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Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium-2021

Tuesday, July 26 
Henry Hood Center for Health Research || Geisinger Medical Center

This page will be updated frequently so check back for the latest updates.

Interactive voiceover guide

man listening to a presentation
Click on the box below to download the symposium’s poster session voiceover interactive guide which includes links to the poster voiceovers.

2022 Symposium

an image of Watts Smelser at the research symposium
an image of Wagner at the research symposium
an image of the Susquehanna group at the research symposium
an image of Engel Hansell at the research symposium
an image of Huo Zuvich at the research symposium

About the symposium

Welcome to the 11th Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium, sponsored by Bloomsburg University, Bucknell University, Geisinger and Susquehanna University. It’s a valuable opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in central Pennsylvania to showcase their research activities, learn about other methods and disciplines, and present at a professional conference.

We’re excited to announce that the 2022 symposium is an in-person event.


Henry Hood Center for Health Research
Geisinger Medical Center
100 N. Academy Ave.

See the agenda for a breakdown of the days’ events.

COVID-19 guidelines and masking requirements

To adhere to Geisinger’s COVID-19 guidelines, masking will be required by all attendees. Please remember to bring your mask! 

Due to room capacity restrictions, we will be utilizing multiple areas throughout the Henry Hood Center for Health Research. Attendees will be split up accordingly for group presentations and will also be asked to utilize indoor and outdoor spaces during lunch. In the event we reach our capacity limits for registration, the undergraduate students and their mentors will receive priority for attendance. We will be in touch as necessary.

Event structure

This event includes:

  • Opening remarks
  • Keynote speech 
  • Three poster sessions
  • Panel presentation with question and answer
  • Recap of the day
  • Awards
  • Breakfast, lunch and snack breaks

For specifics, see the full agenda.

Is there a cost to attend the symposium?


Symposium parking

More than 2,000 free parking spots are available in surface lots and a free parking garage on the Geisinger Medical Center campus. Click here to see a campus map.

Shuttle buses run between all parking lots and hospital entrances. Just ask your driver to drop you off at the Henry Hood Center. This location isn’t a usual stop, so be sure to notify the driver. 

Valet parking is available at the main entrance Monday – Friday, 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

$6 for the first 3 hours
$8 for 3-5 hours
$10 for 5-7 hours
$12 for more than 7 hours

Valet service is free for everyone 65 and older with ID, handicapped patients with placards and families with disabled children.

Mark your calendar

  • June 7: Registration opens 
  • July 17: Registration closes
  • July 20: Delivery of poster and voiceover due via email (

Submitted abstracts aren’t required for this year’s symposium.

About the sponsors



Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. 

Geisinger also has an exciting research environment with more than 50 full-time research faculty and over 30 clinician scientists. Areas of expertise include precision health, genomics, informatics, data science, implementation science, outcomes research, health services research, bioethics, and clinical trials.

Learn more at, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sponsor contacts involved in the symposium planning:

Eric Wright, PharmD, MPH

Melissa Kern, MPH

Vanessa Hayduk, BS

Bucknell University

Bucknell University

Founded in 1846 along the banks of the Susquehanna River in historic Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell University is a selective, highly ranked national university that stands at the intersection of top-ranked liberal arts, engineering and management programs. Students choose from more than 60 majors and 70 minors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and natural and social sciences, as well as extensive global study, service-learning and research opportunities. Bucknell’s 3,700 undergraduates enjoy a low 9:1 student-faculty ratio, and exceptional opportunities to collaborate with faculty. A variety of organizations partner with Bucknell to support upwards of 300 students who engage in mentored research, scholarship and creative projects each summer. Sponsors include a variety of endowed funds from generous donors and grant-making organizations including the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, and federal research and public agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Energy. 

Sponsor contacts involved in the symposium planning:

Margaret Marr, JD

Susquehanna University

Susquehanna University

Susquehanna University makes collaborative research between undergraduate students and faculty members a priority. In fact, the university has been recognized as a leader in the field by the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR). About 90 percent of our students get professional experience before they graduate, either in the form of undergraduate research, an internship or student teaching. Students can choose from a variety of research opportunities in a number of disciplines. At Susquehanna University, several research grants are awarded, and it has enabled students to work with faculty on a full‐time basis during the summer. In addition, thanks to a $950,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, students work alongside faculty to support the university's Freshwater Research Institute, which seeks to further understand the ecological issues impacting the Susquehanna River and its tributaries. Additional grants from such sources as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health provide continued funding for faculty‐student research in various disciplines. In addition to encouraging independent research and experience through internships, the university supports numerous opportunities for students to present their findings at national conferences.

