• Student Accomplishments – May 2018


Please join us in congratulating the UConn undergraduates named below for their significant research and creative accomplishments in spring 2018. Students: if you have an accomplishment to share, please do so using this online form.


Congratulations to Colby Buehler ’18 (ENG), Sydney Carr ’18 (CLAS), Vince Pistritto ’18 (CLAS, SFA), and Daniel Wackelin ’18 (ENG), the undergraduate recipients of 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships! They are among the 12 UConn students and alumni who won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships this year. Three other talented undergraduate researchers, Amy Robinson ’18 (ENG), Nicholas Russo ’18 (CLAS), and Nicholas Oliveira ’18 (ENG) received Honorable Mention recognition.

Naseem Sardashti ’18 (ENG), an undergraduate research in the Health Research Program working under the guidance of Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar, was awarded 3rd place at the 2018 Northeast Bioengineering Conference for her and her team’s work on the synthesis of hybrid skin models for product evaluation.


Jamasia Williams ’20 (CLAS), a participant in the Work-Study Research Assistant Program, was a co-author on a recent publication based on research conducted with Dr. Molly Waring:

Waring, M.E., Jake-Schoffman, D.E., Holovatska, M.M., Mejia, C., Williams, J.C., & Pagoto, S.L.(2018). Social media and obesity in adults: a review of recent research and future directions. Current Diabetes Reports, 18:34.



Spring 2018 included a series of art exhibitions and screenings by the following undergraduate students:

Matthew Bilmes ’18 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
Exit: A Short Film

Kiana Cao ’18 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
An Examination of Immigration: A look into Buddhism, Community & Refugees

Yanlin (Eva) Hu ’18 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
CHU: A Solo Exhibition of Ceramic Sculpture

James Keth ’19 (SFA, CLAS) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
The Khmer – A Personal Journey: On being Cambodian American

Austin MacDonald ’18 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient & UConn Co-op Legacy Fellow
Prodigal: The Sentinel’s Garden

Emy Regan ’19 (SFA) – UConn IDEA Grant recipient
Clementine: The Adventures at Foxhead Manor

  • Exit Film Screening Promo Image


Joint Mathematics Meetings – January 10-13, 2018 – San Diego, CA

Rajeshwari Majumdar ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Applications of Multiplicative LLN and CLT for Random Matrices

Anthony Sisti ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Black-Scholes Using The Central Limit Theorem

Plant and Animal Genome XXVI Conference – January 13-17, 2018 – San Diego, CA

Madison Caballero ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Designing a Genotyping Array for Genomic Selection in Loblolly Pine

Alexander Trouern-Trend ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Comparative Genomics of the Juglandacea

Maria Antony
Maria Antony ’19 (CLAS, CAHNR)

Conference on Electronic and Advanced Materials – January 17-19, 2018 – Orlando, FL

Hope Whitelock ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Real Nanoparticles Have Curves: Exploring the Polar Phase Transition Topology in Superellipsoidal Nanoparticles

International Stroke Conference – January 23-26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA 

Maria Antony ’19 (CLAS, CAHNR) – ISC Junior Investigator Travel Award recipient
Oral presentation: Restoration of MiRNA MiR-181c-5p–Rescue From the Detrimental Effect of Social Isolation in the Mice Subjected to Ischemic Stroke 

Ocean Sciences Meeting – February 11-16, 2018 – Portland, OR

Jessica Hinckley presenting her research poster.
Jessica Hinckley ’19 (CLAS)

Jessica Hinckley ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Investigating Dissolved Gas Concentrations and Alkalinity in a Long Island Sound Time Series

International Neuropsychological Society Conference – February 14-17, 2018 – Washington, DC

Debra Tomasino ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Informant Report of Cognitive Functioning in Geriatric Depression: Correlates with Objective Cognitive Tests and Structural Imaging

Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting – February 22-25, 2018, Baltimore, MD 

Caroline Brooks ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient

Caroline Brooks
Caroline Brooks ’18 (CLAS)
Savannah-Nicole Villalba presenting her poster.
Savannah-Nicole Villalba ’18 (CLAS)

Cross Sectional Time Series Analysis on the Impacts of Race on Homeownership

Savannah-Nicole Villalba ’18 (CLAS)
A Healthy Food Inventory of Waterbury, CT

Eastern Psychological Association Meeting – March 1-3, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA 

Allison Arnista ’18 (CLAS) & Kyrstyn Jenkins ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Evaluating Mechanisms of Reward Enhancement by Nicotine in Humans

