PAST NEVADA UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (UROP) SCHOLARS

2016-2017 Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program UROP, 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program UROP
Maya Zawlodski, Nevada State College
–Photo by Kurt Regner

The UROP program promotes intensive undergraduate research opportunities for university students. Through these research experiences, our goal is to enhance the recruitment and retention of undergraduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, particularly those related to solar energy and its effects on water resources and the environment in general.

Summer 2017 – Lower Division

Kevin Chau, Design of a fluidized bed photoreactor for the application of advanced oxidation processes to water treatment, Mentor: Erick Bandala, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Edward Cruz, Investigating the function of protein O-fucosyltransferase family members during vegetative and reproductive development in Arabidopsis thaliana, Mentor: Ian Wallace, University of Nevada, Reno

Thomas Iida, Genotypic Analysis of Eragrostis Tef and Examining Productivity and Root Formation Under Water-Deficit Stress Environments, Mentor: John Cushman, University of Nevada, Reno

Summer 2017 – Upper Division

Austin Bassett, Synthesis of Peropyrene-based Nanographenes, Mentor: Wesley Chalifoux, University of Nevada, Reno

Brittany Blair, Improved Digestion of Opuntia Biomass for Bioenergy Production, Mentor: John Cushman, University of Nevada, Reno

Carlos Carrasco, The Generability of the Retro-Cue Effect, Mentor: Marian E Berryhill, University of Nevada, Reno

Camille Catelo, The Presence of Naturally Occurring Asbestos is Likely Affecting Health of Local Wildlife, Mentor: Sean Neiswenter, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Anthony Chang, Design and Synthesis of Ionic Liquid Crystals, Mentor: Haesook Han, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Andrea Darby, Gut Microbiome Effects on Desiccation Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster, Mentor: Allen Gibbs, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Cassandra Dasmarinas, Multivariate Geometric Analysis of Head Shape Variation in Recombinant Hybrids of Hawaiian picture-wing Drosophila, Mentor: Donald K. Price, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Nathan Ebiya, Temperature Sensitivity of Citrate Synthase Activity, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Kristen Kujat, Influence of Treated Wastewater in Hydroponic Systems on Contaminant Bioaccumulation in Edible Plants, Mentor: Jennifer Edmonds, Nevada State College

Armon Latifi, Improving a 7-point Stencil Algorithm from Intel with Chisel-Based Hardware Encoding, Mentor: Sarah Harris, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Jessa Li, Design and Synthesis of Polypyridyl Ligands for the Development of PhotoluminescE Materials, Mentor: Pradip K. Bhowmik, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Sean Paulo Medina, Characterizing Antibiotic Resistance of Enterococcus Bacteria in Wastewater Treatment Plants, Mentor: Daniel Gerrity, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Kristie Menjivar, Determination of Gender Affects on ADH1, Mentor: Amber Howerton, Nevada State College

Matthew Newell, Can Nevada Meet Agriculture Water Needs with Smaller Snowpacks? A Hydrologic-Economic Modeling Effort Across a Gradient of Surface Water to Groundwater Basins, Mentors: Adrian Harpold and Kimberly Rollins, University of Nevada, Reno

Connor Nyman, Exploring the role of O-GlcNAc in mitochondrial membrane potential, Mentor: Patricia Berninsone, University of Nevada, Reno

Matthew Palmer, Biosynthesis and Role of Polyacetylenes in Defense Against Plant Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens, Mentors: Dylan Kosma and Patricia Santos, University of Nevada, Reno

Alhan Rezazadeh, Documenting the Ancestral features of Tenrec Ecaudatus, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Charles Ronkon, A perfect model: blood cell dynamics in Tenrec ecaudatus, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Natali Salas-Espana, A soft crawling robot with enabled dynamical movement through the use of a dry adhesion tuning device, Mentor: Wanliang Shan, University of Nevada, Reno

Alexis Sauceda-Quintero, Regrowing a Tail: Does Regeneration Catch Up to Normal Size?, Mentor: Ai-Sun Tseng, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Daylin Sigler, Directly Testing the Nutrient Assimilation Model for the Evolution of Endothermy, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Catlene Smith, Investigation for evidence of active immunity in torpid Tenrec ecaudatus, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Eric Soto-Harrison, Reduced Graphene Oxide (RGO) Modified of Tantalum Oxides to Enhance Visible Spectrum Photo-Catalytic Activity for Solar Clean Fuel Production, Mentor: Ravi Subramanian, University of Nevada, Reno

Brandon Walls, Synthesis of Novel Fluorinated Pyronins, Mentor: Zachary Woydziak, Nevada State College

Academic Year 2017-2018 – Lower Division

Mercedes Anderson, This Robot Stinks! Mistreatment Part 3, Mentor: David Feil-Seifer, University of Nevada, Reno

Mackenzie Kohler, How Will Shifts From Snow to Rain Affect Precipitation Intensity Across the Western U.S.?, Mentor: Adrian Harpold, University of Nevada, Reno

Bryan Remick, Understanding Water Quality in Carson City Using GIS Mapping, Mentor: Christopher Ryan, Western Nevada College

Kimberly Tran, Modeling and Algorithm for Optimization of Solar Energy Systems, Mentors: Eric Wilcox and Rajat Mehrotra, Truckee Meadows Community College

Academic Year 2017-2018 – Upper Division

Camille Adajar, Effects of Ambrosia psilostachya Pollen on Airway Smooth Muscle Function and miR-25 Expression, Mentor: Cherie Singer, University of Nevada, Reno

Sophia Araujo-Hernandez, The role of extracellular matrix proteins in protecting the biofilm against antimicrobial agents, Mentor: Boo Shan Tseng, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Shaina Bird, Using Quantum Mechanical Calculations to Identify Copper Oxide and Hydroxide (CuxOx & [CuxOxHx]+) Catalytic Sites in Cu-Exchanged Zeolites, Mentor: Samuel Odoh, University of Nevada, Reno

Sally Hamry, Investigating Bacterial Interspecies Communication within the Oral Cavity, Mentor: Yftah Tal-Gan, University of Nevada, Reno

Isaiah Henry, Solution Processed Wide-Bandgap Perovskite Materials for Tandem Solar Cells, Mentor: Shubhra Bansal, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Maranatha Malonzo, Analysis of Gasket Pressure Distribution for High-Pressure Studies, Mentor: Ravhi Kumar, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Richard Mannschreck, Feasibility of coupled HTC-WAO for Wastewater Treatment, Mentor: Charles Coronella, University of Nevada, Reno

Taylor Murray, GerH Receptor of Bacillus anthracis and Spore Germination, Mentor: Amber Howerton, Nevada State College

Henry Ng, Regulation of extended G-oα47a extended 3′ UTR biogenesis, Mentor: Pedro Miura, University of Nevada, Reno

Shawn Roj, Validating Forecast Reference Evapotranspiration in Nevada using the Nevada Integrated Climate and Evapotranspiration Network, Mentor: Daniel McEvoy, University of Nevada, Reno

Christopher Romo, Oxygen Metabolism by-Product: Role of O-GLcNAc cycling in generation of superoxide anion, Mentor: Patricia Berninsone, University of Nevada, Reno

Brittany Russ, Selectively Trapping Residual Vancomycin with Peptide Analogs to Prevent Colonic Bacterial Stress, Mentor: Yftah Tal-Gan, University of Nevada, Reno

Peter Sbraccia, Lake Mead Sediment Phosphates and Nutrient Pollution, Mentor: Elisabeth Hausrath, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Chris Stevens, Observing the Effects of Amazonian Rainforest Burning on the Surface Albedo of High Altitude Tropical Glaciers, Mentor: W. Patrick Arnott, University of Nevada, Reno

Jared Stimac, Catalytic Wittig Reaction, Mentor: Laina Geary, University of Nevada, Reno

Alexandra Tierney, Stress-Induced toxins in milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) and their indirect effects on plant-predator mutualisms, Mentor: Elizabeth Pringle, University of Nevada, Reno

Eduardo Torres, Optimization of Responsive Hydrogel Actuators, Mentor: Wanliang Shan, University of Nevada, Reno

Jeremy Vergara, Characterization of Alcohol Dehydrogenase by Bile Salts Containing Lysine Residues, Mentor: Amber Howerton, Nevada State College

Sarah York, Markers of Liver Function During Hibernation in Common tenrecs, Tenrec ecaudatus, Mentor: Frank van Breukelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Summer 2016 – Lower Division

Jose Garcia, Water Resource Impact Due to Climate Change, Mentor: Douglas Sims, College of Southern Nevada

Lucas Houston, Examining the Role of Speech Patterns in HRI, Mentor: David Feil-Seifer, University of Nevada, Reno

Sasha Ortega, The Quantitative Relationship Between Litter Moisture Content and CO2 Efflux, Mentor: Jay Arnone, Truckee Meadows Community College and Desert Research Institute

Dustin Parker, Stanford Rock Ridge Volcanic Vent, Mentor: Winifred Kortemeier, Western Nevada College

Presley Williams-Conrad, Human Perception of the Red-Tailed Hawk, Mentor: Scott Bassett, University of Nevada, Reno

James Condie, Fluctuation of Solar Photovoltaic Electricity Generation Across Las Vegas, Mentor: Eric Wilcox, Truckee Meadows Community College and Desert Research Institute

Summer 2016 – Upper Division

Cameron Berg, A Potential Photo-Switching System, Mentor: Robert Sheridan, University of Nevada, Reno

Kara Bonham, Developmental Sensitivity to Stimulated Climate Warning in a Tropical Pseudoscorpion, Mentor: Jeanne A. Zeh, University of Nevada, Reno

Kirsten Casey, The Search of Corrections to Newtonian Gravity, Mentor: Andrew Geraci, University of Nevada, Reno

Wynona Dizon, Determining the Association Between Serum Levels of Circulating Cell-Free DNA and Sarcoma, Mentor: Yu Kuang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Kasey Hewson, Diurnal Streamflow Can Improve Watershed Estimates of Evapotransportation and Snowmelt, Mentor: Adriana Harpold, University of Nevada, Reno,

John Kearney, Band Gap Turning and Phase Evolution of Sn3N4 Under Pressure, Mentor: Asukan Salamat, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Alena Lee, Epigenetic Rule of Thrombospendin 4 in Intestinal Muscular Hypertrophy, Mentors: Sungil Ro & Lai Wei, University of Nevada, Reno

Brandon Lopez, Life Cycle Energy and GHG Impacts of Utility Service Solar, Wind & Geothermal Electricity in Nevada, Mentors: Kent Hoekman & Xiaowei, Liu, University of Nevada, Reno

Matthew Mahaffey, Mitochondria and Oxidative Metabolism: The Role of O-GIcNAc Enzymatic Cycling, Mentor: Patricia Berninsone, University of Nevada, Reno

Kegan Rahe, Reaction of Ketone Donors and Aldehyde Acceptors in the Synthesis of Unique Aldol Products, Mentor: Laina Geary, University of Nevada, Reno

Herugo Sato, Environmentally Friendly Synthesis of Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles to Combat Water Pollution, Mentor: Erick Bandala, University of Nevada, Las Vegas & Desert Research Institute

Cale Seymore, Analysis of Ecological Function in Western Great Basin Hot Spring Microbial Communities, Mentor: Brian Hedlund, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

John Whitefield, The Effects of Burn Severity on Nutrient Availability and Seedling Establishment, Mentors: Elizabeth Leger & Beth Newingham, University of Nevada, Reno

Morgan Remick, Granlibakken Ridge Vent Geological Mapping, Mentor: Winifred Kortemeier, Western Nevada College

Academic Year 2016-2017 – Lower Division

Cilla Jose, High Temperature Spectrally-Selective Absorber Coatings for Efficient Concentrated Solar Energy Conversion, Mentor: Jaeyun Moon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tyler Ewing, Computational Study on Hydrogen Binding to Rudredoxin Active Site, Mentor: Sergey Varganov, University of Nevada, Reno

Lindsey Grimes, Identification, Extraction, Purification, Synthesis and Screening of Novel Phytochemicals for Antimicrobial Activity, Mentors: Patricia Santos & Dylan Kosma, University of Nevada, Reno

Jamie Poston, The Effect of Varied Height on the Perception of Telepresence Robots, Mentor: David Feil-Seifer, University of Nevada, Reno

Cassandra Ramage, Integrin Regulation of Birth Timing in Mice, Mentors: Heather Burkin & Ian Buxton, University of Nevada, Reno

Laura Llanza, Experimental and Theoretical Solar Cell Degradation Under Monte-Carlo Modeled Dust Deposition, Mentor: Hans Moosmuller, Truckee Meadows Community College & Desert Research Institute

Academic Year 2016-2017 – Upper Division

Gary Alexander, Mapping Solar Energy Potential for Nevada Using Numerical Weather Prediction Model, Mentor: Heather Holmes, University of Nevada, Reno

Britney Khuu, The Effects of Climate on Single Leaf Pinion Pine Cone Production Across an Elevation Gradient, Mentor: Peter Weisberg, University of Nevada, Reno

Erin Cassin, Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance in Paenibacillus Larvae in the Presence of Bacteriophage, Mentor: Penny Amy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Joseph Cheung, Synthesis of Canabinoid Heteroanalays for Medical Screening, Mentor: Laina Gary, University of Nevada, Reno

Cayla Harvey, Viscoelasticity and High Buckling Stress of Dense Carbon Nanotube Brushes, Mentor: Siddhartha Pathak, University of Nevada, Reno

Jaclyn McBride, Therapeutic Role of Parasitic Worms in Autoimmune Diseases, Mentor: Patricia Berninsone, University of Nevada, Reno

Jennifer McCracken, Paths to Silicon Solar Cell Efficiency Improvement via Surface Functionalization, Mentor: Sean Casey, University of Nevada, Reno

Sabrina Novenschi, Machanochemistry of Cardiac Myosin Filaments, Mentor: Christine Cemo, University of Nevada, Reno

