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Student Research Week 2024 ran from March 25 – 29, 2024 and encompassed a variety of research events and celebrations. The cornerstone event of this year’s SRW was the Student Scholar Symposium where over 800 UCF undergraduate and graduate students presented their research to an audience of over 2,000 visitors. Thank you to all who worked to make these events possible. 

Monday, March 25

  • Student Scholar Symposium Registration 

Tuesday, March 26

  • Student Scholar Symposium Sessions 1, 2, & 3

Wednesday, March 27

  • Student Scholar Symposium Sessions 4 & 5
  • NEW* Impact of Research Competition

Thursday, March 28

  • Student Research Week Keynote Speaker: Jorge Cham of PhD Comics

Friday, March 29

  • Creative Scholarship Symposium
  • Excellence Awards 
Two people looking at a research poster presentation

2024 Student Scholar Symposium Winners

Undergraduate Session 1 

Kelsey Robinson (Statistics), Viviana Arroyo Rodriguez (Mechanical Engineering), Nico Chen (Emerging Media)  
Breaking Stigma Through the Use of Artfully Designed Prosthetics
Mentored by Dr. Albert Manero, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  

Cynthia Georges (Chemistry)  
Student Perceptions of GTA Instructional Practices in General Chemistry Labs 
Mentored by Dr. Erin Saitta, Chemistry

Melanie Langgle (Anthropology)
Archaeological Analysis of the Burns Spoke Burial Mound (8BR85) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and the State of Florida
Mentored by Dr. Sandra Wheeler, Anthropology

Taylor Haycock (Political Science)  
Masculinity and Political Discourse: A Critical Analysis of European Leaders
Mentored by Dr. Michael Armato, Sociology

Gabriel Duany (Aerospace Engineering)
Ammonia-Hydrogen Shocktube Combustion Experiments
Mentored by Dr. Subith Vasu, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Maria Martinez (Psychology)  
Oral Manifestations and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in College Students
Mentored by Dr. Keith Brazendale, Health Sciences

Sydney Carey (Communication Sciences and Disorders)  
Building Community and Resilience Through an Adapted, Aphasia-Friendly, Chair Yoga for People with Acquired Brain Injury and Their Care-Partners
Mentored by Dr. Lauren Bislick, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Calvin MacDonald (Health Sciences), Maanya Pradeep (Biomedical Sciences) 
Serious Game-Based Training for Improved Utilization of a Novel Temporalis EMG Interface for Controlling Powered Wheelchairs
Mentored by Dr. Peter Smith, Games and Interactive Media

Manasi Joseph (Biomedical Sciences)  
“Association of Long Noncoding RNA PAINTin Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”
Mentored by Dr. Ratna Chakrabarti, Biomedical Sciences

Divya Joshi (Biomedical Sciences)   
Probiotic L. Acidophilus Postbiotic Metabolites Reduce Genotoxic Damage in an Experimental Model of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Barrett’s Tumorigenesis
Mentored by Dr. Claudia Andl, Biomedical Sciences  

Tara Blanchard (Biology)  
Using Wildlife Trail Cameras to Monitor Faunal Responses to Biodegradable Oyster Reef Restoration Materials
Mentored by Dr. Linda Walters, Biology

Jisela Soto (Chemistry)  
MB-Th:A Molecular Beacon Probe-Based DNANanosensorwith Concentration Threshold Functionfor MiRNA Detection
Mentored by Dr. Dmitry Kolpashchikov 

Graduate Session 1 

Muna Talafha (Biotechnology MS)  
Investigating the Effects of Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis Infection on the TLR2-Dependent p38/MAPK-CYP27B1 Pathway in Crohn’s Disease
Mentored by Dr. Sale Naser, Biomedical Sciences

Akash Hari Bharath (Electrical Engineering PhD)  
Studies on Dual Sputtered CuGaO2Thin Film
Mentored by Dr. Kalpathy B. Sundaram, Electrical and Computer Science 

