Christy was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She is currently an Early Childhood Development major. From a young age, she has had a strong passion for working with young children and families. She served as the transfer liaison on the University's Student Undergraduate Research Council for the 2012-2013 year. She actively promotes research on campus and mentored 150+ students during the 2012-2013 academic year as the peer mentor for the Office of Undergraduate Research. She is intrigued by research that involves mother and infant interactions and attachment. She is also interested in studying socio-demographic factors in underrepresented populations. Currently she is completing an undergraduate honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Anne Culp and an internship at the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County under the supervision of Dr. Cindy Jurie. She is interested in pursuing her Ph.D. in child and family sciences or a related field.
Raven K. Cokley
Raven K. Cokley was born and raised in the beautiful city of Sarasota, Florida. In 2009, she graduated from Riverview High School's International Baccalaureate Program. She is a psychology major with a Spanish minor and a certificate in leadership studies. Raven has always had a passion for working with and mentoring troubled youth, by helping them to grow, develop, and ultimately find their place in society. Her research interests include all facets of multicultural counseling: self-esteem issues in teenage girls, addressing minority high school retention, adolescent pregnancy rates, and exploring spiritual concerns. Upon graduation with her bachelor’s degree, she plans to earn a Ph.D. in adolescent counseling psychology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nestor Vera Tata
Nestor Vera Tata was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela until the age of fifteen. In 2004, he graduated from high school in Florida, and then moved to Spain for three years. He obtained an A.A. from Valencia Community College and is currently majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. Additionally, Nestor is completing three certificates in Criminal Profiling, Behavioral Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation. He is intrigued by research that interrelate criminological theories with actual crimes in society as well as, research in homicides, violence oppression and street gangs and international gangs. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Criminology and eventually become a professor at the university level.
Tatiana Viecco was born in Bogotá, Colombia where she lived until the age of fifteen. She graduated from high school with honors in California, and moved afterwards to Florida to attain her A.A. from Seminole State College (graduating summa cum laude). In addition to being a McNair Scholar, Tatiana is also a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. As an individual with a passion for volunteering and assisting those in need, she collaborated with the foundation Niños Por Un Mundo Nuevo during the Summer of 2011 in Colombia, and is working as a peer mentor for the TRiO SSS PRIME STEM Program. Tatiana pursues her leadership zeal by being the student chapter president for the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) at UCF, and an active member with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in their outreach programs. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and a minor in engineering leadership. Her research interests include operations research and ergonomics in the areas of humanitarian relief and supply chain in the health care system. Tatiana aspires to obtain a doctoral degree in industrial engineering to be able to conduct applied research and teach at the university level.
Jennifer Walsh is from Daytona Beach, Florida. She is a psychology major and is pursuing a certificate in women's studies. She is dedicated to her community and is an active member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society of Psychology and the Central Florida chapter of Project HEAL. Her research interests include the causes and prevention of negative body image in youth, impact of media on body image, and adolescent development. After obtaining her B.S., she aspires to earn a Ph.D. in a field that reflects her interdisciplinary research interests. Her career goals include teaching at the university level while conducting research and mentoring undergraduate students.
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