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Students displaying their presentations at the symposium

Student Researchers Honored

Presentations spanning a number of disciplines earn special recognition from symposium judges.
By Glenn S. Robertson

From the biological sciences to philosophy and undergraduate to doctoral work, a number of students recently earned high honors for their research. Judges for the Student Research Symposium, held March 9-10 at Love Library, have announced the presentation winners. 

Each college had Dean’s Awards for research specific to that college, while there were also Library Awards, President’s, Provost’s, and Undergraduate Excellence Awards — for both posters and oral presentations — conferred across a number of disciplines.

The Awards

The Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation recognized Undergraduate Ethan Howe with their Award for Philosophy for his “Witness Consciousness: A Response to Chalmers’ ‘Hard Problem’.” Philosophy professor Robert Francescotti mentored him for the project, which also earned a President’s Award.

The Library Award was given to undergraduates Cassidy Berg and Nicholas Ynami, master’s student Breena Loraine, and doctoral student Marta Jankowska for their research in physics, Asian studies, musicology and business, and geography, respectively.  Berg also received an Undergraduate Excellence Award for her oral presentation, while Loraine also earned a Dean’s Award from the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

The Provost’s Award was given to 13 students, while the President’s Award was conferred to 10 students.

A wide selection of topics

Fifty-four awards were given in total, awarded to the presenters for research into the effects of discrimination on job seekers, the African-American experience in San Diego, the results of a Buddhist-based drug rehab program in a Taiwanese prison, and the experience of Latina students in public schools.

Awards List
The complete list of winners can be found below.

Library Awards
Charles Wei-hsun Foundation Award for Philosophy
Undergraduate Excellence Poster Awards
Undergraduate Excellence Oral Awards

Dean's Awards:
College of Arts and Letters
College of Business
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Health and Human Services
College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
College of Sciences
Imperial Valley Campus

Provost's Awards:

President's Awards:

Library Awards
Cassidy Berg, Physics, Undergraduate, Possible Worlds and Parallel Universes, Mentor: Mark Wheeler

Nicholas Ynami, Asian Studies, Undergraduate, Comparative Study of Soft Power Promotion in US, China and South Korea, Mentor: Lei Guang

Breena Loraine, Musicology and Master of Business Administration- Management, Music and Architectural Acoustics: Inspiration for Today’s Composers? Mentor: Eric Smigel

Marta Jankowska, Geography, Doctoral, Climate Change and Human Health: Contextual and Compositional Effects of Climate, Livelihoods, and Population Change on Child Malnutrition in Mali, Africa, Mentor: John Weeks

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Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation Award for Philosophy 
Ethan Howe, Undergraduate, Witness Consciousness: A Response to Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” Drawing from Samkhya, Mentor: Robert Francescotti

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Undergraduate Excellence Poster Awards
DaKandryia Peters, Biology, Using microfluidics chambers (Mother Machines) to observe individual cell physiology, Mentor: Anca Segall Co presenters: John Waynelovich, Krystsina Kezikava

Kathleen Wallach, Biology, Human cardiac progenitor cells modified with Pim-1 augment myocardial repair, Mentor: Mark Sussman

Catherine Sumida, Psychology, Strong and Poor Predictors of Odor Recognition Memory Performance: An Item Analysis of the California Odor Learning Test. Mentor: Claire Murphy Co presenters: Ariana Stickel, Karalani Cross

Daryl Howden, Biology, Examining the in vivo activities of nucleases involved in DNA repair using Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis and mathematical modeling Mentor: Anca Segall Co Presenters: Kenny Sokolowski, Sean Young

Diana Cluff, Biology, Effect of DNA-repair Inhibitors in Cancer Cell Lines, Mentor: Anca SegallCo presenters: Mamon Dey, Sukanya Patra, Leo Su

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Undergraduate Excellence Oral Awards
Ralf Schuster, Psychology, The Differences Between Nostrils in Identifying Common Odors Mentor: Dr. Richard Graf

