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Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who participated in Student Research Week 2022. You helped make our event a great success. Watch the video below for some highlights of the week’s events.

Monday, March 28 through Friday, April 1, 2022

Each year, the UCF community celebrates research and creative scholarship during UCF Student Research Week. The 2022 event had a bold new look that will inspire us to think about the possibilities and imagine how we can impact the future. The event took place from March 28 – April 1. 

UCF Student Research Week included a keynote panel discussion, workshops, and an awards ceremony. The premier event is the Student Scholar Symposium that took place on March 30-31. It was an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to share their research and creative scholarship with the UCF community.


Student Scholar Symposium Winners

Excellence Awards and Distinguished Undergraduate Research Awards

People's Choice Winners

What You'll See

Over two days, more than 779 students from across all the colleges presented 484 posters over five sessions in the Student Union on the main campus.

At the conclusion of the day’s poster sessions on March 30, participants and the public attended the Excellence Awards presentation at 2:15 p.m. in the Cape Florida Ballroom. During the ceremony the following winners were announced and recognized:

  • Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching
  • Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Distinguished Undergrad Research Awards
  • Champions of Undergraduate Research
  • Mentor of the Year

The keynote presentation — The Impact of Student Research — followed. Several panelists shared their research experiences and the impact that it has had on their successful career paths. The panelists were:

  • Stephen Adamo, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychology
  • Stevie Carnell, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Computer Science
  • Caroline Cheong, Assistant Professor, Department of History
  • Albert Manero II, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Limbitless Solutions

More poster sessions continued on March 31. This was a great opportunity for the public to get a chance to interact with student researchers in person. 

The winners of the Student Scholar Symposium were announced at the Awards Ceremony on March 31 in the Cape Florida Ballroom. Students with presentations deemed exemplary by event judges received scholarships.


Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching: Erica Goldstein

She is in the Education PhD, Exercise Physiology Track, College of Health Professions and Sciences. Erica was nominated by Associate Professor Dr. Matthew Stock in the School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy. He selected Erica based on how she exceeded all expectations for excellence in teaching but stood out among her GTA peers. She has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence in teaching. Her previous work experience has proven invaluable in her ability to develop content as well as relate well to her students. According to Dr. Stock and the faculty in the program, Erica’s contributions in teaching have been significant and parallel to the mission of the school.

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Davide Dal Pos

He is in the College of Sciences and is earning a doctorate in Biology. Davide was nominated by the following faculty: Dr. Barb Sharanowski; Ms. Michelle Yeargain; and Dr. John Fauth. They whole heartedly recommended Davide for this award as he is a phenomenal, enthusiastic, and inspiring teacher, never hesitating to go above and beyond his assigned duties even if it helps just one student learn more effectively.

Undergraduate Mentor of the Year: Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse, Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences

This award is student nominated and selected by the Student Undergraduate Research Council. This year’s Mentor of the Year has had a profound impact on her students’ undergraduate careers. One of her mentees writes “what really stood out to me was the incredible encouragement, support, and patience she displayed as my research advisor…I can truly say that she is always pushing her students to success.”

Champions of Undergraduate Research

  • Chrysalis Wright, Department of Psychology, College of Sciences
  • Jonathan Caranto, Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences
People’s Choice Award
  • Huntir Bass
  • Gabriel Benson
  • Sidney Busch
  • Katherine Guise
  • Katherine Harris
  • Annmarie Kavumkal
  • Sidney Paulin
  • Nino Stea
  • Kaitlyn Vidal

Each awardee received a $50 book voucher.

Distinguished Undergraduate Research Awards


  • May: Riley Shurack, whose mentor is Dr. Jeanette Garcia, Health Sciences
  • June: Juliet Cahow whose mentor is Dr. Anne Bubriski, Women’s and Gender Studies,
  • July: Geela Margo Ramos who is mentored by Dr. Joon-Hyuk Park, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • August: Julia Rifenberg, whose mentor is Dr. Valerie Sims, Psychology
  • September: Cerena Moreno who is mentored by Dr. Wencai Zhang, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
  • October: Angela Shar who is mentored by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
  • November: Christine Sarkis whose mentor is Dr. Anna Forsman, Biology
  • December: Neda Hamood whose mentor is Dr. Raheleh Ahangari, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences


  • January: Ana Garcia whose mentor is Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell, Psychology
  • February: Marnie Williams who is mentored by Dr. James Hickman, Chemistry
  • March: Tyler Morrill who’s mentored by Dr. Carlos Borges, Mathematics


Monday, March 28

Tuesday, March 29

Time Event Location
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Presenter Registration
2 - 3:15 p.m.
4 – 6 p.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Presenter Registration

