Pascale Nelson, '14
Pascale Nelson was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Pascale has lived in Orlando, FL for seven years. Pascale is currently pursuing a degree in Biotechnology with a minor in Psychology. She is currently involved in research at UCF Biomedical College with a focus in ALS disease under the supervision of Dr. Alvaro G. Estevez. After graduation, Pascale aspires to earn a doctoral degree in Biotechnology.
Antonett Nunez- del Prado, '19
Antonett Nunez- del Prado
Antonett Nunez-delPrado was born and raised in Peru. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Physics. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Physics and a Masters in Mathematics and become a leading researcher in the Research and Development (R&D) field.
Daniela Ojeda, '19
Daniela Ojeda was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to Florida when she was 5. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a strong interest in 3D printing and it applications. Daniela is currently conducting material testing research in the Mechanics of Materials Research Group under Dr. Ali P. Gordon and Jonathan Torres. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Material Science and become a college professor.
Kevin Javier Ortiz-Diaz, '13
Kevin Javier Ortiz-Diaz
Kevin Javier Ortiz-Diaz was born and raised in Humacao, Puerto Rico. He moved to Naples, Florida in 2006 with his parents and his brothers. He is pursuing a degree in psychology, and is focusing on behavioral studies. His research interests involve family counseling, children's therapy and child abuse, as well as marriage counseling and research into the causes of divorce. He aspires to achieve a doctoral degree in the field of behavioral psychology, specializing in the counseling of children who have been victims of abuse.
Antony Papadia, '15
Antony Papadia was born in Caracas Venezuela. He attained his Associates degree from Valencia College and transferred to the University of Central Florida in 2012. Currently, He is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. He volunteers with the marine coastal Oyster/Mangrove restoration project with the biology department's Ceelab team. Furthermore, His research involves transferring live successful Oyster Mats to areas where Oysters are not commonly found, and monitoring their growth, larvae recruitment, and survival. His main research interest is determining the effects of biological and human derived toxins, on the health, physiology, and adaptation of marine animal species, specifically on marine vertebrates. Additionally, he would like to apply the solutions found on affected marine animal populations. He plans to attain his doctorate to further his understanding of animal physiology and aid in the survival of marine species.
Ivory Paulk, '16
Ivory Paulk was born and raised in the city of Riviera Beach, Florida where she graduated from Palm Beach Gardens High School. She is a Senator for the College of Medicine where she serves her college by helping scholars participating in research as well as graduates and undergraduates receiving funding to present their research at academic conferences. She also serves on the Student Government Association Scholarship committee where she is currently helping to create scholarships to support undergraduate researchers. She is passionate about building minority participation in scientific research and higher education. She wishes to get her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and her Ph.D in Cancer Biology. She is interested in exploring the neurology of malignant brain tumors. Ultimately she aspires to become a tenured professor, while leading her research into a viable medical product.
Serenela Pelier, '15
Serenela Pelier was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Orlando, Florida. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology. Her research interests include bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, human osteology, paleopathology, skeletal trauma, stable isotope analysis, and human migration patterns. In Spring 2014, Serenela had the opportunity to accompany Dr. Arlen Chase, and several other undergraduate and graduate students, on his archaeological dig in Caracol, Belize. While in Belize, she had the opportunity to excavate an underground double chambered chultun burial that held seven skeltonized individuals and discovered her love for bioarchaeology. Serenela has also completed a summer undergraduate research project on Egyptian funerary items with Dr. Colleen Manassa at Yale University. She is currently working on her undergraduate Honors in the Major thesis with Dr. Tosha Dupra conducting research on the geographic origins of Napoleonic soldiers that were found in a mass grave in Vilnius, Lithuania. Her future educational goal is to obtain a Ph.D in Bioarchaeology with a focus in stable oxygen isotope analysis and migration.
Taylar Peoples, 14'
Taylar Peoples was born and raised in Pompano Beach, Florida. She is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is currently researching the presenting levels of distress of women in a relationship dealing with a chronic illness in hopes to link relationship stress to the down regulation of immune functions. After conducting research on Geriatric Relationship Interventions at Columbia University in the Summer Public Health Scholars Program she decided to pursue a degree in public health researching the social determinants of health. Her passion to provide interdisciplinary health care access to low socioeconomic families has motivated her to plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Public Health and become a college professor and a social and behavioral researcher.
