2014 - 2015 Undergraduate Research Fellows Announced

Luther Rice Winners Felisa Hsieh and Katherine Bradshaw
April 15, 2014

The recipients of the GW Undergraduate Research Award and the Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowship are announced!

Sponsored by the Office of Teaching and Learning, and the Office of the Vice President for Research, the GW Undergraduate Research Award gives promising undergraduates the opportunity to engage in well-defined research projects under the guidance of a faculty member in their chosen field of study.  

Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowships are part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences's comprehensive undergraduate initiative to promote discovery- and inquiry-based education throughout the undergraduate experience at GW.

Both research fellowship programs are exciting ways for students to receive financial support for research projects that enrich their undergraduate experience. Students who are interested in applying for the Undergraduate Research Award and Luther Rice Fellowship in the fall of 2015 should contact the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research at [email protected].


GW Undergraduate Research Awardees


Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellows:


GW Undergraduate Research Awardees:

Kunj Bhatt, Biology

  • Faculty Mentors: Anastas Popratiloff, Director, Microscopy Imaging Core and Research; Associate Professor of Anatomy
                               Thomas Maynard, Director, GW Institute for Neuroscience Biomarkers Discovery Core; Associate Research Professor
  • Project: “Hypoglossal Nucleus in mouse model of DiGeorge Syndrome”

Samantha Dubrow, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Tara Behrend, Assistant Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Project: “Transpersonal Efficacy and Virtual Teams”

Lauren Gaczewski, Biomedical Engineering

  • Faculty Mentor: Lijie Grace Zhang, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Project: “Integrating 3D Bioprinting with Cold Plasma for Cartilage Regeneration”

Floyd Jones, International Affairs and Music

  • Faculty Mentor: Leslie Jacobson, Professor of Theatre
  • Project: “The Performing Arts as a Means of Individual Change in Mindset and Morale”

Kyle Kurland, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Hartmut Doebel, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Quantitatively Measuring Intracellular Immune Response to Biochemical Stressors in Apis Mellifera

Andrea Lehn, Biomedical Engineering

  • Faculty Mentor: Megan C. Leftwich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Project: “The Fluid Dynamics of Human Birth: Simulating the contracting Uterus During Labor”

Max Mandelbaum, Public Health

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally A. Moody, Director, Institute for International Economic Policy and Professor of Economics and International Affairs
  • Project: “Do Institutions Shape the Perception of Opportunity? Theory and Experimental Evidence”

Ilana Petrescu, Psychology and Criminal Justice

  • Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Rohrbeck, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology
  • Project: “Increasing Emergency Preparedness: Relationships Among Threats, Efficacy, Intentions and Outcomes”

Rebecca Prather, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Scott Powell, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Identifying the drivers of numerical dominance in ecological communities, using the orange acorn ant Temnothorax curvispinosus

Julia Prout, Geography and German

  • Faculty Mentor: Bernd Schaefer, Professorial Lecturer in German
  • Project: “Going Grun in Germany's Alps: A Look at the Sustainability of Ecotourism”

Sam Schaffer-Morrison, Biology and Environmental Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: John Lill, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Impact of Epargyreus clarus Ontogeny on Behavioral Interactions with Ant Predators”

Richard Smith, Biomedical Engineering

  • Faculty Mentor: Zhenyu Li, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Project: “Hydrodynamic Capture and No-Flow Retention of CD4 Cells in Single-Cell Array Traps on a Microfluidic Device”

Ashley Trick, Human Services

  • Faculty Mentors: Karyn Cassella, Assistant Professor of Human Services;
                                Emily Morrison, Director, Human Services & Social Justice; Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Project: “Exploring Best Practices in Volunteer Management and Administration in Faith-based Nonprofit Organizations”

Darshan Vora, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Larissa May, Director, Clinical Research Fellowship; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine; Assistant Professor of  Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine
  • Project: “Creating Sustainable Bridges Between Emergency Medicine Researchers and Invested Public Health Agencies”



Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellows:

Yoseph Aldras, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Damien O'Halloran, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Developing Caenorhabditis elegans as a novel in vivo model of human amylin toxicity”

Erik Bethke, Environmental Studies and Geography

  • Faculty Mentor: John Lill, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Phenology of Black Cherry and Eastern Tent Catepillars: Understanding Synchrony and its Effects on Plant Quality”

