Past SROP Scholars

Gabriel Akanni

Gabriel Akanni

Education
Towson University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Zubair Shafiq
Project title
Spun document
Abstract

The continuous battle between spammers and search engine has been going on for some time. Spammers have now resorted to using software spinning to conceal their articles from plagiarism detectors. Text rewriting is a unique writing technique used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and in other application. Article spinning user's spin the articles to lessen the similarity ratio associated with redundant pages or pages with the minimal content material. Spinning is done by automatically reconstructing sentences and substituting words and phrases with their synonyms.

Asia Banks

Asia Banks

Education
Valparaiso University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Mark Blumberg
Project title
Differences in sleep-wake cyclicity and cerebellar anatomy in a mouse model of autism
Abstract

Abnormalities in brain structures and sleep disturbances are extensive in many neurological disorders, including autism.  In the present study, we used 16p11.2df mice that possess a deletion on chromosome 7 syntenic with a region on human chromosome 16 (the 16p11.2 region).

Allison Benjamin

Allison Benjamin

Education
Spelman College
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Fred Boehmke
Project title
Here Comes the Fireworks: How Different Cities and Counties in Iowa Respond to the Law Allowing the Sale of Fireworks in Iowa
Abstract

Fireworks are a visual art displays that are usually used for celebrations such as, Fourth of July and New Years Eve. In some states in the United States the sale and use of fireworks are illegal. In Iowa, the ban had carried out in Iowa for nearly 80 years. Recently, Iowa governor at the time Terry Branstad had signed a new bill (Senate File 489) that allowed the selling of fireworks. The purpose of this research is to look at what, when, why, and how cities and counties in Iowa plan to either adopt or not adopt this new law.

Michala Brand

Michala Brand

Education
Central College
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Ben DeVane
Project title
Investigating Parent-Child Collaboration during Interactive Tabletop Gameplay
Abstract

Background: The co-presence of others, adults or peers, and collaborative play has been shown to strengthen one’s interest and engagement with an exhibit in informal environments such as a children’s museum, therefore increasing opportunities for learning. In formal educational settings, verbal feedback holds a critical role in the child’s academic performance. Verbal feedback can be further characterized by the way the message is framed (positive, negative, or neutral).

Andrew Buchheit

Andrew Buchheit

Education
Grand Valley State University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Steven Green
Project title
Satellite glial cells in spiral ganglia express leukocyte common antigen CD45
Abstract

According to the World Health Organization, over 360 million people worldwide suffer from some form of hearing loss. Loss of hair cells is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss. Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs), which transmit acoustic signals from hair cells to the brain, gradually die after hair cell death. Surrounding these neurons are satellite glial cells, which is known to myelinate the neuronal cell body in many animals including rodents.

Sara Comella

Sara Comella

Education
Bellarmine University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Daniel Tranel
Project title
Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus Disconnection Correlates with Hemispatial Inattention : A Study in Neurological Patients with Focal Brain Lesions
Abstract

Hemispatial inattention is a neuropsychological symptom associated with right hemisphere damage. Affected persons do not attend or respond normally to stimuli on the left side of allocentric and/or egocentric space. Previous research has demonstrated an association between hemispatial inattention and damage to the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), a white matter tract connecting several brain regions important for attention.

Jose Delgado

Jose Delgado

Education
University of California, Merced
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Wilmara Salgado-Pabon
Project title
Construction of two-plasmid vector system in Staphylococcus aureus for overexpression of master transcriptional regulators and observing regulation of the enterotoxin gene cluster
Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is the most prevalent pathogenic bacterium for causing serious infectious diseases in the United States with over 600,000 cases reported annually. Superantigens (SAgs) are an important virulence factor secreted by most S. aureus strains. SAgs encoded in the enterotoxin gene cluster (egc) of S.

Kevin Do

Kevin Do

Education
University of San Diego
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Tim Havens
Project title
Personalized Delivery, Reinforced Biases: Racial politics and the Google News algorithm
Abstract

Selective exposure theory tells us that individuals actively seek information that pertains specifically to pre-existing beliefs while avoiding information that may have contradictions; this leads to a political polarization in a democratic society. Consequently, there are increasing concerns regarding the personalization algorithms of search engines and social media limiting diverse viewpoints and feeding into a person's biases beyond a user's control.

