Undergraduate Research Day Showcased Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research across the Disciplines

Published: December 20, 2018

Undergraduate Research Day, held in December, was organized by the Research Committee, the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) Team at Queensborough, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and the Queensborough Academies.

“Undergraduate Research Day showcases the breadth and depth of the outstanding research of our dedicated and talented faculty and students. Faculty mentors also present on the research they embed into their courses,” said Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, Campus Coordinator for Undergraduate Research, Director of the CUNY Research Scholars Program, chair of the Research Committee and Member of the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative Team at Queensborough.

The conference gives students the opportunity to learn about academic research conducted by faculty and their fellow students, and to show the potential for research in a wide range of fields.

“This event is one of the academic highlights of the year for us as an institution dedicated to the formative role that undergraduate research plays in the success and collaboration of our faculty and students,” said Dr. Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D., Interim President of Queensborough Community College. “It is also a strong demonstration of the commitment by our partners at CUNY, who serve as conduits to research opportunities and other support activities for all undergraduate students.”

Undergraduate Research (UR) is one of five High Impact Practices implemented by the College, and all have proved to increase student engagement and persistence. One such student, UR presenter Angelica Pomar, will graduate in the spring of 2019 with an Associate of Science degree in Gallery and Museum Studies. Angelica discussed how her research project, a retrospective of conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper, strengthened her desire to pursue art professionally. Her poster featured some of Piper’s works from the 1960s through the present.

“I chose Adrian Piper because she represents race and the power of femininity. She celebrates her identity as African American and Jewish, and bucks the idea that if you don’t look like something you aren’t something. That really struck a chord with me since my heritage is Hispanic, Puerto Rican and Colombian, but I’m still put in a category as Hispanic. I’d like to follow in her footsteps as a successful, groundbreaking female artist.”

Angelica hopes one day to be a teacher so she can take what she learned from her mentor, a professor who has made a marked difference in her life, and “pay it forward.”

That mentor is Dr. Kathleen Wentrack, Associate Professor in the department of Art & Design, who first met Angelica when she interned last semester at The New Zone art gallery in Brooklyn, which represents women’s art across all identities.

When Angelica was a student in Dr. Wentrack’s modern art class, she expressed an interest in doing an Honor’s project which led to her research project. Dr. Wentrack, who has been a full-time professor at Queensborough since 2007, guided Angelica in her classroom work and research, and suggested art exhibits to visit and trade articles to read and study. Dr. Wentrack also served as her art adviser and discussed transfer programs that would best serve Angelica’s academic and professional goals. Angelica heard many good things about the Art & Design department, not least of which came from her mother, who studied with Dr. Wentrack about nine years ago! Another of Wentrack’s star students was the College’s own Senior Photographer, Leo Correa. 

2018 Undergraduate Research Day had 80 presentations and drew 200 attendees. The presentations featured the work of 76 students who were mentored by 42 faculty, and 4 faculty who embed research into their courses. 

(Presenters represented Biological Sciences and Geology, Business, Chemistry, Engineering Technology, the Kupferberg Holocaust Center, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, Social Sciences and Speech, Communication & Theatre Arts.)


The City University of New York

Research Scholar’s Program (CRSP)

Queensborough Academies

The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP

QCC Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (SANNAS)

QCC Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program

Research Initiative for Maximizing Student Success (RIMS)

Queensborough Summer Intensive Program (SIP)

QCC CUNY I-CORPS: Tools for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Success (STEM Ties)

Space Weather Research and Education Program

QCC NSF S-STEM Scholars Program in Smart Energy

The Kupferberg Holocaust Center


Recognition and Gratitude:

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D., Interim President of Queensborough Community College

Dr. Sandra Palmer, Provost and Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Shiang-Kwei Wang, Dean for Research

Dr. Kathleen Landy, Assistant Dean, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)

Dr. Michael Pullin, Assistant Dean for Academics

Stephen Di Dio, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing and Communications

Tony Gamino, Director of Creative Services, Marketing and Communications

Phillip Roncoroni, Digital Content Manager, Marketing and Communications

Richard D’Amato, Print Shop Coordinator, Print Shop Services

Jacinta Patrice-George, Office of Sponsored Programs

Rawric Sumner & Kristina Papacostas, College Assistants, CRSP

Raj Vaswani, Manager of Strategic Technology Implementation & Integration, (IT)

Adam Volin, Sr. Systems Architect

Pedro Irigoyen and Andrew Xu, CLTs, Chemistry

Terrance Rohan, CLT, Biology

Jerry Sitbon, CLT, Engineering Technology

Marcos Peralta and Alejandra Rosas, Metropolitan Food Services

Vivi Tsarouhas, Administrative Superintendent, Buildings and Grounds

Dr. Irina Rutenburg, Chemistry

Dr. Tirandai Henraj-Benny, Chemistry

Dr. Paul Sideris, Chemistry

Dr. Sujun Wei, Chemistry

Members of the Research Committee:

Professor Kathleen Wentrack, Art and Design Department

Professor Andrew Nguyen, Biological Sciences and Geology Department

Professor Christina Manzo, Business Department

Professor Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, Chemistry Department

Professor Dugwon Seo, Engineering Technology Department

Professor Melissa Dennihy, English Department

Professor Mélida Sánchez, Foreign Languages and Literature Department

Professor Rezan Akpinar, Health, Physical Education and Dance Department

Professor Jeff hall, History Department

Professor Mi-Seon (Christine) Kim, Library Department

Professor Andrew Bulawa, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Professor Scott Litroff, Music Department

Professor Georgina Colalillo, Nursing Department

Professor Marie Chantale Damas, Physics Department

Professor Kersha Smith, Social Sciences Department

Professor Franca Ferrari-Bridgers, Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Department

Marisa Hollywood, Kupferberg Holocaust center

Moira Adams, Office of Grants/Sponsored Programs

Shiang-Kwei Wang, Academic Affairs

Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative Team:

Professor Joan Petersen, Biological Sciences and Geology Department

Professor Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, Chemistry Department

Professor Maria Mercedes Franco, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Professor Rex Taibu, Physics Department

Professor Rommel Robertson, Social Sciences Department



Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.