Sponsor contacts involved in the symposium planning:

Jennifer Carter, PhD

Bloomsburg University

Bloomsburg University

Building on a rich history of academic excellence as one of 14 public universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Bloomsburg University prepares and inspires students to become dynamic and confident leaders. Bloomsburg University has a long tradition of active learning through research, scholarship, and creative activities by our undergraduate students. The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (URSCA) Program, held in the summer, supports students with financial support to conduct a project with a faculty mentor. Students receive basic undergraduate research training and engage in the scholarly community during the program. The Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium is an important culminating event for these students, giving them valuable experience presenting research at an interdisciplinary event involving multiple institutions. Our undergraduate research initiative would be ineffective without the broad and enthusiastic support of BU faculty, both as mentors and as members of the URSCA Advisory Group, and our administrators' innovative approaches to engaging students in the scholarly community. In Academic Affairs, Provost (Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson) and President (Dr. Bashar Hanna) provide remarkable administrative support for undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Sponsor contacts involved in the symposium planning:

Heather Feldhaus, Ph.D.

Christine Orlando, BS.E.d., BA

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Schedule at a glance

Symposium agenda:

Doors will open at 6:30 a.m.

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Registration/Poster Session I Set Up/Breakfast – Lobby and Ground Floor
8:35 a.m. – Introduction, Dr. Eric Wright , Professor & Director, Geisinger Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes – Auditorium
8:40 a.m. – Welcome remarks, Dr. Christa Martin, Geisinger Chief Scientific Officer – Auditorium
8:50 a.m. – Keynote address, Dr. Christopher Chabris, Professor, Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute – Auditorium
9:20 a.m. – Symposium Guidance, Ms. Vanessa Hayduk, Senior Research Project Coordinator, Geisinger Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes – Auditorium
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. – Poster Session I – Ground Floor
10:45 – 11:00 a.m. – Break (Poster Session II set up) – Lobby 
11:00 – 12:15 p.m. – Poster Session II – Ground Floor
12:15 – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch (Poster Session II Set Up) – Lobby
1:15 –  2:30 p.m. – Poster Session III  – Ground Floor
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. –  Coffee Break/ Judging of Posters  Lobby
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Panel Presentation – Auditorium
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. – Presentation of Awards/Closing remarks, Dr. Eric Wright, Professor & Director, Geisinger Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes – Auditorium

Interactive voiceover guide

Click on the box below to download the symposium’s poster session voiceover interactive guide which includes links to the poster voiceovers.

Speaker bios

Christa Lese Martin, PhD, FACMG

Dr. Christa Lese Martin, PhD, FACMG

Dr. Christa Lese Martin is the chief scientific officer at Geisinger, a professor and the founding director of their Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute. She is board-certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) as a clinical genetics laboratory director. Her research focuses on using a “genetics-first” approach to characterize neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders with an ultimate goal of developing precision health-driven treatments to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Martin received her Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University and completed her doctorate in human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in the Department of Human Genetics where she remained on faculty. Before joining Geisinger, Dr. Martin was an associate professor in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University and operations director of Emory Genetics Laboratory.

Christopher Chabris, PhD

Dr. Christopher Chabris

Dr. Christopher Chabris is a professor at Geisinger, where he co-founded and co-directs both the Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program and the Behavioral Insights Team (the “nudge unit”). He has previously taught at Union College and Harvard University, and he is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. His research focuses on attention, decision-making, collective intelligence, cognitive ability, and behavior genetics. Chris received his doctorate in psychology and Artium Baccalaureus in computer science from Harvard University. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller “The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us,” which has been published in 20 languages to date. He shared the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize in Psychology (awarded for “achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think”), given for the scientific experiment that inspired the book. That “invisible gorilla experiment” has frequently been named one of the most famous studies in the history of psychology. Chris has spoken to audiences at major conferences and businesses, including PopTech, Google, Credit Suisse, and Procter & Gamble, and his work has been published in leading journals including Science, Nature, PNAS, Psychological Science, Perception, and Cognitive Science. He is a chess master, poker amateur, and games enthusiast; for three years he wrote the monthly “Game On” column in The Wall Street Journal, where he has also published essays and book reviews. He has also contributed to The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Slate and other national publications. 

