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Participant Profiles

Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Profiles

 

Student Profiles


 

Alexandra Tejada

Major: Biological Psychology

Year: Senior

About: 20. Salvadorian.

Research Project: Impact of Adolescent Alcohol on Maladaptive Behaviors

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Amodeo

Why Research? I wanted to be involved in research because I found Dr. Amodeo’s Drugs and Behavior course really interesting and I want to go to graduate school.

Research Interests: Biological Psychology

 

Ana Villanueva 

Major: Political Science 

Year: Sophomore           

About: I am a sophomore student going into my junior year of college. I am currently employed on campus and at a neighborhood center in my city.              

Research Project: Supporting the Educational Aspirations of Males of Color in Continuation High Schools          

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Edwin Hernandez   

Why Research? Continuation high schools have such a bad connotation that is absurd and untruthful because of the many positive factors they have such as more involvement with their students and more resources.        

Research Interests: Hearing the truth of how continuation high school really is on a day to day basis.   

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anavalexa

 

Andres Sandoval            

Major: Psychology

Year: Junior      

About: I am interested pursuing a career in working with high school and college students develop personal and professional skills as well as explore their interests and passion.        

Research Project: Supporting the Educational Aspirations of Males of Color in Continuation High Schools         

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Edwin Hernandez   

Why Research? I have always had an interest in research in education or community. I was presented with this opportunity and it would be a great learning experience to conduct research as well as learn the objectives of our study.  

Research Interests: Education, adolescents, college students, communities             

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andres-sandoval-306281191/

 

Aylin Alvarez

Major: Entrepreneurship            

Year: Senior      

About: I’m Aylin Alvarez. I am from the city of Hesperia, CA. I’m a wife, student, and mother to two crazy (but cute) children. I am studying Entrepreneurship and hope to someday own my own public relations firm.

Research Project: The Future of Infrastructure Finance Using A Hedonic Pricing Model  

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marc Fudge

Why Research? I wanted to gain experience being involved with research.              

Research Interests: I am open to researching any topic. I appreciate the experience of the entire process as a whole, not just the topic itself. I think it really helps you build on different types of skill sets.       

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/aylin-alvarez-86405657

 

Breanna Alexis Ramirez

Major: Biology  

Year: Senior                    

Research Project: Can Alligators Gallop?

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tomasz Owerkowicz             

Why Research? I decided to get involved in research to gain experience in my field of interest, it allows for material not just to be comprehended but well understood so it can be incorporated into my project successfully. I am also able to get valuable guidance from my mentor that would be beneficial not only in my current project but future education attainments. Getting involved in research also allows for personal growth in communication skills, problem solving, and organization.           

Research Interests: My research interests include animal physiology, marine biology and, genetics

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/breanna-alexis-ramirez-b8ab401b1/

 

Briana Vazquez

Major: Biopsychology

Year: Senior

About: I am 20 years old and a Bio psych major. I am hoping to graduate in the spring and continue doing research in the future.

Research Project: Impact of Adolescent Alcohol on Maladaptive Behaviors

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leslie Amodeo

Why Research? I decided to get involved in research because I thought it would be a good idea to start building up my CV. I have always had an interest in research as a potential career opportunity.

Research Interests: I’m mostly interested in Biopsych research as it is my major but I believe all research is.

 

Catherine Perez             

Major: Sociology            

Year: Senior                    

Research Project: Getting Above your Raisin      

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jose Munoz

Why Research? Research Experience     

Research Interests: Qualitative Interview            

 

Cesar de la Torre Castaneda     

Major: Physics  

Year: Junior      

About: I'm interested in all things science but on my spare time I've been restoring a 1990 Nissan 300zx. I've recently gotten into building computers and found its a lot of fun!           

Research Project: Materials Science Aspirations

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Timothy Usher        

Why Research? Its a great opportunity to do field work and not only tests my own skills but also to try different areas in my field to see what I might like or dislike. 

Research Interests: "Massive stellar objects (black holes) Quadcopters (BLDC/PMSM) Optics"   

Cheyenne Morales

Major: Biological Psychology

Year: Senior

About: The research project that my team is working on focuses on the effects of specific serotonin receptor modulation on behavioral flexibility. By gaining a better understanding of these effects, effective therapeutic treatments can be developed for certain neuropsychiatric disorders.

