Past SROP Scholars

Tresavoya Blake

Tresavoya Blake

Univ of Wisc-Green Bay
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Katrina Sanders, Ed Policy and Leadership Studies
Project title
Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Modern America
Abstract

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were created with the sole intent of educating Blacks because White schools would not accept them. In Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress defined an HBCU as a postsecondary schooling institution established before 1964 with a primary goal of educating Blacks (Satterfield, 2008). Since Brown vs.

Irmarie Cruz-Lopez

Irmarie Cruz-Lopez

Univ of PR @ Mayaguez
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Kathryn Gerken, School Psychology
Project title
The Effectiveness of Using Puppets to Teach Social Communication Skills to Children Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
Abstract

In the recent years there has been an increase in the prevalence of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the last version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association reported that one in one hundred children has been identified with ASD. They established that ASD is characterized by a persistent deficits in social communication and social interactions across multiple contexts. Social communication skills are one of the core features of ASD.

Rico Duncan

Rico Duncan

Univ of Maryland
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Douglas Spitz, Biology
Project title
The effects of dTPP combination drug therapy in breast cancer
Abstract

Cancer is the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a tissue. In 1924 German biochemist Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells exhibit a significantly altered metabolism compared to normal cells (1). One major problem is cancer cells do not properly regulate glucose metabolism and respiration, leading to the profligate consumption of glucose known as the Warburg Effect. It has been hypothesized that the increase in glucose consumption enables the cell to produce more reducing equivalents to detoxify the higher levels of O2 and H2O2 in cancer cells in comparison to normal cell.

Sepopo Ekouevi

Sepopo Ekouevi

Virginia Commonwealth
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Daniel Tranel, Neurology
Project title
Naming and knowing: neural systems for retrieving knowledge for unique persons, places, and melodies
Abstract

Objective: When presented with the name of Marilyn Monroe, what neural systems are involved in the retrieval of conceptual information about her? The aim of this study is to test retrieval of conceptual information from name presentation. The investigation of conceptual knowledge retrieval of a specific entity given a name has not been explored. It is hypothesized that individuals with LTP damage will have impaired retrieval of conceptual knowledge given the name of a unique entity.

Filius Oyinemi Iyebote

Filius Oyinemi Iyebote

Virginia Commonwealth
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Maria Spies, Biochemistry
Project title
Characterization of molecular probes for human RAD52 repair protein
Abstract

Human RAD52 (hsRAD52) plays a pertinent role in Homology Directed Damage Repair (HDDR) and in supporting faithful genome duplication, but there is still high ambiguity in what biochemical activities and cellular function underlie this role. There is much known about Rad52 activities in yeast cells (saccharomyces cervisiae, scRad52), which functions by annealing of two complementary single stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules bound by Replication Protein A (RPA), and also serves as a recombination mediator which replaces scRPA with scRad51 recombinase.

Courtney Jackson

Courtney Jackson

Penn State Univ
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Eric Tate, Geography
Project title
Measuring Social Vulnerability to Hazards: A Case Study of Floods in St. Louis
Abstract

Social vulnerability indices are often used in studies of natural hazards to measure social dimensions of vulnerability. However, it is challenging to create a single index that encompasses all hazards, because indicators vary with the hazard context. Index modelers have tended to adopt quantitative, non-context specific approaches to this problem by selecting indicators primarily based on their use in previous studies. Qualitative disaster case studies, however, offer rich, detailed, and context-specific understandings of social vulnerability that are often absent from modeling studies.

Jaz-Munn Johnson

Jaz-Munn Johnson

Virginia Commonwealth
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Maurine Neiman, Biology
Project title
The Influence of Sex and Reproductive Mode on Gene Expression in Potamopyrgus Antipodarum
Abstract

Sexual reproduction is a major source of the genetic diversity that is required for organisms to adapt to changing environments. Asexual reproduction is associated with lower diversity but confers its own advantages, allowing asexual lineages to produce offspring at a much higher rate than sexual lineages. These benefits of asexuality are so great that why sexual reproduction remains so common in nature is unclear and is considered one of the most important unanswered questions in biology.

Charlene Jones

Charlene Jones

Edward Waters College
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Kathryn Gerken, School Psychology
Project title
The Effectiveness of Using Puppets to Teach Social Communication Skills to Children Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
Abstract

Research has shown that children with autism often exhibit a deficit in empathy and perspective taking, (Schrandt, Townsend & Poulson, 2009). The purpose of this research study was to modify the behavior of an 11 year old boy who functioned at a high level with respect to verbal skill and learning ability. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Most techniques used in past studies have not been successful with the exception of video and live modeling, (Gena, Couloura & Kymissis, 2005).

