Graduate Research Forum Winners

By: Graduate Studies on

Tuesday, the Pegasus Ballroom was packed with a record number of graduate students presenting posters at the Tenth Annual Graduate Research Forum. Part of UCF’s Student Research Week, the Research Forum showcases the latest research from students, including cutting-edge technology and discoveries in arts, education, health and science.

Throughout the day, spectators and judges buzzed about the ballroom, connecting with student researchers about their projects and findings.  Congratulations to the following students who were granted awards for their outstanding presentations in each of the categories as follows.

2013 GRF Winners

Graduate Research Forum Winners

Business Administration and Hospitality Management

Marryam Khan, Hospitality and Tourism Management MS
Gender Dynamics from the Arab World: An Intercultural Service Encounter
Mentor: Heejung Ro, PhD

Irina Malaescu, Business Administration PhD – Accounting Track
The Effects of Decision Aid Structural Restrictiveness on Cognitive Load, Perceived Usefulness, and Reuse Intention
Mentor/Co-Author: Steve Sutton, PhD


Patrick Craanen ,Education EdD
The Effect of a Self-Monitoring Treatment Intervention Package on the Academic Productivity Behavior of Three High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Mentor: Bobby Hoffman, PhD

Diana Dawn Scott, Applied Learning and Instruction MA
Risk Attitudes, Risk Perceptions and Expected Benefits: Evidence of Positive Change Pertaining to Student Safety
Mentor: Bobby Hoffman, PhD

Engineering, Computer Science and Modeling and Simulation

Subhabrata Bhattacharya, Computer Engineering PhD
Cinematographic Shot Classification and its Application to Complex Event Recognition
Mentor: Mubarak Shah, PhD
Co-Authors: Ramin Mehran, PhD, Microsoft; Rahul Sukthankar, PhD, Google Research; Mubarak Shah, PhD

Matthew Bilskie, Civil Engineering PhD
Development and Validation of a High-Resolution, Wind-Wave, Tide, and Hurricane Storm Surge Model for the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Mentor: Scott Hagen, PhD
Co-Authors:  Stephen Medeiros, PhD, PE; Scott Hagen, PhD, PE

Konstantinos Mykoniatis, Modeling and Simulation, PhD
Cerberus Robot: The Design, Development, and Evaluation of Situation Awareness
Mentor: Peter Hancock, PhD
Co-Authors:  Anastasia Angelopoulou; Kristin Schaefer

Jonathan Wehking, Mechanical Engineering PhD
Production Control and Actuation of Micron Sized Droplets and Particles via Application of Electric and Thermal Fields within a Microfluidic Device
Mentor: Ranganathan Kumar, PhD
Co-Author: James Wilson

Fine Arts and Humanities

Leah DeLorenzo, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA
Parental Beliefs and Attitudes on Enrollment in a Dual Language Program at an Elementary School
Mentor: Kerry Purmensky, PhD

Sarika Joshi, History MA
Editing Florida: Editorial Influence in the Florida Historical Quarterly and the Production of “Legitimate” Knowledge
Mentor: Daniel Murphree, PhD
Co-Author: Drew Fedorka

Life and Health Sciences


Nicole Barnette, Biomedical Sciences PhD
A P5B-type ATPase is Required for Drosophila polyamine Transport
Mentor: Laurence von Kalm, PhD
Co-Author:  Victoria Kreinbrink

Alexis Maldonado, Biology MS
A LiDAR Evaluation of 3-Dimensional Patterns of the Invasive Old World Climbing Fern
Mentor: John Weishampel, PhD


Gerald Mangine, Education PhD – Exercise Physiology Track
Predictors of Fielding Performance in Professional Baseball Players
Mentor: Jay Hoffman, PhD
Co-Authors: Jay Hoffman, PhD; Maren Fragala, PhD; Jeffrey  Stout, PhD; Jose Vazquez, Napoleon Pichardo, Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Arlington, TX

Tina Richards, Biology MS
Specimen, Data, and Photo Collection for Herbaria
Mentor: David Jenkins, PhD

Adam Wells, Education PhD – Exercise Physiology Track
A Supplement Containing Phosphatidylserine Attenuates Post-Exercise Mood Disturbance and Perception of Fatigue in Humans
Mentor: Jay Hoffman, PhD
Co-Authors: Adam Gonzalez; Gerald Mangine; Nadia Emerson; William McCormack; Jeremy Townsend; Tyler Scanlon; Edward Robinson IV; Jay Hoffman, PhD; Jeffrey Stout, PhD; Maren Fragala, PhD

Mathematics, Optics and Physical Sciences

Tracy Becker, Physics PhD – Planetary Sciences Track
Unique Cassini Solar Occultation to Measure Smallest Particles in Saturn’s F Ring
Mentor: Joshua Colwell, PhD
Co-Authors:  Joshua Colwell, PhD; Larry Esposito, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), University of Colorado, Boulder

Neha Nayyar, Physics PhD
Tuning Plasmon and Exciton Excitations in Transition-metal Doped Arrays of Noble-metal Nanochains
Mentor: Talat Rahman, PhD
Co-Authors:  Volodymyr Turkowski, PhD; Talat Rahman, PhD

Dat Nguyen, Physics PhD
A Dynamic Feedback Pulse Shaping Mechanism for High Power Chirped Pulse Amplification Laser Systems
Mentor and Co-Author: Peter Delfyett, PhD

Ryuichi Tsuchikawa, Physics PhD
The Impact of Long-Range Impurity on Electron Transport in Metallic Carbon Nanotubes
Mentor: Masahiro Ishigami, PhD
Co-Authors: Xiao Guo, Zhengyi Zhang, James Hone, PhD, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University 

Social Sciences

Mercedes Beaudoin, Urban and Regional Planning MS
Prospective Solutions and Barriers of Integrating Sustainable Development Into Local Planning and Management
Mentor: Christopher Hawkins, PhD
Co-Author:  Robinson Frane-Hanktrefnney

Lesley Huynh, Public Administration PhD
Food for Thought: Examining the Different Factors Contributing to Food Deserts in Orange County
Mentor: Qian Hu, PhD
Co-Authors: Amber Meyers; Charoy Thurston

Nicole Hornung, Political Science MA
Becoming a Food Citizen: Can Eco-Citizens Realize Their Obligations to Sustainable Consumption Given the Confines of the Globalized Fish Market?
Mentor: Peter Jacques, PhD

For more information about the Graduate Research Forum and to see a list of the student’s abstracts, please visit

To see photos from the Graduate Research Forum please visit our facebook page here.

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