Winter 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home


Door to Door - News from Muhlenberg College
page 2 Alumnus named national chair of Muhlenberg Fund
Biology professor receives NSF grant for groundbreaking ecology study
Master potter exhibits new work in Martin Art Gallery
page 3 ’Berg professor edits collection of Keats letters
Trustee addresses graduates of The Wescoe School
College receives funds for alcohol awareness program
page 4 Renowned, award-winning magicians perform at Muhlenberg
Wescoe School offers scholarships to local firefighters
page 5 Communication building dedicated to Walsons
Students walk for diabetes foundation


Alumnus named national chair of Muhlenberg Fund

Richard P. Romeo ’79 has been named national chair of the Muhlenberg Fund, the College’s annual giving
program, which consists of annual contributions from alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff and corporations.

Support through the Muhlenberg Fund provides an indispensable portion of the College’s operating budget, and
the Fund is expected to be an integral support component of Pride & Progress, Muhlenberg’s seven-year, $70 million capital campaign.

Romeo has served on the Board of Trustees since 1999, and from 1998 to 2002 he was Chair of the Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Society, the organization that recognizes the College’s top level of donors.

An attorney and partner with Salon, Marrow, Dyckman & Newman, LLP, a general civil practice firm specializing in business and commercial transactions and litigation, Romeo is a member of the New York Bar Association and holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

He and his wife Terri live in Mount Kisco, N.Y., where he serves as deputy mayor.


The work of master potter Ron Hand will be the focus of a special solo show on exhibit in the Martin Art Gallery through March 1. Hand’s work has been featured in New York galleries and major museums for the last 20 years.

The Martin Art Gallery commissioned Hand to produce all new work for the Muhlenberg venue, so you will certainly want to check out this unique exhibit. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon – 9 p.m.

Biology professor receives NSF grant
for groundbreaking ecology study

Richard Niesenbaum, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, has received an $81,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology. The research award will support his study of how experimenter visitation and measurement affect plant growth and the ecology of plant-insect

Niesenbaum and his colleagues term this experimenter effect the “ecological uncertainty principle” based on Werner Heisenberg’s 1927 proposition that there are fundamental limitations to the study of subatomic particles, as the act of measuring them can affect their behavior.

Niesenbaum’s work is confirming that such uncertainty also occurs in ecological studies, where visiting plants to measure rates of herbivory actually changes those rates and significantly impacts the plant-insect interactions being studied. The implications of such “visitation effects” are enormous, and the proposed work will challenge the long-standing assumption that field researchers are “benign observers.”

This interdisciplinary research is being done in collaboration with Christine Ingersoll, assistant professor of chemistry, and J.C. Cahill at the University of Alberta. Sumana Rao, a visiting scientist in Niesenbaum’s lab, will also be involved in the project.

In addition, much of the funding will go to support undergraduate involvement in the research. To date, the work has involved Jeffrey Dipple ’03, Lauren Mastro ’03, Richard Kipp ’04, Emily Kluger ’04 and Steph Zettel ’05, who have developed independent research projects that relate to the overall mission of this work.

With additional funding from the National Science Foundation, there may also be an opportunity for an Allentown School District teacher to be involved in the project this summer.


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