Dilsara Liyanage
Dilsara Liyanage ’18 (CLAS)

Dilsara Liyanage ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
The EEG Mu Rhythm and Language Abilities in 18- and 24-Month-Olds

Morgan Livingston ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Longitudinal Outcome of Attention Modification Training for Social Anxiety

Adam Mealy ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Longitudinal Stability of Hostile Attention Allocation, Attention Bias, and Hostility Symptoms

Michelle Padua ’18 (CLAS) & Skyler Sklenarik ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Behavioral Biases in People at Risk for Problematic Gambling

Eastern Society for Pediatric Research Annual Meeting – March 16-18, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA

Benjamin Redenti ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Risk Stratification System for Use in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and Correlation with Adverse Events During Hospital Admissions

Margaux Verlaque-Amara ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Impact of State-By-State Adoption of Key Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Provisions on PED Patients

American Chemical Society National Meeting – March 18-22, 2018 – New Orleans, LA 

Caroline Anastasia ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Multicomponent Flexible Film of Organometallic Polymers with Polyimide as High k and Low Loss Dielectric

Northeast Writing Center Association Conference – March 24-25, 2018 – Worcester, MA

Joseph Greenwald ’18 (BUS), Daniel Johnson ’18 (CLAS), & Kaylee Thurlow ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Cracking the Code: A Method for Designing and Implementing a Writing Center Honor Code

Odia Kane ’19 (CLAS) & Kharl Reynado ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Assessing Our Practice: A Writing Center Fellow-To-Fellow Support System

Kharl Reynado and Odia Kane presenting at NEWCA.
Odia Kane ’19 (CLAS) and Kharl Reynado ’19 (CLAS)

Anneliese Lapides ’20 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Reassessing Our Responses to the Everyday Language of Oppression

Sierra Rice ’18 (ED) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Hosting a Regional Middle and High School Conference: A Practical Model

Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting – March 24-27, 2018 – Boston, MA

Roisin Healy ’19 (CLAS) & Jonathan Serino ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Understanding “Thunder” is More Difficult than “Rainbow” when Performing a Concurrent Auditory Task

Northeast Bioengineering Conference – March 28-30, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA

Garrett Soler ’18 (ENG)
An Economical & Ergonomic Hydrocephalus Software System

New England Science Symposium – April 8, 2018 – Boston, MA

Brian Aguilera ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
CD13 Promotes Tunneling Nanotube Formation and Cell-cell Communication in Human Endothelial Cells and Mouse Primary Macrophages

Eastern Nursing Research Society Annual Scientific Sessions – April 11-13, 2018 – Newark, NJ

Courtney Lopiano ’18 (NUR)
A Battle on Opiates: The NICU Nurse’s Perspective on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting – April 20, 2018 – Hartford, CT

Kayla Hope presenting her research poster.
Kayla Hope ’18 (CAHNR)

Kayla Hope ’18 (CAHNR) – OUR Travel Award recipient
What Type 1 Diabetes Nutrition Advice is Being Shared on Twitter and Who is Sharing It?

Experimental Biology Conference – April 21-25, 2018 – San Diego, CA

Jordyn Dickey ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Analysis of Physiology and Neurobiology (PNB) 2265 Course Redesign


• 2018 Mentorship Excellence Awards


In recognition of the pivotal role that mentors play in supporting undergraduate research and creative activity, the Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the recipents of the 2018 Mentorship Excellence Awards. These awards recognize two faculty members – one in a STEM field, and one in a non-STEM field – and one graduate student who exemplify the ways in which outstanding mentors challenge and support their students, enabling them to take intellectual risks and achieve milestones they might not have initially envisioned being able to reach.

The 2018 Mentorship Excellence Awards were presented to Andrea Voyer, Nicholas Eddy, and Laura Mickelsen during the Frontiers in Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition on Friday, April 13, 2018.

Andrea Voyer, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Professor Voyer’s award was presented by Savannah-Nicole Villalba ’18 (CLAS). The following text is excerpted from Savannah-Nicole’s presentation remarks.

Savannah-Nicole Villalba presents plaque to awardee Andrea Voyer.
Savannah-Nicole Villalba ’18 (CLAS) presents the award to her mentor, Professor Andrea Voyer.