Sol Fonseca

Sol Fonseca

Education
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Ed Wasserman
Project title
Pigeons’ Tracking of Relevant Information in Category Learning
Abstract

Attention is key for categorization, with the use of selective attention humans and animals can learn to discriminate relevant and irrelevant information. In our present project, we presented pigeons with a visual discrimination task in which they had to learn how to categorize relevant information from the irrelevant. In order to solve the categorization discrimination task, the pigeons must engage in selective attention to find the relevant information.

Jamisha Francis

Jamisha Francis

Education
University of the Virgin Islands
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Hans-Joachim Lehmler
Project title
Disposition of neurotoxic PCB 136 and its metabolites in Cyp1a knockout mice
Abstract

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are environmental contaminants that are associated with adverse human health effects, including cancer and neurotoxicity. PCBs are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes in the liver to hydroxylated metabolites (HO-PCBs) that are potentially more toxic than the parent PCBs. Hydroxylated PCBs are further metabolized to PCB glucuronide and/or sulfate conjugates, which are excreted through urine and feces.

Nashley Fuentes-Sanabria

Nashley Fuentes-Sanabria

Education
University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Sheila Baker
Project title
Evaluation of the synaptic proteins expressed in rods versus cones synapses
Abstract

When light enters the eye, it is focused on the retina and detected by rod and cone photoreceptors. The photoreceptors translate the light information into electrical impulses that travel through the synapses with bipolar neurons, then into ganglion cells, and along the optic nerve into the brain. Rods represent 97% of all photoreceptors in the human or mouse retina and are used for night vision. Cones represent the other 3% of all photoreceptors but are used the majority of the time for seeing in daylight, detecting colors, and providing high acuity vision.

Kriss-Ann Gayle

Kriss-Ann Gayle

Education
Pennsylvania State University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Grazyna Kochanska
Project title
Minding the baby: Mothers' and Fathers' Talk to Their Infants as a Window Into Parental Perception of Infants' Internal State
Abstract

The concept of parental mind-mindedness (MM) – the ability to see the child as a psychological being, with internal states, emotions, and thoughts – has been gaining prominence in developmental psychology and psychopathology. MM has been increasingly recognized as a key parental characteristic that determines their sensitivity and responsiveness to the child’s cues, and consequently, promotes a secure attachment between the child and parent. In infancy, MM is typically assessed by coding parents’ comments directed to the child.

Briana Gipson

Briana Gipson

Education
Coe College
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Charles Connerly
Project title
The role of the Des Moines Black Panther Party, its influence on the Black Power Movement at the University of Iowa in the 1960s and 1970s, and its relevance for today
Janee Harris

Janee Harris

Education
Grambling State University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Sarah Bruch
Project title
Student safety and disciplinary environment in the Iowa City Community School District
Abstract

Within educational institutions, racial disparities in the classroom are becoming increasingly evident. Growing research suggests that implicit biases of teachers and administrators (school adults) affect their ability to administer discipline equitably among students. The unequally harsh disciplinary sanctions against minority students interferes with the overall development of academic success.

Amani Holder

Amani Holder

Education
Spelman College
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Teresa Treat
Project title
Racial/Ethnic Differences in College Men’s Sensitivity to Women’s Sexual-Interest Cues
Abstract

Difficulty with sexual perception (ability to read a potential partner’s sexual-interest cues), more rape supportive attitudes, and high sociosexuality (preference for casual sex) have been linked to increased risk for sexual aggression. Race/ethnicity has been an established as a predictor of rape-supportive attitudes, but no work has investigated racial/ethnic differences in sexual perception. The current work examines the extent to which race/ethnicity predicts sexual perception above and beyond rape-supportive attitudes and sociosexuality.

Richelle Kota

Richelle Kota

Education
Temple University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Deborah Whaley
Project title
Discursive Black Netnography: Curating Trauma Through Humorous Internet Memes
Abstract

The contemporary public WebSphere is consistently and constantly birthing new revelations. Like many other spaces, the public space of the Internet has defaulted to accommodate white Internet users. The most engaging platforms have been identified as social media sites that allow users to subvert the norm of the average Internet user in the public WebSphere. Access to multi-media presentations of information, ideas, and discussions, continue to produce endless amounts of content.

