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Honors Theses

As part of the Honors Curriculum, Patriot Scholars complete an honors thesis and present it at the Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference. Some work is presented at national research conferences and published in referred journals.

For current students searching for a thesis advisor, check out our faculty viewbook and the faculty directory which contains profiles and research interest of some of RMU's faculty. For current students writing their thesis, please follow the style guidelines when submitting the final copy.

Past Honors Senior Theses Volumes are also available for purchase.

2017 Honors Theses

  • Hannah Arnold
    Integrating Arduino and Lego Mindstorms to Create a Player Piano
    Advisor: Benjamin Campbell
  • Brooke Birckbichler
    Sports–Related Concussions: The Symptoms, the Psychology, and the Treatments
    Advisor: Samantha Monda
  • Katherine Breeze
  • The Effect of Foam Rolling on Hamstring Flexibility in Division I Women's Lacrosse Players
    Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Savanah Buhite
    English Language Learners and the Common Core: Overcoming Obscure Language in Literature
    Advisor: Ying Zhang
  • Jessica Chin
    Riding the Wave: An Analysis of Korean Drama Streaming
    Advisor: Ira Abdullah
  • Allison Couch
    The Wear on Tablet Tooling and How it Effects the Quality of a Product in a Manufacturing Environment 
  • Advisor: Rika Carlsen

  • Kyrstin Dittenhafer-Swartz
    Elective Hysterectomies: A Social Analysis
    Advisor: Nathan Taylor
  • Kenneth Fugagli
    Creating an Optimal way of Setting a Daily Fantasy Sports Lineup in an Attempt to Determine Whether it is a Game of Skill or Luck
    Advisor:  Christophe Groendyke
  • Megan Gold
    General Knowledge of Nutrition: A Demographic Study of NCAA Athletes
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • David Grubic
    eSports: A New Era of Spectator Games
    Advisor: Alan Smith
  • Lindsay Hess
    Wide-Awake Hand Surgery: A Cost Analysis of Replacing Sedation with Local Anesthesia
    Advisor: Stephen Foreman
  • Deja Hopkins
    Creating Lekins LLC
    Advisor: Frank Flanegin
  • Joshua Kwasny
    Understanding Stochastic Calculus
    Advisor: Liang Hong
  • Ashley Messner
    Worldbuilding in Westeros: The Use of Functional Grammar in the Creation of Fantasy Worlds
    Advisor: Mary Katherine Kiliany
  • Taylor Miller
    Attorneys' Take on Litigation Consulting
    Advisor: Michele Cole
  • Dale Miller
    minimus - Socially Beneficial Tiny Homes
    Advisor: Marcel Minutolo
  • Kelsey Paxton
    The Examination of Keyboards for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes
    Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Jacob Pearson
    Sponsorship Activation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
    Advisor: Artemisia Apostolopoulou
  • Emily Raab
    Health Care Predictive Modeling: Creating and Analyzing Models for Health Insurance Claims
    Advisor: Christophe Groendyke
  • Melissa Radovich
    Bridging the Life Insurance Gap: An Analysis of Online Life Insurance Calculators for the American Middle Market
    Advisor: Christophe Groendyke
  • Melissa Reinbold
    The Impact of B Corporation Certification on Consumer Trust, Purchase Intention and Willingness to Pay a Price Premium: An Evaluation of Certification Logos and Retail Displays
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • Theodore Schuman
    Analysis of the Pennsylvania Pension Crisis and Hybridization Plans
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Katie Shirley
    The Introduction of Actuarial Science to Secondary Students 
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Kendra Slis
    Engineering a Future: Developing Outreach Curriculum to Encourage High School Girls to Pursue a Career in Engineering
    Advisor: Rika Carlsen

  • Nicole Stone
    Antikythera Mechanism: Lego Replica
    Advisor: Andris Niedra

  • Molly Watterson
    Brand Strength: A Study of the Disney Vacation Club and Brand Extensions
    Advisor: James Shock

  • Lara Will
    The Increasing Disparity of Life Expectancies of People with Different Levels of Education
    Advisor: Chistophe Groendyke

