Volume 3, Fall 2021


​The Editorial Board is pleased to present the third edition of Illuminate, the undergraduate journal of the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC). It is such a pleasure to be able to electronically publish 25 unique, interesting pieces of academic and creative work. Celebrating the work of all our contributors is one of the reasons this journal was created. Your research and creativity will inspire all those who read this year’s edition.

The purpose of Illuminate is to allow students to publish their work, letting it "shine on" and provide intellectual and creative stimulation to all. This third volume aligns with the conference theme from the #NRHC2021 conference, which was the region’s first-ever all-virtual conference with both synchronous and asynchronous components. The theme: “Infrequently Asked Questions: Finding Solutions to Impossible Problems.” The architect of this year’s theme, Chris Brittain, implored students to explore infrequently asked questions and to begin the search for solutions to impossible problems.

As you read and reflect upon the various contributions in the following posts of Illuminate, you will certainly notice the presence of this theme. Our contributors have tackled impossible problems like gun violence, issues of self-esteem and identity, crises and breakthroughs in the medical field, social issues like domestic violence, and more. However, Illuminate also celebrates pieces of student work that aren’t connected to this theme.


By publishing these unique and compelling pieces in this journal, we will allow these works to endure and “shine on.” Our contributors have answered the call to find the solutions, to solve the problems, and to ask the next set of challenging questions. Professors who teach research often tell their students it’s a never-ending cycle. Professors who teach in the creative disciplines implore the significance of connecting with the audience. Whether creative or academic in nature, there is always a “next step” in the process. A new question emerges. A new idea presents itself. It is essential that those new frontiers continue to be explored. We hope that all the contributors continue in their research and creative pursuits. And that all who read are enlightened and share the work with others. ​

There are so many people to thank for bringing this project to fruition—you may read every editorial board member’s biography on the Meet Our Team page, along with the biographies of all the authors/contributors to this volume.

Suffice it say, the pandemic rages on even as we publish this edition in October 2021. Our resiliency has grown since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As an organization, NRHC continues to thrive in hosting its annual event virtually this year and through the publication of Illuminate.

One of the messages we sent last year remains true today: as we continue to navigate through these challenging times, we urge you to stay focused, continue to push the limits of your critical and creative skills, and find the light in any circumstances that challenge you.

Please enjoy this third volume. It has been the pleasure of the Editorial Board to review submissions, work with contributors on edits, and bring this volume online. If you have any questions or wish to contact any of the contributors, please email us at illuminatenrhc@gmail.com.


Be safe, be strong, and always be illuminated! And...Happy Reading!



The Illuminate Editorial Board

2021 Edition Contents

Click here to access Academic Work.


Click here to access Creative Work.


The following are the pieces selected to be featured in Volume 3 of Illuminate. They are organized by author last name:

"Transdermal Drug Delivery Application in Psychiatry"

Zohra Ahmed, Notre Dame of Maryland University 

"Factors that Affect the Further Conservation of the Snow Leopards and Future Progress Expected"

Malik Atadzhanov, Kingsborough Community College

"Interaction Between Self-Efficacy and Domestic Violence: Real World Applications"

Catherine Baz, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth 

"Addressing the Nursing Shortage: The Role of Maryland Community Colleges in Alleviating the Nursing Shortage"

Lauren Brown, Howard Community College

"Tellings of Slavery in American History Textbooks: An Analysis of Damaging Misinformation and Erasure of Black History"

Danielle DeAngelis, Ramapo College of New Jersey

"Service Learning as a Valuable and Sustainable Form of Social Infrastructure for Students"

Shannon DiCristina, Fairleigh Dickinson University

"A New Application to Purifying Drinking Water Using Carbon Quantum Dots"

Matthew Dougherty, Stevenson University 

"Coal’s Influence on the Appalachian Region of America"

Allison Doverspike, Gannon University 

"The Twin Experience: First-hand Perspectives on Twins’ Social and Psychological Development"

Ruth Ferguson, Howard Community College 

"President Donald J. Trump’s Tweets on Publicly Traded Companies – Impact on Stock Price and Competitor Stock Price"

Cole Flynn, Bentley University 

"The Association Between Parasomnias and Feelings of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression"

Ryann Gollings, Thiel College

"Modern Myth: Spider-Man--Finding Society's Virtues in Our Popular Culture"

Jordan Iacobucci, Dominican College 

"Chords" & "Bedtime"

Yoriam Laboy Alvarado, Stevenson University

"How Many More?"

AnnaMaria Leal, St. Francis College

"Summer Reading as a Means of Achieving Academic and Social-Emotional Goals for 6th-12th Grade Students"

Kassidy Montuoro-Germann, Fairleigh Dickinson University 

"Locked Down and Locked In: Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Intimate Partner Violence"

Marissa Murphy, Dominican College

"Carl Sandburg, Master of Allegory, and Poet of the People"

Anna Pinder, Monroe College

"Detection of Metal Ions Using Pinto Bean Synthesized Carbon Quantum Dots"

Alyss Rollins & Justin Novoa, Stevenson University 

"Skincare in the 21st Century"

Sydney Salomon, Saint Elizabeth College

"Advocacy till the End"

Steven Swiatek, Buffalo State College

"A Psychoanalysis of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis"

Annie Vasquez, Monroe College 

"Swallowing Fear: A Holistic, Multidisciplinary Approach to Treating Phagophobia" & "Consuming Fire"

Kaitlin Wachter, Frederick Community College

"Gone Too Soon: How Does One Reverse the Destruction of Diversity in a Fragmented Habitat?"

Elizabeth Wash, Salisbury University 


Click the cover for the official PDF

of Volume 3!