Wednesday, March 30

Time Event Location
9:30 – 11 a.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Poster Session 1
Pegasus Ballroom
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Professional Development: Your Brand
Cape Florida
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Poster Session 2
Pegasus Ballroom
1:45 – 2:30 p.m.
Cape Florida
2:30 -3:30 p.m.
Student Research Week Celebration and Panel Discussion
Cape Florida

Thursday, March 31

Time Event Location
9:30 – 11 a.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Poster Session 3
Pegasus Ballroom
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Professional Development: Coffee and Connections
Cape Florida
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Poster Session 4
Pegasus Ballroom
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Professional Development: Funding Your Research
Cape Florida
2:30 - 4 p.m.
Student Scholar Symposium Poster Session 5
Pegasus Ballroom
4:15 – 5 p.m.
Award Ceremony
Cape Florida

Seed Funding

Student Research Week kicked off with Seed Funding Presentations Monday, March 28. Researcher teams, including faculty, scientists, graduate students and undergraduates, presented updates about 37 active projects that are bold and look to advance our understanding in various fields from space sciences to K-12 STEM education.

When Agenda RSVP
Monday, March 28, 2022, from 9 - 11 a.m.
Monday, March 28, 2022, from 2 - 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022, from 2 - 3:15 p.m.


Riley Havel, a senior physics student and one of last year’s Judge’s Choice Award winners, offers some tips for aspiring researchers.

In The News

Play Video about Student Scholar Symposium 2022
Student Scholar Symposium

First In-person Student Scholar Symposium an Outstanding Success

The celebration marked the return to in-person activites and the first-ever in-person Student Scholar Symposium. The symposium was a two-day poster presentation conference.

Poster presentations at the 2022 Student Scholar Symposium

UCF hosts first in-person Student Scholar Symposium

Hundreds of student researchers buzzed with energy and excitement while presenting their posters at UCF's first in-person Student Scholar Symposium.

Greater Good poster presentation

The Greater Good Ahead of Selfish Interests is Focus of Marketing Study

Mrudul Nilangekar, a Ph.D. student, looks at how self-compassion creates longer lasting positive effects for donors in addition to fostering high prosocial behavior.

Erika Clippinger

Love of Korean Pop Music Leads to Research Project at Student Research Week

Erika Clippinger, who is pursuing a second master’s degree in Music, will present her findings about South Korea’s music education practices and their impact.

Limbitless Solutions.

Team Presents EMG Video Games Controllers and Prosthesis Users Study

An interdisciplinary team of students will showcase what they’ve learned working with children and prosthetics while interning at Limbitless Solutions.

Allison Conrad

Inspired by ‘The Bachelor,’ UCF Student Studying Aphasia

Communication sciences and disorders student Allison Conrad was inspired to study the field after learning about it from a contestant on the show.

Sarah DiSilva

The Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic on College Students Lives

Sarah Da Silva explores the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on college students’ daily lives and how support within community can help them cope and thrive.

Graduate student Ashley Steen

The Impact of Disaster Migration on Receiving Communities

Graduate student Ashley Steen is looking at the impact of the Puerto Rican migration to the Central Florida community following damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Research in Ocala

Student Research Week: Preserving History Through Field Work and Technology

Anthropology graduate student Alexander Nalewaik ’21 hopes his experience in the Ocala National Forest will lead to a career protecting national sites.


Student Research Week: How a Special Bacteria and Vitamin D Impact Immunity

Ph.D. student Joseph Vaccaro ’21MS looks at the role of the bacteria connected to Crohn’s Disease for potential clues about the body’s immunity system.

Lindsey Wright with dog

Student Research Week: The Power of TikTok in Self-expression

Undergraduate student Lindsey Wright, Burnett Honors College scholar, explores the use of audios and hashtags on TikTok and how their use reflects self-identity.

Sophia Stahl

Can Wetlands Help Clean the Mess Your Laundry Makes?

Sophia Stahl, a Sanford, Florida, native pursuing a degree in environmental studies, examines if treatment wetlands are effective at cleaning up the microplastics released in laundry wastewater.


Helping Save Endangered Giraffes from Extinction with the Power of Math

UCF graduate student Huntir Bass, who is pursuing a master’s degree in math, will be presenting about the project at UCF’s annual Student Scholar Symposium.

Scholars Symposium

Student Research Week Kicks off March 28 with a Whole New Look and Feel

After decades of following the same format, Research Week has been reimagined to enhance the student experience with the Student Scholar Symposium taking center stage.


Student Research Week Begins with Seed Funding Program Presentations

Student Research Week kicks off Monday, March 28 with a two-day blitz of research presentations that will provide updates on 37 active research projects funded by UCF’s Seed Funding program.

Research I Building Exterior

Recipients of the 2022 Seed Funding Program Announced

Thirty-two teams representing colleges across the university and several centers were selected for 2022 Seed Funding awards, the third year the program has been available to faculty.