Research Project: Impact of specific serotonin receptor modulation on behavioral flexibility

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dionisio Amodeo

Why Research? New findings in the field of biological psychology and neuroscience have long interested me, but I considered involvement in research out of reach for me until I transferred to CSUSB. Seeing my professors so involved in research inspired me to take the next step and find the confidence to get involved in research.

Research Interests: My research interests are within psychopharmacology and are aimed toward developing therapeutic treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Cindy Moreno  

Major: International Business- Functional

Year: Junior      

About: The objective is to organize all the data that Dr. Kate Liszka and her team gathered in Egypt every year from 2014 to 2019. The data gathered is being put into a database in order to help create a virtual image of ancient civilization in Egypt.       

Research Project: Artifacts come to life virtually

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Liszka 

Why Research? I decided to get involved with research because it poses a great opportunity to get involved with my peers and staff. Also, can potentially help me on the road to getting a PHD.   

Research Interests: I have many interests in anthropology and history. It is always fun to know about the past and see what humans were capable of and to see the accomplishments and failures humankind has done. On the other hand, my interests are deeper in looking for solutions for our current economy. The financial aspects of what a family needs to make in order to be able to live a life without stresses like deciding whether they will go grocery shopping or pay rent. The idea that the US is struggling with people living paycheck to paycheck is heartbreaking and it interests me deeply to find different solutions to these problems not to mention to create a plan or ideas that most people can get on.     

 

Danielle Zamora            

Major: Biology

Year: Junior      

About: I'm a first-generation college student who is excited to learn about science. I hope to become a scientist or microbiologist.  I enjoy hanging out with my family and I am the fifth child of seven. I also enjoy painting or drawing.            

Research Project: Using yeast genetics to identify cellular transport pathways regulated by the Rab GAP Gyp8

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Daniel Nickerson     

Why Research? I got involved with research to get an understanding of how a lab functions, what is expected of me, to get a feel of the environment, and an overall understanding of what research is about.  I'm hoping to determine if Gyp8 qualifies as a tail-anchored protein and where it can locate in the cell. 

       

Erika Kelley       

Major: History  

Year: Junior      

About: Hi my name is Erika. I am entering my third year at CSUSB and I am a History Major. After I graduate, I hope to go onto Graduate School and obtain my Ph.D. in Egyptology.

Research Project:           

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Liszka 

Why Research? I hope to work on an archeological site in the future and I believe my summer research can give me valuable experience and help me prepare for the future.

Research Interests: History, Egyptology, and Archaeology            

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-kelley-a6a5a3152/

 

Gonzalo Perez

Major: Chemistry

Year: Junior

About: 3rd year at CSUSB. Have overlapping interests in both physics and chemistry.

Research Project: D-4 lithium ion chelate: towards a very specific lithium ion detector

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cousins

Why Research? To gain a valuable learning experience and to point me in the right direction in terms of major and graduate school.

Research Interests: Chemistry, Physics, Computers

 

Hyeongjun Yang             

Major: Computer Science           

Year: Senior      

About: I am Hyeongjun Yang. I am senior in Computer Science. I am from South Korea. I am really enjoying research program. I am glad to meet other people.

Research Project: AWS IoT and the Interconnected World – Aging in Place             

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Fadi Muheidat         

Why Research? My friends recommended me to professor and I heard contents for research. It sounds interesting to me, so I chose to get involved in research.           

Research Interests: I like machine learning part. Although I don't study much yet, I want to study this field more in the future.

 

Jenna Maddox

Major: Biology

Year: Senior

About: Analyzing the structure and amino acid sequence of S. cerevisiae protein, Gyp8, and its orthologs. Specifically, we are researching its localization to the mitochondria and peroxisomes to determine if it plays a role in the selective autophagy of these organelles.

Research Project: Using Yeast Genetics to Identify Cellular Transport Pathways Regulated by the Rab GAP Gyp8

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Nickerson

Why Research? I want to enter the biomedical research field in the future.

Research Interests: medicine, cancer therapy, stem cells

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenna-maddox-bb6b711b1/

 

Jessica Romero

Major: Health Science- Public Health Education 

Year: Senior      

About: This cross-sectional study will examine the current feeding practices of first-time mothers in the Inland Empire. We apply the HAPPA tool to understand the responsive feeding practices regarding intent and behavior. Social network analysis is also applied to understand the influences and support of personal networks.   