Nicholas Winner, Plasmonic Properties of Copper Nanoparticles and Their Application to Improved Photovoltics, Mentor: Ghassan Jabbour, University of Nevada, Reno

Angela Garcia, Bioavailability of Mineral Bound Iron to a Snow Algae Community with Implications for Earth’s Albedo, Energy Balance and Water Resources, Mentors: Elisabeth Hausrath & Zoe Harrold, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Thomas Stafford, Studying the Cost Efficiency of Placement of Building Using Passive Solar Energy, Mentor: Jinho Jung, Great Basin College

Amber Zaidi-Consul, Characterization of Alcohol Dehydrogenase by Bie Salts, Mentor: Amber Howerton, Nevada State College

2015 Nevada Undergraduate Research Scholarship Poster Day @ UNLV

April 17, 2015 – 11:00am – 2:00pm

UNLV Campus Location
Science and Engineering Building, Lobby

Student recipients of the 2014-15 EPSCoR Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) Scholarship presented their projects. All EPSCoR undergraduate scholars participated in an independent STEM research project under the mentorship of NSHE researcher.

  • Summer Azmat (Mentor: Ai-Sun Kelly Tseng)
  • Michael Briones (Mentor: Ernesto Abel-Santos)
  • Carolyn Chang (Mentor: Penny Amy)
  • Tatiana Ermi (Mentor: Eduardo Robleto)
  • Haley Heers (Mentor: Dong-Chan Lee)
  • Arielle Homayouni (Mentor: Jeffery Shen)

  • Deborah Morales (Mentor: Ganqing Jiang)
  • Casey Steward (Mentor: Jefferson Kinney)
  • Durin Uddin (Mentor: Nora B. Caberoy)
  • Syed Abbas (Mentor: Ravi Subramanian)
  • Jordan Dargert (Mentor: Andrew Geraci)
  • Sunggu Kang (Mentor: Ronald Pardini)

  • Joseph Knue (Mentor: Yatavelli Laxmi Reddy)
  • Haeram Lee (Mentor: Grant Mastic)
  • Danielle Medygyesi (Mentors: Jeff Angermann and Heather Holmes)
  • Pablo Ochoa (Mentor: Ben King)
  • Kevin So (Mentor: Pedro Miura)
  • Kehley Grosulak (Mentor: Ravi Subramanian)

Jordan Dargert (see page 13) and Elana Ketchnian (see page 23) UROP recipients present at the UNR poster conference April 21, 2105.

UNR Poster Conference Program
Zoheb Ashraf headshot

Zoheb Ashraf

Truckee Meadows Community College
Mentors: David Feil-Seifer, University of Nevada, Reno
Rod Sidwell, Truckee Meadows Community College

Analysis of Human Interaction

Samuel Bassong headshot

Samuel Bassong

Nevada State College
Mentor: Robin Cresiski

Metagenomic Analysis of Cockroach-Associated Bacterial Flora via Bioinformatics

Kevin Bumgartner headshot

Kevin Bumgartner

Truckee Meadows Community College
Mentors: Umakanta Jena, Desert Research Institute
Bill Gallegos, Truckee Meadows Community College

Hydrothermal Carbonization of Pinyon-Juniper (P/J) Biomass

Sierra Combs headshot

Sierra Combs

Nevada State College
Mentor: Robin Cresiski

The American Cockroach May be a Transmissible Source of Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Infections

Brenda Favela-Belmonte headshot

Brenda Favela-Belmonte

Nevada State College
Mentor: Robin Cresiski

Characterization of cellular events in cockroach immune response using image-based flow cytometry

Elana Ketchian headshot

Elana Ketchian

Western Nevada College
Mentors: Peter Weisberg, University of Nevada, Reno

Renee Magrini, Western Nevada College

Bryce Powell headshot

Bryce Powell

Great Basin College
Mentor: Norm Whittaker

Hull Design’s Effect on the Concentration and Redirection of Surface Waves

Benjamin Siegel headshot

Benjamin Siegel

Truckee Meadows Community College
Mentors: Hans Moosmuller, Desert Research Institute
Jim Cotter, Truckee Meadows Community College

The Effects of Dust Deposition on Solar Panels

Kris Thanesjesdapong headshot

Kris Thanesjesdapong

College of Southern Nevada

Mentor: Gunay Ozkan

Nicole Vita headshot

Nicole Vita

Nevada State College
Mentor: Zachary Woydziak

Synthesis of Biological Testing of Novel Aminopyronin Flurophores and Simplified PP1/PP2A Inhibitors

Maya Zawlodzki headshot

Maya Zawlodzki

Nevada State College
Mentor: Bryan Sigel

Molecular Ecology of Canis Latrans in the Las Vegas Valley

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