Karla Badillo-Urquiola entered UCF in 2010 after graduating from the International Baccalaureate program. She is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Psychology, while earning a minor in Writing and Rhetoric and a certification in Interpretation and Translation. Dedicated to her community, Karla has served on the Undergraduate Studies Student Advisory Committee and is a co-founder of Knight PALS, a student organization focused on autism. In January of 2012, she earned the Undergraduate Researcher of the Month award. Currently, she works under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Lackey, director of ACTIVE Lab, at the Institute for Simulation and Training. Karla's research interests include military psychology, combat profiling detection and development, terrorism and counter-terrorism, human factors, simulation, and human robotics interaction (HRI). Her ultimate goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation.
Sharon Carter was born in Gainesville and grew up in a small town in northern Florida. She attended Daytona State College and transferred to UCF in 2010. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology. In the summer of 2012, Sharon worked with Dr. Al-Shehbaz conducting a palynological study of endemic plants from South Africa at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Currently, Sharon has been working with her mentor Dr. Christopher Parkinson doing a phylogenetic study of rare snakes from Papua New Guinea. Her research interests include all aspects of evolutionary biology with a special focus on phylogenetic relationships. She plans to obtain a doctorate degree and eventually become a professor.
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.
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.
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.
Vu Tran was born in Da Nang Vietnam and grew up in the Central Florida area. In the summer of 2010, she enrolled in UCF to begin her undergraduate studies in Anthropology. Her research interests include dental anthropology, paleopathology, skeletal trauma, and interpersonal violence. Vu has completed an Independent Study in Dental Anthropology and has performed Independent Research on Violence within the past school year. In the summer of 2013, Vu received an NSF REU grant and traveled to Cyprus to participate in the Athienou Archaeological Project. Vu is currently working on her Honors in the Major undergraduate thesis. Her topic focuses on the paleodemography of a population from Kuelap, Peru. Her future research plans involve topics on craniofacial trauma and dental trauma. She hopes to one day become a bioarchaeologist, researching and teaching at a university.
Brianna Williams was born in Washington, D.C. Growing up in a military family, she lived in Hawaii and Georgia for several years before she finally settled in Tampa, Florida at age 14 to start high school. She is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Currently, Brianna is a research assistant at the UCF Marriage and Family Research Institute, tutors at the University Writing Center, and served as a peer mentor at the UCF Summer Research Academy. Her passion to improve couple and family relationships has led to her interest in examining the influences relationship education has on inmates, couples, and parents and adolescents. Brianna intends to obtain her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy so that she can create her own institute in order to provide relationship education to parents and adolescents in low-income communities.
Cierra Winston is currently majoring in International and Global Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. She has recently begun to learn the Arabic language, and plans to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. in Arabic and Linguistics. Cierra has served on the Undergraduate Studies Student Advisory Committee, Volunteer UCF Youth and Mentoring Committee and was the Director of the Registered Student Organizations for the UCF Multicultural Student Center. Cierra's research interests include linguistics and the differences of interpretation, ethnic studies, religion, political institutions and the impact on culture, and foreign languages. In the future, Cierra hopes to teach Arabic at the university level and share her love for language with others.
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