Research Project: Applications of the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) Model and Social Network Analysis to Explore Responsive Parenting and Feeding Practices among Mothers in the Inland Empire 

Faculty Mentor: Dr.  Harding     

Why Research? I knew I wanted to have a career in research. I believe there is a need to understand the physical and social environment that contribute to current health outcomes. Public Health focuses on the health of a population, I believe I can utilize research to develop effective health interventions that target a vulnerable population.

Research Interests: Public Health, social networks, health behavior, maternal and infant health, mental health             

 

John Alvarez     

Major: Biology  

Year: Senior      

About: I was born and raised in San Bernardino. Before quarantine, I was a health coach at the RUHS medical center. I'm a pre-med that's currently applying to med schools this summer and will be graduating in the fall.  

Research Project: Heat Stress Effects On Transgenic Plants With Increased Mitochondrial Chaperones        

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rhoads       

Why Research? I find the process of research to be really interesting and wanted to experience more of it!            

Research Interests: Biology, with no preference to a specific area.           

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/?trk=onboarding-landing

 

Justin Waterman           

Major: Computer Engineering   

Year: Senior      

About: I'm a transfer from RCC and am pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering and a certificate in Cyber Security. I like taking things apart to see how they work.

Research Project: Aging in Place using AWS IoT  

Faculty Mentor: Prof. Fadi Muheidat      

Why Research? : I already knew my mentor well and the topic sounded interesting.       

Research Interests: Cyber Security, Circuit Design, Audio Production and Design, Privacy using Tech

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-waterman-b830571a8/

Kara Zorzoli      

Major: Kinesiology-Allied Health             

Year: Senior      

About: I am 21 years old, after I graduate I wish to get my doctorate in physical therapy but I’m also debating on working in the field of prosthetics and orthotics            

Research Project: A longitudinal study investigating athletes strength and balance during collegiate sport 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicole Dabbs            

Why Research? Explore different interests and expand my field of knowledge              

Research Interests: Data collection/publication  

 

Leslie Navarro

Major: Biology

Year: Senior

About: We are studying the effect of transgene plants that have an increase of chaperone proteins in the mitochondria's sHSP under heat stress

Research Project: Heat Stress Effects on Transgene Plants With Increased Mitochondrial Chaperones

Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Rhoads

Why Research? I wanted to work in a lab and develop a greater understanding of the material I would learn in class. I also wanted some experience working in a lab.

Research Interests: Oncology, Medical research

 

Maria Nicole Romero (Nikki)     

Major: Sociology            

Year: Junior      

About: Coming back to school after a 15 year gap. So happy to be at CSUSB. My second career goal is to be a social worker for hospice. Love being a student. I am earning the highest grades of my life. It was the best decision I have ever made. So proud that I was selected and get to be apart of this program.           

Research Project: Getting Above Your Raisin: First Generation and Working Class Persons Experiences in the Academia

Faculty Mentor: Professor Jose Munoz  

Why Research? Was asked by my teacher. Knew how great an opportunity it was. Could not pass it by. I am glad I did. I am learning a lot so far.          

Research Interests: Sociology, LGBTQ community, First generation, Hispanic/Latinos            

 

Mikayla Kissel  

Major: Business Public Administration

Year: Senior      

About: I love my dogs. Trying new places to eat is one my favorite things to do. Disneyland is my favorite place. I plan to go to graduate school for Education.              

Research Project: Land Value Finance    

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marc Fudge

Why Research? I signed up for a research project with Dr. Krystal Rawls for Spring and we were unable to complete what we had anticipated due to the pandemic and I wanted another opportunity to do research. I'm exploring different types of opportunities.                            

 

Rebecca Harder             

Major: Sociology            

Year: Junior      

About: I am currently a Junior   

Research Project: "Getting Above Your Raisin"   

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jose Muñoz

Why Research? I felt like it would be a great opportunity to both learn more about my field of study and it would be great experience for me.             

Research Interests: I am interested in the experiences of our older generations and the working class population here in the U.S.            

