Grant Recipients 2018–2019

The following students were awarded undergraduate student research and/or travel grants from the Fisher College.

Undergraduate Research Grants in 2018 – 2019

“Bromination Kinetics and Reactivity of Salicylic Acids”
     Student: Garrett Alexander II
     Mentor: Dr. John Sivey (Chemistry)

“Structural Characterization of Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylo-coccus aureus TIR Protein”
     Student: Ahmed Al Khafaji
     Mentor: Dr. Michelle Snyder (Biological Sciences)

“Effect of Ions on the Conformation and Stability of an RNA Riboswitch”
     Student: Bryan Bahoua
     Mentor: Dr. Ana Maria Soto (Chemistry)

“SERS Detection of Nerve Agent Simulants”
     Student: Dustin Baird
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Investigating Human Cytomegalovirus G Protein Coupled Receptor Encoded by US27 Role in Autophagy”
     Student: Soumia Bekka
     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

“Development of a Mitochondrial DNA Assay for SNP Screening Using PCR High-Resolution Melt Curves”
     Student: Allison Bender
     Mentor: Dr. Kelly Elkins (Chemistry)

“HPLC Quantitation of Furanocoumarins in Dietary Supplements”
     Student: Miriam Bergman
     Mentor: Dr. Ellen Hondrogiannis (Chemistry)

“Single-Molecule Tracking Studies of Lithium Ion Diffusion in Poly(Ethylene Oxide)”
     Student: Benjamin Bilik
     Mentor: Dr. Khanh-Hoa Tran-Ba (Chemistry)

“Characterization of the Small Protein CydX Through Short Open Reading Frame Substitution in E. coli
     Student: John Biondi
     Student: Bradley Stansbury
     Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hemm (Biological Sciences)

“Kinetically Controlled Synthesis of Quantum-Sized Gold Nano-clusters for Biological Applications”
     Student: Pierce Brown
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Dietary Polyphenols and Sulforaphane: Impact on Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis, and Metastasis in Colon Cancer”
     Student: Christopher Burkhardt
     Mentor: Dr. Petra Tsuji (Biological Sciences)

Dietary Micronutrients: Impact on Hallmarks of Colon Cancer
     Student: Michelle Darkwa
     Mentor: Dr. Petra Tsuji (Biological Sciences)

“In Vivo Release Study of Matrix-Based Antiherpetic Intravaginal Ring”
     Student: Amanda Evans
     Student: Jennifer Suon
     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

“A Dietary Study of a Maryland Population of Northern Map Turtles Upriver of the Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam”
     Student: Matthew Gacheny
     Mentor: Dr. Richard Seigel (Biological Sciences)

“Low-Concentration Analysis of Acyclovir through Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry”
     Student: Nicholas Giannasca
     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

“Single-Molecule Investigations of Molecular Partitioning into Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Films
     Student: Priyansh Gujarati
     Mentor: Dr. Khanh-Hoa Tran-Ba (Chemistry)

“Hexanethiolate Protected Super Atom Clusters of Gold: A Kinetic Study”
     Student: Nicole Hondrogiannis
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Synthesis and Optical Properties of Gold Nanoparticles Using Anthracenethiol Ligand”
     Student: Brianna Hutson
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Increasing Viscosity to Slow Down the Nanoparticles for Size Characterization Using Dynamic Light Scattering”
     Student: Hristo Ivanov
     Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Simpson (Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences)

“Synthesis of GOx-Metal Nanoparticle Hybrids for Sensing and Catalytic Applications
     Student: Hadi Kelani
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Chemical and Absorptive Properties of Atmospheric Aerosols”
     Student: Zackary Kinlein
     Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Kautzman (Chemistry)

“Furin Gene Expression Systematically Reviewed via qPCR”
     Student: Oliva Konen
     Mentor: Dr. John Weldon (Biological Sciences)