I had Dr. Voyer for one of the required classes for our major, social theory. Dr. Voyer gracefully worked us through the dense theories of 19th century sociologists. It was my first time engaging with sociological theory, and many of us were struggling to understand the concepts. Dr. Voyer was patient with us as we tried to make connections to the material. She was encouraging so that we weren’t afraid of being wrong, and was personable in a way that encouraged students to work harder.

This mentality was one that she brought with her when we began the IDEA Grant application process. When we started discussing the possibility of applying, she did not bring me in to work on something she was interested in. In our first meeting, she asked me what I was passionate about and I could tell she genuinely cared. Dr. Voyer was the first person to believe in my passions and to tell me that my research questions were valid. We spent months working on the application process, and when the grant was approved, I knew it would not have been possible without her guidance.

With her own incredible research and personal life, she has always been accessible to discuss the newest challenge I faced. Instead of just providing answers, she would offer suggestions on ways to problem solve to reach reasonable solutions. Even though Dr. Voyer has been away this school year, she has helped me apply (and be accepted) to graduate school, supported (and protected) me at my first research conference, and has shown me what an academic mentor should be.

Nicholas Eddy, Assistant Professor in Residence, Chemistry
Professor Eddy’s award was presented by Pranjali Ichalkaranje ’18 (CLAS). The following text is excerpted from Pranjali’s presentation remarks.

Pranjali Ichalkaranje presents plaque to awardee Nicholas Eddy.
Pranjali Ichalkaranje ’18 (CLAS) presents the award to her mentor, Professor Nicholas Eddy.

Research with Dr. Eddy has been the most rewarding experience I could have wished for as an undergraduate. I was able to grow tremendously by obtaining knowledge and skills applicable not only in research but also other aspects of life. In terms of research, teaching an undergraduate student with experience in life sciences but limited knowledge in Organic Chemistry was a challenging task that Dr. Eddy took on with no hesitation.

I was challenged each day, whether it was mixing a solution or reading articles with little background on the material. He was not afraid to hold me to a higher standard and push me beyond my limits, allowing me to put classroom knowledge into practice and increase my critical thinking and problem solving skills. He encouraged me to read, write, ask questions, and – most importantly – make mistakes. Though I made more than he agrees to, he offered reassuring and constructive feedback each time. Most importantly, he made sure I had everything I needed to succeed in anything I put my mind to – a role he took on as my mentor.

My research experience opened my eyes to career opportunities in research and medicine. I have been able to grow immensely as a scientist, researcher, student, writer, teacher and an overall individual.

Dr. Eddy represents the diligence, passion and commitment that students, scientists and teachers need on a daily basis. He puts his students, researchers and colleagues before himself. He is the highlight of the students’ day, and a source of comfort for many as they embark on their undergraduate experience.

Laura Mickelsen, Ph.D. Candidate, Physiology and Neurobiology, Jackson Laboratory
Laura was presented with her award by Eric Beltrami ’19 (CLAS) and Jacob Naparstek ’18 (CLAS), two of the undergraduate researchers who work under her supervision in the Jackson lab. The following text is excerpted from Eric’s presentation remarks.

Photo of James Costanzo, Jacob Naparstek, awardee Laura Mickelsen, Eric Beltrami, and Alexander Jackson.
Award winner Laura Mickelsen, center, is pictured with undergraduate researchers James Costanzo, Jacob Naparstek, and Eric Beltrami, as well as Professor Alexander Jackson.

Laura is an incredible scientist and speaker, and she has made an effort to help develop those skills in us. She challenges us to explain our projects and try to troubleshoot our setbacks independently so that when we present our work we are prepared to take ownership of what we did and understand the scientific process behind it thoroughly.

Laura’s exceptional mentorship is not limited to guidance in our research projects. Laura has fostered a family of people who deeply care about one another… and the lateral hypothalamus. Laura makes coming to lab not only incredibly productive but also fun. With her effortless humor and kind heart she has made lab somewhere we look forward to going every day. She never hesitates to make sure we are keeping up in our courses and ask us about our extracurricular involvement. It is clear to us that she cares about our personal lives and is always there to provide us guidance in our daily life and about our career goals. I can honestly say that Laura’s mentorship was a major factor in my decision to pursue a career in which I can make research a part of my life.

Laura, whatever path you take on your journey to success will be an amazing and rewarding one because of your incredible dedication and love for what you do. I am constantly inspired by your personal drive and ability to master such a diverse set of skills. James, Jake and I cannot thank you enough for everything.