  • Raeanna Wohlfarth
    The Effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program on Obesity, Health, and the Economy
    Advisor: Stephen Foreman
  • Jocelyn Young
    The Value of Parental Failure in Fairy Tales and the Dangers of Disney’s Parental Substitutes
    Advisor: Sylvia Pamboukian

2016 Honors Theses


  • Katrina Buchanan
    Writing Revolution: Telling the Deborah Sampson Story 
    Advisor: Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre
  • Catherine Bush
    Analysis of New Rehabilitation Interventions for Elderly Stroke Victims with Upper Limb Hemiparesis
    Advisor: Holly Hampe
  • Lucas Carter
  • Level Up: A Feature Film
    Advisor: Melissa Martin
  • Matthew Corkery
    Retirement Income in the Twenty-First Century: An Analysis of Public Pension Systems Around the World
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Monica DeLuca
    The Financial Impact of Genetic Testing within Life Insurance
    Advisor: Christophe Groendyke
  • Tara Dillan
    Student Spending and Impulsivity
  • Advisor: Zhou Yang

  • Leah Fleischel
    Get It Right, Get It First, and Make It Social: How Social Media has Changed the Work Flow in Modern Newsrooms
    Advisor: Anthony Moretti
  • Diane Gorog
    Psychology of Injury Knowledge among Injury Rehabilitation Specialists
    Advisor:  Samantha Monda
  • Kayleigh Herrera
    Analysis of Nursing Students Regarding Elder Abuse
    Advisor: Carl Ross
  • Kyle Hinchberger
    Linear Oscillating Energy Generation
    Advisor: Tony Kerzmann
  • Madison Kozlowski
    Walt Disney World Organizational Structure and Customer Service
    Advisor: Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre
  • Deryn Martin
    A Case for Redesigning Ice Hockey Equipment for Women: Adressing Safety, Comfort, and Attitude Toward Shopping
    Advisor: Arif Sirinterlikci
  • Cheryl McMaster
    Destination Loyalty: The Roles of Destination Brand Image and Satisfaction
    Advisor: Denis Rudd
  • Brian Murone
    Health Insurance Literacy Among College Students
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Jordan Neusch
    Perceptions and Knowledge: A Study of Former Pennsylvania High School Students’ Mental Health Education
    Advisor: Samantha Monda
  • Luke Phillips
    Capping the Game: A Look at the Effectiveness of a Salary Cap in Major League Baseball 
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Amber Pramann
    Rape Myths Revisited: Looking at Rape through the Lens of Religiosity
    Advisor: Lauren Rauscher
  • Jazmyne Sasse
    Treatment and Rehabilitation of Hamstring Injuries
    Advisor: Gavin Buxton
  • Haley Sawyer
    Hail to RMU: A Football Documentary
    Advisor: Cigdem Slankard
  • Andrew Scheidemantel
    An Investigation of Mandibular Reconstruction Techniques
    Advisor: Won Joo
  • Evyn Selden
    A Program Evaluation of the Nonprofit Organization: The Global Sisterhood
    Advisor: Mary Hansen
  • Isaac Swink
    Novel Manufacturing Process for Cranial Remolding Orthoses 
    Advisor: Arif Sirinterlikci
  • Cassidy Toole
    Food of the Past for the Health of the Future: The Benefits of a Paleolithic Diet in College Students
    Advisor: Lisa Locasto
  • Lauren Walk
    Manipulation of Iron Oxide Powder Suspended in a Hydrogel
    Advisor: Rika Carlsen
  • Andrew Wisnkeski
    The Impact of Salary Allocation on NHL Team Success
    Advisor: John Clark