“Using Polarized Reflectometry for Determination of Optical Anisotropy of Multilayered MgB2-based Metamaterials”
     Student: Will Korzi
     Mentor: Dr. Vera Smolyaninova (Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences)

“Synthesis of Air Stable Iron and Cobalt Nanoparticle Based Ferrofluids”
     Student: Lynn Krushinski
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Measuring Force of a Single-Beam Optical Trap for Manipulation of Gold Nanostructures
     Student: Kameron Langford
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Chemical Identification of Cocoa Geographic Origin Using UPLC-MS
     Student: Gabrielle Lembo
     Mentor: Dr. Shannon Stitzel (Chemistry)

“Developing Long-Acting Implants for Breast Cancer Prevention”
     Student: Chloe Lissauer
     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

Diphthamide-deficient Elongation Factor 2 in HeLa Cells
     Student: Elliot Lowe
     Mentor: Dr. John Weldon (Biological Sciences)

Investigating the Survival of HSV-2 on Various Fomites
     Student: Ricardo Mack
     Student: Imani Pearson

     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

Characterizing Storm Event Concentration-Discharge Relation-ships Using High-Frequency Data
     Student: Melinda Marsh
     Mentor: Dr. Joel Moore (Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences)

“Phenotypic Characterization of Bacterial Isolates from the Gut of Dung Beetle Onthophagus taurus
     Student: Alison Moss
     Mentor: Dr. Anne Estes (Biological Sciences)

“Bromination and Chlorination Kinetics of Dichloroacetamide Herbicide Safeners”
     Student: Mark Niedzwiecki
     Mentor: Dr. John Sivey (Chemistry)

“Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy of Steric Interactions in Type‑I Collagen
     Student: Jainik Patel
     Mentor: Dr. Khanh-Hoa Tran-Ba (Chemistry)

“Creation of a Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pUS27-GABARAP Expressing Cell Line to Screen for Novel Antiherpetic Drugs”
     Student: Kiam Preston
     Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

“Investigating the Relationship Between Furin Cleavage and Cytotoxicity in a Recombinant Immunotoxin Based on Pseudomonas exotoxin A”
     Student: Danielle Reifer
     Mentor: Dr. John Weldon (Biological Sciences)

“Establishing Baseline TSS and DOC Prior to Stream Restoration”
     Student: Nicole Reifer
     Mentor: Dr. Joseph Bushey (Chemistry)

“Effect of Urban Sedimentation on Blacknose Dace Feeding Performance”
     Student: Oliva Saliger
     Mentor: Dr. Jay Nelson (Biological Sciences)

“Breaking the Lag Phase: Demography of an Invasive Tree in Arboreta”
     Student: Laura Schammel
     Mentor: Dr. Laura Gough (Biological Sciences)

“Comparing the Bromination Kinetics of Dimethenamid in Natural and in Synthetic Waters”
     Student: Marella Schammel
     Mentor: Dr. John Sivey (Chemistry)

“Effect of Sequence and Length on M. tuberculosis Riboswitches”
     Student: Spiridon Sevdalis
     Mentor: Dr. Ana Maria Soto (Chemistry)

“The Presence and Persistence of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Microbiome of Wild
Caught Onthophagus taurus
     Student: Sarah Smith
     Mentor: Dr. Anne Estes (Biological Sciences)

“Synthesis of Ultra-Small Cysteine-Capped Gold Nanoparticles by pH Switching of the
AU(I)-Cysteine Polymer”
     Student: Stephanie Spickard
     Mentor: Dr. Mary Devadas (Chemistry)

“Structural and Electrical Properties of Oxygen Deficient Strontium Titanate Films”
     Student: Francis Walz
     Student: Azriel Weinreb

     Mentor: Dr. Rajeswari Kolagani (Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences)

“Identification and Characterization of Small Proteins in Streptococcus pneumoniae
     Student: Yishak Woldetsadik
     Mentor: Dr. Mara Shainheit (Biological Sciences)

