Research Scholar Grants Awarded to 70 Undergrads

Recipients of the 2011 Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards make up the biggest class in the program’s five-year history. In all, 70 students will receive funding for 69 projects that cover a wealth of topics, including facial recognition, online communities, flexible electronics, public investment, energy transfer and social media marketing.

Dr. Bruce Gnade

Dr. Bruce Gnade

This is almost a 50 percent increase from the 46 awards made last year and more than triple the 21 awards made when the program began in 2007.

“This program was developed to highlight the quality of research undergraduates are doing on campus,” said Vice President for Research Bruce Gnade. “What impresses me year after year is that the number of applications increases so much but the quality continues to be top-notch. It says a lot about our students and the culture of research here.”

This year also boasts the most participation from outside organizations. Program sponsor Raytheon Company helped fund the program and will send a judge to the Poster Contest Finals this spring. External judges also will be provided by Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T Foundry, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mary Kay, PepsiCo Advanced Research, Pioneer Natural Resources, RIM, St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division, Tektronix Communications and Texas Instruments.

The complete list of student winners and their research projects are as follows:

Student Title Faculty Advisor School
Amber Counts The Hero(ine) of Harry Potter: Helping the Secondary Student Re-examine the Role of the Female in the Hero’s Journey Theresa Towner  A&H
Charles Cage Offline Meetings’ Effects on Participation and Social Capital: A Longitudinal Social Network Analysis of an Online Community Cuihua Shen  A&H
Alex Partin Effects of Dequalinium on Protein Expression in the Amygdala Lucien Thompson BBS
Allyson Rice Facial recognition: expert and novice comparison Alice O’Toole BBS
Angela Johnston What Factors Influence Children’s Evaluation of Sources of Information? Candice Mills BBS
Dayra Lorenzo Mercado The Role of 5HT1A Receptors in a Rat Model of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Marco Atzori BBS
Eric Meyers Unilateral Neglect Rehabilitation Using Vagus Nerve Stimulation Robert Rennaker BBS
Francisco Garcia The stress-induced cytokine Interleukin-6 decreases synaptic inhibition and excitation in the rat temporal cortex Marco Atzori BBS
Jessica Pruett Effect of Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Extinction Learning and Addiction Behavior Sven Kroener BBS
Kwok Im and Nicole Moreno Neural Mechanisms of Speech Discrimination in Modulated Background Noise Michael Kilgard BBS
Lauren Houston Exploration of Compensatory Strategies in Children with Specific Language Impairment Mandy Maguire BBS
Marissa Co Investigation of the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in auditory working memory in rats Marco Atzori BBS
Srihari Lella The role of dendritic localization and nonsense mediated decay of the activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein’s (Arc/Arg 3.1) mRNA in learning & memory Jonathan Ploski BBS
Timothy Daniels A Study on the Importance of Noradrenergic Receptors in Divided Attention Marco Atzori BBS
Abhishek Raj Utilizing the Shape Memory Effect to Enable Flexible Electronics Walter Voit ECS
Anita Chandrahas Transcription activator like effectors (TAL Effectors) Leonidas Bleris ECS
Cody Morris Title not specified Wonjae Choi ECS
Courtney Keeler Quantification of the Effects of Polymerization Conditions on Thiol-ene Systems for Implantable Flexible Electronics Walter Voit ECS
Donguk Yang Title not specified Chiu Yun ECS
Dongyoung Kim Automated Method for Detecting Endocytosis and Exocytosis events from the Multifocal Plane Microscopy Image Data Raimund Ober ECS
Duc Le Towards a Machine-Learning Based Image Diff Detection Algorithm Yang Liu ECS
Hoang Nguyen Tunable Guided Mode Resonance Nano Grating-Based Label-Free Bio Sensor Jeong-Bong Lee ECS
Joon Sohn Optically Transparent Super Hydrophobic Super Oleophobic Thin Film for Self-cleaning Surface Application Jeong-Bong Lee ECS
Kristen Genter Development of Methods for Analyzing Chemical Images Amy Walker ECS
Mark Jackson Exploiting World Knowledge for Computational Anaphora Resolution Vincent Ng ECS
Pragun Gupta Delivery of volume modulated arc therapy to static and moving targets Ovidiu Daescu ECS
Sagar Shah Thermomechanical Characterization of Thiol-Ene based Substrates for Implantable Flexible Electronics Walter Voit ECS