Erin Fletcher, Microbiology, Role of a two-component regulatory system in Group B streptococcal colonization and immune activation in the female reproductive tract, Mentor: Kelly Doran

Genaro Hernandez, Biology, Statins Confer Cardioprotection through Autophagy, Mentor: Roberta Gottlieb

Cassidy Berg, Physics, Possible Worlds and Parallel Universes, Mentor: Mark Wheeler

Abdifatah Ali, Psychology, Examining the Effects of Interpersonal Discrimination on Job Seeking: A Moderated Mediation Model, Mentor: Mark Ehrhart

Tiffany G. Harrison, Political Science, State of Black San Diego, Mentor: Tanis Starck

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Dean's Awards
College of Arts and Letters:

Tonya Warren, Masters, Addiction and Autonomy: A Qualitative Study of a Buddhist-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program in a Taiwanese Prison, International Research Award Winner, Mentor: Mark Wheeler

Tanisha Martin-Chiles, Undergraduate, The Effects on Low-Income Students when EBT is Not Accepted as a Form of Payment at Universities, Mentor: Kyra Greene

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College of Business:
Tanya Hertz, Masters, Ethics Training, Ethical Dilemmas, and Anxiety, Mentor: Gangaram Singh  
John Andrew Galleta, Undergraduate, Responses to Incivility in the Workplace: A Study of Retaliation, Forgiveness, Withdrawal and Reconciliation, Mentor: Lynn Shore

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College of Education:

Robert Pollack, Masters, Language Education Programs: Knowledge & Perceived Effectiveness Mentor: Cristina Alfaro

Fiona Ho, Masters, Latina Students and Voice in Public Schools, Mentor: Carol Robinson-Zanartu Co Presenters:

Cynthia Arocha, Irene Chung, Miriam Pacheco

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College of Engineering:

Carissa Williams, Masters, Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Wastewater Sludge and Microalgae Mentor: Temesgen Garoma, Co Presenters: Don Nyugen

Daniel A. Nelson, Masters, Doctoral, Lagrangian Coherent Structures in Turbulent Separated Flow, Mentor: Gustaaf Jacobs

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College of Health and Human Services:

Jacqueline De Vera, Masters, Chemical Characterization of PM2.5 Air Pollution in Dhaka and Noakhali, Bangladesh, International Research Award Winner, Mentor: Zohir Chowdhury

Billionrosannae Chhouk, Undergraduate, Measuring the Levels of Pyrethroid Pesticides in Stream Sediments of San Diego County Using Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), Mentor:Richard Gersberg

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College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts:

Julia Moore, Masters, Childfree: The Online Construction of an Identity without Children, Mentor: Patricia Geist-Martin

Breena Loraine, Masters, Music and Architectural Acoustics: Inspiration for Today’s Composers? Mentor: Eric Smigel

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College of Sciences:

Allison Gregg, Masters, Visualization of coral-associated bacterial respiration using biological oxygen demand optode arrays, International Research Award Winner, Mentor: Forest Rohwer

Sarah Kienle, Masters, The Better to Eat You With: The Comparative Anatomy and Evolution of Feeding in Seals (Carnivora, Phocidae) Mentor: Annalisa Berta

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Imperial Valley College:

Philip Capin, Masters, Motivating English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities Through Bilingual, Culturally Relevant Books, Mentor: Fernando Rodriguez-Valls

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Provost Awards:

Katy Patras, Biology, Doctoral, Utilization of a novel immunostimulatory peptide for the control of GBS vaginal colonization, Mentor: Kelly Doran, Co presenters: Courtney Cavaco

Philip Lai, Language & Communicative Disorders, Doctoral, Social Phenotypes of Children with High Functioning Autism and Children with Williams Syndrome, International Research Award Winner, Mentor: Judy Reilly, Co presenters: Matt Ignacio, Janie Lai, Carolina Gonzalez, Rowena Ng, Yvonne Searcy, Ursula Bellugi