Undergraduate Student Travel Grants in 2018 – 2019

To: Mathematical Association of America MathFest 2018, Denver, Colorado, August 1–4, 2018

  • Student: Gabriella Harris
         “Using Investigation to Incorporate Inquiry Based Learning Principles in the
  • Mentor: Dr. Kimberly Corum (Mathematics)

  • Student: Rachel Schmitz
         “Students’ Mathematical Modeling of One-Point Perspective Painting”
  • Mentor: Dr. Kristen Frank (Mathematics)

  • Student: Rachael Talbert
         “Choreographing in Problem Solving: Mathematical Interpretations of
           Figure Skaters’ Blade Tracings”
  • Mentor: Dr. Diana Cheng (Mathematics)

To: Mid-Atlantic Association for Science Teacher Education Annual Conference,  Harrisonburg, Virginia, September 28–29, 2018

  • Student: Olivia Gleber
         “Interning in a College Classroom: A New Model
  • Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Ghent (Biological Sciences)

To: 32nd Annual Gibbs Conference on Biological Thermodynamics,  Carbondale, Illinois, October 6–9, 2018

  • Student: Bryan Bahoua
         “Effects of Ions on the Conformation and Stability of a RNA Riboswitch
  • Student: Spiridon Sevdalis
         “Effects of Sequence and Length on the Conformation of a RNA
  • Mentor: Dr. Ana Maria Soto (Chemistry)

To: 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students,  Indianapolis, Indiana, November 14–17, 2018

  • Student: Ricardo Mack
         “Identification of Factors Promoting KRAS Expression in A549 Human
           Lung Cancer Cells”
  • Student: Kiam Preston
         “Clarification of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pUS27 Molecular
  • Student: Yishak Woldetsadak
         “Identification and Characterization of Small Proteins in the Human
    Streptococcus pneumoniae

  • Mentor: Dr. Barry Margulies (Biological Sciences)

To: Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology 2019 Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida, January 3–7, 2019

  • Student: Mary Eisinger
         “Does the Reappearance of a Dorsal Fin in the Black Ghost Knife Fish
          Apteronotus albifrons Affect Swimming Kinematics?”
  • Mentor: Dr. Christopher Oufiero (Biological Sciences)

To:  2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, Maryland, January 16–19, 2019

  • Student: Robert Nedwick
         “Determining the radius of a gure skate blade: A Model-Eliciting Activity
  • Mentor: Dr. Diana Cheng (Mathematics)

To: 233rd American Astronomical Society Winter Meeting, Seattle, Washington,
January 6–10, 

  • Student: Jessica Gillcrist
         “A Simple Model for the Extragalactic Background Light”
  • Student: Maegan Jennings
         “A Model for Intergalactic Dust and its Impact on the Extragalactic
          Background Light”
  • Mentor: Dr. James Overduin (Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences)

  • Baily Conrad
         Looking for Variability in Cygnus X1
  • Student: Sergio Lainez
         “Observations of Eight Large Main Belt Asteroids with HST”
  • Mentor: Dr. Alex Storrs (Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences)

  • Student: Saneyda Hernandez
         “A Data Pipeline for the Minor Planet Center”
  • Student: Colin Hamill
         “ProperXes of CGM-Absorbing Galaxies”
  • Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Scott (Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences)

To:  2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, Maryland, January 16–19, 2019

  • Student: Robert Nedwick
         “Determining the radius of a gure skate blade: A Model-Eliciting Activity
  • Mentor: Dr. Diana Cheng (Mathematics)

To: American Physical Society March Meeting 2019, Boston, Massachusetts, March 4–8, 2019

  • Student: Hristo Ivanov
         “Increasing Solution Viscosity in Dynamic Light Scattering to Lower the
           Detection Limit for the Determination of Nanoparticle Size”
  • Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Simpson (Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences)