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2007 Showcase Winners

Past Showcases

Arts & Humanities

1st Place: William H. Boles, A Study in Scenic Design: Fish Eyes
Mentor: Kristina Tollefson (Theatre)
Project Objective: Through the production of Fish Eyes, by Ted Suartz and Lee Elshmann, I demonstrate my design process from emotional connection, through detailed research and analysis, to development of the design idea, culminating in the final stage design.

2nd Place: Stephanie Gonzalez and Indiana de la Cruz, Making a Place for Latino/a Writers
Mentor: Cecilia Rodriguez Milanés (English)
Project Objective: Making a Place for Latino/a Writers was created to expose users to unfamiliar Latino/a writers and enhance their experience with established writers. We provide a place where authors are more than just a book jacket photo; they become real and relatable people via biographies, country profiles, and media clips.

Honorable Mention: Andres Citeli, Design and Production Innovations in Experiential Media for Entertainment
Mentor: Christopher Stapleton (Institute for Simulation and Training)
Project Objective: This research was done to create a tool to transform a theme park designer’s ideas into a shared simulated experience. A miniature set that would represent a park attraction, Theme Park Pre-Visualization will transform this mockup into a virtual theme park attraction, allowing a designer to experience a theme park ride before it is built.

Honorable Mention: Stephanie E. Colombo, Do You Realize Who You /r/ Differently As You Age? An Acoustic Analysis of the Realization of American /r/
Mentor: David Bowie (English)
Project Objective: This study quantitatively analyzes /r/ as produced by 10 candidates, using recordings made between 1940 and 2000. It was found that all speakers varied in rhoticity significantly throughout the lifespan. These data points to flaws in many methodological assumptions in linguistics, underscoring the need for better sampling protocols.

Engineering, Computer Science, & Optics

1st Place: Denitsa M. Milanova, Heat Transfer Enhancement in Single-Walled-Carbon Nanotube (SWNTs) Nanofluids
Mentor: Ranganathan Kumar (Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering)
Project Objective: Single-Walled-Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs) are known for their great physical, mechanical, material, and electronic properties. The practical applications of nanotubes have been slowed due to insolubility in liquids and lack of individual tube dispersion. Thermal conductivity and Critical Heat Flux results are presented at different concentrations and pH value.

2nd Place: Enrique G. Ortiz and Anna Koufakou, Experimetal Comparison of Strategies for Detecting Outliers in Categorical Data
Mentor: Michael Georgiopoulos (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Project Objective: While data mining has lately received much attention in applications such as credit card fraud detection, research has mostly focused on numerical data. We review and experiment with current algorithms for categorical data in an attempt to evaluate them and possibly improve on them in terms of efficiency and accuracy.

Honorable Mention: Catherine N. Bewerse, In Situ Neutron Diffraction Measurements at Stress and Temperature in NiTiPd Shape Memory Alloys
Mentor: Raj Vaidyanathan (Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering)
Project Objective: Shape memory alloys actuate against external loads as a result of a temperature-induced phase transformation.  The temperature at which NiTiPd transforms is of interest to NASA for use in debris-less and spark-free separation mechanisms.  NiTiPd was subjected to neutron diffraction at Los Alamos National Laboratory to monitor deformation mechanisms.

Honorable Mention: Benjamin A. Corbin, Laminar Flame Speed Measurements in a New Constant-Volume Vessel
Mentor: Eric Petersen (Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering)
Project Objective: A constant-volume, cylindrical bomb was built to study the spherically expanding flames of gases of various stoichiometric mixtures used in gas turbine power generation systems under high temperatures and pressure. The data from this experiment will contribute to the design of fuel-flexible power systems and improve overall efficiency.

Life & Health Sciences

1st Place: Emad M. Abdalla, The Role of Norepinephrine and Epinephrine in the Early Development of Embryonic Hearts
Mentor: Steven N. Ebert (Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences)
Project Objective: The objective is to determine if the expression of connexin-43 (CX-43), the major cardiac gap junction protein which is responsible for efficient conduction of signals through myocardium, is altered in norepinephrine and epinephrine deficient (mutant) embryonic hearts in relation to its levels in wild type (normal) embryonic hearts.

2nd Place: Raquel L. Lyn, A New Player in the Molecular Process Determining the Life or Death of Mammalian Cells
Mentor: Antonis S. Zervos (Biomolecular Research Annex)
Project Objective: The aim of this project is to study the ability of HAX-1 protein to protect mammalian cells against cell death resulting from chemical or oxidative injury. Although many proteins are known to be involved in the regulation of cell death, the contribution of HAX-1 in this process is unknown.

Honorable Mention: Angelica M. Barrero-Tobon, Characterizing the Unusual Protein Trafficking Pathways of Plasmodium falciparum
Mentor: Debopam Chakrabarti and Lawrence Ayong (Molecular Biology and Microbiology)
Project Objective: Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria, resides within a vacuole in human red blood cells yet exports hundreds of virulent proteins to the host cell surface.  Our study aims at understanding the protein trafficking mechanisms in the parasite that could be exploited for novel drug discovery against human malaria.