Registration information

Registration for the symposium is open to the public and begins on June 7. All presenting students, faculty mentors and general attendees planning to attend the symposium should register here. Registration closes on July 17. 

We look forward to seeing you at the symposium!

Note: Submitted abstracts will not be required for this year’s symposium. Once you register, you may begin working on your required poster and voiceover (more details below).

Poster guidelines and submission

Poster formatting

  • While there is no required formatting for the posters, many will follow the structure seen below:
    • Background
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusion
  • As a poster author, you’re expected to be available for discussion during your assigned poster session on the day of the event. Your poster session and poster number will be shared with you via email in advance of the symposium.


  • Voiceovers are required for this year’s symposium to allow for attendees to view the posters in advance and be stored in a repository after the event.
    • They’ll be stored on our Symposium YouTube Channels
  • Voiceover recordings should be no longer than 3 minutes in length. If this limit is exceeded, you’ll be asked to resubmit.
  • To record your voiceover on your poster, you can use any platform you’d like. Listed below are two options that we found useful:
    1.  Microsoft PowerPoint 
    • This can be used if you have both Microsoft PowerPoint and a working microphone on your computer
    • How to use it:
      • Have your poster open in PowerPoint
      • Select the “Slide Show” tab
      • In the “Set-Up” section, select “Record Slide Show”
      • You’ll be redirected to a new area, where you’ll need to confirm in the settings (top right) that a microphone is selected and that your video is off (bottom right)
      • Then you can begin recording by pressing “Record” in the top left
        • Once complete, press “Stop”
        • Please listen to your recording to confirm it sounds good and that it does not exceed the 3-minute limit by selecting “Replay” in the top left
          • If needed, you can clear your content and start over by selecting “Clear” near the settings in the top right
      • Once your recording is finalized, select the “X” in the top right corner to close out of the recording window and proceed to save the PowerPoint
      • To export the voiceover, you will then select “File;” “Export;” “Create a Video;” “Create Video”
        • After selecting “Create a Video” you’ll then be prompted to save the PowerPoint as an “MPEG-4 Video” (mp4) which is the format required
        • Once the PowerPoint is saved as a mp4, you can proceed to the submission steps below
    2. PicVoice
    • This can be used if you have downloaded the PicVoice Google app on your computer or smartphone
      • The free version will work. The premium version does not need to be purchased
    • How to use it:
      • When prompted by PicVoice, upload your poster as the “picture” you will speak over
      • Then proceed to step 2 of recording your voice over the poster
        • Once complete, stop the recording
          • Please listen to your recording to confirm it sounds good and that it does not exceed the 3-minute limit by selecting the play button
      • Once the recording is finalized, proceed to step 3 to create your PicVoice (it is fine to leave the PicVoice watermark on your poster)
        • After the PicVoice is created you can export the file to be saved as an mp4, and proceed to the submission steps below

Submission process — Email

  • All posters and voiceovers must be submitted in advance of the conference. 
    • Submitted posters must be formatted as PDFs, and voiceovers must be formatted as mp4s.
    • The properly formatted documents should be emailed to by Wednesday, July 20. Please mark your calendar now.
    • Reminder: Submitted abstracts will not be required for this year’s symposium. Once you submit you register, you may begin working on your required poster and voiceover. 
    • You’ll receive an email confirmation that your poster and voiceover have been received within 24 hours of you sending (Monday through Friday). If you don’t receive this email, please reach out to
  • After submission, the interactive voiceover guide will be created, the poster PDFs will be compiled into a packet, and the voiceovers will be placed on our YouTube channels. Visit our main YouTube channel.  

Poster printing

  • You’re required to print your poster and bring with you on the day of the event.
    • Please work with your summer research mentor to determine where to print your posters.
      • We can recommend ABL Graphics, but you can use any print shop you prefer.
  • All posters being presented at the symposium must measure no more than 6-by-4-feet.
  • They are to be hung on a tackable surface, which will be numbered with your poster number. Push pins will be provided.

We’re on Twitter: Tweet about your work using the hashtag #SVURS2022.

