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Celebrating Graduate Research Excellence at UCF

There is no doubt that the Graduate Research Forum is one of the most anticipated and exciting events at UCF. The Pegasus Ballroom was abuzz on Tuesday with graduate student presenters and spectators from every college on campus. This annual event is a celebration of the diversity and caliber of research undertaken by UCF graduate students.

Over 230 students and 70 faculty judges participated in the event and over $15,000 in awards was presented for Best in Category presentations. Additionally, first place winners are invited to present at the Statewide Graduate Student Research Symposium on April 24, 2015. At this event top graduate students selected from ten universities in Florida will compete for awards on the state level. The Symposium will be open to the public from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Live Oak Center. If you have any questions about this event, email  

Congratulations to the 2015 Graduate Research Forum Winners listed below and we hope to see you all at the 2016 event!

 GRF 2015 Winners

Back Row (Left to Right): Dr. Jana Jasiniski, Zenan Yu, Kevin Gleason, Taylor 
Johnson, Eric Patz, Kevin Mercer, Jose Flores, Ryuichi Tsuchikawa, and Dr. Ross Hinkle.
Front Row: Swaran Nandini, Erika Nicsinger, Yi Ding, Marisa Fuse Carolina Rodriguez Felix,
Zorina Manoni, Javaneh Boroumand, Amy Van Newkirk, and Rebeca Perren. 
Not Pictured: Gerald Mangine, Daniel Franklin and Natalie Yrisarry.


First Place

Rebeca Perren, Business Administration PhD – Marketing Track
Assembling Peers: Advancing a Typological Theory of Collaborative Consumption Markets
Mentor: Glenn Lambie, PhD
Co-author: Carolyn Massiah, PhD, Xin He, PhD


First Place

Shainna Ali, Education PhD – Counselor Education Track
Coming-Out in Counseling: Are Counselors Prepared to Assist Clients Through the Coming Out Process?
Mentor: Glenn Lambie, PhD

Second Place

Erika Nicsinger, Education PhD – Communication Sciences and Disorders Track
Teaching Social Skills to Promote Community Inclusion and Independence
Mentor: Eleazar Vasquez III, PhD, BCBA-D
Co-Authors: Eleazar Vasquez III, PhD, BCBA-D; Justin Wood, RBT, Our Children’s Academy, Lake Wales, FL


First Place

Zenan Yu, Materials Science and Engineering PhD
Energy Storing Electrical Cables
Mentor/Co-Author: Jayan Thomas, PhD

Second Place

Yi Ding, Materials Science and Engineering PhD
Light-Matter Interaction at the Nanoscale Using Multi-Frequency Atomic Force Microscopy
Mentor: Laurene Tetard, PhD

Honorable Mention

Kevin Gleason, Aerospace Engineering MSAE - Thermofluid Aerodynamic Systems Design and Engineering Track
Steady-State Microdroplet Evaporation
Mentor: Shawn Putnam, PhD
Co-Author: Harish Voota


First Place

Jose Flores, History MA
Immigrants in Florida: Exploring Meta-Data in the Florida Historical Quarterly
Mentor: Scot French, PhD

Second Place

Kevin Mercer, History MA
State of Protest: Academic Representations of Dissent in Florida as Understood Through the Florida Historical Quarterly Archive Mentor: Scot French, PhD


First Place

Taylor Johnson, Biotechnology MS
PTEN Inhibitor Reduces Cardiac Remodeling in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy
Mentor: Dinender Singla, PhD

Second Place

Swaran Nandini, Biomedical Sciences PhD
Development and Characterization of a Cytoplasmic Dynein Mutant Mouse Carrying a Human Charcot Marie Tooth Mutation
Mentor: Stephen King, PhD
Co-Authors: Thywill Sabblah; Aaron Ledray; Rachal Love; Julio Pasos; Nikhil Patwardhan; Vanessa Nascimento; Linda King; Stephen King, PhD


First Place

Carolina Rodrigues Felix, Biomedical Sciences PhD
The Search for New TB Drugs Goes Underwater
Mentor: Kyle Rohde, PhD
Co-Authors: Amy Wright, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute; Rashmi Gupta; Sandra Geden

Second Place

Marisa Fuse, Biomedical Sciences PhD
Inhibition of Src Kinase for Treatment of Schwannomas Associated with Neurofibromatosis Type 2
Mentor: Cristina Fernandez-Valle, PhD
Co-Authors: Stephani Klingeman-Plati; Nicklaus Sparrow; Marga Bott

Honorable Mention

Gerald Mangine, Education PhD – Exercise Physiology Track
The Effect of Training Volume and Training Intensity on Improvements in Muscular Strength and Size in Resistance-Trained Men
Mentor: Jay Hoffman, PhD
Co-authors: Jay Hoffman, PhD; Adam Gonzalez; Jeremy Townsend; Adam Wells; Adam Jajtner; Kyle Beyer; Carleigh Boone; Ran Wang; Amelia Miramonti; Michael LaMonica; David Fukuda, PhD; Jeffrey Stout, PhD


First Place

Amy Van Newkirk, Optics and Photonics PhD
Multi-Parameter Sensing Using Seven-Core Fiber
Mentor: Axel Schülzgen, PhD
Co-authors: Guillermo Salceda-Delgado; Enrique Antonio-Lopez; Rodrigo Amezcua-Correa, PhD; Axel Schülzgen, PhD

Second Place

Ryuichi Tsuchikawa, Physics PhD
Measurement of Resistance Induced by a Single Atom on Carbon Nanotubes
Mentor: Eduardo Mucciolo, PhD
Co-Authors: Daniel Heligman, Amin Ahmadi, Eduardo Mucciolo, PhD; Masahiro Ishigami, PhD; Zhengyi Zhang, Columbia University; James Hone, Columbia University

Honorable Mention

Daniel Franklin, Physics PhD
Color Tunable Metasurfaces for Reflective Displays
Mentor: Debashis Chanda, PhD
Co-Author: Yuan Chen; Shin-Tson Wu;Debashis Chanda, PhD

Javaneh Boroumand, Physics PhD
Efficiency Enhancement in Thin-Film Solar Cells
Mentor: Debashis Chanda, PhD


First Place

Zorina Manoni
Anthropology MA
Osteoarthritis in the Andes: Prevalence and Patterning of Disease Among Pre-Columbian Agro Pastoralists from Kuelap
Mentor/Co-Author: Marla Toyne, PhD

Second Place

Eric Patz, Anthropology MA
Do Subfloor Caches at Altun Ha Represent Quadripartite Partitioning or a Changing Late Classic Maya Cosmology?
Mentor: Arlen Chase, PhD

Honorable Mention

Natalie Yrisarry, Communication MA
Managing Face and Politeness in Instructor Responses to Classroom Incivility Behaviors
Mentors: Ann Miller, PhD; Lindsay Neuberger, PhD

For more information about the Graduate Research Forum and to see a list of the student's abstracts, please visit

Posted on 4/2/2015 3:43:00 PM in Events and Announcements.


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