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Summer Poster


2014 Summer Scholars & Artists Program

Giavana Buffa

Project Title: The Association Between Newly Developed Behavioral Mechanisms and Increasing Blood Pressure in Transitional Communities of Vanuatu
Professor of Anthropology Ralph Garruto, mentor 

Giavana will analyze the effects of behavioral changes on blood pressure in Vanuatu by conducting data analyses on past survey records. She hopes to understand the relationship between behavioral factors associated with economic development, and the observed increase in blood pressure seen on the islands.

"To be able to conduct my research on the populations of Vanuatu means more than words could describe to not only me, but also to the community members located there. I am able to take a small step to better understanding the populations there through my research and begin making a big change to their community. I hope to deepen my knowledge as a research professional and learn techniques in the lab that would not be available under normal circumstances. Through this experience I hope to learn about the islands of Vanuatu to a great extent, be able to understand the health transitions, and provide research that will help these populations."

Rajesh Burela

Integrative Neuroscience
Project Title: The Role of Digestion on Nanoparticle Physical and Chemical Properties
Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler, mentor

Evan Flury

Music & History
Project Title: War and Consequence: A Chamber Opera
Professor Daniel Davis, mentor

Caitlin Gotimer

Music-Vocal Performance
Project Title: Apprenticeship with Professor Thomas Goodheart
Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice Thomas Goodheart, mentor

Caitlin will participate in voice lessons with mentor Professor Thomas Goodheart in preparation for her attendance at the Chautauqua Institute, a professional vocal training program, this fall. The lessons will address all aspects of classical singing.

"Having the opportunity to work closely with my mentor and his colleagues and teachers means that I will become equipped with the tools needed to work towards success, during and after the program. Through the Summer Scholars and Artists experience I hope to develop an understanding of the voice that extends beyond what can be learned through one lesson per week. I hope to meet and sing for many new people and apply their knowledge to my own work as a vocalist."

Marcella Green

English & Studio Art
Project Title: Between Scylla and Charybdis: A Visual Study of Hydrofracking
Adjunct Lecturer Costa Sakellariou, mentor

Diandra Hassan

Project Title: Monitoring Circadian Rhythms in Bacteria
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Seokheun Choi, mentor

Diandra will develop a micro-sized microbial fuel cell (MFC)-based biosensor for studying bacterial genetic clocks. Through her project, she hopes to revolutionize knowledge and application of genetic clocks by providing the first real-time electrical analysis of circadian clocks in bacteria.

"I'm really happy I am able to participate in the program. For me, to be able to conduct independent research in my early undergraduate years is an amazing opportunity to actually experience what it truly feels to be a "scientist." Gaining research experience and being able to share research with others are my main objectives. I hope my research will be meaningful and useful in the future."

Zhongzhou Huang

Mechanical Engineering
Project Title: Mechanical Properties of Carbon and Boron Nitride Nanotubes-based Polymer Nanocomposites
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Changhong Ke, mentor

Zhongzhou will investigate the mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs)-based polymer composites by using multi-scale experimental approaches. This research project will provide critical insights into the role of the nanotube surface functionalization and will be useful to the optimal design of light-weight and high-strength polymer composites based on CNT and BNNTs.

"By conducting research through this program, it will let me have a deep understanding of research and I hope this experience could help me prepare for the research in my graduate study in the future."

Rebecca Irwin

Project Title: Investigating the Role of Outer Membrane Vesicles and Shear Stress on Biofilm Maturation Using Microfluidics
Assistant Professor Paul Chiarot, mentor

Zachary Lebens-Higgins

Project Title: Growth and Characterization of Tin Oxides
Assistant Professor of Physics Louis Piper, mentor

Zachary will study various tin oxide phases in order to characterize and identify them. He will use a range of techniques which will provide a broader understanding of the homologous tin oxide series, thereby allowing a broader understanding of the field of transparent semiconductors.

"The Summer Scholars & Artists program provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in research. The program is an amazing opportunity to learn problem solving and creativity in accomplishing a research project. Not only do I hope to gain a better understanding of my field but I hope to further understand the creative process."

Alexander Leiss

Cinema & Studio Art
Project Title: Banners in the Sky Documentary
Faculty Mentor: Barrett Bowlin, English

Alexander will create a documentary film based on the 2011 season of the Campolindo Cougars, a high school football team from California. The documentary will allow viewers to appreciate the incredible season this team had, all of the obstacles that were overcome, and how a simple sport can bring together a town in such an inspirational manner.

"I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to create my documentary for over a year, and I could not be more thankful that Binghamton University offers the Summer Scholars and Artists Program, which will allow for me to grow as a filmmaker as I prepare for life after school."

Eric Lee

Medieval Studies & History
Project Title: Corruption and Bureaucracy in the Song Dynasty: A New Political Culture and Tradition
Distinguished Service Professor John Chaffee, mentor

Veronica Mantilla

Major(s): Chemistry
Project Title: Isotope Effects and Mechanism of Cu(II) bromide Catalyzed alpha-
Amination of Ketones
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mathew Vetticatt, mentor

Veronica will perform a mechanistic study on the effect of alpha-amination of carbonyls in the presence of copper(II) bromide. The goal of understanding this reaction mechanism is two-fold: (1) this is a green reaction-- water is the only side-product formed and hence this reaction has relevance in industrial scale synthesis and (2) the reaction forms a chiral center -- so rendering this reaction enantioselective is an important next step in reaction development.

"This opportunity allows me to dedicate my summer to two things I am passionate about: research and chemistry. The research will challenge me to become a more critical and discerning scientist, contributing to the chemistry body of knowledge. I am eager to share my findings and hone my leadership skills."

Samantha Meadows

Integrative Neuroscience
Project Title: Modulating Serotonin Function to Optimize Dopamine Replacement Therapy in Parkinson's Disease
Associate Professor Chris Bishop, mentor

Shenny Molina

Sociology & LACAS
Project Title: "(Re)defining 'Gangs': The Parallels Between Mara Salvatrucha (1980-2004) and the United States Marine Corps (2001-2011)"
Associate Professor of Sociology Kelvin Santiago-Valles, mentor

The goal of Shenny's research is to analyze and to criticize the concept and definition of a 'gang' and discuss how 'gangs' are socially constructed to benefit those in power. She will examine the origin, history and customs of the Mara Salvatrucha (1980-2004) in the United States and Hondura as well as the United States Marine Corps (2001-2011) in the United States and Iraq.




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Last Updated: 5/30/14