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May 10, 2019

La Roche University Students Receive High Honors

PITTSBURGH, May 10, 2019 – Twelve graduating seniors at La Roche University presented honors theses at the annual Honors Convocation this spring.

The attainment of such honors signifies the highest approbation the University can bestow upon an outstanding student and is considered a reflection of mutual scholarly attainment by both the student and the University community. Under the direction and guidance of a committee of La Roche faculty, students conduct research, write and then present their theses at the annual Honors Convocation.

The following students presented projects in April and were recognized at the Graduate Luncheon and Awards on Friday, May 10.

Andrew Colvin of Pittsburgh, PA
Honors in National Security Studies
“Domestic Terrorism and Social Media: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Homegrown Violent Extremism, Social Media and Speech”

Donald Daube of Pittsburgh, PA 
Honors Institute: History and Political Science
“Changes in the Social and Economic Policies of the Republican Party: 1865-1965”

Felicia Gehres of Waynesburg, PA 
Honors Institute: Biochemistry and Biology
“Effect of Zinc on Aβ42 Aggregation and Its Influence on the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease”

Zachary Hornick of Glenshaw, PA 
Honors Institute: National Security Studies
“Post 9/11 Analysis of the United States’ Counterterrorism Strategy Against Terrorist Finances”

Jessica Lee of Cranberry Township, PA 
Honors Institute: English Studies – Professional Writing and Journalism
“Racism in Television and Movies: How a Lack of Diversity Can Affect Childhood Development”

Jack Mangold of Pittsburgh, PA 
Honors Institute: Marketing and Management
“CSR: A Corporation’s Devious Best Friend”

Jaynil Patel of Nairobi 
Honors in Biology
“Bioremediation of Water from Abandoned Mine Drainage: Role of Bacteria in an Acidic Remediation Site”

Heather Radick of Butler, PA 
Honors Institute: English Literature
“The Wondrous and the Harrowing: How Science, Gender and Religion Influenced 19th Century Romantic Literature”

Taylor Rosso of Harmony, PA 
Honors in Biology
“Role of Sulfur Metabolizing Microbes in pH-Neutral Remediation Systems”

Kassondra Rush of Bellevue, PA 
Honors in Psychology
“The Consequences of Contact Sports: The Development and Prevention of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy”

Cassidy Shaffer of Brockway, PA 
Honors Institute: Biochemistry and Biology
“Analysis of the Pine Creek Watershed”

Justin Woollett of Moon Township, PA 
Honors Institute: National Security Studies
“Mitigating Online Radicalization”

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Howard Ishiyama, Ph.D., said, “Honors students are a great source of pride for our university. The La Roche community congratulates these graduates on their outstanding academic achievements and for presenting original research. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to watching them take the next step in their careers.” 

Heather Radick received the Richard G. Kotarba Outstanding Honors Presentation Award for her honors thesis. Ms. Radick’s project identified and analyzed the influence that 19th century scientific progress and burgeoning religious fanaticism had on British Romantic literature.

The runner-up, Andrew Colvin, presented on domestic terrorism, and the relationship between homegrown violent extremism, social media and speech.

The Honors Institute at La Roche cultivates intellectual discourse and promotes scholarly achievement. Designed for exemplary students, the program embraces challenges and provides outstanding educational opportunities that will serve as a pathway to a successful future. Supporting the La Roche mission, the Honors Institute seeks to broaden and deepen academic excellence, and introduces students to alternative viewpoints, contemporary social issues and the call to better the world.


About La Roche University: A private liberal arts university in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers 66 undergraduate programs of study, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential university provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.