Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit Students & Faculty Awarded Research Grants

WHEELING, W.Va., Dec. 8, 2015 – The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium has awarded four Wheeling Jesuit University students and faculty $17,000 in research scholarships from the for the 2015-16 academic year.

WJU student recipients are Shelby Caddies, Nicholas King, Philip Stephen and Brett Szeligo. The scholarships are awarded each fall semester by the consortium to students in a S.T.E.M. (Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) related major. Students must submit a research proposal and must be endorsed by a member of faculty who will serve as their mentor to be considered for a grant.

Caddies is senior chemistry major from Claysville, Pa. She will conduct her research under the direction of Dr. Emily Sylvester titled “Synthesis of nickel and iron complexes with amino acid derived Schiff base ligands.”

King, a senior chemistry major from Wheeling, will conduct his research alongside Dr. Mary Railing, associate professor of chemistry on “A Chemical Analysis of Metal Contaminates and other Pollution in the Freshwater of Wheeling.”

Stephen, a senior biology major from Bellaire, Ohio, along with Dr. Robert Shurina will be conducting the effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a flavanol found in green tea.

Szeligo will investigate the mechanism of CO ligand loss as well as other thermal decomposition processes by using thermogravimetric analysis. He is a junior chemistry major from Wheeling and will research alongside Dr. Jim Coffield, WJU associate professor of chemistry.

Additionally, a total of $6,000 was awarded to three Wheeling Jesuit faculty members for research they will be conducting during the 2015-16 academic year. In addition to Railing, Dr. Jason Fuller, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, professor of psychology will be researching various topics.

Fuller will Investigate the “Thermal Decomposition of Iron (II) Dithiocarbamates,” where Raudenbush will continue his research that has made international headlines called “The Effects of Peppermint Flavor and Scent Administration on Argument Rugby Play Performance.”

According to Raudenbush, past research has shown marked influences on various measures of athletic performance through the administration of peppermint scent in laboratory testing.

The present study is designed to assess whether these effects can be found in a more realistic sports environment, specifically outside of the laboratory with varsity rugby players.

Further, a new technique will be employed for taste and scent administration, through the use of a flavored mouth guard. Currently, the WJU rugby team is the only Wheeling Jesuit University sports team that consistently uses a mouth guard.

The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium is a NASA-sponsored organization consisting of 12 West Virginia academic institutions and nine corporate and scientific partners. It is dedicated to building research infrastructure and promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in West Virginia.

The consortium’s programs focus on research, collaborations with high-tech industries, student fellowships, K-12 education and public outreach. This is consistent with the strategic vision for the state’s participation in the nation’s future endeavors in science and technology.


Shown in photo above are Brett Szeligo, Shelby Caddies and Nick King.

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