: Carolyn Ton, Abdelmalak M Omar, Viet Hung Tran, Alina Aftab
Advisor: Yi Yang

Intensity Mapping of the Smith Cloud

Students: Spencer Yeingst, Zac Michaels
Advisors: Ann Schmiedekamp, Carl Schmiedekamp

Honorable Mentions:

Sex differences in hepatic peroxiredoxin expression

Student: Samantha Buongervino
Advisor: Steven A. Bloomer

Modeling and Characterizing Stiff-Knee Gait in a Computer Simulation on a Physics-Based Neuromusculoskeletal Model

Student:John Stevens
Advisor: Mukul Talaty