Impactful Research

2019 Faculty Research Day
Students and faculty pose with their awards at Faculty Research Day 2019

The University of Bridgeport’s ninth annual Faculty Research Day competition showcased a diverse array of faculty and student research throughout the Schelfhaudt Gallery in the campus’ Arnold Bernhard Arts & Humanities Center. Over 100 posters were on display with researchers present to discuss their work with the UB community and general public.

Thirteen additional posters were on display, belonging to participants from Housatonic Community College and select area high schools, including Fairchild Wheeler Magnet High School – IT & Software Engineering (Bridgeport), Notre Dame High School (Fairfield), Shelton High School, and the Stratford High School Project, which involves students from Bunnell, Fairfield Warde, Stratford, New Canaan, and Kolbe Cathedral High Schools.

Prominent surgery robotics researcher, Bruno Siciliano, PhD (University of Naples Federico II) delivered the keynote speech, “The Future is Now! Robots, AI and Automation,” followed by oral presentations by notable faculty and student researchers.

Always a crowd favorite, UB’s STEM bus—the first in Connecticut—rolled onto the scene, parked, and remained open to curious event participants.

Winning Faculty Competitive Research Posters

Poster Authors: Abdelshakour Abuzneid, PhD & Miad Faezipour, PhD (Engineering)
Poster Title: Machine Learning Based Feature Reduction for Network Intrusion Detection
This study outperformed many other studies in maintaining a high accuracy of 99.6% in multi-class and binary classification that reduces an updated intrusion detection dataset. The need for these type of solutions are vital to ensuring the security of data to millions of devices (or things) as Internet connectivity continually escalates.

Poster Authors: Elizabeth Armstrong, DNP & Linda Wagner, EdD (Nursing)
Poster Title: Families in Tradition: The Lived Experience of Parenting a Transgender Child
Parents of transgender children were interviewed and five themes emerged that help raise awareness of the parent’s perspective, provide a better understanding of complex family issues, provide nursing suggestions on how to continue to work to facilitate “healthy families” and promote cultural sensitivity.

Poster Author: Nikki Wingate, PhD (Business)
Poster Title: Narrow, Powerful, and Public: The Influence of Brand Breadth in the Luxury Market
This study focused on the effect of brand breadth (magnitude of the category extensions), which has not been fully investigated in current literature.  Findings demonstrate that narrow brands are liked more than broad brands only with consumers who feel powerful and desire status, and especially when the consumption occurs in public. The new research supplies theoretical guidelines to formulate successful brand extension strategies for luxury marketers.

Doctoral Research Poster Recognition

First Place Doctoral
Poster Author: Ozden Tozanli (Engineering)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Elif Kongar, PhD
Poster Title: A Supplier Selection Model for End-of-Life Product Recovery: An Industry 4.0 Perspective
This study’s objective was to evaluate suppliers based on their total cost, material sales revenue, total disposal weight, and product quality levels in the context of Industry 4.0. The study significance addresses organizations’ need to sustain long-term competitiveness due to pressure to strategically realign with globalization and digitalization to meet market dynamics changes.

Second Place Doctoral
Poster Authors: Holly Zimmerman & Emily Scholl (Chiropractic)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Kevin Kelliher, PhD
Poster Title: Variant Route of the Subclavian Artery Potential Cause of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Sometimes health professional students have to identify and understand when anatomy is not in the same place as where the textbooks describe. The researchers, in this study, identified an abnormality during a routine anatomical dissection of the neck that could lead to a hypothesis that this variation could compress the artery and lead to a vascular variety of the thoracic outlet syndrome disorder.

Third Place Doctoral
Poster Author: Carolyn South (Education)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Nancy DeJarnette, EdD
Poster Title: The Impact of a School Wide Social Emotional Learning Program on School Climate: A Mixed Methods Case Study of the RULER Program
The mixed methods case study draws connections between social emotional learning and school climate. The findings of the study indicate that social emotional learning programs, in this case the RULER Program, can positively impact student outcomes.