Honorable Mention: Andrew W. Myers, Inhibition of Clostridium difficile Growth by Proline Derivatives and Gold Compounds
Mentor: William T. Self (Molecular Biology and Microbiology)
Project Objective: Two proline derivatives were found to inhibit growth of Clostridium difficile at micromolar concentrations: alpha-methyl proline and cis-4-fluoroproline.  A gold salt, auronofin, which is already in use in the clinic, was also found to inhibit C. difficile growth

Physical Science & Mathematics

1st Place: Simon Mostafa, Effect of the Catalyst Support on Methanol Decomposition Over Size-Selected Platinum Nanoparticles
Mentor: Beatriz Roldán Cuenya (Physics)
Project Objective: The catalytic properties of size-selected platinum nanoparticles deposited on a variety of metal oxides were studied in order to better understand how metal nanoparticle/support interactions influence the catalyst's activity and selectivity. The industrially-relevant catalytic decomposition of methanol for the production of hydrogen has been used as model reaction system.

2nd Place: Juan C. Gonzalez, Ferromagnetic Resonance on Ultra-Thin Films
Mentor: Enrique del Barco (Physics)
Project Objective: This project focused on the study of magnetic and quantum properties of ultra-thin layers of Co deposited over silicon wafers.

Honorable Mention: Hanoy Estrada, Synthesis of Size Selected Gold Nanoprisms by Nanosphere Lithography
Mentor: Beatriz Rolánd Cuenya (Physics)
Project Objective: The significance of nano-sized elements in today's technology has encouraged me to innovate fabrication techniques to create size- and shape-selected nanoparticles.  A self-assembly technique known as nanosphere lithography has allowed me to fabricate 2D well-ordered arrays of triangular nanoprisms with potential applications in the fields of catalysis and optics.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan D. Fraine, Magnetic Body Force Enhanced Thermal Gradient in a Magnetic Nanocolloid
Mentor: Weili Luo (Physics)
Project Objective:  A theoretical model was proposed to introduce a non-uniform driving force to control the heat transfer in fluid with appreciable magnetic susceptibility, which has diverse applications in heat transfer, crystal growth, and heat devices. Our experimental results show quantitative agreements with the model.

Social Sciences I

1st Place: Charles S. DaPra, Action Video Game Skill Level Predicts Performance on Target Detection and Identification
Mentor: Valerie K. Sims (Psychology)
Project Objective: New research has suggested that visual and attentional mechanisms are modified by playing action video games.  This research updated specific visual search tasks by creating a more realistic task with simulated combat environments. The objective was to investigate if video game skill would generalize to a visual search task.

2nd Place: Heather L. Heffernan, Parents’ Use of Language Facilitation Strategies During Interactions with Their Child with Autism
Mentor: Jamie Schwartz (Communicative Sciences and Disorders)
Project Objective: The Hanen Program®- “More Than Words” (Sussman, 1999) is a parent-centered intervention model which teaches parents ways to improve the communication skills of their child with autism.  This project focuses explicitly on the parent’s use of language facilitation strategies, within parent-child play interactions, before and after participation in the program.

Honorable Mention: Wendi B. Kane, Social Class Justifications: The Capitalist Conspiracy?
Mentor: Anna Campbell (Sociology)
Project Objective: This research project will test the relationship between privilege and the belief that the rewards in society are fair and based mainly on effort.  It will also test the relationship between a student's exposure to the lower-class and the belief in the stereotypes, myths, and ideologies that legitimize class inequality.

Honorable Mention: Emilio J. Lobato, Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury in Post-Secondary Schools
Mentor: Kenyatta O. Rivers (Communication Sciences and Disorders)
Project Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to (1) determine the prevalence of traumatic brain injury in a college population and (2) explore the presence of academic consequences as a result.  Undergraduate students enrolled in lower-division courses in a metropolitan university completed an academic status survey.  Post-hoc analyses will be presented.

Social Sciences II

1st Place: Claudia Nunez, Communication Disorders Professionals’ Perceptions about Death and Dying
Mentor: Kenyatta O. Rivers (Communication Sciences and Disorders)
Project Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of speech-language pathologists and audiologists working in healthcare settings towards death and dying.  Participants were asked to complete three surveys.  Findings of post-hoc analyses and suggestions for preparing clinicians in death and dying will be presented.

2nd Place: Roberta J. Murphy, Headstone Iconography: Documentation and Interpretation of Fraternal Emblems at Greenwood Cemetery, Orlando
Mentor: John J. Schultz (Anthropology)
Project Objective: The project objective is to document and interpret the Greenwood Cemetery's headstone fraternal iconography.

Honorable Mention: Kirk S. Robinson, Latino Political Party Identification: Democrat or Republican?
Mentor: Annabelle Conroy (Political Science)
Project Objective: The objective of my project was to examine how Latinos in Central Florida identified themselves politically. Identification was measured in terms of which political party, Democrat or Republican, Latinos considered themselves to be.

Honorable Mention: Shari Schwartz, Premigration Expectations and Postmigration Experiences of Hispanic Immigrants to the United States
Mentor: Charles Negy (Psychology)
Project Objective: This project analyzes data collected from Hispanic immigrants regarding their pre-migration expectations and post-migration experiences with respect to their quality of life in the United States in communication, social, economic, and educational domains, and whether a discrepancy between expectation and actual experience is correlated with acculturative stress.

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