 

Sean Bonilla     

Major: Kinesiology; Allied Health             

Year: Senior      

About: Hello, my name is Sean Bonilla. I am a research assistant for Dr. Nicole Dabbs in the Biomechanics lab of the Kinesiology department. My other interests include dance performing/teaching, yoga, running, and rock climbing. Outside of fitness, I like to read/listen to self development books and podcasts.

Research Project: Relationship between Strength and Balance in Collegiate Athletes             

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicole Dabbs           

Why Research: To tailor my soft skills such as communication, adaptability, and problem solving skills. Being in a position to see what I was taught in classes more in person and in application is also a reason I got involved.

Research Interests: How static and dynamic movement play a role in flexibility and mobility during physical performance. 2) Balance and Stability Differences between athletic and general populations 3) Injury Prevention 4) Movement Analysis             

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-christopher-bonilla-876752150/

 

Sean Connolly

Major: Biology

Year: Senior

About: I enjoy drawing, playing games, and bird watching. I've got type 1 diabetes which is not a big part of my personality but I'm out of ideas.

Research Project: Using Yeast Genetics to Identify Cellular Transport Pathways Regulated by the Rab GAP Gyp8

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nickerson

Why Research? I was asked to join the summer research program last year after taking BIO300 and it caused me to take a greater interest in research.

Research Interests: Molecular Biology

 

Sesedzayi Peresuh        

Major: Biology  

Year: Senior      

About: I am someone who likes to seek knowledge and venture into unchartered territories where creativity and innovation is required. As a Biology undergrad my goal is to go to Medical school and hopefully some day become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. I love working with my hands and finding solutions on the spot.   

Research Project: Heat Stress Effects On Transgenic Plants With Increased Mitochondrial Chaperones        

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rhoads       

Why Research? I was intrigued by the work done in wet labs and I wanted to gain experience in this particular discipline. I took a class where we did an extensive lab project along the same lines of this research and I enjoyed it.             

Research Interests: Protein Structure     

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/

 

Xavier Resendez            

Major: History Track-B  

Year: Sophomore                         

Research Project: Widows Pensions during the Civil War

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keating       

Why Research? Experience and Grad School Prep            

Research Interests: Post Civil War Race and Discrimination against minorities             

 

Yesenia Casas

Major: Biopsychology

Year: Senior

Faculty Profiles


 

Dr. Daniel Nickerson

Department: Biology

Research Interests: Cell biology, membrane transport, organelles, stress response, behavioral economics

 

Dr. Dionisio Amodeo

Department: Psychology

Research Interests: Neuroscience, Neuropsychiatric Disorders

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dionsio-amodeo-49510316b/

 

Dr. Edwin Hernandez

Department: Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling

Research Interests: My research examines the role of institutional culture and educators on the educational opportunities, experiences, and pathways of racially minoritized students. More specifically, my scholarship focuses on the policies and practices that promote or hinder the educational experiences, opportunities, and success for racially minoritized youth who have been pushed out of traditional schools and consequently enrolled at high need and underserved schools, such as continuation high schools. Another strand of my work explores the training and development of graduate students of color in school counseling programs in the practice of asset-based approaches to engage with racially minoritized youth, families, and communities.

 

Dr. Fadi Muheidat

Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Research Interests: Eldercare technology, assistive living, Internet of Things (IoT) architecture, Cloud Computing and security, high-performance computing technologies, Computational Intelligence, security and communication, sensor and data fusion and processing and real-time decision making, and Engineering Education.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fadi-muheidat-b3344a40

 

Dr. Kate Liszka

Department: History

Research Interests: Ancient Egypt

Profile: http://www.wadielhudi.com

Dr. Leslie Amodeo

Department: Psychology

Research Interests: Neuroscience, Development, Preclinical models

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslie-amodeo-6797b61b1/

 

Dr. Nicole Dabbs

Department: Kinesiology

Research Interests: Neuromuscular Facilitation and Biomechanics in Sport Performance

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-dabbs-b864a389/

Dr. Ryan Keating

Department: History

Research Interests: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Civil War Era

 

Dr. Tim Usher

Department: Physics

Research Interests: Experimental Physics, Materials Science, eVTOL, Mass accelerators, Magnetoelectric, Electronics

 

Dr. Tomasz Owerkowicz

Department: Biology

Research Interests: vertebrate physiology, anatomy and biomechanics