Stuart Harrell Privacy Threats in Database Outsourcing Murat Kantarcioglu ECS
Taewoo Ha A method for realistic image display using the user position for virtual reality Wooram Park ECS
Tam Tran Whisper Speech Recognition using Audio and Visual Data Carlos Busso ECS
Christine Cepelak A Progressive Community in Dallas Lloyd Dumas EPPS
Nathan Eacret When Is Inequality Fair? An Experimental Study of Redistribution Catherine Eckel EPPS
Saheli Nath Civic Engagement in Low Income and Minority Neighborhoods, and the Role of Public Investment James Murdoch EPPS
Samuel Teichelman A Quantification of the True Effectiveness of a Global Economy Xin Li EPPS
Sepanta Saidi Variability in United States Public Sentiments to Islam Ka-Yiu Ho EPPS
Tyler Andrew Junk Science in the Texas Court System Anthony Champagne EPPS
Alec Moore Machine Learning and Bias Correction of MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth David Lary NSM
Asja Radja The Study of Energy Transfer from Giant NQDs to JAs and Development of NIR type nanocrystals Anton Malko NSM
Avi Levy Non-radiative energy transfer into nanometer-scale thin semiconducting films Yuri Gartstein NSM
Christopher Moore A Study of Hepatic Pyruvate Metabolism Using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization A. Dean Sherry NSM
Chuan-I Chang Spectroscopic techniques to Saving Burn Victims Robert Glosser NSM
Citlally Ramirez Cerion Mitochondrial DNA: Isolation and Genome Mapping Dennis Miller NSM
Collin Chiles Energy Transfer Between Quantum Dots and Silicon Yves Chabal NSM
Daniel Kuddes Light Emitting Electro-chemical Cell Optomization Jason Slinker NSM
Elaine Chien Fabrication of electrospun carbon nanofibers with improved surface area as electrodes for supercapacitors John Ferraris NSM
Emily Butler Bringing satellites into the geoscience classroom Georgia Fotopoulos; NSM
Hiu Kam Mesoporous Carbon Fibers via Electrospinning Kenneth Balkus NSM
Jacob White Parallel Tandems of Organic and Solid State Excitonic Solar Cells with Carbon Nanotube Interlayers Anvar Zakhidov NSM
John Veloria Investigation of the Molecular Mechanisms of the Cytotoxicity of Short Amyloidogenic Peptide Sequences Gail Breen NSM
Jordan Claytor Magnetostratigraphic investigations of the uppermost Triassic/lowermost Jurassic Moenave Formation, American Southwest John Geissman NSM
Juan Juarez Title not specified Yves Chabal NSM
Katherine Bierschenk Using Fluorescent Microscopy to Measure the Effects of Phage Display Peptides on Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate Crystal Growth Bruce Gnade NSM
Marissa Miller A Novel Quorum Sensing System in Sinorhizobium meliloti Juan Gonzalez NSM
Martin Huynh Synthesis of Di-block Copolymers of P3HT and Alkenyl-Substituted Polythiophenes by Grignard Metathesis Polymerization for OFETs Mihaela Iovu NSM
Melissa Cisnero New Materials Through Coupling Cyclic Peptides with Amphiphilic a-Helices Gregg Dieckmann NSM
Melissa Collini Synthesis of an Anion Binder John Sibert NSM
Sabin Kshattry Using T2 Exchange to Design Molecule-Specific MRI Contrast Agents A. Dean Sherry NSM
Sasha Burrowes Bioinformatics framework for conceptual mapping of relationships between folic acid and common neural tube defects Mehmet Candas NSM
Shawn Hall Short-chain fatty acids as a potential factor in the etiology of autistic spectrum disorders Ruben Ramirez NSM
Sussana Elkassih Synthesis and Characterization of Conjugated Polymers Containing Phenothiazine for PLED Application Mihaela Iovu NSM
Triet Nguyen Design Modifications of Reversible Cyclic Peptides for Improved Carbon Nanotube Dispersions: A Molecular Modeling Approach Steven Nielsen NSM
Tyler Hughes Toxicity and Dispersibility of Carbon Nanoparticles Rockford Draper NSM
Victoria Lee The Role of Heat Shock Factors and Heat Shock Proteins in Neurodegeneration Santosh D’Mello NSM
Vij Devika; Dissecting the molecular events mediating oxygen regulation of SWI-SNF complex under hypoxia Li Zhang NSM
Xuhui Ning Luminescent Gold Nanoparticles with pH dependent membrane absorption for tumor targeting Jie Zheng NSB
Yasmin-Pei Chau Optimization of Allosteric Interactions John Burr NSM
Zachary Johnson Social Media Marketing Return on Investment: Tracking and Measurement BPS Murthi SOM

Chemistry major Catherine Eckert won first place in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition last year for her project on separating gases at the molecular level.


As part of last year's competition (shown above), 46 awards were made. This year, funding was provided for 69 projects.

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