Steven Carrion was born in Colombia, and moved to the United States at a young age. He is majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include determining how anthropogenic activity affects marine ecological communities and their biological interactions, and using this gathered knowledge to establish effective mitigation techniques. In the future he hopes to work collaboratively with local communities and professionals to create multi-perspective solutions for the restoration and management of coastlines. Previously, he has worked through an NSF REU to study the effects of the BP oil spill on marine invertebrates in marsh sediment, and jellyfish proliferation research with the cross-Mediterranean MED-JELLYRISK programme in Italy. He is currently working under an undergraduate grant studying ways to improve the cultivation of the salt marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora, for conservation and restorative purposes. Fueled by his passion for science, discovery, and advocacy for the surrounding environment, he aims to obtain an interdisciplinary doctoral degree in Marine Biology.
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.
Shantal Tummings was born in Jamaica and moved to Miami, Florida at the age of 12 to further her education. Shantal is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering. Shantal's passion for helping others has influenced her research interest in water sanitation in developing countries. Shantal wants to obtain her doctorate in Environmental Engineering to research ways to make clean water readily accessible.
John Vastola was born and raised in Oviedo, Florida. He is pursuing Bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and Physics. His commitment to helping others understand science has led him to work as a math tutor at the UCF Math Lab, to collaborate with art students through the National Science Foundation funded ICubed project on posters presenting research to the general public, and to present dramatic science demonstrations to elementary, middle, and high school students. As the President of the Math Club and Vice-President of the Society of Physics Students, he works to get his fellow undergraduates excited about science, engaged in science outreach, and to build a sense of community within the math and physics departments. His research interests include mathematical physics, elliptic curves, and novel areas like infinite sums and continued radicals. John plans to obtain his Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics and become a college professor.
Jenny Autumn Walker
Jenny Autumn Walker was born in Orlando, Florida. She is currently pursuing two Bachelor's degrees in Biology and Psychology. Jenny is an honors student who has successfully completed the UCF Summer Research Academy Program, and she is an early years STEM education volunteer through the UCF HERO program. Jenny also excels as an undergraduate research assistant and lab coordinator for the UCF MIT2 lab. She plans on becoming a college professor who oversees a cognitive neuroscience lab specializing in learning and memory. Jenny plans to complete her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology.
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