Katherine Bradshaw, Classical Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Alex Huang, Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, East Asian Languages and Literatures, and International Affairs
  • Project: “Changing Duties: Imagining Ancient Roman Pietas in Twenty-First-Century Adaptations of Shakespeare's Coriolanus

Shreya Chaturvedi, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Stephen Dopkins, Director, Undergraduate Psychology Advising;Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Project: “Determining The Complex Relationship Between Time and Acquisition of Knowledge”

Alexis Chen, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Patricia Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Muscle architecture and myosin profile of the cypriniform palatal organ”

Connor Delaney, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Irene Foster, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Concept Maps as a Tool for Teaching and Learning: Experimental Evidence from Principles of Economics”

Jacqueline Drayer, American Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Suleiman Osman, Associate Professor of American Studies
  • Project: “Shifting Cultural Perceptions of Miniscule Housing, from Alley Dwellings and Tenements to Modern Micro Housing”

Theodore Haines, Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Binder, Professor of Political Science
  • Project: “Outside Interests in U.S. Congressional Elections: Analyzing the Strategies and Impact of the Club for Growth”

Felisa Hsieh, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Alex Pyron, Robert F. Griggs Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Ecomorphotypes on Snakes: Comparing Ecomorphotypes at a Global Scale”

Rabia Idrees, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Narine Sarvazyan, Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Project: “The Effect of Clinically-Relevant Doses of Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on Cardiovascular Outcomes”

Alex Marchak, Biology and Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally Moody, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Project: “Identifying the Role of WBP2NL on Developing Neural Cells”

Emily Messing, Criminal Justice

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel Martínez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Project: “Missing Migrants, Ambiguous Loss, & Immigration Reform”

Victoria Neiman-Vigo, Theatre and History

  • Faculty Mentors: Aleksandar Jeremic, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Robert Donaldson, Professor of Biology
  • Project: “An Insight into Diabetes: Thiol-senstive Mechanisms for Amylin Toxicity in Pancreatic Cells”

Joseph Nelson, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Irene Foster, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Trade Restrictions and Economic Stability: A Case Study of the Republic of Malta and the Kingdom of Morocco”

Jay Pandya, Peace Studies and Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally Moody, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Project: “Maternal mRNAs that Direct Neural Fate of Xenopus laevis

Aaron Poliak, Biological Anthropology

  • Faculty Mentor: Brian Richmond, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Project: “Is there a right way to run? The influence of ground stiffness on habitual barefoot running form”

Sam Lyons, Psychology and Spanish

  • Faculty Mentor: Huynh-Nhu (Mimi) Le, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Project: “The Psychological Well-Being of Latino and African-American Adolescent Fathers”

Alana Rusonis, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Shomstein, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Project: “Exploration of Preserved Visual Features through the Use of Object-Based Attention Tasks in Integrative Visual Agnosia Patients”

Michael Smith, Women's Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Nash, Assistant Professor of American Studies
  • Project: “Lighting Up on Campus: Smoking, Identity and Politics at Universities in Washington, DC”

Jacqueline Sodano, Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Steve Balla, Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs
  • Project: “Regulatory Gridlock”

Taylor Soja, History

  • Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Green-Lewis, Associate Professor of English
  • Project: “The Great War and the Surreal: The Early Work of Paul Nash"

Mariel Supina, Applied Mathematics

  • Faculty Mentor: Valentina Harizanov, Professor of Mathematics
  • Project: “Classical and Quantum Algorithms: Analysis and Comparison”

Bhairvi Trivedi, Speech & Hearing Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: Malathi Thothathiri, Assistant Professor of Speech & Hearing Sciences
  • Project: “Neural Basis of Language”

Michael Velez, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Narine Sarvazyan, Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Project: “Examining the effects of varied ratios of Ventricular Cardiomyocytes and Fibroblasts on propagation velocity and propulsion force in designed Venous Engineered Heart Tissue Cuffs to be used for cardiovascular repair”

Connor Woods, History

  • Faculty Mentor: Tom Long, Coordinator, Undergraduate Advising and Assistant Professor of History
  • Project: “Comparison of Irish Propaganda Literature in Ireland and the United States from 1910-1930”

Matthew Zahn, Economics and Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Tara Sinclair, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Improving Employment Measurement: A Temporal Disaggregation Approach”