LaVonda Walker (Education PhD) 
Hidden Between Words: Exploring Perceptions of Self-regulation in Writing through Keystroke Behavior 
Mentored by Dr. Michelle Taub, Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Genna Telschow (Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology PhD)  
Is Attention Gone With the Wind: Does Motion Without Context Cue Visuospatial Attention? 
Mentored By Dr. Mark Neider, Psychology

Modesto Lebron (Kinesiology PhD)  
Sex-Based Differences in Muscle Oxygenation During Repeated Maximal Intermittent Handgrip Exercise
Mentored by Dr. David Fukuda, Kiesiology

Undergraduate Session 2 

Chloe Pinkston (Aerospace Engineering)  
Identifying the Dynamic Function of Surgically Treated Achilles Tendons in Children with Idiopathic Toe Walking
Mentored by Dr. Hwan Choi, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Ossyris Bury (Aerospace Engineering)  
Vibration-Based Control for Nonlinear Dynamic Motion
Mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Kuffman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Bedis Elkamel (Health Sciences)  
The Investigation of the Effects of Adolescent Substance Use on Socioeconomic Outcomes During Adulthood
Mentored by Dr. Joy Scheidell, Health Sciences 

Camila Senespleda (Biomedical Sciences)  
Do Students Feel They Belong? Measuring Student Sense of Belonging in General Chemistry
Mentored by Dr. Tamra Legron-Rodriguez, Chemistry

Shankari Somasekar (Biomedical Sciences)  
TIM/TAM Receptors: A Potential Biomarker for Predicting Sensitivity to Zika Virus-Induced Oncolysis in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers 
Mentored by Dr. Kenneth Alexander, Clinical Sciences

Sean Stapleton (Biology)  
Suitability of Gelatin Methacrylate and Hydroxyapatite Hydrogels for 3D Bioprinted Bone Tissue 
Mentored by Dr. Thomas Kean, Medicine

Haily Follese (Psychology)  
Trust Learning and Disposition Inference for Social Partners, Nonsocial Partners, and Computerized Virtual Agents
Mentored by Dr. Nichole Lighthall, Psychology

Matthew Hernandez (Aerospace Engineering)  
Mentored by Dr. Audrey Martin, Physics

AJ Johnson (Film)  
Community In Motion: A Vietnamese Cultural Dance Documentary
Mentored by Betsy Kalin, Communication and Media

Patria Marcano Maldonado (Chemistry)  Team Composition and Performance in a Large-Enrollment Team-Based Learning (TBL) Introductory Chemistry Course
Mentored by Julie Donnelly, Chemistry

Keri Pollock (Environmental Studies), Analisa Lazzara Biology), Rachel Martella (Environmental Studies) 
Understanding How Carbon Pools Differ Across Restored and Natural Coastal Wetlands 
Mentored by Dr. Lisa Chambers, Biology

Graduate  Session 2 

Savannah Hill (Emerging Media MFA)  
Centered: A Story of Family and Adaptability in the Face of Parkinson’s Disease
Mentored by JoAnne Adams, Visual Arts

Rushikesh Harikishan Kankar (Computer Science MS) 
Leveraging Electroencephalography (EEG) Signals and Motion Artifacts for Accurate Gait Event Prediction- a Machine Learning Approach
Mentored by Dr. Helen Huang, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Reid Whiting, Gabriella Orlando, Jena Tilleman, Breven Dalsemer (Physical Therapy DPT)
Impact of Adaptive CrossFit on Individuals with Neurologic Injury
Mentored by Dr. Morris Beato, Kinesiology

Aili Wu (Hospitality Management PhD)  
Breaking Chains, Building Awareness: Framing Effective Training Messages Against Human Trafficking in Hospitality Sectors
Mentored by Dr. Wei Wei, Hospitality

