• Student Accomplishments – May 2017


Please join us in congratulating the UConn undergraduates named below for their significant research and creative accomplishments in spring 2017. Students: if you have an accomplishment to share, please do so using this online form.


Alyssa Mathiowetz ’18 (CLAS) received a Founders Affiliate Undergraduate Student Summer Fellowship Award from the American Heart Association. She will be working under the supervision of Professor Kenneth Campellone in the Campellone Lab this summer, studying actin nucleation factors and autophagy in cardiovascular development. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Elizabeth Rodier ’18 and Jessica Young ’19 have been selected as UConn Beckman Scholars. The Beckman Scholars program will support their independent research in the Tzingounis Laboratory and the Sun Laboratory, respectively, for two summers and one academic year. Congratulations, Elizabeth and Jessica!

John Ovian in a lab.Congratulations to John Ovian ’17 (CLAS), pictured at right, and Diler Haji ’17 (CLAS), undergraduate recipients of 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships! They are among the 10 UConn students and alumni who won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships this year.


Jack Morley ’17 (ENG) and Leopoldo Valencia ’17 (ENG) were co-authors on a recent publication from Seok-Woo Lee’s Lab, as was one past undergraduate researcher, Thomas Bissell ’16 (ENG):

Dusoe, K.J., Vijayan, S., Bissell, T.R., Chen, J. Morley, J.E., Valencia, L., Dongare, A.M., Aindow, M., & Lee, S.-W. (2017). Strong, ductile, and thermally stable Cu-based metal-intermetallic nanostructured composites. Nature Scientific Reports, 7, 40409. doi: 10.1038/srep40409.

Sayeda Najamussahar Peerzade ’20 (ENG) was a co-author on a recent publication based on research conducted with Dr. Vladimir Litvak at the University of Massachusetts Medical School:

Filiano, A.J., Xu, Y., Tustison, N.J., Marsh, R.L., Baker, W., Smirnov, I., Overall, C.C., Gadani, S.P., Turner, S.D., Wheng, Z., Najamussahar Peerzade, S.,, Chen, H., Lee, K.S., Scott, M.M, Beenhakker, M.P, Litvak, V., & Kipnis, J. (2016). Unexpected role of interferon-γ in regulating neuronal connectivity and social behavior. Nature, 535, 425-429. doi: 10.1038/nature18626.

Connor Occhialini ’18 (CLAS) was the first author on a recent publication in Physical Review B:

Occhialini, C.A.,, Handunkanda, S.U., Curry, E.B., & Hancock, J.N. (2017). Classical, quantum, and thermodynamics of a lattice model exhibiting structural negative thermal expansion. Physical Review B, 95, 094106. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.094106.

Nicolas Ochart ’18 (SFA) published a paper based on research he conducted while enrolled in ARTH 3530 – Contemporary Art, taught by Professor Margo Machida:

Ochart, N. (2017). Stark imagery: The male nude in art. Bowdoin Journal of Art, 3, 1-17. Full Text.


Spring 2017 included a series of art exhibitions, screenings, and performances by the following undergraduate students:

Diana Abouchacra ’17 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
Include|Exclude: Explorations of Xenophobia through Printmaking

Louise Astorino ’17 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
Raccogliere: A Study of Gatherings and Public Spaces in Florence, Italy

Edward (John) Cody ’17 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
100 Birds: An Original Puppetry Production

Benjamin Piascik ’17 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
BuyTown: A Comedy Pilot

Catherine Solari ’17 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
STAMPEDE: A Solo Exhibition of Sculptural Printmaking

Over the course of the 2016-17 academic year, Ali Oshinskie ’17 (CLAS) created and produced a podcast, Professors Are People Too, about her experience as an English major and the delight of getting to know her professors. All past episodes are available at the link above.