Congratulations to the 2018 award recipients! The Office of Undergraduate Research thanks the undergraduate students who nominated their faculty and graduate student mentors as well as the Peer Research Ambassadors who served on this year’s selection committee.

• Congratulations, 2018 SURF Award Recipients!

SURF logo 2The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the selection of 59 undergraduate students to receive SURF Awards in support of their summer undergraduate research projects.

Click here to view the full list of Summer 2018 SURF awardees.

Congratulations, SURF awardees! Your academic achievements, curiosity, initiative, and motivation were evident in your applications. You have an exciting summer of deep engagement with the process of academic inquiry ahead of you. We look forward to hearing about all you learn and discover!

We thank the faculty members who supported SURF applicants in a range of roles: mentors, letter writers, and faculty review committee members. SURF represents a collaborative effort between students and faculty. This program would not be possible without the support and participation of the UConn faculty!

OUR also extends thanks to SURF supporters in the UConn community. We are grateful to the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and to the Deans of the Schools and Colleges of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources; Engineering; Fine Arts; Nursing; and Pharmacy, who all contributed funding to the SURF competition this year. Alumni, parents, and friends of UConn also helped fund SURF awards. This collaborative funding effort ensures that SURF supports a diverse array of undergraduate research endeavors. We are grateful to all of our program partners for making intensive summer research opportunities available to students seeking to enrich their undergraduate experience in this way.

Once again, congratulations to the recipients of 2018 SURF awards, and good luck with your summer projects!

• Congratulations, Spring 2018 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

Congratulations to the 40 UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the spring 2018 funding cycle! 26 of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and 14 will be working on collaborative group projects.

The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from graphic design to history, animal science to biomedical engineering. They will conduct independent research, create art exhibitions and short films, design prototypes, and develop programs that engage the University community.

Click here to view the full list of spring 2018 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, research projects, prototyping and entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline will be in December 2018.

• Congratulations, Fall 2017 UConn IDEA Grant Recipients!

Congratulations to the nineteen UConn undergraduates who have been awarded UConn IDEA Grants in the fall 2017 funding cycle! Thirteen of the award recipients will be completing individual projects, and six will be working on collaborative group projects.

The award recipients represent a variety of disciplines, from nursing to puppetry, biomedical engineering to ecology and evolutionary biology. They will conduct independent research projects; produce documentaries, novels, and creative nonfiction pieces; design prototypes; and engage in service initiatives.

Click here to view the full list of fall 2017 UConn IDEA Grant award recipients.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn IDEA Grant and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project. The next application deadline is March 12, 2018.

• Applications Due for Summer Research Opportunities

Interested in spending the summer engaged in an exciting research project? There is still time to apply for summer research opportunities in a variety of areas. The programs and opportunities listed below have application deadlines in February.

Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program in Vision Science – University of Rochester
Deadline: February 1, 2018
Students who are juniors (during 2017-18) with an interest in neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and biomedical science are encouraged to apply for this summer of supervised laboratory training. $3,820 stipend and on-campus housing provided.

Hartford Hospital Summer Student Pre-Med & Research Program 
Deadline: February 2, 2018
This 10-week program offers pre-med students an introduction to research methodology, patient treatment, and ethical issues in medicine. Applicants must be pre-med students completing their junior year as of May 2018. $2,600 award for selected students.

UCSD MSTP Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
Deadline: February 4, 2018
The Medical Scientist Training Program at UC San Diego is designed for students interested in learning about a career as a physician-scientist. The program features an 8-week research project, weekly seminars, and a physician-scientist clinical shadowing experience. Students from groups underrepresented in health-related sciences and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply. $3,200 stipend and room provided. 

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience – University at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Deadline: February 5, 2018
The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences offers a summer undergraduate research program for students in their junior year (at the time of application). Offers extended to only 6-8 students; $3,500 stipend and housing provided.

Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program (BESIP)
Deadline: February 9, 2018
This program, sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), is targeted at undergraduate biomedical engineering students who have completed their junior year of college. This program is a subprogram of the Summer Internship Program (SIP). Students will participate in biomedical research projects under the direction of scientists at NIH laboratories in Bethesda, MD. Stipend of approximately $6,600 for 10 weeks.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program – UT Southwestern Medical Center
Deadline: February 9, 2018
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at UT Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is designed for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. career in biomedical research. Applicants to this 10-week program must have completed their sophomore year in an undergraduate science degree program. $4,000 stipend.

Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (QP-SURF) Program – UT Southwestern Medical Center
Deadline: February 9, 2018
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at UT Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is designed for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. career in biomedical research. Applicants must be enrolled in a physics, computer science, mathematics, biomedical engineering, or chemistry degree program and have completed their sophomore year. $4,000 stipend.

Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program – California Institute of Technology
Deadline: February 15, 2018
The Caltech Amgen Scholars program provides undergraduate students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in STEM fields with the opportunity to conduct research in biology, chemistry, and bio-technical fields under the supervision of seasoned research mentors. $6,275 stipend for the 10-week program, campus housing and a board allowance provided.

Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science
Deadline: February 15, 2018
The American Bar Foundation sponsors a program of summer research fellowships. The summer program is designed to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the benefits of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science. Open to students who will have completed at least two years of undergraduate study by the time the fellowship begins. Selected students will receive a stipend of $3,600.

Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences – Summer Research Program at Tufts University School of Medicine
Deadline: February 15, 2018
The Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences (BDBS) Program offers a 10-week, mentored research experience for students interested in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD.  Participants in the program also receive training in written and oral communication of scientific data and learn about careers in biomedical science through workshops. Stipend of $4,000, on-campus housing and travel expenses within the US are provided.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center REU at Northwestern University
Deadline: February 15, 2018
REU students will have the opportunity to contribute to a research project led by a center faculty member expanding their science and engineering experience. Students with an interest in nanomaterials and majoring in a science or engineering field are encouraged to apply.  Participants receive a $4,500 stipend, a travel allowance, and on-campus housing.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Summer Student Fellowship
Deadline: February 15, 2018
The Summer Student Fellowship provides undergraduates with an interest in ocean sciences, oceanographic engineering, mathematics, or marine policy with a meaningful first-hand introduction to research in those areas. Students who have completed their junior year prior to the start of fellowship period in summer 2018 are eligible to apply. Stipend of $632/week for 10-12 weeks and institutional housing provided.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences REU Program
Deadline, February 15, 2018
This highly competitive, 10-week REU program pairs students with scientist mentors for a hands-on, independent research experience. Student applicants should have a minimum of one year of basic biology and at least one earth or ocean science course. Housing and $5,000 stipend provided.

Molecular Biology REU at the Ohio State University
Deadline: February 15, 2018
This NSF-funded research program is hosted by the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the Division of Biochemistry at Ohio State. Selected students will receive a $5,250 stipend and university housing. Students from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Changing Environments: Integrating from Genomes to Biomes – Kansas State University Biology REU Program
Deadline: February 15, 2018
This 10-week program provides undergraduates interested in biological sciences with research experience and professional development under the mentorship of a faculty mentor. Student applicants should have research interests in ecological genomics, grassland ecology, or evolutionary biology. $5,250 stipend and housing provided.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Internship Program
Deadline: February 15, 2018
This 10-week program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to work on independent research under the direction of a SERC mentor. Research areas include environmental chemistry, marine and estuarine ecology, molecular ecology, and terrestrial ecology. Stipend $550/week.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program – State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Deadline: February 16, 2018
This 10-week summer research program is for students majoring in chemistry, biology, or a related field. Applicants should be between their junior and senior years (in Summer 2018) and have a strong interest in pursuing post undergraduate study. Students should be specifically interested in pursuing a PhD, MS, MD, MD/PhD, DNP, DPT, MPH, or PA. $3,500 stipend and housing provided.

Maryland Sea Grant REU Program
Deadline: February 16, 2018
Fifteen students are selected to conduct marine research on the Chesapeake Bay at one of two University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences laboratories. The program is designed for students majoring in marine science, ecology, environmental science, biology and chemistry. Preference given to students who are rising seniors. $6,000 stipend and housing costs are provided.

Marine Physical Laboratory Summer Internship Program – Scripps Institution of Oceanography 
Deadline: February 16, 2018
Undergraduate students interested in a career in scientific research and development are encouraged to apply for this summer research internship in marine science and technology. This 10-week summer internship program is seeking undergraduates majoring in engineering, chemistry, physics, biology or geology. Interns are paid $14/hour.

Chesapeake Bay Summer Internships – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Deadline: February 20, 2018
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office internships connect student interested in a career in marine biology, oceanography, environmental education and related fields with professionals in these areas. Paid undergraduate internships are available for Summer 2018. Descriptions of available internships can be found at the above link.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Oceanography – University of Rhode Island
Deadline: February 21, 2018
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Oceanography program is a 10-week research experience designed for science, math and engineering students who will be seniors in Fall 2017. Stipend of approximately $5,500.

Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) Undergraduate Summer Research Internship – Virginia Tech
Deadline: February 24, 2018
This program provides undergraduates from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Wide variety of academic disciplines; $3,000 stipend, free on-campus room and board. Applicants should be rising sophomores and juniors.

• Congratulations, Summer 2018 UConn Co-op Legacy Fellows!

The Office of Undergraduate Research is delighted to announce the four students selected to receive UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowships to support projects they will complete summer 2018.

Click here to view the full list of Summer 2018 UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Recipients.

Born out of the UConn Co-op’s commitment to public engagement, innovative entrepreneurship, social impact, and active mentorship, the UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Program provides undergraduates the opportunity to pursue funded summer research projects and/or creative endeavors. Projects pursued through this program represent the legacy of the UConn Co-op’s commitment to public engagement, innovation, and social impact.

Special thanks to the faculty and staff that supported student applications to the UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship and to those who will be mentoring the award recipients as they complete their projects.

Click here for more information on the UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Program.

• Health Research Program – Opportunities for Summer 2018

Trakhtenberg lab
Guided by HRP mentor Dr. Ephraim Trakhtenberg, postdoctoral fellow Juhwan Kim demonstrates microscope-assisted surgery to master’s student Muhammad Sajid (background), HRP student Kathleen Renna, and M.D.-Ph.D. student Bruce Rheaume. (Photo by Ethan Giorgetti)
The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce the next phase of the Health Research Program (HRP). This program offers a pathway into undergraduate research for students with interests in health and/or the biomedical sciences. By facilitating connections between UConn Health researchers and UConn undergraduates, the program aims to involve more students in research at UConn Health.

For students interested in participating in this program for Summer 2018, here is the key information:

  • Summer 2018 opportunities are now posted on the HRP website. There are 26 opportunities that range from software development to public health, biomaterials to neuroscience, genetics to bioinformatics. The application deadline for these opportunities is Friday, January 26, 2018.
  • All of these opportunities are slated to continue into the 2018-19 academic year. Continuation is contingent on satisfactory progress over the course of the summer and both student and faculty mentor interest in continuing the placement.
  • To be eligible for Summer 2018 HRP opportunities, students must plan to graduate no sooner than May 2019.

Further details and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Health Research Program website. Students are encouraged to peruse the posted opportunities and begin preparing application materials for any placements of interest. We urge students to take care to consider the time commitment and schedule options involved in a given opportunity to ensure that they can accommodate these demands in their summer and academic year schedule.

• Student Accomplishments – December 2017


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


Congratulations to Catherine Cabano ’18 (CAHNR) and Alexander Holmgren ’18 (CLAS), UConn’s two undergraduate representatives at the Universitas 21 Research Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in June 2017.


Nicole Gomez ’18 (CLAS) was a co-author on a recent publication from Jessica Rouge’s lab:

Santiana, J. J., Sui, B., Gomez, N., & Rouge, J. L. (2017). Programmable Peptide-Cross-Linked Nucleic Acid Nanocapsules as a Modular Platform for Enzyme Specific Cargo Release. Bioconjugate Chemistry. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00629

Naseem Sardashti ’18 (ENG), an undergraduate in the Health Research Program, was a co-author on a recent publication based on research conducted with Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar at UConn Health:

Manoukian, O. S., Arul, M. R., Sardashti, N., Stedman, T., James, R., Rudraiah, S., & Kumbar, S. G. (2017). Biodegradable polymeric injectable implants for long-term delivery of contraceptive drugs. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 135, 46068. doi: 10.1002/app.46068

Zachary Stempel ’18 (CLAS), a member of William Bailey’s lab, was the second author on two recent publications in Organic Letters and The Journal of Organic Chemistry:

Lambert, K. M., Stempel, Z. D., Wiberg, K. B., & Bailey, W. F. (2017). Experimental Demonstration of a Sizeable Nonclassical CH···G Hydrogen Bond in Cyclohexane Derivatives: Stabilization of an Axial Cyano Group. Organic Letters, 19(23), 6408-6411. doi: 10.1021/acs.orglett.7b03287

Lambert, K. M., Stempel, Z. D., Kiendzior, S. M., Bartelson, A. L., & Bailey, W. F. (2017). Enhancement of the Oxidizing Power of an Oxoammonium Salt by Electronic Modification of a Distal Group. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 82(21), 11440-11446. doi: 10.1021/acs.joc.7b01965



Pierre Fils ’18 (ENG) conducted research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Climate Change Science Institute. Pierre had the opportunity to work on mid-scale, high performance computing clusters to analyze climate data with the goal of redesigning the ASHRAE Climate Zones.

