Jeremy Bramwell, '19
Rolando A. Flores Jr.
Rolando A. Flores Jr.
Rolando A. Flores Jr. was born in Pomona, California and grew up in Alta Loma. Upon graduation from Alta Loma High School, Rolando focused on a music career. Rolando received his associate's degree from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. After twenty-four years of living in the same area, Rolando moved across the country to continue his education at UCF. His goal is to obtain his doctorate in Sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice or criminology. Rolando hopes to teach at a university and fulfill his desire to remain a life-long student of the social sciences.
Rafaela Frota, '20
Rafalea Frota is working with Dr. Kris Davis at UCF researching how to improve solar cell characterization methods. She is majoring in photonic engineering with a minor in technological entrepreneurship. Rafaela’s fascination of the intersection of health and technology led her to create her own start-up company, Wawwe. Wawwe is an intelligent software platform that advises hospital patients with diet restrictive illnesses on food choices that will maximize their personal health. Rafaela works part time with the Institute of Simulation and Training Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab at UCF. She also volunteers with Dr. Stephen Florczyk’s research lab that focuses on the development and processing of three-dimensional bio-material scaffolds. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, kayaking, good stories, nature, jazz, vinyl records, innovation, and hot tea. Her future plans are to obtain her MBA, a master's in electrical engineering, and a Ph.D. in materials science engineering.
Carla Garcia, '20
Carla Garcia was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Melbourne, Florida. She is pursuing a bachelor's degrees in economics and political science. She holds leadership positions in the Economic Studies Consortium and the International Relations Club at UCF. Carla is currently researching the impact of regional trade agreements in Sub-Saharan Africa under the guidance of Dr. Uluc Aysun. She previously researched the connection between US foreign military training and coups under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Powell. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in economics and continue her research in the public sector or academia.
Daniela Gonzalez, '20
Daniela Gonzalez Salcedo was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. She came to the United States to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Daniela is very passionate about promoting diversity and researching personality traits in the workplace. She volunteers with different non-profits and profit organizations to learn more about employee motivation, training, and diversity initiatives in the work field. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology to make a positive impact in her community and in the industrial and organizational psychology field.
Debraliz Isaac Aragones, '19
Debraliz Isaac Aragones
Debraliz Isaac Aragones was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico and moved to Clermont, Florida at the age of six. She received her associate's degree from Lake Sumter Community College in the fall of 2015. She transferred to the University of Central Florida in pursue of a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics. Her passion for mathematics, learning, and space exploration led her to this career path. She has research backgrounds in materials science with a focus on additive manufacturing and heat transfer focused on thermal management of electronics. Debraliz is very involved in STEM outreach and is currently an UCF STEM ambassador. She hopes to inspire young children, especially girls, to pursue careers in STEM and higher education. Her future goals are to obtain a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and work in research and development in the space industry. Her long-term goal is to return to academia to share her career experiences with the next generation of engineers.
Sandra Montenegro, '20
Sandra was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in statistics. Her passion to learn and explore has led her to multiple areas of interest including cultural barriers to expand global markets. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in I/O Psychology to gain the skills and ability to implement many positive changes in her community.
Darwins Olcima, '20
Darwins Olcima was born and raised in Margate, Florida. I pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in leadership. My passion for Industrial psychology started when I get involved as an orientation leader.
Bianca Pizarro, '20
Bianca Pizarro was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Her passion for social change peaked her interest in sociological research focusing on Puerto Rico in order to influence public policy. Bianca is currently researching the effect of hurricane Maria on college students of The University of Puerto Rico under the guidance of Dr. Fernando Rivera. She plans to obtain his Ph.D. in Sociology and return to Puerto Rico to give back through research and eventually become a professor.
Alan Trudeau, '20
Alan J. Trudeau Muñoz was born and raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He is currently researching the biosynthetic pathways utilized by microorganisms to produce nitro containing compounds as natural products; with an emphasis in understanding the bionitration mechanisms involved in the production of secondary explosives and propellants that contain nitro groups. He plans to obtain his Ph.D in Inorganic Chemistry and become an industry oriented researcher.