Daniel Brown, Psychology, Undergraduate, Is There a Correlation Between Burden of Pathology Score and Cognitive, Motor, and Functional Abilities in Huntington's Disease?,  Mentor: Paul Gilbert

Ashley Warren, Biochemistry, Undergraduate, A New Detection Method in Capillary Electrophoresis Based on Liquid Core Optical Fiber, Mentor: Khanh Kieu

Nai-Yu Wang, Biology, Masters, Bacterial Surface Expressed Proteins Srr-1 and PilA Promote Group B Streptococcus Colonization of the Female Reproductive Tract, Mentor: Kelly Doran

Gabriel Feeley, Chemistry, Undergraduate, Production of H2 by the Catalytic Degradation of NaBH4 on Ag Nanoparticles, Mentor: David Pullman Co presenters: Mallory Hinks

Kali Markle, Speech Language Pathology, Undergraduate, Use of Verbs of Motion to Mark Movement in Space: A Study of English-Spanish Bilingual Children with Specific Language Impairment, Mentor: Vera Gutierrez-Clellan

Hanna Gelfand, Speech Language and Hearing, Doctoral, Developmental changes in the influence of acoustic & non-acoustic contributions to the perception of spoken language, Mentor: Julia Evans

Kelly Ross, Cell and Molecular Biology, Masters, The combination of novel antibodies and bromodeoxyuridine to track neurogenesis in planarians, Mentor: Ricardo Zayas Co Presenters: Matthew Taylor, Amy Hubert

Enrique Gracian, Psychology, Masters, Age-Related Changes in Spatial and Temporal Pattern Separation in Nondemented Older Adults, Mentor: Paul Gilbert Co Preenters: Heather M. Holden, Jerlyn C. Tolentino, Eva

Pirogovsky, Callie Hoebel, Laura E. Shelley
Jon Sin, Cell and Molecular Biology, Doctoral, The Impact of Coxsackievirus Infection on Cardiac Stem Cells and Postnatal Heart Development, Mentor: Roberta Gottlieb

Samantha Engel, Language and Communication Disorders, Doctoral, The Effect of an Integrative Preschool Model on Language Growth, Mentor: Sonja Pruitt Co Presenters: Sarah Stern, Traysa Sprankles, Amy Pace

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President's Awards:

Archit Bhutani, Masters, An Efficient Network Architecture for Mobile Social Networking Devices, Mentor: Christopher Paolini

Nasim Vahidi, Masters, Flexible Microelectrode System for Neural Probe   Mentor: Sam Kassegne, Co presenters: Pieter Van Niekerk, Tom McDowell, Scott Frame

Alex Zvoleff, Doctoral, Linking Conservation and Development: A Global-scale Investigation of Demographics in High-value Conservation Areas, Mentor: Li An

Ned Uncanin, Undergraduate, Characterizing protective aspects of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response in cardiac progenitor cells, Mentor: Christopher Glembotski

Pearl Quijada, Doctoral, Preservation of Myocardial Structure is Enhanced by Pim-1 Engineering of Bone Marrow Cells, Mentor: Mark Sussman

Ellese Carmona, Undergraduate, The Role of Extracellular Matrix Proteins in Group B Streptococcal Penetration of Host Cell Barriers, Mentor: Kelly Doran

Steven Quistad, Doctoral, Induction of apoptosis in coral using human TNF: 500 million years of evolutionary conservation, Mentor: Forest Rohwer

Brandon Kim, Doctoral, Response of the blood brain barrier to meningeal pathogens leading to barrier disruption, Kelly Doran

Ethan Howe, Undergraduate, Witness Consciousness: A Response to Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” Drawing from Samkhya, Mentor: Robert Francescotti

Jayneil Kamdar, Doctoral, Molecular machines:  Bifunctional catalysis using strategically functionalized N-heterocyclic carbene complexes, Mentor: Douglas Grotjahn

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