Katherine Martin (Integrative and Conservation Biology PhD)  Immune Genes in the Ancient Mariners: The Evolution of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Four Sea Turtle Species
Mentored by Dr. Kate Mansfield, Biology

Carlos Rodrigo Salazar Gallupe (Chemistry PhD)
Highly Reproducible Paper-Based ISE for the Detection of Sodium Ions in Body Fluids
Mentored by Dr. Karin Chumbimuni-Torres, Chemistry 

Undergraduate Session 3 

Disha Iyengar (Biomedical Sciences)  
Infection Resistant, Snail Mucin-based Hydrogels for Wound Healing Applications
Mentored by Dr. Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Materials Science and Engineering

Erika Marrero (History)  
Investigating Homosexuality and Homophobia in Nazi Concentration Camps
Mentored by Dr. Vladimir Solonari, History

Samantha Migliore (Health Sciences)   
A Study of Hand Dexterity for More Functional Upper Limb Prostheses
Mentored by Dr. Albert Manero, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Sun Latt (Biomedical Sciences)  
Bioactive Glass-Ceramic Nanoparticles as an Immunomodulatory Biomaterial for Regenerative Medicine
Mentored by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, Medicine

Akhila Damarla, Maazen Khan (Biomedical Sciences)
The Relationship of Patient Ethnicity/Race/Culture to Physician-Patient Communication: A Mixed-Methods Systematic Review
Mentored by Dr. Ann Miller, Communication and Media 

John Harrison (Finance)  
Lithography using Photo-initiated Metal-Free Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization (MF-ROMP) 

Amanda Leonard (Psychology), Iris Bain (Psychology), Alexander Alen (Computer Science), Carlos Rivera (Computer Science) 
Robotic Guide Dog to Aid Visually Impaired Individuals Navigate Unfamiliar Areas
Mentored by Dr. Crystal Maraj, Modeling, Simulation and Training 

Katherine Johnsen (Biology)  
Constructed Treatment Wetland Systems as Effective Tools for Microplastic Removal
Mentored by Dr. Lisa Chambers, Biology 

Martyna Wasilewska (Psychology)  
The Effects of Resiliency on Mental Fatigue During Sport performance- the Neuropsychology Behind Athletic Performance
Mentored by Dr. Shawn Burke, Psychology 

Wesley Lim (Biomedical Sciences)  
Examining the Effects of Artemisia annua Extracts on Neuro2A Cells
Mentored by Dr. Alicia Hawthorne, Medicine 

Riya Shanker (Data Science)  
Investigating the Lift Characteristics of a Morphing Airfoil
Mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Kauffman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Zaima Aline, Elian Morales (Biomedical Sciences)  
Dismantling Cholera Toxin: PDI-Mediated Disassembly Mechanisms for Targeted Interventions
Mentored by Dr. Ken Teter, Biomedical Sciences

Graduate  Session 3 

Jacqueline Cano Diaz (English MA)  
Interpretations of Professionalism Displayed Through the Teaching Wardrobe Choices of New Composition Instructors
Mentored by Dr. Angela Rounsaville, Writing and Rhetoric

Fariba Sanaei (Business Administration PhD)  
The Retail Long Game: Expanded Service or Extended Return?
Mentored by Anand Krishnamoorthy, Marketing  

Pritha Sarkar (Material Science and Engineering PhD)  
An Antimicrobial Self-Conforming Silicone-Based Sponge for Rapid Hemostatic Treatment
Mentored by Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Material Science and Engineering

Anthony Mirabito (Integrative and Conservation Biology)  
Biogeochemical Properties and Their Relationship to Various Carbon Pools in Wetland Soils
Mentored by Dr. Lisa Chambers, Biology

Riley Hogge, Madison Mascheri, Dimitri Shurik (Physical Therapy DPT) 
The Effects of Fatigue on Exercise-Induced Hypoalgesia During a Dynamic Resistance Exercise
Mentored by Dr. Abigail Wilson, Kinesiology