Chelsea Garcia
Chelsea Garcia ’20 (CAHNR)

Chelsea Garcia ’20 (CAHNR) participated in the Bridging the Gap Program funded by the USDA and coordinated by the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Christopher Blesso served as Chelsea’s research mentor for the summer experience. She presented her research poster, “Effects of Grape Consumption on Postprandial Response to a High Saturated Fat Test Meal,” at the Summer Research Poster Symposium in August.

Mark Garcia ’20 (CLAS) completed a research internship in Dr. Peter Raymond’s Biogeochemistry Laboratory at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Djion A. Holness ’19 (CAHNR) spent her summer at the University of Georgia engaged in research through an NSF funded REU program. Djion conducted veterinary diagnostic research exploring patters of co-infection in domestic dogs along the Panama Canal.

Two students spent the summer engaged in research at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL. Through an NSF funded REU program, Mirella Fernandez ’19 (CLAS) worked in the Page Laboratory studying the effects of a double mutant gene on three known phenotypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sarah Robbins ’18 (CAHNR, CLAS) conducted her summmer research in immunology under the direction of Dr. Matthew Pipkin. Sarah worked with in vivo models and RNAi silencing systems to identify transcription factors that function in CD8+ T cell development.

Tanya Miller
Tanya Miller ’20 (CLAS)

Tanya Miller ’20 (CLAS) participated in the Health Disparities Clinical Summer Research Fellowship Program through the UConn Health Department of Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP). Over the course of the seven week program, Tanya worked with the North Central Regional Mental Health Board under the direction of Quyen Truong, Outreach and Evaluation Manager, to research young adults’ opinions on health care. She presented her research “Community Conversation Among Young Adults on Health Care” at UConn Health in July.

Andrea Naranajo-Soledad ’19 (ENG) enjoyed the opportunity to work at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), a research-based university in China. Andrea studied photocatalytic, antifouling and humic acid removal properties of a membrane used for ultrafiltration in water.

Brittany Nelson ’19 (ENG) conducted research through the NSF REU program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. Brittany’s project focused on controlling the behavior of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs).

Kesan Samuel ’20 (CLAS) conducted field research at El Yunque Forest in Puerto Rico. Under the supervision of Dr. Steven Presley, Kesan studied gastropod and phasmid populations, assisting with sampling plots to identify and count various species.

Maya Schlesinger ’18 (CAHNR) completed a summer research fellowship at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Maya studied a newly discovered parvovirus affecting Red Pandas at the San Diego Zoo. 

Anthonia Wray ’19 (CLAS), an NSF REU recipient, worked under the guidance of Dr. Jessica Plavicki in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University. Anthonia studied the effects of AHR activation in the liver using zebrafish models.


David Bachoy
David Bachoy ’19 (CLAS)

Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Meeting – October 6-8, 2017 – Providence, RI

David Bachoy ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Associations Between Marijuana Use and Time Spent Playing Different Types of Video Games Alone and with Others

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting – October 11-14, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ

Norah Cowley ’18 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Analysis of Growth and Stiffness of Cancer Spheroids Using 3D-Printed Microtweezer Device

Norah Cowley
Norah Cowley ’18 (ENG)
Amisha Dave
Amisha Dave ’18 (ENG)

Amisha Dave ’18 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
mHealth Smartphone Application to Measure Risky Driving Behavior and Predict Crashes

Clinton Global Initiative University Conference (CGI U) – October 13-15, 2017 – Boston, MA 

Akshayaa Chittibabu ’19 (CLAS) – Selected as a student presenter

American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics Fall Meeting – October 25-28, 2017 – Pittsburgh, PA

Sam Markelon ’20 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient

Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting – October 27-30, 2017 – Minneapolis, MN 

Katherine Saltzgiver
Katherine Saltzgiver ’18 (ENG)

Katherine Saltzgiver ’18 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Production and Utilization of Biochar from the Slow Pyrolysis of Food Waste

Obesity Week 2017 – October 29-November 2, 2017 – Washington, DC

Christiana Field ’17 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Advances in Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose in Type-2 Diabetes: A Study on Patient Experiences

IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference – November 3-5, 2017 – Cambridge, MA

