Congratulations to the 2013 UROP Summer Fellows!

fellowsEvery summer, the Office of Research awards funding support to a cohort of VCU undergraduates to conduct research over a span of 10 weeks with a faculty mentor of their choice.  This year we were able to award 25 students!  The award is offered through the VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to undergraduate students and their faculty mentor partners whose research proposals show the greatest potential for learning and discovery.  The fellowship is open to all VCU undergrads from every academic discipline, and the funded projects represent a wide array of scholarly interests that exemplify the diversity of our academic community.  On behalf of the Office of Research and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, please welcome our 2013-2014 UROP Summer Fellows:

Rhonda Chapman, Clinical Lab Sciences major in the School of Allied Health, will work with Dr. Lara Mabry, on a project titled ‘MPO to Determine Risk of Cardiovascular Disease’.

Jerry Walters, a Sculpture major in the School of Arts, will work with Prof. Matt King on a project entitled ‘Powder, Candy Chrome: Research Into the Relationship Between Surface and Sculpture’.

Michelle Florence, a Craft and Material Studies major in the School of Arts, will work with Prof. Andrea Connell on a project entitled ‘Application of Armatures in Large-Scale Figurative Ceramics’.

London Perry, a Cinema major, will work with Prof. Beth Reed of the School of Arts on their project “Music and Subjective Image”.

Elise Neuscheler, a Communication Arts major, will work with Prof. Ying-Fang Shen on their project “Making It Happen: Establishing Prerequisites for Independent Animation”.

Torian Ugworji, a Kinetic Imaging major in the School of Arts, will work with Prof. Bob Paris on a project entitled ‘Aspect of the African American Male’.

David Williams, an Information Systems major in the School of Business, will team with Dr. Manoj Thomas on the project “An Ontological Approach for User-Centric Data Mining Model Management”.

Danielle Armstrong, a Psychology major, will work with Dr. Faye Belgrave on a project titled “How to Mold Minds: The Factors Influencing HIV Testing Attitudes”.

Azhar Bashir, a Chemistry major, will team with Dr. Gail Christie on a project called “Identification of superinfection exclusion genes in Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage 80a”.

Rose Bono, a Psychology major will work with Dr. Scott Vrana on their project entitled “Examining the Effect of Stimulus and Response Training on Semantic Structure in Personal Narratives: Applications of Latent Semantic Analysis”

Joanne Chiao, a History major will team with Dr. Karen Rader on their project “History of the Patient’s History: Exploring Origins, Developments, and Debates of the Art of Clinical Case-Taking”.

Jenna Dodson, an Environmental Studies major, will work with Dr. Lesley Bulluck on their project “Do egg size and parental care influence nestling personality in PROW”

Donald Jessup, a Forensic Science major, will team up with Dr. Christopher Ehrhardt on their project “Forensic Signatures for Illicitly-produced Bacterial Pathogens: High Resolution Assays for Detecting Chemical Additives Used to Weaponize Biothreat Agents”.

Ian McClenny, a Chemistry major, will work with Dr. Hani M. El-Kaderi on their project, “Gas Separation by Porous Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications”.

Jay Patel, a Biology major, will work with Dr. Maryanne Collinson on their project “Using Nanoporous Gold as a Potentiometric Sensor to Measure the Redox Potential in Blood”.

Joseph Bungard, a Chemistry major, will team up with Dr. Matthew Hartman on their project entitled “Peptide Permeability”.

Karin Miller, a Biology major will work with Jacek Ghosh and Steven Heinetz with VCU Sustainability on their project, “Environmental Intelligence: Signage Influence on Point of Use Choices”.

Nathalie Spita, a Biology major, will work with Dr. Andrew Ottens on their project, “Diagnostics of Brain Injury Rehabilitation”.

Min Im, a Mathematics major, will team up with Dr. Norma Ortiz-Robinson on their project titled “Application of Optimal Control methods to the determination of a “best” control scheme to suppress arrhythmia”

Courtney Belmonte, a Psychology major, will work with Prof. Jennifer Wartella on their project “Using The Life Story to Promote Identity Formation and Career Decision-Making in an Undergraduate Population”.

Vanessa Fuentes, a Psychology major, will team up with Dr. Rosalie Corona on their project “How Does Culture Affect Latino College Students’ Mental Health?”.

Stuart Jennings, a Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering major, will partner with Dr. James G. Miller on their project entitled “Nuclear Power Plant Simulator”.

David Presnall, a Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering major, will team up with Dr. Xuejun Wen on their project “Prevention of Healthcare – Associated infections (HAIs) with a Novel Albumin PLASTIC coating”.

Tiffany Wong, a Biomedical Engineering major, will work with Dr. Christopher A. Lemmon on their project “Fibronectin Fragment Effects on Pluripotent Stem Cells using Microcontact Printing Arrays”.

Tenesha Bottoms, a Nursing major, will work with Dr. Mary Jo Grap on their project “Effect of Stimulated Events on Level of =Sedation in Mechanically Ventilated Patients “.


Research Week Showcases Thriving Student Researchers

‘We Expect You to be Your Very Best’

Note this is a repost of a VCU News article written by Bianca Simpson, Student Contributor, University Public Affairs

VCU’s Third Annual Student Research Week celebrated the research and scholarship of undergraduate and graduate students during a series of events from April 19 to April 27.

Students from an array of disciplines shared their research experiences with academic peers, faculty members, community members and friends and family.

“This is a week to profile the hard work these students are pursuing through their scholarly and research endeavors,” said Herb Hill, event organizer and coordinator of Undergraduate Research Opportunities in the VCU Office of Research.

“Student engagement doesn’t seem to be a problem when it comes to research at VCU. We’re happy to see Research Week expanding and really happy to see the numbers grow with the students getting not just the opportunity to present these projects, but to get engaged with research and to have the opportunity to pursue that kind of experience at VCU.”

The kick-off event for this year’s Research Week was the School of Engineering Senior Design Expo at the Science Museum of Virginia. During the expo, undergraduate engineering students presented and discussed their capstone senior projects with the greater Richmond community, which included middle and high school students learning about the engineering field.

On day two, the Virginia/North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Symposium allowed minority undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to share their research experience with other alliance institution members and the university community at large.

Alliance member institutions include Bennett College (Greensboro, N.C.), Elizabeth City State University (Elizabeth City, N.C.), George Mason University (Fairfax), Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, N.C.), Piedmont Virginia Community College (Charlottesville), Saint Augustine’s University (Raleigh, N.C.), University of Virginia (Charlottesville), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg) and VCU.

Graduate students took the opportunity to present their research at the Graduate Student Research Symposium later in the week. The VCU Graduate Student Association sponsors the annual forum.

Natasha Cole, a second-year graduate student in the counseling psychology program, presented her project titled, “Ego Resilience and Mindfulness on the Relationship between Academic Stress and Psychological Well Being.” She finds research to be taxing, but the end result to be rewarding.

“I think VCU definitely fosters opportunities for research,” said Cole. “We have access to such a diverse student population, a diverse community and the MCV campus is up the street giving us access to a medical community as well.”

Another opportunity for students to present their research was the Fifth Annual Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity. During the event, the Office of Research announced the 2013 cohort of students awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Summer Fellowship.

Read the rest of Bianca Simpson’s article HERE