STEM Scholar Senior Showcase 2021

Welcome to the 2021 STEM Scholar Senior Showcase Online Exhibition!

The STEM Scholar Senior Showcase serves to recognize and celebrate our graduating class of STEM Scholars – not just for their hard work, but for their role in shaping the STEM Scholar and Honors community, and for their numerous and varied achievements both inside and outside the classroom.

We are excited to welcome the UConn community and loved ones to join us for the 2021 STEM Scholar Senior Showcase Online Exhibition. This year we are proud of the each and every one of our seniors who are sharing their Honors Thesis research and projects.

Like so many events this year, the STEM Scholar Senior Showcase will be presented a bit differently. To keep our students, faculty, and loved one’s safe, students will be sharing their Honors Thesis through virtual live sessions and an online exhibition. The website boasts project “pitches,” student biographies, and links to supplemental slides of each student’s Honors Thesis.

See below to view the links to live presentations being held Monday, April 19 through Friday, April 23.

Live Session 1: 4/19 6:30-7:30PM

Monday, April 19, 2021 6:30-7:30pm
Join Session:

Giridhar Murali (Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Minor: Anthropology)
Isolating Compounds that Inhibit EV 71 Virus

Dhruv J. Dang (Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Minor: Film Studies)
Language acculturation traits and BMI in Hispanic-American children from 1999-2004

Daniel Schwartzman (Major: Psychological Sciences, Minor: Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies)
A Scoping Review of Employee Wellness Interventions

Amar Kalaria (Major: Physiology and Neurobiology, Minors: Molecular and Cell Biology, Healthcare Management and Insurance Studies)
Lineage Tracing of Stem Cell Division Along the Lateral Ventricles During Early Embryonic Ages

Shaharia Ferdus (Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Minor: Nutritional Sciences)
Effects of Bacterial Lipid Exposure on Cholesterol Metabolism and Liver Inflammation in HepG2 Cells

Colt Nichols (Majors: Biomedical Engineering & Electrical Engineering, Minor: Mathematics)
Analysis of Low Cost Wearable Biomedical Devices as a Method for Disease Prevention

Pranati Mathur (Majors: Biological Sciences & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
Characterizing Drumming Imitation Capabilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Eduardo A. Badillo Colberg (Major: Molecular and Cell Biology)
Reeling in New Antibiotics: Synthesis and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Zinc-Binding Clavanins from Styela clava (Sea Squirt)

Live Session 2: 4/21 5:00-6:00PM

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 5:00-6:00pm
Join Session:

Samhita Gurrala (Majors: Nutritional Sciences and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
The prevalence of tooth loss and chewing problems and their association with dietary quality and health status in mobile food pantry users

Parth Patel (Majors: Molecular and Cell Biology & Political Science)
Assessing the Receptiveness of Underrepresented Children towards an Emergency Department Pre-Post Intervention on Physical Activity

Nidhi Chawla (Majors: Physiology and Neurobiology & Women's Studies)
Intersectionality, Access, and Women’s Health: Engaging and Enacting a Feminist Model of Health Care

Ethan Y. Wang (Major: Pharmacy Studies, Minor: Economics)
Approaches to Reduce Use and Duration of Anti-MRSA Agents for Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs: A Review of Recent Literature

Stephanie Akosa (Major: Physiology and Neurobiology; Minor: Psychological Sciences)
Development of Psychological Markers for Motivational Dysfunctions through the use of Tetrabenazine and Electroencephalograms in a Female Rat Model

Mukund Desibhatla (Majors: Physiology & Neurobiology and Spanish, Minor: European Studies)
The Evolution of Novel DA Transporter Inhibitors and their Effects on Effort-Related Motivation: A Review

Michelle Franklin (Major: Nursing)
Posttraumatic Growth in Eating Disorders

Sean Doolittle (Major: Civil Engineering)
Using GIS to Support Established Ideas on the Harmful Impacts of Highway Construction Through New England Cities

Live Session 3: 4/22 4:30-5:30PM

Thursday, April 22, 2021 4:30-5:30pm
Join Session:

Christopher Geiger (Major: Computer Science & Engineering, Minor: Mathematics)
Resist: Reconstruction of irises from templates

Mallika Shekhar (Major: Physiology and Neurobiology, Minor: Neuroscience)
Investigations of binge-like behavior in female, Sprague Dawleys: effects of the catecholamine uptake blocker Lisdexamfetamine and dopamine antagonist Haloperidol

Gaganjot Bedi (Major: Molecular and Cell Biology)
Assessing the Efficacy of Jellow: A communicative aid for children with ASD

Eve Cullerton (Major: Natural Resources - Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation, Minors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Chemistry)
A comparison of wildlife activity patterns in control and harvested wetlands of Connecticut

James He (Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology; Minors: Neuroscience and Mathematics)
Identifying the Cell Composition and Clonal Diversity of Supratentorial Ependymoma Using Single Cell RNA-Sequencing

James Edward Lee Hormann (Major: Mechanical Engineering)
Computational Validation of Several Radiation Heat Transfer Models

Jason Vailionis (Major: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
Symbiont Replacement by Pathogenic Fungus in the North American Dog-Day Cicadas

Live Session 4: 4/23 5:00-6:00PM

Friday, April 23, 2021 5:00-6:00pm
Join Session:

Heather Boucher (Major: Chemical Engineering)
Development of Sustainable Agriculture Biotechnology: Calculating Protist Velocity Distributions in Model Soil Transport Systems

Adrian Gibson (Major: Electrical Engineering)
Light Intensity Modulated Impedance Spectroscopy for Photovoltaic Panels

Gavin Birdsall (Major: Physiology and Neurobiology, Minor: Mathematics)
Using Single-cell RNA-seq Analysis to Assess Heterogeneity in a Model of Ependymoma Brain Tumors

Sam Bird (Major: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
Nesting Habits of Eurycea bislineata

Veda Pandya (Major: Mechanical Engineering)
Aerodynamic Optimization of Aircraft Wing

Siddarth Suresh (Major: Computer Engineering, Minor: Math)
Modern Helicopter Flight Control System Design

Berk Alpay (Majors: Computer Science & Mathematics)
A Probabilistic Model of RNA Constraints on Viral Evolution

Mariam Mohsin (Major: Biomedical Engineering)
Deep Learning Methods for Classifying Sleep Apnea

View All Student Projects


Land Acknowledgment: We would like to acknowledge that the land on which the University of Connecticut is home to is the territory of the Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Schaghticoke, Golden Hill Paugussett, Nipmuc, and Lenape Peoples, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.  We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example.

To our [STEM Scholar] Seniors: Thank you for all your unique contributions and for your role in building and strengthening the STEM Scholar community through your undergraduate years. We will miss you, but we also take pride in your accomplishments as leaders and academics. We are proud to see your growth from consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge, and we know that there is so much in store for you. Best of luck in the future and please keep in touch!

To those who support our Seniors: Whether you are a thesis supervisor, faculty member, family member, or fellow STEM Scholar student, we thank you for joining us in celebrating our STEM Scholars. For those interested in learning more about the STEM Scholar program and the opportunities it affords, see our additional resources below. While you are here, we encourage you to take some time to browse and explore just how much our graduates have accomplished!