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2014 Symposium

16th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for
Scholarly & Creative Work

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Arie Kapteyn


2014 Symposium Program

2014 Awards Banquet Program

2014 Undergraduate Symposium Prize Winners

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


Honorable Mention Anaka Morris
Somewhere in South Central
Faculty Sponsor: Alan Mittelstaedt, School of Journalism
Honorable Mention Saad Haddad
Faculty Sponsor: Bruce Broughton, Thornton School of Music
2nd Prize
Eunice Chang
Once Upon a Slave’s Ambition
Faculty Sponsors: Max Naporowski, Sheila Sofian, and Shelly Wattenbarger, Animation, School of Cinematic Arts
1st Prize
Jordan Perkins
Disaster Relief: Deployable Shelters
Faculty Sponsor: Doris Sung, Architecture


Honorable Mention Kalena Giessler
Examining Obsidian Provenance and Procurement: a pXRF Analysis of Obsidian Artifacts Found at Chavín de Huánta, Peru
Faculty Sponsor: Lynn Swartz Dodd, Religion, Dornsife College; and John Rick, Anthropology, Stanford University
Honorable Mention Katrina Miller
El Rexurdimento: The Redemption of Galician Poetry
Faculty Sponsor: Margaret Rosenthal, Comparative Literature, Dornsife College
2nd Prize Vivian Yan
“Their History,” “Our History”: Constructions of Chinese American History and Community Identity, 1960-2013Faculty Sponsor: Lon Kurashige, History, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Anneleise Azua
Curanderismo in the Rio Grande Valley: A Study of Transformation
Faculty Sponsor: George Sanchez, American Studies and Ethnicity, Dornsife College

Life Sciences

Honorable Mention First Prize Joshua Dreyzen
Characterization of sleep disruption in known sleep and homeostatic synaptic plasticity mutants
Faculty Sponsors: Dion Dickman, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention Brian Lentz
Rates and costs of ion transport are genetically determined during animal development
Faculty Sponsors: Donal Manahan, Dornsife College; Dr. Francis Pan; Dr. Scott Applebaum
Honorable Mention Yael Freiberg
A Four-Chromosome Yeast Model for Robertsonian Translocation
Faculty Sponsors: Susan Forsburg, Ruben Petreaca, Ji-Ping Yuan, Molecular and Computational Biology
2nd Prize Eliza Asherian
Chronic Ethanol Exposure in Mice Leads to Neuroinflammatory Response and Increased P2X7 Receptor Expression
Faculty Sponsors: Liana Asatryan and Daryl Davies, School of Pharmacy
2nd Prize Karthik Vasan
Inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis in KSHV-transformed cells by an inhibitor of sirtuins, Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3)
Faculty Sponsor: Shou-Jiang Gao, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
1st Prize
Elaine Roh
Adaptive Capacity to Bacterial Diet Modulates Aging in C. elegans
Faculty Sponsors: Sean Curran and Shanshan Pang, Davis School of Gerontology

Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering

Honorable Mention Carlos Portela
High Temperature Nanoindentation Method: reducing sample oxidation in metallic single crystals
Faculty Sponsor: Andrea Hodge, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Viterbi
Honorable Mention Matthew Orr
Photon-dominated Region Modeling of the [C I], [C II], and CO Line Emission from a Boundary in the Taurus Molecular Cloud
Faculty Sponsors: Gene Bickers, Physics & Astronomy; Paul Goldsmith and Jorge Pineda, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
2nd Prize
Renée Wang
Trace Metal Transport and Illegal Gold Mining in Peru
Faculty Sponsor: Joshua West, Earth Sciences, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Evan Brown
Nanowire Simulations Provide Key to Harnessing Sun
Faculty Sponsors: Aiichiro Nakano, Computer Science, Physics & Astronomy, and Chemical Engineering & Materials Science; Chunyang Sheng, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science; Fuyuki Shimojo, Physics, Kumamoto University

Social Sciences I

Honorable Mention Da Eun (Danny) Kim
Breaking the Cycle – Cracking Gender Disparity in Game Development Education
Faculty Sponsor: Mathew Curtis, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Honorable Mention Stephanie Chui, Francesca Corley
A Pharmacological Pandemic: How counterfeit drugs have turned medicine against us & how we can stop it
Faculty Sponsor: Erin Quinn, Science & Health, Dornsife College and Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine
2nd Prize
Kristene Hossepian, Corey Pettit, Vivian Rotenstein
Restorative versus Punitive Justice: A College Student’s Perspective
Faculty Sponsors: Gayla Margolin and Michelle Ramos, Psychology, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Michael Bertch
Hostile Takeover: The USIA and the Soviet Occupation of Austria, 1945-1955
Faculty Sponsor: Paul Lerner, History, Dornsife College
Interdisciplinary Prize Award Jack Koppa
FrackMented – Contextualizing Environmental Policy
Faculty Sponsor: James Boyda, Media Arts + Practice, School of Cinematic Arts

Social Sciences II

Honorable Mention Svadharma Keerthi, Janis Yue
Effects of Marijuana Use on Cognitive Ability: A Twin Study
Faculty Sponsors: Laura Baker and Nick Jackson, Psychology, Dornsife College
Honorable Mention Elizabeth Volpicelli
A Twin Study of Accumulated Environmental Risk Factors on Childhood Antisocial Behavior
Faculty Sponsor: Laura Baker, Psychology, Dornsife College
2nd Prize
Kelsey Bradshaw
GABRA2 Associations with Conduct Problems in Childhood and Alcohol Dependence by Mid-Adulthood in a Non-Western Sample
Faculty Sponsor: Susan Luczak, Psychology, Dornsife College
1st Prize
Mary Bassily
Characterizing Vowel Production in Post-Glossectomy Speech Using Real-time MRI
Faculty Sponsors: Christina Hagedorn, and Rachel Walker, Linguistics, Dornsife College; Shrikanth Narayanan, Electrical Engineering
Interdisciplinary Award Stephanie Wetzel
Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in children and parents after child’s admission to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Faculty Sponsors: JoAnn Farver, Psychology, Dornsife College; Jeffrey Gold,  and Lara Nelson, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine

USC Schwarzenegger Institute

2nd Prize Tito Thomas
Polyamines Supported on Fibrous Silica Nanospheres: New Regenerable Adsorbents for CO2 Recycling
Faculty Sponsors: Prof. Surya Prakash, Department of Chemistry; Laxman Gurung, Research Assistant
1st Prize
Erica Arnold, Peter Grasso
Sustainable Energy Recovery from Wastewater Treatment by Bioelectrochemical Fuel Cells (BEFCs)
Faculty Sponsor: Pirbazari, Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


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