Three Neumann math majors receive STEM Research grants – Delco Times

ASTON—Three young women at Neumann University, all math majors, have won Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards. They will receive grants of $5,000 each to conduct 150 hours of math research this summer.

Maria Ramunno and Kendra Warren will perform a statistical analysis of available data to determine the epidemiological and societal factors most closely related to the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Ollie DiDonato will use artificial intelligence applications to assess the skills of participants in karate competitions and predict the results.

Ramunno and Warren’s goal is to collect and analyze live COVID data for every zip code in Pennsylvania.

“We want to find out whether there is a connection between the determinants we have collected and the infection rate,” explains Ramunno. “For example, does a high vaccination rate actually help reduce the rate of infection in a given zip code?”

In addition to vaccination coverage, the pair will also study population density, the number of schools in each zip code, and possibly the type of vaccinations given (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) if that data is available. They had hoped to study the effects of mask-wearing as well, but couldn’t find any reliable statistics on this behavior.

According to Ramunno, their goal is “to collect as much data as possible this summer and identify trends to let the public know what we find.”
“I’ve always been the weird kid who liked math,” admits Ramunno, who is considering a career in biostats or computer programming. “I’ve had an interest in becoming a biostatistician since my sophomore year of high school.”

Warren’s goal was to be a math teacher, but when this research opportunity arose, she decided to see what other options were available for math majors.

DiDonato, who has a black belt in karate, combined his interests in math and martial arts to create a predictive model for Shotokan karate matches last summer, using data from 30 competitions. The final model predicted match outcomes with nearly 92% accuracy using only punch and counterattack skills.

DiDonato will add an AI component to the model this summer, working with two faculty mentors, one from Neumann and one from Gwynedd Mercy University.

This fellowship is the second consecutive summer research award for Ramunno and DiDonato, who began work on their projects in May 2021. Both students were accepted to present the work they did last summer at MathFest, the national conference of the Mathematical Association of America, in Philadelphia in early August.

According to the Luce Foundation website, the legacy of Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) supports women in STEM subjects. The program aims to close the gender gap in STEM subjects and in university leadership roles.

dr Ryan Savitz, professor of mathematics, is the faculty mentor for all three Neumann students. He describes the CBL awards as “highly competitive”.

To learn more about Neumann University, visit .

The Delco Veterans Memorial Association is hosting a Veterans Resources and Outreach Fair

The Delaware County Veterans Memorial, 4399 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, is hosting a Veterans and Families Outreach Fair, “Delco Welcomes Veterans,” on August 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event for veterans and their families includes veterans’ resources, live entertainment, food and fun. For more information, visit or call the Delco Veteran Network Team at 484-744-3269.

The White Dog Café Glen Mills is hosting the Paws On The Patio Book Signing

For those who have always wondered which wine pairs best with a Bichon Frize or a Chihuahua, Fearless Restaurants Director of Wine and Beverage Michele Gargiulo can join in as she shares her first book, Pairing Paws, Dog Breeds , and their Spirit” talks about these pooch pairings and more wines.”
Dog lovers can join Gargiulo on the patio of White Dog Cafe Glen Mills at The Shoppes on Brinton Lake, 981 Baltimore Pike, Concord Township on Tuesday, July 19 from 5-7 p.m. to present her book. Well behaved puppies are welcome at this barking hour.
The book examines how to combine the personality and soul of wine with a well-known breed of dog.

Gargiulo combines her love of wine and dogs to create an entertaining and informative book. Gargiulo has featured many shelter dogs in the book, as well as dogs owned by colleagues, and plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to local animal shelters as well as Alpha Bravo Canine, the main sponsor of the annual Dining Out for the Fearless Restaurant Dogs event, held in August at their White Dog Cafe locations. Alpha Bravo Canine™ was founded to serve the local community of veterans by providing trained service dogs to US military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other combat-related disabilities.

Gargiulo previously worked as a sommelier at Jean Georges Restaurant at the Four Seasons Philadelphia. She is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, a WSET Diploma Student (currently Advanced), a Certified Sake Advisor from the Sake School of America, an Executive Bourbon Steward from the Stave and Thief Society, and a Certified Wine Specialist from the Society of Wine Educators. She was beverage director at a restaurant called Savona on Philadelphia’s Main Line for a little over four years. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and previously studied genetics at Rutgers University. She was a teaching assistant for the wine class at the Culinary Institute of America with Professor Weiss for a year and has taught wine classes at the Montgomery Culinary Institute. She was named one of the New Faces of Wine by Philly Mag in 2017. She is one of the youngest sommeliers in the region and one of the very few women in the industry. She has focused her career on making wine more accessible and fun for those too intimidated to learn more. She often combines wine with things that others would not think of, such as art, music, emotions and now dogs.

Tickets are $50 and include a glass of White Flower from Penns Woods Winery of Chadds Ford included with the book, a signed copy of the book, and small appetizers. Tickets can be purchased at

The Swarthmore Art Exhibition features work by Mary Pax

The Swarthmore Friends of the Arts will feature local artist Mary Pax’s mixed media artwork in the Where You Are exhibit Friday, July 1-Friday, July 29 at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Ave., Swarthmore , present. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
Pax is a mixed media artist who draws inspiration from the people and places around her. Most of her original work consists of reverse drawing and painting on clear acrylic sheets using Sharpie markers, acrylic and spray paint. Certain works contain collage elements or sparkling glitter. She has exhibited at various locations in and around Philadelphia and is a contributor to the Souls Shot Project.

The opening hours of the exhibition are Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri.; 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sat.; and 1-5 p.m. Sun.

For more information about the artist, follow @MaryPaxArtist on Instagram.

Swarthmore Friends of the Arts is the community group responsible for the rotating art exhibitions at Swarthmore Borough Hall. Information on Swarthmore Friends of the Arts can be found at

Readers can email community news and photos to Peg DeGrassa at

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