2015 Honors Theses

  • Frankie Alderson
    Uses and Gratifications of Paranormal Television Viewership: A Case Study of  "A Haunting"
    Advisor: Helena Vanhala
  • Trisha Brandt
    The Relationship Among Self-Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Life Satisfaction: The Case of College Students
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • Garnet Brown
  • A Study of the Development of Resistance to Ampicillin in Escherichia coli Through Repeated Exposure
    Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Nicholas Buzzelli
    Rebel Reporting: A College Journalists' Guide to Circumventing Administrative Censorship
    Advisor: Anthony Moretti
  • Allyson Copeman
    Exploring Differences in Concentration Levels While Playing Games
    Advisor: Benjamin Campbell
  • Kathryn Connell
    The  Reintegration of Veterans on College Campuses 
  • Advisor: Julianne Michalenko
  • Sara Dinwiddie
    An Ethnographic Study of the Borderlands Influence on the Creation and Development of Carrizozo, New Mexico
    Advisor: Daniel Barr
  • Mark Gaynord, Jr.
    Popping the Bubble: The Impact of Sports Programming on the Cable TV "Bubble"
    Advisor: John Clark
  • Aaron Hartman
    The Financial Impact of  Tommy John Surgery
    Advisor: David Synowka
  • Jenna Hidinger
    Building a Business: Jenna Hidinger Photography
    Advisor: William Shadle
  • Alexis Jones
    Stereotyping or Segmentation? An Analysis of Children's Advertising Across Networks
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • Anne Kandray
    Exploring the Change in Knowledge Level of Undergraduate Nursing Students in Conjuncture with a Foundations of Nursing Practice Course
    Advisor: Janene Szpak
  • Kory Kozlowksi
    In Bloom: The Rise and Fall of Grunge and Its Significance Today
    Advisor: Julianne Michalenko
  • George Maldonado
    A Map of the Zombie Apocalypse
    Advisor: Gavin Buxton
  • Kristina Marks
    NO2 Concentration Levels in the Greater Pittsburgh Area
    Advisor: Daniel Short
  • Brittany Palac
    Using Mobile Applications as a Supplement to Sustainability Education in Pennsylvania Middle Schools and High Schools
    Advisor: Priyadarshan Manohar
  • Vanessa Petrasko
    Key Influencers in Federal Government and Their Role in Productivity
    Advisor: Brian O'Roark
  • Mark Polcha
    Effects of Increasing the Contribution Base on Social Security Solvency
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Marulla Quirk
    A Guide to Publishing for First-Time Authors
    Advisor: Sylvia Pamboukian
  • Casey Riedmann
    Effects of Video Game Exposure to Survey Performance 
    Advisor: Stephan Paul
  • Danielle Scheunemann
    The Role of Tyrosine in Oogenesis in Drosophila Melanogaster
    Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Tanner Sebastian
    From Page to Stage
    Advisor: Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre
  • Andrew Trapp
    Freedom of Interaction: A Case for the Creation of Touch Screen Compatible Prostheses
    Advisor: Sushil Acharya

