Nathalie Fernandez, '19
Nathalie is an undergraduate studying mathematics at the University of Central Florida. She is currently a research assistant at her home institution working on machine learning topics. She also collaborates with the Computational Cognitive Science Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she works on computationally understanding responsibility. Her passion for cognitive science stems from the desire to understand how experiences shape our beliefs and decision making. She intends to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Science to bring her closer to the goal of becoming a professor.
Cynthia Florentino, '14
Cynthia Florentino is a senior at the University of Central Florida where she is majoring in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. Cynthia's research interests include international development, political corruption in the developing world, grassroots movements, civic engagement and global human development. Cynthia serves as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Student Government Association and is Chair of the President's Leadership Council. In the future, Cynthia wants to serve as an analyst for research based advocacy groups in international development. She wishes promote the creation of contemporary policy proposals that target bedrock issues in the developing world.
Rolando A. Flores Jr., '12
Roland 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.
Genee' Glascoe, '12
Genee’ Glascoe was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Maryland. She is currently a psychology major at the University of Central Florida, with a minor in criminal justice, and a certificate in behavior forensics. From a young age, Genee’ has always been interested in understanding why individuals turn to crime. Her research interests are in juvenile delinquency, offender rehabilitation, and understanding the mental state of individuals who faced wrongful convictions. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she plans to go on to earn her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Garrett Grainger, '10
Jorge Guerra, '14
Jorge Guerra was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of twelve. He is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. In addition to being a Mcnair Scholar, Jorge is also an iCubed and Excel scholar. He has held various leadership positions in The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), serving as the organization's president during his sophomore year. He was also a mentor for the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISFT) program. Jorge has participated in different industrial internships. He has worked at Intel Co. as a Probe Product Engineer as well as a Product Development Engineer. Jorge has also worked for Boeing Co. as a Knowledge Based System Engineer. He conducted research during the summer of 2014 at University of California-Berkeley in the SUPERB-ITS program. Jorge currently works in the Intelligent System Lab (ISL) at the University of Central Florida as an undergraduate researcher. His research interests are in the areas of multi-agent systems and robotics applications.
Marvin Hoo, '17
Marvin Hoo was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was raised in Miami, Florida after moving there at the age of six. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Central Florida. His passion for psychology and research has lead him to learn about research as an Undergraduate Research Assistant from different labs here at UCF. He plans on obtaining a Ph.D in psychology and working as college professor, a researcher, or starting his own private practice. He would also like to start an organization in his community college, Miami Dade College where he informs students from different majors the importance of getting involved into their fields early.
Roxanne Howes, '17
Roxanne Howes is the daughter of military veterans, born in Berlin, Germany and eventually settling in Orlando, FL. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Her passion lies in Ethnic literature, identity, and representation, but her interests also include women’s studies, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, film and media, and creative writing. Roxanne is currently working on an undergraduate HIM thesis concerning multiethnic identity within contemporary US literature with the inclusion of personal essay with the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Cecilia Rodriguez-Milanes. She plans to obtain a Ph.D. in English or Cultural Studies and start a career in academia as a research professor and writer.
Chanelle Hunter, '18
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Chanelle Hunter is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. She received her Associates degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville. Her family’s medical history has served as a catalyst for her interest in research related to cancer and other degenerative diseases. She is currently researching the presence of naturally occurring Organofluorines and plans to study the compound’s application in cancer drug therapy. Upon graduation, she aspires to obtain a graduate degree in Biological Sciences with a focus on Cancer Biology in order to pursue a career in academia and research.
Geena Ildefonso, '15
Geena Ildefonso was born and raised in Cooper City, Florida. While growing up in South Florida, she became interested in mathematics after exploring the concept of a derivative. Geena is the President of the Collegiate Mathematical Society, as well as Vice President of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter here at UCF. Geena is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. Her research interests are in Biomathematics with a focus in math modeling of dysregulations in cancers . Last summer she conducted research in math modeling of cancer lineages and radiotherapy at the University of California, Irvine. Geena is currently researching the Hall Effect in the Magnetic Reconnection Process here at UCF, as well as various applications of Hilbert Spaces used in Quantum Mechanics, Signal Processing, and Harmonic Analysis. This summer she is researching the NFkB signal transduction pathway and its role in inflammation, cancer, and improper immune development. Her future educational plan is to obtain a PhD in Mathematics and open a Cancer Research Institute. After her time in the McNair program she hopes to be able to advance underprivileged youth into higher education.