Graduate Research Recognition

First Place Graduate
Poster Author: Kelly Mulligan (Education)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Joanna Badara, PhD
Poster Title: Evaluation of a Teacher Preparation Program
An anonymous survey of teacher candidates were polled upon exiting the Education Department during the 2016-17 year. The survey revealed the reasons candidates chose graduate-level studies for teaching career preparation. The results will help inform program improvements and curriculum enhancements.

Second Place Graduate
Poster Authors: Arushi Sharma Kunal Basra, Sanchay Gumber (Design Management)
Faculty Poster Advisory: Alex White, MFA
Poster Title: Captivating Customers—The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Research, based on the Design Thinking Process, provided 40 ideas to promote sustainability, exhibit experience, and marketing that would attract visitors to Norwalk.

Third Place Graduate
Poster Author: Olivier Nsababera (Business)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Philip Maymin, PhD
Poster Title: Analytics to Understand Coups d’etat in USA
This study demonstrated that using data mining can help predict, prevent, and reduce risk to an acceptable level in business environments, specifically in regard to countries. This research took into account the geopolitical and economic survival of a business in light of recent political events in the U.S.

Undergraduate Research Recognition

First Place Undergraduate
Poster Authors: Ameya Patkar & Taylor Brown (Biology)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Stergios Bibis, PhD
Poster Title: Metformin as a Possible Inducer for Antibiotic Resistance in Gut Microflora
The study explored the effects of Metformin, the gold standard in Type II diabetes treatment, on the antibiotic resistivity of the gut microflora (specifically E. coli, a representative gut microbe). Results suggest that acute metformin exposure increase the time it takes for E coli to develop antibiotic –resistant variants to trimethoprim.

Second Place Undergraduate
Poster Authors: Nicolas Cardenas Portaccio, Christopher Martucci, Kareem Saleh (Engineering)
Faculty Poster Advisor: Sarosh Patel, PhD
Poster Title: Automated Beach Cleaner
The study addresses potential solutions to address the ever-growing litter on beaches all over the earth. Currently, beach cleaners are utilized, which are expensive and limited in scope. The study presents a comprehensive, low cost, autonomous robotic beach cleaner to address the problem.

Third Place Undergraduate
Poster Author: Maria Besselink (Psychology)
Faculty Poster Advisor: David Oberleitner, PhD
Poster Title: The Impact of Social Isolation on Coping Style Utilization
This study explored different coping styles used, depending on an individual’s perceived level of isolation. Results demonstrated that coping styles were impacted when comparing high vs. low perceived social isolation.

Local High School Student Research Recognition

Student researchers from local high schools presented their exciting and interesting research projects. Earning first place was a student from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (MA), second place was claimed by Shelton High School, and third place to Fairfield Wheeler Magnet High School—IT and Software Engineering (all-women team). 

Honorable mention went to a collective of high schools: Stratford High School, Bunnell High School, Fairfield Warde High School, Kolbe Cathedral High School, and New Canaan High School. 

First and third undergraduate student poster winners went to students from the College of Arts and Sciences: first place was awarded to Ameya Patkar and Taylor Brown (advisor Stergios Bibis, PhD). Second place was awarded to the School of Engineering students Nicolas Cardenas Portaccio, Christopher Martucci, and Kareem Saleh (advisor Sarosh Patel, PhD). The third was awarded to Maria Besselink, a student in the College of Arts and Sciences (advisor David Oberleitner, PhD. Housatonic Community College student Khayla Reid earned an honorable mention.

First through third graduate student poster winners are as follows: Kelly Mulligan (advisor Joanna Badara, PhD—Education); Arushi Sharma, Kunal Basra, and Sanchay Gumber (Alex White, MFA—Design Management); and Olivier Nsababera (advisor Philip Maymin, PhD—Business).

Three UB professors were recognized for their outstanding competitive posters: Abdelshakour Abuzneid, PhD, and Miad Faezipour, PhD; Elizabeth Armstrong, PhD, and Linda Wagner, PhD; and Nikki Wingate, PhD.

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Tarek Sobh, executive vice president for research & economic development and dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Education, recognized co-chairs, Christine Hempowicz, EdD, and Joanna Badara, PhD, for their work in organizing the annual event.