April 22, 2021

Centenary University Selects 15 Students to Present Independent Research at Annual Academic Symposium

Virtual event showcases in-depth research conducted by students, alongside faculty researchers who are experts in their fields


HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, April 22, 2021—Centenary University showcased outstanding research conducted by 15 undergraduate and graduate students at its annual Academic Symposium, which was held virtually today to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines. This year’s represented research topics span a wide variety of fields, from psychology and social work, to equine studies, environmental science, biology, and business. At Centenary, student researchers are mentored by faculty who are experts in their fields.

“Independent research on the undergraduate and graduate levels is a central part of the academic experience at Centenary University,” said George R. Petersen, chair of the University’s Student Research & Development Committee and assistant professor of criminal justice. He noted that this year, Centenary University students earned two of the top five awards at the Independent College Fund of New Jersey’s Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium: “That’s a remarkable accomplishment that speaks to the quality of Centenary faculty and students. Tremendous opportunities are available at smaller universities like Centenary, especially for undergraduates, who often don’t have the chance to participate in research at larger universities.”

Centenary students presenting at this year’s Academic Symposium include:


Essex County
Irvington—Darnel Burnette, “VITA/TCE Program”

Hunterdon County
Califon—Kevin Chroback, “In-Silico Determination of a Protein 3-D Structure”

Morris County
Budd Lake—Brittany Adams, “Canine Behavioral Study”
Kinnelon—Nikolina Perrelli, “Developing Our Understanding of the Influence of Environmental Factors and Microplastics on Seal Microbiomes”
Landing—Kelsey Denison-Vesel ’16 (graduate student), “Prior Incarceration Impact on Experience of Trauma History in Older Adult Offenders”

Ocean County
Ocean—Brianna Delmar, “Short-term and Long-term Recall in Horses”

Passaic County
West Milford—Alissa Mor, “Spotted Lanternfly Microbiomes: An Initial Investigation into an Invasive Insect”

Sussex County
Andover—Kimberly Ervey, “Centenary Core Course ‘The Rights of the Child’”
Byram Township—Morgan Pierson, “The Impact of CJS Mandated Status on TC Treatment Process”
Sparta—Katherine Lyman, “Veterans and Trauma in a Prison System: Comparisons Between Combat/Non-Combat Histories”
Tranquility—Victoria Viersma, “Spotted Lanternfly Microbiomes: An Initial Investigation into an Invasive Insect”

Warren County
Blairstown—Janell Chuddley, “How did the case cross the fence?”
Hackettstown—Samantha Johnson, “Determination of Microplastics in the Sediment of the Musconetcong River”; Kayezhia Alviola, “VITA/TCE Program”

Salisbury—Abigail Reilly, “Incidence of soft tissue injury and hours of daily paddock turnout in non-elite performance horses”



Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in Parsippany, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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