Jessica Moon (Kinesiology PhD)  
Assessing Neutrophil Sensitivity Across the Menstrual Cycle in Response to a Fixed Interleukin-8 Concentration
Mentored by Dr. Adam Wells, Kinesiology

Ala’ Alhendi (Biomedical Sciences PhD)  
Blockade of IL-6 Signaling During Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosisinfection Exacerbates Intestinal Epithelial Damage
Mentored by Dr. Saleh Naser, Biomedical Sciences 

Undergraduate Session 4 

Percy Brashear (Art)  
Young and Beautiful: The Androgyny of Bacchus in the Baroque  
Mentored by Dr. Ilenia Colón Mendoza School of Visual Arts and Design

Jayla Pinkston (Mechanical Engineering)  
On the Computer Simulation and Mathematical Modeling of 304 Stainless Steel Beam Buckling  
Mentored by Dr. Ali P. Gordon, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Macayla Barnett (Health Sciences)  
Undergraduate Student’s STEM Identity: Self Perception of Future Professionals Mentored by Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse, Chemistry

Apoorva Palled (Health Sciences)  
Knowledge and Risk Perception for Type 2 Diabetes Among College Students with Family History of the Disease  
Mentored by Dr. Suha Saleh, Health Sciences

Shreya Pawar (Biomedical Sciences), Sarah Khan (Biotechnology)  
Stimulating Remyelination by Modulating the Immune Response for Therapeutic Applications in Multiple Sclerosis  
Mentored by Dr. Nicole Verity, Medicine

Trinity Johnson (Forensic Science)  
Thumbs Up: The Morphological Spectrum and DNA Recoverability of Epithelial Cells from Touch Deposits  
Dr. John Ballantyne, Chemistry

Fiona McIntosh (Mathematics)  
Second Order Exponential Time Differencing Methods for Conformal Symplectic Systems  
Mentored by Dr. Brian Moore Department of Mathematics 

Luke Middaugh, Amber Fazio (psychology) 
Teamwork in the Cosmos: Analyzing Space Teams’ Response Time to Critical Incidents  
Mentored by Dr. C. Shawn Burke, Psychology

Stephania Mondragon (Sociology)  
Mentored by Dr. Amy Donley, Sociology

Robin Pitilon (Biology)  
Catch My Drift? Effects of Herbicide Drift on Agricultural Weeds and Arthropod Communities  
Mentored by Regina Baucom

Brendan Shrader (Mathematics)  
Global Dynamics of a Disease Model With Post-Infection Mortality and Partial Immunity  
Mentored by Dr. Zhisheng Shuai, Mathematics 

Graduate Session 4 

Shubham Dawda (Optics and Photonics PhD)  
Non-Gaussian Intensity Fluctuations from Structured Light reveal Particle Shape 
Mentored by Aristide Dogariu, Optics and Photonics

Christopher Proppe (Kinesiology PhD)  
Blood Flow Restriction Resistance Exercise Reduces Pain Sensitivity One Hour Post-Exercise  
Mentored by Dr. Ethan Hill, Kinesiology and Physical Therapy

Julie Kephart (Education Leadership Ed.D)  
A Conceptual Study of the Influence of On-Campus Employment for International Students  
Mentored by Dr. Amanda Wilkerson, Educational Leadership & Higher Education 

Sean Hinkle (Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology PhD)  
Machine Learning Classification of Presence in VR Based on Pupillometry and Finger-Tapping  
Mentored by Dr. Corey Bohil 

Joseph Goode (Biomedical Sciences PhD)  
Polyamine Blockade Therapy: A Strategy to Block Immunosuppression in Pancreatic Cancer  
Mentored by Dr.  Deborah Altomare, College of Medicine

Morgan Peters (Chemistry PhD)  
Development and Utility of Single Sperm Genetic Analysis Methods to Aid in Sexual Assault Investigations  
Mentored by Dr. Erin Hanson, Chemistry 