Odalys Lugo-Morales

Odalys Lugo-Morales

Univ of PR @ Rio Piedras
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Loyce Arthur, Theater
Project title
Culture Street Celebrations: A comparison between Carnival Traditions and Iowa Parades
Abstract

Carnivals have an important role in societies, because through masks and performances, teach the history and cultural traditions of the people and place in which they arise and at the same time, for the opportunity that they provide to people to release tensions, leave the everyday world, become someone else (Mauldin, 2004). As part of the Iowa City Carnival and Public Engagement Arts Project, this research arises from the interest to educate teachers, students, and the general public about public arts events, and the art involved in carnivals and parades.

Rachel Monroe

Rachel Monroe

Beloit College
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Tori Forbes, Chemistry
Project title
Controlling the Growth of Metal Organic Nanotubes on a Modified Gold Surface
Abstract

Controlling the growth of metal organic nanotubes (MONs) will potentially enhance their applicability in the water purification process. MONs have water selective properties that eliminate contaminants from water. The uniform reorientation of the MONs creates directional flow by allowing water to pass through the selective channels. In order to control the growth of the MONs, a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was employed on a gold substrate.

Fabiola Morales Santiago

Fabiola Morales Santiago

Univ of PR @ Aguadilla
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Justin Grobe, Pharmacology
Project title
Dietary Sodium Suppresses Digestive Efficiency: Role of the Renin-Angiotensin System
Abstract

Foods containing large amounts of fats and sodium chloride (NaCl) are highly palatable (e.g. - potato chips), and their consumption is associated with obesity.  We therefore hypothesized that eating a diet with high fat and high NaCl content (HFHS) would increase weight gain over eating a diet with high fat, but low NaCl content (HFLS).

David Nieland

David Nieland

Wartburg College
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Dale Abel, Endocrinology Diabetes Clinic
Project title
AKT maintains cardiomyocyte homeostasis by regulating protein degradation pathways
Abstract

Recent studies have shown that insulin-AKT-mTORC1 signaling contributes not only to embryonic and postnatal physiological heart growth, but also to adverse LV remodeling in pathological hypertrophy. However, the exact roles of AKTs in maintaining cardiac function in the physiological setting remain to be elucidated.

Salimot Ojerinde

Salimot Ojerinde

Indiana Univ/Bloomington
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Ryan LaLaumiere, Psychology
Project title
Differential involvement of Infralimbic and Prelimbic Cortices in Controlling Cocaine Seeking Behaviors
Abstract

Treatment efforts towards cocaine addiction are hampered by high relapse rates, and an understanding of neural circuitry underlying drug-seeking behaviors may inform treatment development. Studies have indicated that the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) cortices are involved in cocaine-seeking behaviors in a rodent model of relapse. These regions are involved in learning and motivated behaviors, including those that require inhibitory control over behavior.

Rosanna Pagan Aleman

Rosanna Pagan Aleman

Univ of PR @ Rio Piedras
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Daniel Tranel, Neurology
Project title
The effects of brain damage on estimations: A neuropsychological study of anchoring and adjustment
Abstract

Objective: To examine anchoring and adjustment processes in patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) lesions.

Nicole Pulliam

Nicole Pulliam

Univ of Maryland
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Steven Green, Biology
Project title
Protection of cochlear synapses against noise and excitotoxic trauma
Abstract

Excitotoxicity is a process in which neuronal synapses are destroyed by overstimulation by excessive release of the neurotransmitter glutamate. In the brain this can result in the death of neurons. Loud noise can cause excitotoxic destruction of synatpses (“synaptopathy”) in the cochlea by excessive release of glutamate from the auditory sensory cells. This results in hearing impairment. The synapses can be protected from pharmacological protection from sudden loud noise and preliminary experiments using mice have yielded promising results.

Joyce Rivera

Joyce Rivera

Univ of PR @ Rio Piedras
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Andrew Kitchen, Anthropology
Project title
Bayesian Inference of a Multilocus Species Tree for Primates
Abstract

The inference of an accurate phylogeny relating the species of the order Primate is a central focus of the field of evolutionary primatology. Most previous studies of primate phylogeny have used DNA sequence data from individual loci or multiple genes in concatenation (i.e., a super gene) to produce gene trees that are assumed to represent species relationships. For example, while early studies used _-globin gene sequence data, recent studies have expanded the number of loci used by merging them into a single, larger locus which may be analyzed as a single gene.

Justin Roberson

Justin Roberson

University of Iowa
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Damani Phillips, Music
Project title
Mental Note: An investigation of the identity of jazz music and the contributing factors that have defined the music’s identity and the potential new inhibitions.
Abstract

This is a qualitative study which explores contemporary issues in jazz pedagogy and performance. Those issues include the incorporation of jazz programs into post-secondary institutions and the declining role of soulfulness. This study also evaluates the presence of the cultural essence in jazz pedagogy and performance. Preliminary analysis of the data from exploring contemporary issues in jazz pedagogy and performance we disclosed two thematic discoveries: the conflict between culture and academia; and the struggle to maintain the values of origin.