Xinkang Chen ’18 (ENG) &  Md Tanvirul Islam ’19 (ENG) – OUR Travel Award recipients
Comparison of Chirped and Unchirped Superlattices as Adjustable-Strain Platforms for Metamorphic InGaAs/GaAs Devices

Northeastern Glenn Symposium on Biology of Aging – November 9, 2017 – UConn Health, Farmington, CT

Jacob Macro ’19 (CLAS) & Pooja Patel ’18 (CLAS) – Health Research Program participants
Indy Reduction Maintains Fly Health and Homeostasis

Society for Neuroscience (SFN) Annual Meeting – November 11-15, 2017 – Washington, DC 

Danni Dong ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Observational Learning: Comparing a Foraging and Aversive Motivated Task in Female Rats

Thomas Pietruszewski ’19 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Influence of the Social Environment on Female Rats Exploring a Novel Open Field

ASCB/EMBO 2017 Meeting – December 2-6, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA 

Alyssa Mathiowetz ’18 (CLAS) – OUR Travel Award recipient
Actin Nucleation Factors that Control Autophagy are Important for Zebrafish Organ Development

Xinkang Chen and Md Islam
Xinkang Chen ’18 (ENG) and Md Islam ’19 (ENG)
Pooja Patel and Jacob Macro
Pooja Patel ’18 (CLAS) and Jacob Macro ’19 (CLAS)
Danni Dong
Danni Dong ’18 (CLAS)

• Congratulations, 2018 SHARE Award Recipients!

We are delighted to announce the 13 student-faculty teams selected to receive awards for Spring 2018 and thank the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute for its generous support of two of these student awards. Congratulations to all award recipients!

SHARE Awards support undergraduate research apprenticeships in the social sciences, humanities, and arts, offering students majoring in these fields opportunities to develop inquiry skills and explore research interests early in their college careers.

Project Title: The Impact of an Outsider President on Candidate Emergence in Congressional Elections
Student Apprentice: Kyle Adams, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Paul Herrnson, Political Science

Project Title: Justice in the Dark: How Secretively Funded Campaign Advertisements Shape Judicial Campaigns
Student Apprentice: Erin Dennehy, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Virginia Hettinger, Political Science

Project Title: Interpersonal Coordination of Goal Directed Actions
Student Apprentice: John Farrar, Cognitive Science
Faculty Mentor: Adam Sheya, Psychological Sciences

UCHI LogoProject Title: The Scholio Project: Designing Online News Comments to Promote Intellectual Humility in Public Discourse
Student Apprentice: Brendan Hogan, Political Science & Psychological Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Michael Morrell, Political Science
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

UCHI LogoProject Title: Diverse Experiences of and Evaluations about Sexting and Sexting Victimization
Student Apprentice: Emily Mendoza, Human Development and Family Studies
Faculty Mentor: Alaina Brenick, Human Development and Family Studies
Award Co-Sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute

Project Title: Executive Approval Analyses in Latin America and Recent Political Developments
Student Apprentice: Shankara Narayanan, Political Science & International Relations
Faculty Mentor: Matthew Singer, Political Science

Project Title: Undergraduate Nursing Students’ Perspectives of Witnessed Simulated Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Death in an Opioid Addicted Patient
Student Apprentice: Justin Pedneault, Nursing
Faculty Mentor: Carrie Eaton, Nursing

Project Title: Accountability in Government?:  Assessing the Effectiveness of Ethics Commissions in Connecticut Municipalities
Student Apprentice: Samuel Rostow, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Bergendahl, Political Science

Project Title: A Computer Intervention to Help Reduce Problematic Gambling in College Students
Student Apprentice: Skyler Sklenarik, Psychological Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Robert Astur, Psychological Sciences

Project Title: Social Policy and the Political Lives of American Teenagers
Student Apprentice: Olivia Sykes, Urban and Community Studies & Human Rights
Faculty Mentor: Edith Barrett, Urban and Community Studies

Project Title: Hollow Earth
Student Apprentice: Isabella Uliasz, Studio Art
Faculty Mentor: John O’Donnell, Art and Art History

Project Title: African American Breast Cancer Survivors
Student Apprentice: Caira Ward, Human Development and Family Studies, Africana Studies
Faculty Mentor: Edna Brown, Human Development and Family Studies

Project Title: Psychosocial Factors Influence Pain and Quality of Life in Young Adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Student Apprentice: Tessa Weidig, Nursing
Faculty Mentor: Xiaomei Cong, Nursing