2014 Honors Theses

  • Sarah Burns
    The Feasibilty of an Anaerobic Digestion System at Robert Morris University
    Advisor: Tony Kerzmann
  • Kristen Garofalo
    Professional Athletes on Social Media
    Advisor: Michele Edwards
  • Gabriella Gasparich
    Analyzing Cultural and Experimental Factors Influencing Undergraduate American and International Students
    Advisor: Ann Jabro
  • Carter Khalequzzaman
    Life Insurance Pricing Competition and Simulation Research
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Kevin Klus
    An Intuitive Understanding of Social Security
  • Advisor: David Hudak
  • Josef Landon
    Production and Performance of Glengarry Glen Ross
    Advisor: Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre
  • Mackenzie Lawler
    The Moneyball Application: A Statistical Analysis of Women's Lacrosse
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • Chris Ludwiczak
    Understanding Sportsbook Behavior and How to Profit
    Advisor: John Clark
  • Ellen Martin
    Looking Through the Smoke: Electronic Cigarettes and Taxation
    Advisor: Katie Hetherington
  • Victoria Mikulan
    The Issue of Consolidation in Allegheny County Volunteer Fire Departments
    Advisor: John McCarthy
  • Kayla Newman
    Social Impact Bonds: Funding for Social Profit Organizations as Explored through the Public Library System
    Advisor: Marcel Minutolo
  • Rebecca Noal
    A Changing Society: The Strip District in the 1800s
    Advisor: Carolina Loyola-Garcia
  • Alexander Olijar
    The Relationship between Government Revenue and the Income Tax Rate
    Advisor: Brian O'Roark
  • Carley Padgett
    Restless Leg Syndrome in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review
    Advisor: Nadine Englert
  • James Rankin
    Sarbanes-Oxley: America's Financial Law
    Advisor: Victoria Fratto
  • Philippe Rigaud
    The Development, Testing, and Design of a New Strategy Board/Card Game
    Advisor: Andrew Ames
  • Lauren Roberts
    Procalcitonin as a Possible Future Biomarker for Bacterial Infections
    Advisor: Matthew Maurer
  • Alex Romano
    Using Historical Quantitative Data to Rank Football Players in a Fantasy Football Atmosphere
    Advisor: Chris Groendyke
  • Alexa Sarsfield
    The Relationship between Athletics and Business: Using Management Tools to Guide a Team Captain to Success
    Advisor: Marcel Minutolo
  • Jeffrey Siwik
    Retirement Education: A Necessity for Today's College Students
    Advisor: Robert Beaves
  • Jennifer Smith
    Sustainability: A Whole New World of Sports
    Advisors: David Synowka & Scott Branvold
  • Nathanael Tinik
    Examining the Factors Associated with Recidivism
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Jaclyn Wilson
    Mathography: The Creative process of Combining Mathematics and Photography into an Activity Book for Middle School Students
    Advisor: Heather Pinson

2013 Honors Theses

  2013 Honors Program Seniors
  • Danny Bonaventura
    Perceptions of Assistant/Associate Athletic Directors of Student Athletic Support Services: The Case of the Northeast Conference
    Advisor: Artemisia Apostolopoulou
  • DaniRae Block
    Biodiversity of Leafhoppers in Western Pennsylvania
    Advisor: Catherine Hanna
  • Jennifer Broderick
    The Public Opinion and Perception of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Joe Douglas
    Investing in Amateur Talent: Surplus Value and Expected Returns of Top 100 Prospects in Major League Baseball
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Brianna Flasco
    We Are...The Precedent: A Crisis Communication Analysis of the Penn State Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Scandal
    Advisor: Michele Edwards
  • Matthew Kreiser
    An Analysis of What the Move to 150-credit Hours for CPA Licensure Means for Pennsylvania Accounting Students
    Advisor: David Hess
  • Maxwell Morrow
    CS1 Programming Courses: Comparing Objects-First and Procedural-First Approaches
    Advisor: Charles Woratschek
  • Christopher Murone
    Developing an Informational App for Higher Education
    Advisor: Charles Woratschek
  • Veronica Radloff
    Educating and Integrating the Public into the Oral Health Community
    Advisor: Carl Ross
  • Benjamin Ridgeley
    Health Care Reform: An Actuarial Student Guide
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Sarah Robb
    A System for Controlled Study of Strain Gradients in-vitro
    Advisor: Melissa Hillwig
  • Lindsey Sobolosky
    New Urbanism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: From the Suburbs to the Inner-City
    Advisor: John McCarthy
  • Phillip Timcheck
    Effectiveness of Hospital Footwear and Bactericidial Mats in Reducing Bacterial Transmission in the Clinical Setting
    Advisor: Katrina Pyo