Undergraduate Session 5 

Kadie Drahos (Kinesiology)  Agreement Among Resting Metabolic Rate Assessments within Resistance Trained Females  
Mentored by Dr. Adam Wells, Kinesiology

Courtney Williams (Health Sciences), Calvin MacDonald (Health Sciences), Maanya Pradeep (Biomedical Sciences), Elizabeth Barnum (Statistics) 
Assessment of Training Game for Hands-Free Wheelchair Control  
Mentored by Dr. Albert Manero, Mechanical and Aerospace

Roshna Cherugail Ramadoss (Health Sciences)  
Development of Cerium Oxide Based Polymer Composites for Wound Healing Applications  
Mentored by Dr. Elayaraja Kolanthai, Materials Science and Engineering 

Vishanth Murugesan (Biomedical Sciences)  
Identifying Distinct Molecular Features of RIP2 Linked to ALOX5 Activity and Function  
Mentored by Dr. Justine Tigno-Aranjuez, Medicine

Nicholas Bruno (Chemistry)  
Highly Reproducible Electrochemical Biosensor for Influenza a Virus Towards Low-Resource Settings  
Mentoredy by Dr. Karin Chumbimuni-Torres, Chemistry 

Kristen Engasser (Psychology)  
Shining Light on Gaslighting: Social Power in a Psychological Context  
Mentored by Dr. Martha Hubertz, Psychology

Emily Fackler (Biology)  
The Influence of Genes on the Migratory Timing of Great Reed Warblers 
Mentored by Robert Fitak PhD, Biology

Nicolas Harms (Physics), Camilo Zeballos Carvajal (Neuroscience)  
Probing Hydration Changes of the Responsive Polymer Poly(N-Isopropyl Acrylamide) Across the Demixing Transition With Vibrational Infrared Spectroscopy  
Mentored by Dr. Alfons Schulte, Physics

Alyssa Hayes (Psychology)  
Impact of Stress and Perception of Risk on Online Crimes  
Mentored by Dr. Nichole Lighthall, Psychology 

Maria Ocando Monaco (Anthropology)   
Anthropological Exploration of Overdose Prevention Perceptions Among People Who Use Drugs in Orlando, Florida  
Mentored by Dr. Shana Harris, Anthropology

Adelaide Riedesel (Anthropology)
From “I Do” to “Don’t Touch”: Exploring Jewish Cultural Heritage in Museum Environments Through Medieval and Early Modern Wedding Rings
Mentored by Dr. Alison Hudson, History 

Graduate Session 5

Joshua Robinson (Educational Leadership EdD)  
A Comparative Analysis of For-Profit & Nonprofit Institutions Concerning Graduation Rates, Student Debt, and Whether Marginalized Groups (BIPOC) Are Disproportionately Affected.  Mentored by Dr. Amanda Wilkerson, Educational Leadership & Higher Education

Andey Robins (Computer Engineering PhD)  
Genetic Algorithms for More Efficient In-Memory Computation With MAGIC  
Mentored by Dr. Mike Borowczak, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Andrew Skibski (Kinesiology)  
A Dynamic Warm-Up Improves Titleist Performance Institute Screen Scores in Adult Golfers  
Mentored by Dr. L. Colby Mangum, Kinesiology and Physical Therapy

Deepa Shah, Biomedical Sciences MS  
Silver-Modified Nanoscale Cerium Oxide Acts as a Bacteriostatic Disinfectant against Clostridioides difficile Vegetative Cells and Spores  
Mentored by Dr. William T. Self, Biomedical Sciences

Elizabeth Codick (Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology PhD)  
Online Presence and Expectations With Online Avatars: The Inclusion of Assistive Technologies  
Mentored by Dr. Valerie Sims, Psychology 

Thank you to our sponsors of the 2024 Student Scholar Symposium