Emmanuel Jackson, '14
Emmanuel Jackson was born and raised in New Jersey until he and his family moved to Sanford, Florida in 2007. Emmanuel earned his Associate of Arts degree from Seminole State College of Florida in 2011. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in African American studies. Emmanuel is on the executive board of both University Christian Fellowship and the John T. Washington Honor Society, and is a mentor at Memorial Middle School. His research interests include urban education, homelessness, urban poverty, and black masculinity. He aspires to obtain his Master's of Social Work to work with nonprofit organizations in impoverished communities that focus on African American youth development and providing resources and permanent employment for low income families and homeless individuals. He eventually wishes to earn his Ph.D in order to become active in policy advocacy, educational consulting, and motivational speaking.
Jeffery Jorges, '17
Jeffery Jorges was born and raised in South Florida. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, specializing in Astronomy. He serves as the current president of UCF’s Astronomy Society and vice-president of UCF’s chapter of the Society of Physics students working to help share his love of science with others by participating in science outreach for his university and general public. Since January 2015 he has also worked as a research assistant at UCF’s Center Of Microgravity Research studying low-velocity collisional systems to better understand the evolution of planetary ring systems and the formation of planetesimals. His academic interest is in using computational methods in astrophysics to study dark matter as well as the formation and evolution of galaxies. Jeffery aspires to obtain his Ph.D. in Astrophysics and become faculty at a university doing research on dark matter and galaxies.
Nicholas Joseph, '15
Nicholas Joseph was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Immediately after graduating high school, he joined the Marine Corps. After completing 4 years and achieving the rank of a Sargent, with an honorable discharge, he decided to pursue his education. Nicholas Joseph received an Associate of Arts degree at Seminole State College and transferred to UCF to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Currently, Nicholas is a peer educator at the Wellness and Health Promotion Services, a Research Assistant for the UCF Resources and Empowerment Project (REP) and a Research Assistant for Psychophysiology of Mental Illness Laboratory. His passion for treating Schizophrenic patients has led to his involvement in becoming a Guardian Advocate for the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. Nicholas currently conducts research on Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and Schizoid type disorders with Dr. Jeffrey Bedwell. His future research interests consist of trying to solve the gap between schizophrenia disorder and the communities' understanding of its stigma. He plans to obtain a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, as well as teach students at the college level.
Kristina Kraakmo, '09
Jie L. Liang, '12
Jie L. Liang
Jie Liang moved to the United States from China after she finished high school. To further her education, she attends University of Central Florida majoring in mathematics as a first generation undergraduate. Because of her dedication to obtaining a Ph.D. degree in mathematics, she seeks research opportunities. In 2010, Jie participated in a year-long research project named GAUSS in UCF funded by NSF. She worked under Dr. Xin Li on applying reweighed least square method to face recognition and submitted their paper to Undergraduate Research Journal. In summer 2011, Jie conducted research with Dr. Garvan at University of Florida on number theory through the Summer Research Experience for Rising Senior program. Together with Dr. Andrews from Pennsylvania State University, they submitted their paper to Ramanujan Journal. As a senior, Jie is currently working on her Honors in the Major thesis with Dr. Li on approximation theory.
Michael Lopez-Brau, '17
Michael Lopez-Brau was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Orlando, Florida. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with minors in computer science and mathematics. He has worked in research labs spanning across many disciplines: from bioengineering to signal processing and machine learning. His vision is to utilize computational and mathematical techniques to elucidate the inner-workings of cognition and consciousness. Michael is currently in two research labs. The first lab focuses on developing algorithms for adaptive compressive sensing. The second lab focuses on using deep learning for image ranking functions in image retrieval. He plans to obtain his Ph.D. in computer science and become a college professor and science communicator.
