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2020 CSUSB Student Research Competition Winners

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you for your support and attendance at the 34th Annual CSUSB Student Research Competition. This year’s competition featured 31 student presenters from a variety of disciplines. All of this year’s presenters demonstrated considerable skill and knowledge of their research, and we are grateful to all of the student participants, faculty mentors, and faculty and staff who volunteered to serve as jurors.

The Office of Student Research (OSR) would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the ten teams of students that have been selected to represent CSUSB at this year’s CSU state-wide Student Research Competition on April 24-25th, 2020 at CSU, East Bay. With the support and guidance of their faculty mentors, our campus delegates will go on to represent our university in an outstanding manner at the statewide competition.

We are honored and proudly congratulate the following students and their faculty mentors:


College of Arts and Letters

Presenter: Shane Burrell

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mihaela Popescu and Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb

Department: Communication Studies

Title: Identification in Virtual Environments; Identifying in Virtual Reality

Competition Category: Humanities and Letters


College of Education

Presenter: Matthew Atherton

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eun-Ok Baek

Department: Instructional Technology

Title: The Efficiency of Using 3d Models to Teach Lifting and Rigging Concepts to Learners of Varying Spatial Ability

Competition Category: Education


College of Natural Sciences

Presenter: Joanna Moreno

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Hill

Department: Kinesiology

Title: The Power of Observations and its Effects on Imagery Capabilities 

Competition Category: Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Science


Presenter: Melissa Taha

Faculty Mentor: Drs. Ira Leifer & Don Blake

Department: Biochemistry

Title: Shaking the Ground with NASA

Competition Category: Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Presenters: Nikolay Maslov & Aaron Keniston

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Mallari

Department: Biochemistry

Title: Understanding the Binding Mode of Falcilysin, an Essential Metalloprotease

Competition Category: Biological and Agricultural Sciences


Presenter: Sona Perez-Gamboa

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Qingquan Sun

Major: Computer Science

Title: Human Recognition Using a Convolational Long Short-term Memory (C-LSTM) Neural Network

Competition Category: Computer Science and Engineering


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Presenter: Natassja Martin

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Keating

Department: History

Title: The Memory of the War: A Glance into Public Support for WWII and Vietnam

Competition Category: Humanities and Letters


Presenter: Fernando Sanchez

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Isabel Alonso Huacuja

Department: History

Title: Umm Kulthum and Arual Celebrity

Competition Category: Humanities and Letters


Presenter: Edward Zakher

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rishabh Kumar

Department: Economics

Title: A Reason to Move, a State-Wide Story

Competition Category: Business, Economics, and Public Administration


Presenters: Elizabeth Rahmani & Holly Timblin

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jacob Jones

Major: Clinical Counseling

Title: The Mediating Role of Leisure Activities on the Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Cognitive Functioning in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Competition Category: Behavioral and Social Sciences


Please SAVE THE DATE for the Student Researcher Recognition Luncheon on May 15th from 12-2 pm in the Santos Manuel Student Union Fourplex, where these students, along with other outstanding student researchers, will be recognized for their accomplishments.

The OSR Awards $78,371 during Fall Quarter to Faculty and Students

January 13th, 2020

During the first funding term of this year, a total of 64 awards have been awarded to faculty and students across campus and from various disciplines. The OSR provides funding to students and faculty who are actively engaged in research or creative activities on campus. Congratulations to all awardees! 

Faculty/Student Grants

Dr. Jeremy Mallari and Nimrat Brar, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Identifying new anti-malarial chemotypes through a combination of in silico and biochemical screening against falcilysin, an essential malarial protease

Dr. Jeremy Mallari and Emmett Pompa, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Identifying new anti-malarial chemotypes through a combination of in silico and biochemical screening against falcilysin, an essential malarial protease

Dr. Paul Orwin, Esther Gomez, Ciara Sanders, Julissa Perez-Marron, Biology

Identifying Antibiotic Producing organisms in the Gut Microbiome of Alligator mississippiensis

Dr. Paul Orwin and Christopher NeVille, Biology

An Investigation into the Evolution Of Chromids in Genus Variovorax

Dr. Neal Malik and Wagner Prado, Health Science and Human Ecology

The Effects of High-Intensity Exercise on Energy Intake in Those with Obesity

Dr. Monideepa Becerra, Health Science and Human Ecology

Experiences of Healthcare Discrimination and Psychological Distress among College Students: A Mixed-Methods Analysis.