Plant Animal Genome Conference – January 14-17, 2017 – San Diego, CA

Sumaira Zaman ’17 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Bioinformatic Evaluation of Transcriptomic Frame Selection Methods in Non­-model Species

Samantha Mairson
Samantha Mairson ’17 (SFA)
American Library Association Midwinter Conference – January 20-24, 2017 – Atlanta, GA

Samantha Mairson ’17 (SFA) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Museums, Libraries, and Civic Discourse in Connecticut: Omeka Everywhere

Yale Undergraduate Research Conference – February 11-12, 2017 – New Haven, CT

Radhika Malhotra ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Investigating the Role of Ras Signaling in Ovulation Using Drosophila Melanogaster as a Model System

American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting – February 16-20, 2017 – Boston, MA

Colin Cleary ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Investigating Service Learning Pedagogy in Undergraduate STEM Coursework

Jessica Griffin
Jessica Griffin ’17 (CAHNR, CLAS)
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting – February 26-March 3, 2017 – Honolulu, HI

Jessica Griffin ’17 (CAHNR, CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Food Quality and Diet Preference in Mysis diluviana

Wilson Ornithological Society Annual Meeting – March 9-12, 2017 – Ft. Myers, FL

Nicholas Russo ’18 (CLAS) – Recipient of the Nancy Klamm Undergraduate Presentation Award for best student talk – OUR Travel Award recipient
Avian Spring Migration as a Dispersal Mechanism for an Invasive Insect

American Physical Society Meeting – March 13-17, 2017 – New Orleans, LA

Connor Occhialini ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Inelastic X-Ray Scattering Study of Incipient and Realized Structural Transitions in Mercurous Halides

Kangaroo Care Senior Design Team
Sarah McGee ’17 (ENG), Cailah Carroll ’17 (ENG), Courtney Mulry ’17 (ENG), Katelyn Houlihan ’17 (ENG), & Celine Agnes ’17 (ENG)
Rice 360 Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Competition – March 24, 2017 – Houston, TX

Celine Agnes ’17 (ENG), Rosalie Bordett ’17 (ENG), Cailah Carroll ’17 (ENG), Katelyn Houlihan ’17 (ENG), Sarah McGee ’17 (ENG) & Courtney Mulry ’17 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Promote KMC – Preventing Neo-Natal Mortality Using Technology Assisted Kangaroo Mother Care

CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing – March 30-April 1, 2017 – Cambridge, MA

Jessica Joseph ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Can Visual Shapes Influence Phoneme Perception?

American Chemical Society National Meeting – April 2-6, 2017 – San Francisco, CA

Sydney Scheirey ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Polyureas for Dielectric Applications Developed through a Rational Co-Design Approach

Jean-Marc Lawrence ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Separate Ways: Efforts to Resolve Planar Chiral [13]-Macrodilactones

Samantha Lawrence
Sam Lawrence ’17 (CLAS)
Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting – April 6-8, 2017 – Austin, TX

Maranda Jones ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Relationships between Auditory Brainstem Responses and Early Language in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism

Samantha Lawrence ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Moral Judgments About Exclusion Bullying: The Role of Previous Experiences and Ethnicity of Participant, Excluders, and Victims

Midwest Political Science Association Conference – April 6-9, 2017 – Chicago, IL

Sydney Carr ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Can’t Fight This Feeling: Emotions, Political Participation, and Black Presidential Candidates

Meriden Public School District Meeting – April 21, 2017 – Meriden, CT

Tashua Sotil ’17 (CAHNR)
The Meriden School Climate Survey: Student Version District Evaluation

Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference – April 21-22, 2017 – Pine Grove, OR

Christopher Caples ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
The Ship of Plato, A Dualistic-Teleological Theory of Identity

Brittany Molkenthin
Professor Michelle Judge and Brittany Molkenthin ’17 (NUR)
Experimental Biology Annual Meeting – April 22-26, 2017 – Chicago, IL

Brittany Molkenthin ’17 (NUR) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Evaluation of the Association of Toll-Like Receptor 4 and BMI with Postpartum Depressive Symptomatology

New England Political Science Association Conference – April 20-22, 2017 – Providence, RI

Marissa Piccolo ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Running and Winning: Understanding the Gender Differential in State Legislatures

Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting – May 6-9, 2017 – San Francisco, CA

Kristin Burnham ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Obesity Diagnosis in Pediatric Emergency Departments: A Missed Opportunity

Griffin Struyk ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Development and Validation of the Violence Prevention Emergency Tool

Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham ’18 (CLAS)
Griffin Struyk
Griffin Struyk ’17 (CLAS)