Raul Samrah Miranda

Raul Samrah Miranda

Univ of PR @ Mayaguez
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Daniel Tranel, Neurology
Project title
Too much of a good thing? A neuropsychological investigation of reward devaluation
Abstract

Objective: How do you know when you’ve had enough? To study this type of decision making process, we investigated the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in reward devaluation in human subjects by means of satiation. Because the vmPFC is known to be involved in goal-directed behavior and coding stimulus-reward value, we predicted that individuals with damage to the vmPFC will show reduced devaluation for satiated rewards. Unlike non-lesion (NL) participants, we hypothesized vmPFCs would revert to more rigid habit-based behaviors.

Sara Taveras

Sara Taveras

Wheelock College
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Kathryn Gerken, School Psychology
Project title
The effectiveness of using puppets to teach social communication skills to children with cerebral palsy
Abstract

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (2008) about 1 in every 323 children are identified with cerebral palsy (CP). Children with cerebral palsy have a 41% chance of having co-morbid epilepsy and 7% of children are on the autism spectrum. There are many risk factors for cerebral palsy such as low birth-weight, premature birth, and the disruption of blood or oxygen to the developing brain. A major concern with young children who have cerebral palsy is motor coordination skills. Sometimes there are also concerns about cognitive abilities, speech, and pragmatic language.

Adriana Toledo Santiago

Adriana Toledo Santiago

Univ of PR @ Rio Piedras
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Roxanna Curto, French and Italian
Project title
Global Sports and National Cultures in Literature
Abstract

Global sports have been widely recognized as an important cultural aspect of today’s nations. This topic is closely associated with the concept of identity and nationality. Because of this, it is important to note its importance as a cultural representation within films and different kinds of literature. Even more so, it gains particular relevance within Francophone and Latin American countries where not only is a topic widely found in its cultural representations but it is also something inherently part of the mass culture of these countries.

Rodney Tollerson

Rodney Tollerson

Univ of Arizona
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Craig Ellermeier, Microbiology
Project title
Clostridium difficile Feo1 system transports iron into E. coli
Abstract

Hosts can hinder the growth of bacterial pathogens by decreasing the amount of iron accessible to foreign cells. This creates an environment where the host and bacteria are competing for the same resources. To facilitate iron acquisition, many microbes have a system that transports ferrous iron, Fe(II), called Feo. All Feo systems require at least two proteins: FeoB, the membrane-bound ion transporter, and FeoA, a cytosolic protein. In some Feo systems, other proteins are necessary for iron transport. C. difficile encodes three putative Feo systems.

Camille Ungco

Camille Ungco

Rutgers University
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Lafayette Adams, English
Project title
Hues of Whiteness: Old vs New Immigrants In the U.S. South from 1865-1914
Abstract

Congress established U.S. immigration policy on a racial basis with the Naturalization Act of 1790, which stated that “any alien being a free white person” could immigrate and gain citizenship. Over the next eighty years, the so-called old immigrants from northern and western Europe dominated the U.S. immigrant population.  Beginning in the 1880s, the new immigrants began arriving from southern and eastern Europe.  Their advent prompted the first serious movement to restrict European immigration.

Kurby Velez

Kurby Velez

University of Iowa
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Emily Wentzell, Anthropology
Project title
Confianza & perceptions of healthcare among female partners of men in Mexican HPV Study
Abstract

The HIM (Human Papillomavirus in Men) study is a longitudinal, transnational medical study of HPV occurrence. In the HIM study’s Cuernavaca, Mexico site, an ethnographic study was conducted in which study participants and their spouses were interviewed to reveal links between medical research participation and changing Mexican gender norms. The present analysis investigates the ways that the female partners of the men who participated in the HIM study felt confianza, or trust, in their HPV-related medical experiences, including pap and HPV tests.

Malik Wheeler

Malik Wheeler

Grambling St. Univ
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Charles Connerly, Urban and Reg Planning
Project title
Water Sustainability in the State of Iowa
Abstract

The sustainability in Iowa’s water supply has many factors but similar results. Sustainability is an act in where humans and nature co-exist in harmony. In my research with Dr. Connerly we have summarized that in order to maintain that sustainability in Iowa’s water supply is necessary to take note of the increase in CAFO’s which secrete manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area, dramatic climate change and also nutrient pollution from agriculture. These are some of the biggest problems in managing water sustainability in Iowa.

Krystal Wynter

Krystal Wynter

Univ of the Virgin Islands
Participation year
2014
Mentor
Ryan LaLumiere, Psychology
Project title
Posttraining optogenetic modulation of basolateral amygdala projections to the ventral hippocampus influence the consolidation of emotional but not special learning for contextual fear conditioning
Abstract

The basolateral amygdala modulates memory consolidation for multiple types of learning including contextual fear conditioning (CFC). One of the BLA’s downstream targets, the ventral hippocampus (vHPC), has previously been shown to process emotion-related aspects of learning but whether the BLAàvHPC pathway modulates memory consolidation is unknown. The current study used a modified CFC task, which allows separation of the context and footshock learning, followed by immediate optogenetic modulation of activity in the BLAàvHPC pathway.