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  • Gabrielle Stine

Feathers in Mount's Cap: Its Accomplished Faculty

Gabrielle Stine

Here at Mount St. Mary’s University, both professors and students are making groundbreaking progress within their respective fields. From receiving grants to book proposals and published books, professors are continuing their research to advance in their fields and bring pride to the Mount.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Patrick Lombardi received a renewal grant for nearly $444,000 of the previous 2020 grant.

The Academic Research Enhancement Award, from the National Institute of Health, provides Mount students with opportunities to take part in summer internships, perform research in both on-campus and external labs and to attend conferences to present their work and learn from others.

“It really is an accomplishment of a group…” Lombardi stated humbly, “…our lab, our students and the labs that we work with.”

Lombardi shared that the grant money will not only fund use of instruments at universities like Johns Hopkins, but also will allow students to attend conferences like the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in March in San Antonio, Texas.

“Everyone already has that date in mind and we’re all working really hard to have some exciting results to present when we go to San Antonio,” Lombardi remarked excitedly. His goal for his students is to begin completing internships here at the Mount and then take their experience and newfound confidence beyond the university.

All these opportunities would not be possible if not for the hard work Lombardi’s students have put into this grant. In having to write a 12-page research strategy to apply for the grant, Lombardi sought the insights of his Biochemistry 405 class and other students to improve and collaboratively develop an appealing proposal.

Students like Zach Beck (C’23), Anthony Milazzo (C’24), Reanne Towler (C’24) and Tori Tavernier (C’24) are a few of the many students who played integral roles in the grant application process. Lombardi asserts that the grant renewal was not just the work and accomplishment of a “faculty member in an office,” but the “collective effort by the students,” advocating that the money they earned together will in turn fund future programs and internships for students in STEM.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Minxuan He also received a grant from the NIH for a total of $168,808 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to produce short-term original research. For this two-year period, she strives to “examine how infants born and raised in low-income families in the United States strive in their motor skill acquisition and

consequent psychological changes” and how parents contribute to their child’s developmental outcomes.

He will need a “highly responsible and motivated research team,” and she is looking to Mount students to accomplish this goal. By offering independent research courses and paid summer research opportunities to psychology-related major students, He not only wishes to pursue this research, but to also create opportunities for students to gain experience in their areas of study.

Students working on He’s team will be exposed to new research methods, data analysis and lab responsibilities and the possibility for sponsored research and student conferences. “Students have always played an important role in my research and career,” she stated. He strives for the grant and research opportunities to help students gain experience to promote the wellbeing of future generations.

Associate Professor of Business Dr. Sarah Zipp also received the university’s Summer Development Grant to travel to Sydney, Australia last August to share her research on the diversity and inclusion of women’s athletics. At the conference, Zipp sat on a panel, discussing issues in women’s soccer and sharing her research findings on menstrual health and the ways in which sports can empower female athletes.

Her invitation to participate in the soccer conference was not the only exciting news she received this summer. Shortly before leaving for Sydney, Zipp learned that her book proposal had been accepted by Routledge. Her book proposal is on the connection between athletics and menstrual health for women, and her recent trip to Australia served as a helpful resource for her research.

Since she was already in Australia speaking about women in sports, Zipp also decided to watch a few Women’s World Cup soccer games, as such an opportunity “opens the door to meet with many leaders” in the sport from all over the world.

Mount St. Mary’s University is proud to congratulate all the faculty members on their grants and advancement of their scholarship. The community is excited to see what the future holds for their research as well as all the new opportunities that will create for Mount students.


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