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15th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for
Scholarly & Creative Work

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Keynote Speaker: Kevin Starr


2013 Symposium Program

2013 Awards Banquet Program

2013 Undergraduate Symposium Prize Winners

$1000 First Prizes and $500 Second Prizes were awarded in each category


Honorable Mention Osama (Sam) Iqab
Rising with Rubble
Faculty Sponsor: Lauren Matchison, School of Architecture
Honorable Mention Lori Chen
A Modular Solution to Skid Row Housing
Faculty Sponsor: Valery Augustin, School of Architecture
2nd Prize Eve White
Chaotic Focus
Faculty Sponsors: Ron Rizk, Roski School of Fine Arts
1st Prize Devon Mott
Uniform without Uniformity: An Architectural Inquiry of Craft
Faculty Sponsor: Lee Olvera, Architecture
Interdisciplinary Award
Caleb Barnes
Lingua Musica
Faculty Sponsor: Veronika Krausas, Thornton School of Music


Honorable Mention Charnan Williams
Lost in the City of Angels: A Comparative Analysis of Central Avenue and Leimert Park as Black Cultural Spaces
Faculty Sponsors: Francille Rusan Wilson and George Sanchez, American Studies and Ethnicity, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention Parin Patel
Remember What Siddhārtha Said Under the Banyan Tree?: Safeguarding Material Culture in Modern-Day Anti-Buddhist Gandhara
Faculty Sponsor: James McHugh, Religion, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Grant Dixon
What Is A King To Do: An Investigation of Images of Kingship
Faculty Sponsor: Lynn Swartz Dodd, Religion, Dornsife College
1st Prize Vellore Adithi
American-Born: An Analysis of Race Representation, Claims to Whiteness, and Ethnic Citizenship in Will Eisner’s The Spirit and A Contract with God
Faculty Sponsor: Lanita Jacobs, Anthropology, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Award Rikiesha Pierce
Gangsta Feminism? A Pilot Study Investigating the Feminist Potential of Big Rik Locc
Faculty Sponsors: Sharon Hays, Amon Emeka, and Lanita Jacobs, Dornsife College

Life Sciences

Honorable Mention Wendiann Yamasaki
Exercise Ameliorates Depression-Like Behavior Observed in a Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease Prior to Motor Symptom Onset
Faculty Sponsors: Mike Jakowec and Giselle Petzinger, Neurology
Honorable Mention Pavitra Krishnamani
Developing Ultra-Sensitive Ethanol Receptors (USERs) to Define the Molecular Mechanism of Alcoholism
Faculty Sponsors: Ronald Alkana, Daryl Davies, and Anna Naito, School of Pharmacy
2nd Prize Divya Nair
Re-Engineering Mosaics of Cone Photoreceptors in Retinas Affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa
Faculty Sponsor: Eun Jin Lee, Visual Processing Laboratory
2nd Prize Vivek Shah
Experience-Dependent Neuroplasticity in Dopamine-Linked Models of Chronic Anabolic Androgenic Steroid Use and Huntington’s Disease
Faculty Sponsors: Mike Jakowec, Giselle Petzinger, Ruth I. Wood, and Daniel Stefanko, Neurology
1st Prize Brandon Glousman, Jung-gi Min
Targeting Cancer Metabolism: The Effects of a Novel Mitochondrial Derived Peptide on Breast Cancer Progression
Faculty Sponsor: Changhun Lee, Davis School of Gerontology
Interdisciplinary Award Megan Bernstein, Stephan Genyk, Rachel Kohan
E. Musici: facilitating communication between researcher and bacteria through song
Faculty Sponsor: Sean Curran, Davis School of Gerontology, Dornsife College, Keck School of Medicine