Gisselle Pombar, '19
Gisselle Pombar was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Her desire for learning and always questioning how the world works has propelled her into obtaining a PhD in her field. She hopes by becoming a professor she has a chance to inspire students to become passionate in their studies and also become masters in their fields. Gisselle is currently researching naturally occurring THF derivatives that are used by microbiologists and botanists by synthesizing them in the laboratory with the guidance of Dr. Yu Yuan. She plans to obtain her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry where she will become a college professor by getting to do what she loves most: teaching and learning.
Carlos Puentes, 13'
Carlos was born in Havana, Cuba and moved to North Miami, Florida at the age of five. He is a psychology major with a minor in biology. His studies in psychology sparked an interest in the brain and its emergent faculties. Particularly, Carlos hopes to explore reward circuitry and how the interaction of neural circuits culminates in coherent decision making. His research interests encompass cognitive psychology and molecular biology. Carlos' interests include the neural antecedents to coherent decision making, plasticity, and the applicability of stem cells in neurodegenerative diseases. He plans to eventually attain a Ph.D. in Neurobiology.
Laura Puentes, '15
Laura Puentes was born in Bogota, Colombia and raised in Mt. Dora, Florida. She has an Associate's degree from Valencia Community College. She is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and a minor in Anthropology. Knowing first-hand the difficulties that come with learning a new language, she developed a community service program called "Bridges" in order to help Spanish speaking individuals with translation services. Laura is interested in conducting research in drug discovery and development. She plans to obtain her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology and become a research scientist.
Michael Terrez Rape, '10
Michael Terrez Rape
Thomas Rechtman, '18
Thomas Rechtman was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Thomas immigrated to Florida in 2013, where he began his college career at Seminole State College of Florida. There he was exposed to higher levels of mathematics in Algebra and Graph Theory. He also performed research on the topic of Graph Energy. His research interests lie on Algebraic Graph Theory and Epidemiology. Thomas aspires to mentor underrepresented groups in the STEM fields as they advance into higher education. Also he has plans to pursue a PhD in mathematics and become a researcher at a University or a governmental agency such as the CDC and NASA.
Tristan Reynoso, '19
Tristan Reynoso was born in Plantation, Florida and moved to Orlando to attend UCF. He is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Physics and is minoring in Computer Science. His passion for Mathematics has led him to become and officer of UCF’s Collegiate Mathematical Society, which educates undergraduates about the beauty, importance, and abundance of all different forms of Mathematics. Tristan has conducted research in the Physics department under Dr. Richard Klemm and is currently researching solutions to the Parker Problem in Hall MagnetoHydroDynamics under the guidance of Dr.Bhimsen Shivamoggi. He plans to obtain his Ph.D. in Mathematics and continue teaching at a university while conducting research.
Shaun Richardson, '14
Shaun Richardson was born and raised in the city of Jacksonville, Florida where he graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. His major is Sociology, with a minor in Multicultural Studies. He has been a member of UCF's Orientation Team, a Peer Mentor for UCF's Strategies for Success class, and is currently serving on the Student Conduct Review Board. He is very passionate about education, working with students, and campus involvement. He wishes to get both his Master's and Doctorate degrees in Higher Education, with a focus in Student Development. His research interest is first-generation-college students as well as lower-income students and their academic achievement in the college setting. He is also very interested in studying the factors that influence feelings on homosexuality. Ultimately, he would like to work at a university within student development and enrollment or serve on a public school board in an administrative position.
Lucie Rincher, '12
Born in the French Caribbean Island of St. Martin, Lucie Rincher has spent the majority of her life in Orlando, Florida. Despite starting her career at the University of Central Florida in another major, Lucie fell in love with communication science and disorders. Her current research interests include methods of prevention and intervention of speech and language disorders amongst bilingual children. Upon obtaining her bachelor's degree, Lucie hopes to attain her doctorate in the area of communication and culture.