Donald Long

Donald Long

Education
Southern Utah University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Hank Qi
Project title
Investigating Novel Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Prostate Cancer Neuroendocrine Differentiation and Castration-Resistance
Abstract

Prostate cancer is one of the most notorious male cancers in the world. The disease is becoming increasingly burdensome for families, healthcare systems, and the patients themselves. Current popular treatments have several critical issues with one of the most devastating being prostate cancer becoming drastically more aggressive and castration-resistant after androgen deprivation therapy through a process known as neuroendocrine differentiation (NED),which significantly shortens the lifespan of the patient.

Eda Lu

Eda Lu

Education
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Andrew Pieper
Project title
P7C3-A20 mediated protection from cognitive deficit and depression-like behavior in C57BL/6J mice after brain irradiation
Abstract

Brain tumors, both primary and metastatic, are vigorously destructive forms of cancer, with about 210,000 cases reported annually in the United States. The most common treatment is whole brain irradiation (IR), which unfortunately is complicated by hippocampal damage that impairs the normal physiologic process of hippocampal neurogenesis. Reduction in hippocampal neurogenesis leads to neuropsychiatric complications, including impaired spatial memory and problem-solving ability, as well as emotional dysregulation and depression.

Braim Luciano Vasquez

Braim Luciano-Vázquez

Education
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Pamela Ries
Project title
Assessing Social Validity in Academic Interventions for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
Abstract

Social validity is an important component of academic and behavioral interventions. The definition of social validity has been defined in various ways.

Sinamen Magee

Sinamen Magee

Education
Georgia State University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Michael Hill
Abstract

During the World War II era, Jazz was the popular music of the time in the United States. However, this music did not stem from popular culture, but rather from the subculture of African Americans. Born out of the era of Jim Crow, Jazz was used as a form of escapism. However, during this time Black Jazz musicians started to shift toward a new form of Jazz known as “Bop.” The hard hitting sounds of Bop were not meant to be danced to. Instead the sounds of Bop reflected the anger and disillusionment of the African American community trying to succeed economically during the war.

Aubria Myers

Aubria Myers

Education
Appalachian State University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Sarah Bruch
Project title
Black, White, and Belonging in the Iowa City Community School District
Abstract

One of the most influential aspects to a student’s success as they matriculate through their education is a sense of belonging. This sense of belonging tends to come from the student’s general attachment and feelings of an inclusive climate in their school. One of the barriers to achieving the height of sense of belonging is socioeconomic status. Current research has examined the need to move towards an era of socioeconomic desegregation in the hopes of improving school performances for all students, which should result in a higher sense of belonging.

Maja Orlowska

Maja Orlowska

Education
Colorado College
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Roxanna Curto
Project title
French Literature at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Advent of Modernity, Decline of the Aura, and Surrealism
Abstract

This research project explores and analyzes the key concepts of French literature of the early twentieth century as a result of the political, infrastructural, and technological changes that began at the end of the nineteenth century. New architectural designs and the transformation of the structure of cities such as Paris had a profound effect on society and the artistic community, modifying art in both visual and literary forms.

Anyelys Ortiz Medina

Anyelys Ortiz Medina

Education
University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Robert Cornell
Project title
Investigating the hierarchy of the gene regulatory network governing neural crest specification
Abstract

Problems in the development of the neural crest (NC) can cause abnormalities in the skin and craniofacial structure such as cleft palette.

Ramadan Raji

Ramadan Raji

Education
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Jennifer Fiegel
Project title
Optimizing Therapeutic PLGA Nanoparticle for drug delivery across the Blood- Brain Barrier
Abstract

ERK1/2 is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway activated in heart failure. Protection against heart failure can be achieved by inhibiting the signaling pathway with therapeutic nanoparticle composed of PD98059 and PLGA to reverse the negative outcome of SNA changes. We propose that drug loaded particles containing PD98059 and PLGA (acting as a ligand) can be used to target this pathway and reverse negative outcomes of heart failure.

Kelis Tulloch

Kelis Tulloch

Education
Florida A&M University
Participation year
2017
Mentor
Daniel Tranel
Project title
Amygdala Lesions Leading to Psychopathic Elements
Abstract

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that bilateral damage to the amygdala is associated with fearlessness and in some cases, psychopathic personality traits. Additionally, lesions to this area have been shown to lead to other emotional and behavioral changes. Damage to this area can severely affect personality and decision-making, and as noted, can produce signs