Physical Sciences & Engineering

Honorable Mention Diya Dwarakanath
Optimization of Fabrication and Experimental Methodologies for MEMS Drug Delivery Devices and Neural Probes
Faculty Sponsors: Heidi Gensler, Ellis Meng, and Jonathan Kuo, Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi
Honorable Mention Lesley Chan
Enhanced Performance of Printed Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Microcells with Conformal, Graded Index Surface Nanostructures
Faculty Sponsor: Jongseung Yoon, Chemical Engineering, Viterbi
2nd Prize Brendan Plecque, Awadi Rathugamage, Aditya Vaidyanathan
Aerodynamic Performance of Stepped Airfoils at Low Reynolds Numbers
Faculty Sponsor: Geoffrey Spedding, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Viterbi
1st Prize Peter Grasso, Kirsten Rice
Microbial Fuel Cell Technologies for Remediation of Hexavalent Chromium in Groundwater and the Effects of Natural Organic Matter
Faculty Sponsors: Massoud Pirbazari and Ryan Thacher, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Viterbi

Social Sciences I

Honorable Mention Moemoe Chaee, Matthew Prusak
The Macroeconomic Trajectory of Myanmar
Faculty Sponsor: Jonathan Aronson, School of International Relations, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Honorable Mention Julia Mangione
An Exploratory Study of the Experience of the Arctic Council’s Permanent Participants: Opportunities, Constraints, and the Future of Permanent Participation
Faculty Sponsor: Robert English and Steven Lamy, International Relations, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention Meghan Heneghan, Kaitlin Mogentale, Caroline Smith
The Future of Transportation in the U.S.: Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Faculty Sponsor: Juliana Wang, Environmental Studies, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Uriel Kim
A study of communities surrounding the University of Southern California and food desertification
Faculty Sponsor: Hortensia Amaro, School of Social Work
1st Prize Jui Pai (Angie) Chen
Housing Matters: How Redevelopment Strategies Affect the New Shanghai(nese)
Faculty Sponsor: Andrew Liang, School of Architecture
Interdisciplinary Award Marissa Roy
The UN’s 8 Millennium Development Goals and the Unpopulatity of Global Distributive Justice
Faculty Sponsor: Alison Renteln, Political Science, Dornsife College

Social Sciences II

Honorable Mention Kassandra Rosales
The greatest band in the history of the universe: A look inside the emotions and behaviors of highly identified active sports fans
Faculty Sponsors: Jonas Kaplan and Ryan Essex, Brain and Creativity Institute
Honorable Mention Ryan Lee
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Quantifying Presumption of Innocence In Relation to Criminal Stereotypes and Types of Crimes
Faculty Sponsor: Richard John, Psychology, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Angela Ross
Undocu-Queer: Queer Identity Development Among Undocumented Queer Youth
Faculty Sponsor: Veronica Terriquez, Sociology, Dornsife College
1st Prize Ariana Stobaugh
Misperceptions and Gender Differences in the Understanding of Acquaintance Rape and Sexual Assault
Faculty Sponsor: Amon Emeka and Michael Messner, Sociology, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Prize Award Robert Rosencrans
Cognitive and Behavioral Responses to Disaster Narratives
Faculty Sponsor: Vivian Seyranian, Psychology, Dornsife College

Most Innovative – USC Stevens Center

2nd Prize Jennifer Ko, Kathleen Roche
Using Ivermectin Analogue-Based Drug Discovery for Alcohol Use Disorders
Faculty Sponsors: Daryl Davies and Megan Yardley, School of Pharmacy
1st Prize Jay Todd (JT) Max, Avril (Viveka) Pitter
Water Treatment Design and Implementation for Rural Regions of Developing Nations
Faculty Sponsor: Massoud Pirbazari, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Viterbi

Special Award – USC Schwarzenegger Institute

2nd Prize Jay Todd (JT) Max, Avril (Viveka) Pitter
Water Treatment Design and Implementation for Rural Regions of Developing Nations
Faculty Sponsor: Massoud Pirbazari, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Viterbi
1st Prize Nicholas Farmer
Virtual Sprouts
Faculty Sponsor: Marientina Gotsis, Yasaman Hashemian, and David Turpin, Interactive Media and Games, School of Cinematic Arts


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