Independent Public Mission Schools

Centenary: Students Study Species In Local Streams And Lakes

Dr. Lauren Bergey, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Centenary University, has been conducting a scientific research study this summer in estuaries and boat docks along the New Jersey coast with students Kate Arnao, (Mine Hill, N.J) , Scarlett Welfel (Vernon, N.J.) Ryan Van Vliet (Sussex, N.J.), and alumna Hollianne Eckerd (Budd Lake, NJ)

While in the field, Dr. Bergey and her students survey which shrimp species are present and their fecundity (how many have eggs) as well as track the spread of an invasive species from Japan. Dr. Bergey and her students received training from Dr. James Carlton, Professor of Marine Science, Emeritus, at Williams College in Mystic, Connecticut on how to positively identify each of the species based on anatomy and dissection.

Five years ago, Dr. Bergey, along with her then research students, Susan Cheng ’13 and Erika Chu ‘13, were the first to find an invasive species called Palaemon macrodactylus, the Asian Shrimp in the state of N.J. Their names are listed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. as part of a nationwide group of scientists tracking the spread of this species. This work was also highlighted in The Record, and Dr. Bergey was interviewed by CBS New York reporter Elise Finch about the findings.

“Not a lot of undergraduate students have the chance to be involved in undergraduate research projects that can really provide them with an edge when they graduate,” says Dr. Bergey. “I am proud that, at Centenary, such important opportunities are available to our students.”

Kate Arnao, a junior biology major at Centenary, has designed a research project to determine how light intensity impacts the distribution of shrimp species within the water column including the non-native species from Japan.

In addition, Dr. Balwant Chohan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Centenary University, has been conducting research this summer with student R.J. Ackerman. The on-going project is based on Dr. Chohan’s SMILE (Small Mobile Instruments for Lab Enhancement) initiative. The latest instrument involves a student-built portable conductivity meter that was constructed for less than $35. In order to fully characterize the newly instrument, students have been designing, developing and testing several lab experiments, and then compare results with data obtained from various commercially available conductivity probes. Data sets have been collected and analyzed from local bodies of water (a dozen different sites in the Hackettstown area were sampled). A related project has investigated the sorption characteristics of the chemical components that make up domestic water filters. The results of these studies will be published in the near future.

To learn more about Dr. Bergey’s background and research projects, please visit

Centenary Reveals New Look With Launch Of University Website

Centenary University recently launched an innovative new website only three short months after the institution changed its designation to university status.

Visitors to Centenary’s website ( will see something different as the new site reflects the beauty of the institution, properly portrays Centenary University’s brand and accurately communicates the vast educational benefits of a Centenary education. The interactive site increases the visibility of Centenary’s wide variety of leading programs and ensures that important information is easy to find for prospective and current students, parents, faculty and other users. Its features include a simplified menu, more powerful search function, and a great design that is easy for users to navigate and explore, whether they are using a desktop computer, tablet or mobile device. In addition, the site itself mimics the navigation that is used for a mobile product.

“A project of this size is a massive undertaking and usually would take 14 to 16 months to complete,” says John Meagle, Chief Marketing Officer at Centenary University. “We were able to produce it in just five months.”

Meagle began his career at Centenary University in July 2015 and spearheaded the website initiative from start to finish. He worked with executive staff members to analyze the key components of what they would like to see in a new site and hired a firm named FastSpot, a web design company located in Maryland, to build the frame of the site as a result of their feedback. Much of the additional legwork, including some content writing and design implementation was completed by the Marketing staff. Under Meagle’s direction, a drone video of the campus was created in advance of this project for use as the backdrop for the website. The Marketing Department also secured various fall and spring campus shots that were utilized to populate the site. A vital part of the project was developing multiple videos to provide perspective students with insight into what it will be like to be a student at Centenary University. Those watching the videos can hear and see why Centenary faculty and staff feel that the institution is one that prepares alumni for success.

“Our new website reflects the way today’s generation uses the web across a variety of platforms, and the timing is perfect, given our recent attainment of University status and our nearly 150-year old tradition of adapting to the needs of learners,” says Dr. David P. Haney, President of Centenary University.

A noteworthy area of the new site is the News & Media area. It allows the Marketing staff to highlight the accomplishments of Centenary’s faculty, staff, alumni and students to the world in a visually engaging manner. This area of the website will continue to grow as the Marketing staff will engage those constituencies to populate it with thought provoking material.

“I want to give special credit to Edwin Malave, Centenary’s Webmaster, and the rest of the Marketing staff, for their tireless work on this project,” says Meagle. “Edwin put in countless hours to ensure that the end product worked correctly. He was only able to do this because of his technical expertise and his ability to collaborate with other areas. Every time I would think of an innovative feature that I wanted to add to the site, he would turn that vision into reality”

To check out the new Centenary University’s website, visit