ResearchMatters News

Michael Boyer and Christopher Arumainayagam watch Muhammad Kasule pour liquid into a scientific instrument in the laboratory
Muhammad Kasule ’18 is graduating from Clark University this December with multiple research experiences in hand, including one where he’s examining how life may form in outer space. “My research is centered on understanding how prebiotic molecules form in space,” Kasule says. “Prebiotic molecules are essentially the...
Olivia Barksdale sitting on a rock in the middle of a stream
Problems of Practice (POP) courses at Clark University allow undergraduate students to gain internship-like experience outside the classroom. This semester, students in Professor John Baker’s POP course on “Small-Scale Land Conservation in Massachusetts” connected not only with the great outdoors but with local...
Charline Kirongozi speaks to another student at Clark University's Fall Fest 2017
Charline Kirongozi ’18 brings multiple perspectives to her political science studies at Clark University. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo who grew up in Portland, Maine, Kirongozi draws from her personal experiences while also learning from others. If there’s a common thread to her research, it’s that she...
Erika Schaper standing in the jungle in the Philippines
Since 1893, most biologists have accepted Dollo’s law, named for the Belgian paleontologist who hypothesized that evolution moves forward, never reversing. A living organism doesn’t regain a trait — an inherited characteristic, like a tail or limb – lost during its evolutionary development, Louis Dollo suggested. About...
Frank Abell reaches for a glass chemistry tube on a shelf
Frank Abell remembers the day his son visited his office on the first floor of Arthur M. Sackler Sciences Center. Abell, Clark University’s laboratory manager/chemical safety officer, sat at his desk amid filing cabinets and boxes of supplies as students and professors rotated through. Undergraduates sought to buy white...
Four NOAA Fellows stand on campus green
Clark University’s 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fellows returned to campus this fall after a summer of research in Massachusetts and Maryland. Their faculty mentors and other attendees honored the four undergraduates at a lunch this week on campus. Sponsored by Clark’s Mosakowski Institute...
Sun-Hee Gertz, right, stands and poses with her husband, Uwe Gertz
“Since third grade, I knew I would be a professor. I just didn't know of what. In fact, I didn't know which field would become my area of specialization until my first year of Ph.D. studies. Moving from chemistry to philosophy to art to literature, I finally decided on comparative literature with a focus on Western...
Sweta Basnet standing near a building in Nepal
Two years after twin earthquakes struck central Nepal, the country is still feeling the aftereffects. Thousands of residents are living in temporary shelters, and communities are working to rebuild hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. About Sweta Basnet ’18 Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Spanish...
Jia Wei, at left, pointing at scientific instruments, with Micheal Kebede observing
As an undergraduate majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, Michael Kebede ’18 has spent his time at Clark University immersed in his element. He’s had the opportunity to conduct research in several laboratories on campus, and this summer, as a LEEP Fellow, he interned with Dr. Jia Wei, Ph.D. ’15, a research...
Father at left talking to teen son at right
Across two different cultures — Ghana and the United States — when parents acknowledge the perspectives of their adolescent children and encourage them to express themselves, youth have a stronger sense of self-worth, intrinsic motivation, and engagement, with less depression. Yet allowing adolescents to make decisions...
Janette Greenwood stands behind student Toni Armstrong and Alice Dillon, who are seated, as they look over photos laid out on the table at the Worcester Art Museum
For several months last spring, students in a Problems of Practice history seminar at Clark University painstakingly dug through genealogical records and worked with descendants to unlock the mysteries behind turn-of-the-century photographs of African-Americans and Native Americans in Worcester. This fall, their...
Colin Sterling - Clark University
When Dr. Richard Pietras ’69 was a biology student at Clark University, he achieved two firsts that launched his lifetime of research: his first federal funding, a National Science Foundation undergraduate student grant, and his first scientific report, in neurobiology. “The study was focused on the potential role of...
Christie Joyce - Clark University
As an undergraduate biology major and chemistry minor at Clark University, Christie Joyce ’16, M.S.’17, worked in research laboratories on campus. She wanted to explore career options besides academia and research, as well as address a gap at Clark, so she founded a research journal managed, edited, designed and...