Deandra Jessica Roberts, '10
Deandra Jessica Roberts
Deandra J. Roberts was born in Miami, Fl. During the summer of 2006, Deandra completed the Seizing Opportunities for Academic Retention (SOAR) program. She was a recipient of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT) in the fall of 2008 and was chosen as one of 110 students to participate in the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) in the spring of 2009. Additionally, Deandra was recognized as an outstanding College of Education student and has also been recognized by the African American Studies program for her humanitarian service and leadership to the local community, commitment for which she received the Dr. John T. Washington Community Service Award in the spring of 2009. Deandra is currently interested in exploring student development, higher education policy and administration, students of color and academic and social institutional integration as well as deepening her understanding of student affairs and specifically student development, student access and students’ needs. She plans to pursue her master’s and doctoral degrees in Higher Education and Student Affairs.
Victor Rodriguez, '19
Victor is a mechanical engineering undergraduate at the University of Central Florida. He currently conducts research at the Nanoscience Technology Center. At the center, he works with novel 2D materials for the development of transistors. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Victor is interested in pursuing a graduate level degree in a study that focuses on the interface between technology and society; specifically, a technology policy degree. His interest in this field comes from his involvement in the local community, and his first-hand experiences in regard to how technology affects society in positive and negative ways.
Marie Sabbagh, '12
Marie Sabbagh was born and raised in Paris, France. She will graduate in May 2012 with her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice and a behavioral forensic certificate. Alongside being named UCF's Undergraduate Researcher for the month of October, Marie was nominated for Order of Pegasus and is a recipient of the Women's Executive Council Scholarship, the UCF Scholars Award, and the Student Government Association (SGA) Student Achiever's Scholarship. She has two publications and plans on submitting two more to the UCF Undergraduate Research Journal before graduation. In addition, Marie has interned with UCF Victim Services/Police Department and is president of Psi Chi International Honor Society at the UCF campus in Cocoa, Florida. Marie's research interests focus on the implementation of juvenile sex offender prevention programs and juvenile delinquency prevention programs through empirically supported research. Marie intends on obtaining a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology or a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic specialization.
Rochelle Sadeghi, '14
Rochelle Sadeghi was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She is earning a degree in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Currently she is examining how intracellular motor proteins are involved in transported cargoes in neurons. Mutations in these motor proteins can lead to peripheral neurodegenerative disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) diseases.
Genesys Santana, '12
Genesys Santana is from Orlando, Florida. She is currently majoring in History and Social Science Education, with a minor in African American Studies. Her research interests include examining the effects of double consciousness on the development of African identities throughout the Diaspora, particularly Americo-Liberians. After graduating with a B.A, Genesys plans to earn her Ph.D. in History.
Esteban Santis, '12
Esteban Santis was born in the coastal town of San Antonio, Chile. He is currently studying literature, with a minor in language arts education. Influenced by the synthesis of Hispanic and American cultures, Esteban’s research interest is in the analysis of literature by underrepresented groups; these groups include the writings of Latinos—specifically in the Southern Cone—and women. Through his research, Esteban hopes to reinforce the connection between himself and his Hispanic roots. He aspires to earn a Ph.D. in comparative literature and move on to become a professor.
Cassandra Sarria, '18
Cassandra Sarria was born in Miami, Florida. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology. Her passion for animals urged her to dedicate her life to understanding how they behave and interact with the world. She is currently researching viruses that plague global amphibian populations under the guidance of Dr. Anna Savage. She plans to obtain her Ph.D in behavioral genetics to eventually study the effects of animal consciousness on behavior.
Natalia Sepulveda, '13
Natalia Sepúlveda was born in San Germán, Puerto Rico. In 2001, she moved to Florida with her parents and brother. Natalia is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Spanish. Her research interest resides in the value of education from a global perspective and teaching Don Quixote. She is working with her mentor Dr. Martha Garcia, and in the Summer of 2012 will participate in the Spanish Golden Age Literature & Theatre Study Abroad Program, collaborating with an on-site performance in Spain. This project will contribute, alongside her undergraduate research for the McNair Program, to her Honors in the Major thesis. Sepúlveda is constantly involved in her UCF community: she advises students as a peer mentor for the Transfer and Transition Services; promotes campus organizations, and is a retreat coordinator for the Leadership Challenge Team. She was inducted in Sigma Delta Pi-Spanish Honor Society, is Vice President for Transfer Knights, and translated, interpreted, and acted as an Ambassador for I Am Second Expedition in the Summer 2011. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Spanish literature and teach at the university level.
Marie Shultz, '11
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