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Presentation Opportunities Open Doors for Students

Presentation Opportunities Open Doors for Students


Morristown, N.J. (July 9, 2019) – For most of us, a marigold and antibiotics do not seem remotely connected. But for Angela German, '20, the connection is quite significant. German was one of three CSE students to present their research at the annual TriBeta Honor Society Induction meeting. German, along with Rachael Romer, '19, and Ashley Veras, '19, shared their research findings on individual topics.

German and Veras also presented their findings at the annual Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) Undergraduate Research Symposium at the Liberty Science Center and the TriBeta District Convention at Bloomsburg University.

According to Dr. Tara Cominski, CSE professor of biology, presenting in forums such as these offers CSE students important preparation as they prepare for advanced graduate studies or jobs beyond college.

"They all did very well in answering questions about their specific research," Cominski said. "It was a pleasure watching how well they handled themselves at their presentations. Opportunities like these help CSE students learn a lot about critical thinking and time management."

Read below how these research projects have taken German, Romer and Veras closer to their intended professions.

Angela German, '20
Research Title: An Assessment of the Efficacy of C. officinalis as a Possible Antimicrobial Medication

German explored the increase in multi-drug resistant pathogens and the currently depleting amount of antibiotics used to treat illnesses. In her research, German looked at the plant Calendula officinalis, or the common marigold, as a medication for skin bacteria. Typically, this condition is treated with topical drugs.

"With the rise of alternative medication seeming to be a possible solution to the overuse of antibiotics, I chose to see if alterative, plant-based medication actually had promise in being effective against pathogens," said German.

German is participating in a joint degree program where she will spend three years at CSE and her final year at Rutgers University. She aspires to be a drug discovery researcher.

"Due to CSE's smaller size, I was able to receive the individual attention and help I needed to better explore the biology field as a career," German said. "It influenced me to be more proactive and confident in asking questions and reaching out to professionals in the industry and clinical field. CSE's tight network will enable me to excel as a professional and academic."

Rachael Romer, '19
Research Title: Salivary Cortisol Between Athletes and Non-Athletes

Romer measured the effect of exercise on the stress level of athletes and non-athletes by testing the cortisol levels in their saliva after walking one-tenth of a mile.

"The levels among athletes decreased while those for non-athletes increased," Romer said. "Athletes have more prime response to stress."

Romer, who originally wanted to be a doctor, has been accepted into two physician assistant programs. While at CSE, she served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), with two years as class president, and was captain of the softball team.

"Despite always being involved in school before college, CSE helped me grow as a person," Romer added.

Ashley Veras, '19
Research Title: The Effects of Blast mTBI on the Endogenous Opioid System

Veras focused her study on the long-term exposure of veterans to battle and the effect on chronic pain levels.

"Veterans have high rates of chronic pain," Veras said. "I found that there was a decrease in the receptors in the brain in those exposed to combat on a long-term basis."

Also, originally planning to take the doctor route, Veras realized her love or research while at CSE. Her plan now is to take a gap year to pursue additional research opportunities and then apply to CSE's developing physician assistant program.

"I developed a great relationship with Dr. Cominski and she inspired my interest in research," said Veras. "I am very proud of the research I accomplished in my senior year and happy I had encouragement that a small school like CSE has to offer."

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