Dr. Robert Nelson, Lakhvir Kaur, and Ricardo Hernandez, School Counseling

Relationship of Technology Usage to Psychological Well-Being in Young Adults

Dr. Winifred Scott and Abhilasha Chavaly, Accounting and Finance

Connecting the Dots: A Meta-Analysis on Employee Motivation Theory and Agency Theory

Dr. Benjamin Becerra and John Gomez, Information and Decision Sciences

Factors Associated with Students who Regret Coming to CSUSB: Exploring The Role of Overall Well-being Support.

Dr. SoYoung Choe, Institute of Child Development and Family Relations

A Pilot Study for Controlling Parenting to Build an Intervention for Hispanic Populations

Dr. Paloma Villegas and Keyla Torres, Sociology

Undocumented Students and their Families’ Perceptions and Contributions to Campus Climate

Dr. Sang Ouk Wee, Kinesiology

Second Phase: Ethnic Differences in Arterial Stiffness and Hemodynamic Regulation Following High Intensity Exercise in Young and Old Population: Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic White

Dr. Meredith Conroy, Political Science

Electability? Media Discourse and the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary

Dr. Zhaojing Chen, Kinesiology

Acute Bone Marker and Circulating MicroRNA Responses to Resistance Exercise in Postmenopausal Women

Dr. Becky Talyn, College of Natural Sciences

Mechanism of Glyphosate-Induced Disruption of Oogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster, a non-target organism

Dr. Richard Addante and Constance Greenwood, Psychology

Exploration of Mobile EEG Technologies and behavioral Measures to Test Astronaut Cognition

Dr. Jacob Jones and Joseph Bunch, Psychology

Microbiome Composition and Brain Health Among Elderly Adults

Dr. Kelly Campbell, Kaela Bonafede, Kendall Grant, Psychology

Online Romantic Deception (Catfishing): Scale Development and Validation

Dr. Tomasz Owerkowicz and Alison Conner, Biology

Gator Fight Club: Does calcium carbonate in bone mineral affects activity physiology of the American alligator?

Dr. Leslie Amodeo and Jessica Bezenah, Psychology

Impact of Maternal Escitalopram on Compulsive and Social Behaviors in Offspring


Undergraduate Student Grants

Justin Perkins, Criminal Justice

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christina Famega

Community-Organized Policing Theory: As the Solution to Major Criminological Theories and for the Reduction of the Incarceration Rate in the United States of America

Anabell Ramos, Psychology and Human Development

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stacy Forcino

Perception of Sibling Conflict: Effects of Sibling Gender and Maternal Values

John Gomez, Kinesiology

Faculty Mentor: Benjamin Becerra

Factors associated with students who regret coming to CSUSB: Exploring the role of overall well-being support.


SSI Graduate Student Culminating Project Fund

Caitlin Shaw, Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Donna Garcia

Title: The consequences of social exclusion on women's self-regulation of unhealthy eating behaviors

Kaela Bonafede, Clinical Counseling

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kelly Campbell

Title: Online Dating Deception: Development and Validation of a Catfish Measure

Danahly Reyes, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Lanesskog

Title: The Role of Social Workers within the Education of Foster Youth

Miranda Rubio, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Lanesskog

Title: Extended Foster Care

Zuleima Carillo, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Lanesskog

Title: Professional Perspective on Barriers and Facilitators of Success with Teenage Parents in the Child Welfare System

Rebecca Waring-Crane, Studio Arts

Faculty Mentor: Alison Petty Ragguette

Title: Solo Thesis Exhibition: "The Stories I'm Telling Myself"

Lakhvir Kaur, School Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Roderick O’Handley

Title: School Psychologists’ Delivery of Evidence and Non-Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jessica Razo, Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Crawford

Title: The Effects of Neonatal Alcohol Exposure in Normal and Dopamine Deficient Rats

Andy Acosta, Communication Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julie Taylor

Title: Breaking the Stigma of Suicide: A Thematic Discourse Analysis on Discourses Regarding Suicide in 2010s Hip-Hop Songs

Jessica Martinez, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Lanesskog

Title: La Mera Verdad: Exploring Immigrant Latino Fatherhood

Eman Alzoghbieh, Public Health

Faculty Mentor: Salome Mshigeni

Title: The prevalence of Food Insecurity Among CSUSB Students

Melody Robinson, Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Christina Hassija

Title: Post-Traumatic Growth and Social Support for Bisexual Sexual Assault Survivors

Adriana Verduzco, Psychology

Faculty Mentor:  Amy Van Schagen

Title: Personal Development Program to Support Teacher Efficacy for Early Childhood Preservice Teachers

Stephen Burwell, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Herbert Shon

Title: The Factors Leading to Foster Youth Obtaining Higher Education

Acacia Lovett, Social Work

Faculty Mentor: Deirdre Lanesskog

Title: Disproportionality of African American children in the child welfare system