Laura Faulkner and Madelyn Bowers - Clark University
When Laura Faulkner ’10, M.P.A. ’11, reviews her list of Clark University mentors, it’s a series of dotted lines that eventually led her to her current role as a community engagement manager for Opportunity@Work’s TechHire initiative. The nonprofit social enterprise, based in Washington, D.C., pursues its mission to “...
Older man on his knees, cutting his lawn with scissors
In the spring of 1999, Paul Robbins feared he would become what he most dreaded: a “lawn person.” He had just bought a house in Columbus, Ohio, complete with a spread of turfgrass. One day, his neighbor leaned over the backyard fence, pointed to the purple-flowered ivy threatening to overtake Robbins’ lawn and...
Erica Issenberg sitting in front of computers, with Terrset GIS image on screen
Since her high school days in Vermont, where she was involved in social and environmental justice movements, Erica Issenberg ’18 has always sought to change the world for the better. At Clark University, she has found others who share her passion for justice, and discovered new ways to make a difference, whether in...
Anthony Jreije stnaind on a beach in Beirut with buildings in background across the water
Imagine paying 90 percent of your income on rent. That’s a reality facing many residents of Beirut — and a focus of Anthony Jreije’s research into the politics of gentrification in Lebanon’s capital. The Clark University undergraduate’s project has been supported by Steinbrecher and Condakes fellowships and the LEEP...
Students and faculty in the Summer Science Program stand on the steps outside Jefferson building
More than 40 undergraduate students participated in Clark’s Summer Science Research Program, which featured weekly lectures and mentorship by faculty. “One of the many positive aspects of this program was the bringing together of students, and faculty, from very different fields,” says Denis Larochelle, associate...
Crystal Tang, Clark University
The benefits of economic prosperity and growth are often unevenly distributed. How, for example, in a thriving city like San Francisco, can some of its citizens be so wealthy, while others struggle to maintain a decent standard of living? Clark University student Crystal Tang ’19, who has lived in the Bay Area much of...
Sherief Eldeeb demonstrates how he attaches electrodes to the scalp of a young woman to test EEGs in the brain
In just three years at Clark University, Sherief Eldeeb ’18 has completed significant research projects in psychology. He’s examined topics ranging from the disparities in mental health care for Arab-Americans, to sleep problems and attention issues in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). About Sherief Eldeeb...
Lucyna Kogut works in the lab - Clark University
Lucyna Kogut ’18 chose Clark University because “I knew I wanted to be surrounded by people who were passionate about something. It didn’t matter what it was.” In her first semester here, however, she hadn’t yet identified her passion — and especially never thought it would be science. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do...
Casey Bush and Eva Kor talk to each other in office - Clark University
Casey Bush ’19 remembers when she first learned about the horrors of the Holocaust. She was in fifth grade, reading “Number the Stars,” a novel about a 10-year-old Danish girl who teams up with the Danish Resistance to help her Jewish friend and others flee the Nazis in Copenhagen.
Nunnemacher Magazine - Clark University
Professor Rudolph Nunnemacher emerged from his office carrying the lens of a whale’s eye. The electricity to the biology building was temporarily out of service, and he had just the remedy to brighten the darkness. He said to me, ‘Come watch this,’ remembers Michael Rosenzweig ’85, who followed obediently to the door of...
Bernny Ramirez looking at earthworm through glass tank
Scientists often borrow from nature when developing some of their best ideas. Look no further than earthworms. Their squiggly, tunneling movements have already inspired researchers to dream up robots that could inch along the ground in military reconnaissance missions, or create devices that could thread their way...
Nikolay Ionkin seated on chair before chalkboard with numbers
Ever since he was a boy playing with toy cars, Nikolay Ionkin ’18 has had a fascination with things that go. He imagined himself working in the automotive industry, but he never thought that physics might help him get there. A high school teacher convinced him otherwise. And when he entered Clark, he began taking...

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