Julissa Burgos, '20
Julissa Burgos was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Julissa is currently isolating and characterizing a heme protein involved in N-nitroglycine biosynthesis under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan D. Caranto. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. In Microbiology and become a research scientist. She hopes to collaborate with other scientists to aid in controlling outbreaks caused by pathogens.
Stephanie Castelin, '20
Stephanie was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL and raised in Palm Beach, FL. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in statistics. Her passion to help other students has led her to hold leadership positions in several campus organizations and serve as a mentor and tutor for high school and college students. Stephanie has had over a year of research experience in the Neurolinguistics Lab at UCF where she is studying the psychophysiological differences between bilingual and monolingual speakers. She is currently working on her Honors in the Major thesis, which seeks to evaluate the effects of the Strong Black Woman schema on black women's mental health. After obtaining her bachelor's degree, Stephanie would like to attend a doctoral program in clinical psychology to pursue a career in child clinical psychology. In doing so, she would like to help advance the field of mental health in under served children through research, teaching, and treatment.
Gillian Gomer, '20
Gillian is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She is interested in pursuing a PhD and career in Astronomy, where her work will help advance space research. Her research background is in Planetary Science, though she is also interested in exploring stellar evolution and cosmology.
Luis Hurtado, '20
Luis Hurtado was born in Cienfuegos, a city on the southern coast of Cuba. He was raised in Miami, Florida. Luis is currently attending the University of Central Florida and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He is highly interested in the synthesis of nano-scale materials for next generation electronics and energy storage applications. His goals are to one day graduate with a PhD in Electrical Engineering and then plans to pursue a faculty position.
Jessica Jowais, '18
Jessica Jowais was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Central Florida. Her passion for biochemistry led her to become a UCF SARC tutor for Organic Chemistry 2. Jessica is currently researching the variation of induced secondary metabolite response across the genus helianthus to the pathogen Alternaria alternata under the guidance of Doctor Bohlen and Doctor Mason. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and become a college professor and academic researcher. She is interested in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Plant Science and Molecular Biology.
Sire Kassama, '19
Sire is a third-year student attending the University of Central Florida pursuing a B.S. in biotechnology. Sire is an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Dr. Anna Savage, Department of Biology at the University of Central Florida. Currently, she is doing research on the genotype-phenotype association of an important root trait in the common bean under the tutelage of Dr. Anna Savage and Dr. John Hart, Earthwork Seeds. Sire also, led an undergraduate research project on evaluating the roles of flavin reductase related and ubiquinone methyl transferase related proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana in the laboratory of Dr. Klaas van Wijk, Department of Plant Biology at Cornell University. In the future, she will attain a Ph.D. in plant breeding to develop new crop cultivars that are more disease resistant by utilizing bioinformatics and high throughput phenotyping.
Stephanie Mecassi, '20
Stephanie was raised in the beautiful city of Boca Raton. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. Her passion for outreach has led her to become the current president for American Society for Microbiology – UCF Student Chapter which provides its members with resources to grow professionally as well as opportunities to give back to their community through science. Stephanie is currently researching the effects of electrical stimulation on the regeneration of cells under the direction of Dr. Kaitlyn Crawford. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and become a college professor to continue her journey of educating future generations of scientists
Isaiah Morales, '20
Isaiah Morales is a student in the School of Visual Arts and Design in the College of Arts and Humanities. His interests fall within the creation of experiences through software and visual art on digital platforms. Moreover, within the realm of computer science, he works on his understandings of computer organization, data structures, and back-end web development. In terms of research, Isaiah looks to get his PhD in Human Computer Interaction or Modeling and Simulation tech.
Sarah Parker, '19
Sarah Parker was born and raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in sociology and a certificate in gender studies. She is passionate about giving back to her community, and is currently studying food insecurity among college students under the guidance of her faculty mentor, Dr. Amy Donley. Additionally, Sarah is researching how Puerto Rican students displaced by Hurricane Maria are coping with the impact of the storm and relocation to Orlando, Florida, under the direction of Dr. Peter Jacques. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Sociology and become an applied sociologist and university professor.
