2022-23 VCU Undergraduate Research Fellows

congratulations to the 22-23 VCU undergraduate research fellowsThe following undergraduates and faculty mentors will be awarded with funding support to partner on collaborative research projects during the summer and upcoming academic year. Funding support comes from the VCU Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry, the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and You First at VCU.

Many thanks to our funding partners for their support of undergraduate research and creative scholarship at VCU. And congratulations to our 2022-2023 VCU Undergraduate Research Fellows, with utmost gratitude to our faculty mentors!

  • Arbi Abazi with Dr. Youngdeok Kim, Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. Examining the Social and Neighborhood Characteristics Correlated to Active Living Among Older Adults: Focusing on Rural-Urban Differences.
  • Brianna Boston with Dr. Elizabeth Baker, Information Systems. Development and Usability Testing of a GP for Down's Syndrome (DS) Care Coordination.
  • Keenan Brown with Dr. Joao Soares, Mechanical Engineering. Evaluation of the effects of dynamic mechanical conditioning during in vitro incubation of scaffold-based engineered tissues.
  • Lillian Cai with Dr. Maria Thomson, Associate Professor of Department of Health Behavior and Policy, Director of Massey Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, Massey Cancer Center. COVID-19 guideline changes, caregiver burden, and continuing needs: a qualitative study.
  • Aishwarya Chilamula with Dr. Babette Fuss, Anatomy and Neurobiology. The Effects of the reducing LPA6 receptor on Glioblastoma Growth and Tumor Cell Motility and its subsequent Effects on Myelinating Cells.
  • Claire Dilday with Dr. John Jones, Environmental Studies. Confirming the Acorn Squash Problem: A Survey of Barriers to the Consumption of Healthy Foods Provided by Emergency Food Assistance Programs.
  • Meghan DiNofrio with Dr. John Jones, Environmental Studies. Exploring Peer-Municipalities Best Practices for City of Richmond Zoning Reform to Encourage Healthy Local Food Systems.
  • Bridget Ferguson with Dr. Ryan Smith, History. "The Medical College of Virginia's Historical Ties to Grave Robbing: A Look at the Physicians".
  • Litiana Field with Dr. Danielle Kirkman, Kinesiology & Health Sciences. Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Liver Transplant Patients.
  • Savannah Gross with Dr. Bernard Means, Anthropology. Connecting Bellevue Elementary with its Community's Past, Present, and Future.
  • Sethe Howell with Dr. Christopher Irving, Communication Arts. The Redfork Files.
  • Trina Jeffer with Dr. MK Abadoo, Dance + Choreography. Examining American Modern Dance's History of Appropriation to Inform Authentic Cultural Appreciation.
  • Phoebe LaMountain with Dr. James Vonesh, Environmental Studies. Impacts of Lemna Minor Coverage on Freshwater Macroinvertebrates in Riverine Rock Pools.
  • Keith Li with Dr. Rebecca Heise, Biomedical Engineering. Regenerative Effects of Organ-Specific Electrosprayed Extracellular Matrix Nanoparticles.
  • Danny McCabe with Dr. Julie Zinnert, Biology. Determining Community Function of Coastal Plant Communities.
  • Aleena Milburn with Dr. Alisa Brink, Accounting Department. The Effect of Imagery in Whistleblowing Policies on Employee Willingness to Whistle Blow.
  • Cindy Mitrovic with Dr. Edward Boone, Statistical Science and Operations Research. Optimal Sampling Distances x for the Fractional Partial Differential Equation in Application to Gas-flow Through Porous Media.
  • Miriya Philip with Dr. Carrie Peterson, Biomedical Engineering. Examining the Efficacy of Theta Burst Stimulation on Different Brain Regions Using Self-Report Measures in Patients with Painful Diabetic Neuropathy.
  • Andy Shar with Dr. Daeha Joung, Physics. 3D Printed Patient-Specific Bioelectronic Neuromodulation Devices for Spinal Cord Regeneration.
  • Hee So with Dr. Sierra Beecher, Biology. Poster Design for Art/Science Synthesis, and continuation of lab manual resource creation project.
  • Chantel Taylor with Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren, Sociology. Mindful Moms Program: The Effect of Social Media in Participant Enrollment.
  • Jessie Tignor with Dr. Amy Rector, Anthropology. Comparative Methodological Approaches to Capturing 3D Data to Study Shape Variation in Extant and Fossil Lemurs.
  • Ananya Udyaver with Dr. Baneshwar Singh, Forensic Science. Comparing the Microbiomes of Dental Plaques in 19th Century Ancestral Remains.
  • Caleb Wells with Dr. Joao Soares, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. Effect of Mechanical Stimuli on the Degradation Rate of Electrospun Polycaprolactone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds.
  • Sally Wells with Dr. Brooke Inman, Painting and Printmaking. Exploring The Relationship between Food Culture and LGBTQ+ Social Identity Through The Lens of Print Media.
  • Afton White with Dr. Punit Gandhi, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Support networks and mental health of VCU students during the COVID pandemic.

Undergraduate Fellowships for Clinical and Translational Research

  • Selene Acosta Dominguez with Dr. Alaattin Kaya, Biology. Functional characterization of naked mole-rat stress resistance genes.
  • Avery Barton with Dr. Patricia Kinser, School of Nursing. Contextual Factors Relating to Effects of an Intervention for Perinatal Depression.
  • Elianna Bavuso with Dr. Dayanjan Wijesinghe, Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences. Developing Novel Therapeutics for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Virtual Environments for Social and Emotional Learning.
  • Shubhi Bhati with Dr. Elizabeth Prom-Wormley, Family Medicine and Population Health. The association between parental substance abuse and mental health problems and child mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic in Richmond, VA.
  • Sameeksha Chintakrindi with Dr. Jane Chung, School of Nursing. Feasibility Testing of Mobile App-Based Journaling to Capture Home-Based Dementia Care Activities.
  • MiJin Cho with Dr. Gretchen Neigh, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Alzheimer's and Related Research Award Fund (ARDRAF) Summer Project for Fructose-Based Diet.
  • Rodney Davis with Dr. Radhika Barua, Mechanical Engineering. Passive Thermal Management of rf Components Using Graphene-Based Phase Change Materials.
  • Reem Hammad with Dr. Jennifer Puetzer, Biomedical Engineering. Development of High Density Fluorescent Collagen Gels For Tracking of Cellular Collagen Turnover in Extended Tissue Culture.
  • Hakinya Karra with Dr. Mathula Thangarajh, VCU Neurology Department. Multimodal evaluation of brain health in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Ethan Nguyen with Dr. Daeha Joung, Physics. Patient-specific nerve guidance conduits via computational optimization and multi-material 3D printing.

Undergraduate Fellowship for You First at VCU: First-Generation Emerging Scholars

  • Ximena Guerrero Zdeinert with Dr. Pam Turner, Kinetic Imaging. Research Expedition to Ottawa International Animation Festival.
  • Chloe Sy with Dr. Jiale Hu, Nurse Anesthesia. Evaluation of a Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program: Findings from the Participant Feedback Survey.
  • Lesly Turcios-Hernandez with Dr. Alaattin Kaya, Biology. Functional characterization of naked mole-rat stress resistance genes.
  • Laurie Wacks with Dr. Jiale Hu, Nurse Anesthesia. Moving to holistic admission in a nurse anesthesia program: a mixed methods research project.
  • Alexis West with Dr. David Chan, Mathematics. Support networks and academic achievement of VCU students during the COVID pandemic.