Jordan Lynton, '13
Jordan Lynton was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., but moved to Florida seven years ago. After attending the Summer Research Academy at the University of Central Florida in 2010, her interest in research increased. She then went on to work as a student researcher with the ChinaVine Program, studying Chinese folk art and culture. Her Honors in the Major thesis incorporates her interest in Chinese culture and literature. Furthermore, Jordan has taken an active role as a student leader at UCF as a Resident Assistant on campus, former LEAD Scholar mentor, and treasurer for Campus Advent Ministries. She currently majoring in English literature and psychology and aspires to obtain a doctorate in anthropology.
Tamra Artelia Martin, '10
Tamra Artelia Martin
Tamra Artelia Martin was born in Towson, Maryland and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to pursuing her English degree in creative writing, she works on a second degree in journalism with a focus in editing. Currently, she is completing her Honors-in-the-Major thesis titled “The Fates of Clytemnestra and Cassandra.” This novel portrays the women of the Trojan War in order to shed insight into their lives during that time. Tamra is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society in which she serves as president for the 2009-2010 academic school year. She is also a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. Tamra works for the University Writing Center as an undergraduate consultant. For the past two years, she has been an active participant in service-learning and has chosen to volunteer at the Life Care Center of Orlando. In spring of 2009, she presented a paper on the topic titled “Visual Exercises and Service Learning: Connecting Student Writers to Older Generations,” which was presented at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. Tamra aims to earn her M.F.A. and Ph.D. in creative writing. Her goal includes actively writing with the intentions of it becoming a full-time career. She also looks forward to teaching at the university level in the future.
Samantha Mensah, '17
Samantha Mensah is a native of New York and was raised in South Florida. Her academic interests include analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, and theoretical physics. Through community outreach, she is an active participant in encouraging K-12 students to pursue post-secondary education and careers in STEM. Samantha has been conducting research alongside Dr. Chumbimuni-Torres since January of 2013. Her research centers on the development and optimization of sensors that can be used to determine the presence of ions in the body and environment. She has published her research findings in a peer-reviewed journal and plans to earn her Ph.D. in chemistry.
Lilian Milanes, '12
Lili Milanes was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Shorty after, her family moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania, where they lived for eight years. Afterward, they moved to Orlando, Florida, where Lili graduated from Winter Park High School. Lili's research interests include physical and biological anthropology with a specific focus on public health, communal health, and health disparities. She aspires to obtain a doctorate of philosophy in Anthropology
Marlaine M. Monroig, '12
Marlaine M. Monroig
Brittany Murphy, '14
Brittany Murphy is a Florida native, hailing from a small town in South West Florida. She is a Humanities major as well as Religious Studies while minoring in Mass Communications. Brittany's research interests are how gender and religion shape popular culture in the US. Brittany dreams of obtaining her Ph.D. in Cultural Theory, with the goal of working in a Cultural Studies department within a major metropolitan museum.
Christina Restrepo Nazar, '11
Christina Restrepo Nazar
Christina Restrepo is from Passaic, New Jersey. In addition to being a part of the McNair Scholars program, she is also involved with the Research and Mentoring Program at UCF. She is interested in attending Rutgers University or the University of Central Florida to obtain a PhD in Science Education: Biology. Her graduate research interests include urban education and improving the quality of science education in low income schools with a high percentage of minority students.
Kevin Negy, '18
Kevin Negy was born in College Station, Texas and was raised in Orlando, Florida. He currently is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science. After graduating from UCF in 2013 with degrees in International Global Studies and Spanish, he worked as an English teaching assistant in southern Spain for two years. While in Spain, he decided to return to UCF to study computer science and has since become involved in research during his undergraduate studies. He currently is working with Dr. Avelino Gonzalez on a project with the objective of creating a driving model using observational learning to identify dangerous driving. He also is assisting Dr. Kenneth Stanley on a project investigating the evolution of constructive agents that create block structures in a virtual world. He plans to obtain his Ph.D. in Computer Science en route to becoming a university professor and using his position as a professor to assist fellow aspiring students.
Alice Neira, '15
Alice Neira was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States at the age of six. She is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Political Science, while earning a minor in Education, and a certification in Leadership Studies. Alice's goal is to combine her knowledge of education policy and passion for community service to positively impact students in public school systems in the United States, especially in lower socio-economic classes, and provide equal access to education. Alice has been recognized with UCF's highest honor, the Order of Pegasus. She plans to attend graduate school and acquire her Ph.D. in Education Policy.
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