Sharon Park, '19
Sharon Park is a junior studying mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF). As well as being an engineering student, she is an undergraduate researcher in materials science and engineering at the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center, focusing on gas atomization processes and additive manufacturing. She is also part of the Career Advancement and Mentorship Program at UCF working on developing a startup for a new audio technology, and a team member of AstroKnights competing in NASA’s Hybrid Rocket competition.
Sharon plans on using her engineering education and research experience in order to obtain a graduate degree. Eventually she plans to move on to make in impact in industry, in the field of sustainable energy. Along with mechanical engineering, Sharon’s interests include materials science, space exploration, efficient transportation and computer science. She hopes to have a major influence in one of these fields using her education, experience and strong desire to succeed.
Vanessa Rijo, '19
Vanessa Rijo is an undergraduate McNair Scholar at the University of Central Florida. They is pursuing a bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in women's and gender studies. Their research mentor is Dr. Michael Armato, lecturer at the department of sociology in UCF. After earning their PhD, Ms. Rijo intends to become a professor at a research focused university in which they can mentor students and pass down all they have learned through the years of academic work. Vanessa presented her first research project, titled "Social Standards for Femininity and its Correlation to Rape Culture", at the Southern Sociological Society conference 2018. This research intended to empirically test claims that emerge within a rape culture that engages in blaming the victims of sexual harassment for their misfortune. Through the collection of 283 surveys, Ms. Rijo ran their statistics and found that no correlation was implied between women's effort on the portrayal of femininity and the occurrence of sexual harassment. Vanessa intends to graduate in the Spring of 2019 and apply to a PhD program in the United States. Furthermore, Vanessa intends to continue researching within the discipline of gender and sexualities in order to contribute to the literature focused on deconstructing the gender non-binary and record the voices of those who struggle to understand their position in society.
Ali Younis, '19
Ali Younis was born in Khartoum, Sudan and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. His passion for the discipline led him to begin working as a supplemental instructor in for courses such as Chemistry 1 and 2. As a member of the UCF Speech team, he understands that having an inspiring message or, in the context of Chemistry, sound data supporting a novel theory is futile if one cannot expound upon and discuss it coherently to a diverse audience. Ali is currently researching the characterization and modeling of meta-stable state photoacids using computational methods. He plans to obtain his Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry and continue research as a postdoc.
Anthony Aakre, '10
Michelle Aiello, '17
Michelle Aiello was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her Associates in Arts from Miami Dade College. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Central Florida. Her passion for translational research relating to anxiety disorders has led her to become an Undergraduate Research Assistant at UCF RESTORES, UCF's Anxiety Disorders Clinic, under the guidance of Dr. Deborah Biedel and Dr. Sandra Neer. Michelle is currently researching the effect compassion mediation has on heart rate variability of veterans with PTSD under the guidance of Dr. Ariel J. Lang as apart of University of California San Diego, STARS Summer Research Program. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in hopes of conducting research, becoming a college professor, and helping other first generation students achieve their goals.
Elizabeth Altamirano, '15
Elizabeth Altamirano was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She received her Associate of Arts degree at Broward College and is currently majoring in Psychology. Her passion to help others by promoting education and health has led her to become the President of the Psychological Society, a Peer Educator for the Wellness and Health Promotion Services, and the Director of the UCF Resources and Empowerment Project (REP). In addition, she also interned at the Outlook Clinic for Depression and Anxiety, was a teaching assistant for "Cross Cultural Psychology and "Physiological Psychology" and a volunteer research assistant for the Health Laboratory under Dr. Jeffrey Cassisi. Elizabeth's Honors in the Major thesis consists of finding a possible correlation between depression and psychological homelessness among Latino Immigrants under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Negy. Her research interests include risk factors for ethnic minority mental health and effective treatment approaches. Elizabeth plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
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