Panel presentation

New this year: A selection of undergraduate research students and their mentor(s) will deliver a panel presentation. The presentation will be an opportunity to talk live about your research and answer questions from conference attendees. The presentation will occur in our auditorium after the conclusion of the poster sessions. No formal slide presentation is needed, as we will have the ability to show your poster and/or voiceover on the projection screen as needed. Selection of the panel will be announced ahead of the symposium.


Posters submitted by undergraduate students from each category will be reviewed by judges for a “best poster” award in their category. There will be first, second and third-place winning posters.

There will also be live voting where symposium attendees will vote “audience favorite poster” submitted by an undergraduate student during each poster session.


The organizers wish to thank the volunteer judges that have volunteered to evaluate the posters for “best poster” awards during the symposium.

Studies of Health and Wellness across disciplines

  • Dr. Kelly Roth, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice, Bloomsburg University
  • Dr. Christopher Still, Director, Obesity Institute, Geisinger
  • Dr. Adam Hansell, Assistant Professor of Physics, Susquehanna University
  • Dr. Karlo Malaga, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Bucknell University
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Dr. Susan Dauria, Professor of Anthropology, Bloomsburg University
  • Dr. Lisa Bailey-Davis, Associate Professor, Obesity Institute, Geisinger
  • Dr. John Monopoli, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Susquehanna University
  • Dr. Katherine Faull, Presidential Professor of German and Comparative Humanities, Bucknell University
Life Sciences

  • Dr. Yucheng Chen, Assistant Professor of Information Technology, Analytics, and Business Education, Bloomsburg University
  • Dr. Eric Wright, Professor and Director, Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes, Geisinger
  • Dr. Michael Parra, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Susquehanna University
  • Dr. Tristan Stayton, Professor of Biology, Bucknell University
Engineering, Computer Science and Natural Sciences

  • Dr. Rebecca Bourgault, Assistant Professor of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences, Bloomsburg University
  • Dr. Yirui (Iris) Hu, Assistant Professor, Center for Health Research, Geisinger
  • Dr. Carl Faust, Associate Professor of Physics, Susquehanna University
  • Dr. Joshua Stough, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Bucknell University
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2022 Symposium Day

Click here for the YouTube channels where the voiceovers can be accessed.

Don’t forget to tweet about your work using the hashtag #SVURS2022.

Poster Session I

Click below to access the posters being presented in Session I. For viewing the poster PDF, zooming may be needed to view certain posters.

Poster Session II

Click below to access the posters being presented in Session II. For viewing the poster PDF, zooming may be needed to view certain posters.

Poster Session III

Click below to access the posters being presented in Session II. For viewing the poster PDF, zooming may be needed to view certain posters.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, contact:

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Past Symposiums


The 10th Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium was held virtually on July 28, 2021, by Geisinger Research. Prior work can be accessed here.

2021 Award Winners

Poster presentation winners

Developing Computational Models for Exoplanet Visibility and Luminosity in MATLAB
Michelle Arrigo, Susquehanna University
Mentor: Jennifer L. Carter
Engineering, Computer Science and Natural Sciences

From MyCode to ClinVar: Publicly Sharing Variants Identified in Geisinger's Biobank
Sara Stansbury, Geisinger
Mentor: Erin Rooney Riggs
Studies of Health and Wellness across disciplines

Pre-Service Teacher Preparation in Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: A Review of State Teacher Competencies
Nicole Reddig, Bucknell University
Mentor: Janet VanLone
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Ciprofloxacin accelerates gastrointestinal transit in a rodent model of FQAD
Jacqueline Kerler, Bucknell University
Mentor: Cecilia Bove
Life Sciences

Audience favorite winners

Sugar Daddies and Human Trafficking
Makenna Whitesell, Bloomsburg University
Mentors: Scott Inch & Scott Duncan
Poster Session #1

Walnut Acres Digital Museum
Natalie Ring, Bucknell University
Mentor: Shaunna Barnhart
Poster Session #2

How Does E-Commerce Affect Income Inequality? Evidence from European Countries
Huong Dang, Bucknell University
Mentor: Carl Lin
Poster Session #3


Due to the national COVID-19 Pandemic, the 10th annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium scheduled to be held in-person on July 29, 2020, at Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research was canceled for the health & safety of our communities.


The 9th annual Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium was held in-person on July 31, 2019, at Bucknell University’s Elaine Langone Center.

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