• Student Accomplishments – December 2015


Please join us in congratulating the UConn undergraduates named below for their significant research and creative accomplishments in fall 2015. Students: if you have an accomplishment to share, please do so using this online form.


Antonio Campelli
Antonio Campelli ’15 (SFA) presents his UConn IDEA Grant project at Frontiers 2014.

Congratulations to Antonio Campelli ’15 (SFA), winner of a 2016 Marshall Scholarship for MFA study at Goldsmiths, University of London. Antonio graduated as a University Scholar, was a member of the first cohort of UConn IDEA Grant recipients in Spring 2013, and received a SURF Award for Summer 2014. Learn more about Antonio in his UConn Today profile; learn more about prestigious award programs like the Marshall Scholarship via the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships.


John Ovian ’17 (CLAS) and Rebecca Wiles ’15 (CLAS) were co-authors on two recent publications from the Leadbeater Lab:

Kelly, C.B., Ovian, J.M., Cywar, R.M., Gossland, T.R., Wiles, R.J., Leadbeater, N.E. (2015). Oxidative cleavage of allyl ethers by an oxoammonium salt. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 13, 4255-4259.

Hamlin, T.A., Kelly, C.B., Ovian, J.M., Wiles, R.W., Tilley, L.J., Leadbeater, N.E. (2015). Toward a unified mechanism for oxoammonium salt-mediated oxidation reactions: A theoretical and experimental study using a hydride transfer model. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 80, 8150-8167.

Nikita Sturrock ’16 co-authored a 2014 publication from the Kanadia Lab:

Baumgartner, M., Lemoine, C., Al Seesi, S., Karunakaran, D.K.P., Sturrock, N., Banday, A.R., Kilcollins, A.M., Mandoiu, I. and Kanadia, R.N. (2015), Minor splicing snRNAs are enriched in the developing mouse CNS and are crucial for survival of differentiating retinal neurons. Developmental Neurobiology, 75, 895–907. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22257


The UConn Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of member Rex Sturdevant ’16 (SFA), presented Steve Reich’s minimalist masterpiece, Music for 18 Musicians, on December 1, 2015. Rex coordinated and directed this performance as his UConn IDEA Grant project. This performance marked the first time that the ensemble collaborated with wind, strings, and piano players, as well as four singers. This was also the longest work the ensemble has ever presented in concert, extending to nearly an hour in length. See photos of the performance below, and learn more about the piece and the participating musicians in the event announcement.


2015 LatCrit Conference – October 1-3, 2015 – Anaheim, CA

Maye Henning ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Panel Presentation: Between citizenship and nationality: An overview of federal citizenship legislation for the U.S. Pacific Island territories, 1900 to present

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting – October 7-10, 2015 – Tampa, FL

Michael Messina ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Mobile automated analysis of sperm quality

Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) – October 8, 2015 – Meriden, CT

Nicole Prete ’16 (ENG)
Bridge weigh-in-motion (BWIM)

New England Psychological Association Annual Meeting – October 10, 2015 – Fitchburg, MA

Mallory Kloss ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Psychological immersion in games

2015 IEEE Software Technology Conference – October 12-15, 2015 – Long Beach, CA

Qiwei Zheng ’16 (CLAS, ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Oral Presentation: A data-driven approach to analyze the spatial and temporal variations in the distributed power grid system

Society for Neuroscience (SFN) Annual Meeting – October 17-21, 2015 –  Chicago, IL

Ashlesha Dhuri ’16 (CLAS), Kaylene King ’16 (CLAS), & Sarthak Patel ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Spatial reference memory acquisition in a water maze under light and dark conditions

Nikita Sturrock ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
The minor spliceosome snRNA’s U4atac and U6atac are down regulated in starvation induced stress response

Frontiers in Optics – October 18-22, 2015 – San Jose, CA

Michael Cantara ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Oral Presentation: Ultracold trimer formation energetics of Rb and K

Cameron Vickers ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Ultracold long range molecule formation with Rb and K

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting – November 8-13, 2015 – Salt Lake City, UT

Notations are included below for students who won poster presentation awards in their divisions.

Kerry Davis ’16 (ENG) – 2nd place in Material Science Division – OUR Travel Award recipient
Materials for additive manufacturing

Victoria Drake ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Respiratory response of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm to daptomycin exposure

Jake Lewis ’16 (ENG) – 1st place in Environmental Division – OUR Travel Award recipient
Microbial mediated soil water retention

Clarke Palmer ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Oral Presentation: Analysis of a simulated moving bed configuration for chemical-looping combustion

Kyle Such ’16 (ENG) – 2nd place in Fuels, Petrochemicals, and Energy – OUR Travel Award recipient
Dynamic simulation of a combined cycle power plant integrated with chemical-looping combustion

Yijia Sun ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Synthesis of zeolitic enwrapped catalysts by chemical vapor deposition

Obesity Week 2015 – November 2-6, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA

Kate Boudreau ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
#WeTakeTheStairs: A study of the effects of school spirit posters on stair taking behavior in a university dormitory

Melanie Klinck ’15 (CLAS) & Jessica Naples ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Get off the couch! Increasing physical activity through the use of social support and financial incentives

Ashley Mills ’16 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Does labeling spoodles in a college dining hall impact food selection patterns?

Aaron Plotke ’17 (CAHNR, CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Effect of physical activity calorie equivalent labeling on selection of high-calorie foods in a college dining hall

Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting – November 29-December 4, 2015 – Boston, MA

Kathleen Coleman ’16 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Shock-induced melting of Al powder compacts at atomic scales