2012 Honors Theses

  • Alexandra Antonacci
    The Story of a Soldier's Adaption: From the War Front to the Home Front
  • Brent Baburich
    An Exploration of Youth Hockey Development Programs in the National Hockey League
    Advisor: Artemisia Apostopoulou
  • Julia Bennett
    A Measure of Pre-Service Teacher Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education Before and After Completing a Special Education Course or Student Teaching Semester
    Advisor: Bruce Golmic
  • Kyle Bradley
    Team Name Selection in Professional Sport: The Case of the Tulsa Shock
    Advisor: Artemisia Apostopoulou
  • Thomas Boss
    Signaling of Dividend Initiations: Earning Stability During Recessions
    Advisor: Denise Letterman
  • Nicole Carlins
    Saving Presidential Reputations: Anatomy of Post-War Political Scandals
    Advisor: Philip Harold
  • Sabine Cherenfant
    Charisma and the Castro Brothers
    Advisor: Philip Harold
  • Sybile Cherenfant
    Gender Differences in Classroom Aesthetics
  • Jason Jurich
    The Textbook Acquisition Process: A Study of Pricing and Students Behaviors
    Advisor: Marcel Minutolo
  • Travis Loncar
    Google It: The State of Search in 2012
    Advisor: Monica VanDieren
  • Eric Milovac
    Catastrophe Modeling with a Focus on Hurricanes and How the Industry Can Be Improved
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Katherine O'Dowd
    Specific Theoretical Predictors of Dysphoria Among College Students
    Advisor: William Kelly
  • Jessica Olin
    George Washington's Contact with Native American Indians
    Advisor: Daniel Barr
  • Bradley Perciavalle
    Developing Trap Placement Strategies in Emerald Ash Borer Contaminant Models
    Advisor: William Dress

2011 Honors Theses

  • Michelle Beamer
    The Future of Social Security
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Lauren Douglas
    The Basel III International Banking Requirements: Assessing the Adequacy in Response to the U.S. Financial Crisis of 2007-2008
    Advisor: H. James Vincent
  • Matthew Feryus
    Actuary Examinations
    Advisor: David Hudak
  • Brian Gayso
    Corporate Sponsorship Strategies
    Advisor: Artemisia Apostolopoulou
  • Jennifer Greene
    What Factors Contribute to the Successful Revitalization of Rural Main Street? A Case Study of Imperial PA
    Advisor: Ann Jabro
  • Heather Lowery
    Analysis of Political-type, Front-page Articles in USA Today and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Advisor: Andrea Frantz
  • Jean Kalevitch
    I Don't Remember Learning That: The Modern High School Student and Information Retention
    Advisor: AJ Grant
  • Sara Meier
    Student Perception of Sustainability Efforts in Regional SW PA Grocery Stores
    Advisor: Gayle Marco
  • Tabitha Savka
    Battling the Death of Altruism: A Study of the Non-Profit Organization Donor Relationship
    Advisor: Julianne Michalenko
  • Sheila Strong
    Follow the Money: An International Study of Tax Havens
    Advisor: Katie Hetherington
  • Jessica Stubbs
    Motivation: Effects of External Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation and its Application to Restaurant A
    Advisor: Daria Crawley
  • Evan Wright
    Hierarchy Revisted: The Need Life Cycle
    Advisor: Steven Clinton

2010 Honors Theses

  • Channing Frampton
    Broadcast Television: A comparison between the stations of Finland and America
    Advisor: Helena Vanhala
  • Emily Himmel
    Nursing: Universalities and Diversalities, a Comparison Between Nursing in Nicaragua and Nursing in America
    Advisor: Carl Ross
  • Nicholas Pucci
    Ownership Structure: An Analysis of Publicly and Privately Owned Life Insurance Firms
    Advisor: David Hudak

2009 Honors Theses

  • Erik Herleman
    A Comparative Study of the Implementation of Total Quality Management Techniques by Small Business Entrepreneurs in Poland and the United States 
    Advisor: Cathi Jones
  • Melissa Wenger
    A Cultural Analysis: Managing a Multi-Cultural Environment within One Building
    Advisors: Diane Todd Bucci and Nell Hartley
  • Brendan Berkley
    Monitoring an Emerging Australian National Identity and the Role Graphic Designers Play in Shaping It
    Advisor: Ferris Crane
  • Caroline Ovial
    An Examination of the Exploitation of Males in Magazine Advertisements: A Comparison of the United States and Italy
    Advisor: Jill Maher
  • James Mike Schellhammer
    Irish Tourism and the Economy: Applying the Government Policies of Ireland to Pennsylvania
    Advisor: Richard Mills
  • Diane Durkin
    A Comparative Analysis of Retirement Benefits in the United States and Australia
    Advisor: David Hudak