iCubed

2012 - 2013 Fellows

NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.0963146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

UCF

Ivan Trivino

Ivan Trivino

Ivan Trivino was born in Cali, Colombia, and moved to Orlando, Florida, when he was eleven. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering . As a second year Icubed fellow, Ivan has presented his research at the 2013 SHPE National Conference in Fort Worth, Texas; 2012 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence at UCF and 2012 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference in Deltona, Florida among others. Ivan has also been awarded scholarships from the College of Engineering at UCF, Proctor and Gamble and The Boeing Company in addition to being awarded a summer internship in Seattle with Boeing Commercial Airplanes last year. In addition Ivan is the current Vice President of External Affairs for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at the University of Central Florida. The Icubed program has proved to be an invaluable experience for Ivan providing him with the skills necessary to be a successful student leader, researcher and future professional in STEM. Ivan plans to become a mentor to students in STEM in order to help underrepresented groups and first generation students be successful in their pursuit of STEM degrees.

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Kasey Haugen

Kasey Haugen

My name is Kasey Haugen and I am a graduating senior with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. I currently work in Dr. Belfield's lab in research that involves synthesizing fluorescent probes that can be used in bioimaging for early cancer detection. Recently, I have been accepted to the graduate programs at Colorado State University and the University of Notre Dame to purse a PhD. in Chemistry. During my time in ICubed, I got to participate in outreach activities that I would have never have been able to experience had I not been in the program. My favorite part of the program was getting the chance to reach out to students in both middle and high school and talk to them about college, what it is like, and answer any questions they have about my degree or college in general.

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Kelly Diamond

Kelly Diamond

Kelly Diamond is a senior majoring in biology. She has been studying evolutionary relationships in Dr. Christopher L. Parkinsonís lab since the fall semester of 2010 and has been part of the ICubed program since 2011. Originally working towards a degree in the medical profession, becoming a part of undergraduate research led her to a new goal of attaining her doctorate in biological sciences. After graduation, she plans to attend Clemson University for her masterís degree in biological sciences.

Her first research project involved studying the evolutionary relationships of rattlesnakes based on molecular and phenotypic characters, working under Dr. Allyson Fenwick, now a post-doctorate at Stetson University. She has also studied how morphology affects performance in two species of Bahamian lizards, and is currently studying the evolutionary history of the eyelash palm pit-viper.

Kellyís involvement in ICubed has helped her explain her research to both academic and general public audiences. Working closely with students from multiple disciplines including both STEM and visual arts has broadened her perspective both in terms of her own research, but also in research conducted in other STEM fields. Thanks to the ICubed program, Kelly is actively involved in the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF), in which she helps elementary and middle school students develop a solution to life science issues including invasive species, and effects of marine pollution on native wildlife.

Some of her achievements include authoring both poster and oral presentations at national conferences, including the showcase of undergraduate research, the southeaster ecology and evolution conference, and biology of the rattlesnakes. She is currently working on manuscripts for her rattlesnake research, and her studies on the Bahamian lizards.

Outside of her research, Kelly is an officer in the Outlanders Club at UCF and enjoys kayaking, rock climbing and camping.

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Christopher Frye

Christopher Frye

Christopher Frye is an undergraduate senior studying Physics and Mathematics at UCF. He attended Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida. He performs research in Theoretical Physics with Dr. Costas Efthimiou. A portion of their research involves answering novel questions in physics. The solutions to these problems provide the physics community with an enhanced understanding of familiar ideas. They also have written a pedagogical monograph on spherical harmonics in n-dimensional Euclidean spaces to provide undergraduates and researchers in physics and mathematics with a collection of important related theorems and their detailed proofs. Christopher contributes to the STEAM program by having in-depth discussions with art students about concepts in modern theoretical physics. He corrects many misconceptions about relativity and quantum mechanics, allowing the art students to create paintings based on clear understanding of physical laws and their implications. When Christopher is not studying, he enjoys reading, exercising, and playing strategy games such as chess and Go.

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Krysten Thomas

Krysten Thomas

Krysten Thomas is currently a senior studying computer science at UCF. She was born in Jamaica, but has lived in Florida for the majority of her life. Krysten conducts research in the SREAL Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Hughes. Her research interests are in robot motion planning and teleoperation. Her research project focuses on the design and development of a robotic navigation system that will allow a robot to autonomously move from one location to another. This system can be used in a situation where an individual wants to control a robot in a remote area. To achieve this, the user would send the robot destination commands for the robot to travel to. She has enjoyed participating in research because it has given her the opportunity to work on innovative and challenging problems. Krysten's involvement in ICubed outreach activities has allowed her the opportunity to speak to high school students about the benefits of being a STEM major, and through the STEAM exhibition she has gained experience in talking about her research to non technical and technical audiences. When not in school or the research lab, Krysten enjoys trying new foods and participating in her church ministry.

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Matthew Donnan

Matthew Donnan

My name is Matthew Donnan and I am a first generation college student at the University of Central Florida. I was born and raised in Cocoa, Florida. I am pursuing a major in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Spanish Language. Whenever I am granted free time from my studies I enjoy surfing, fishing, and cooking. I conduct research under the guidance of Dr. Cristina Fernandez-Valle at Lake Nona. The disease we are interested in researching is called Neurofibromatosis type 2. Neurofibromatosis type 2 is a genetic, neurological disorder that affects hearing and balance in children and adults. Currently I am working on drug discovery in hopes to find a lower risk and less invasive treatment than the current surgical approach.

Working under the program of ICubed has truly been blessing to me. One of the requirements of ICubed is to work with an art student to create a project that depicts your current research. While the finished art project was physically appealing, the process of working with the art student was something new and had beauty in itself. At first there was a challenge of explaining my research in a way for the art student, not having knowledge in the field, to understand. The understanding needed not to be one that enabled the art student to pass a test but one that he or she could truly visualize my research and create a project. After using multiple forms of media to help explain my research we were able to establish common ground and move forward. Besides the creation of an art project another requirement of ICubed was community outreach. The outreach aspect focused on educating young students about college and research in hopes to spark an early interest. An outreach program I heavily participated in was the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) which is an online science far for precollege students that introduces critical thinking and research early in their academic career. My role with ISTF was to mentor students from a local elementary team with their research project. My primary duties as a mentor for the students was to help them research credible sources, maintain focus, and explain complex topics. I was once again faced with the challenge of communicating with someone who was not of the specialty of interest. This differed from the previous challenge of explaining research to an art student in the fact that I had to change my typical dialect to one that an elementary student could understand. On top of the experience of reducing the complexity of certain topics, I was also fortunate enough to be exposed to research within fields apart from my own. Due to the multiple meetings held throughout the semester I was able to discuss the research that my fellows had been conducting. This permitted me to learn more in-depth about other sciences besides Biomedical, as well as show respect towards those sciences.

My plan for the future is to attend medical school after graduating U.C.F. The experience of reducing a complex subject to someone is an experience that I will use in my future as a medical doctor. While practicing medicine I will have to explain treatments, procedures, and diseases to those outside of the field such as patients. In addition, I am thankful for the experience of working with children and now taking note of the language I use when engaging them. In the future when working within the pediatric scope of medicine, a young patient would not feel as intimidated and would feel more comfortable explaining symptoms when approached with the correct dialect. Aside from the specifics, ICubed has pushed me to become a stronger student overall. The strict deadlines and expected quality of work has allowed me to discover new capabilities in my academic endurance, efficiency, and focus. In order provide excellent work at specific deadlines meant I had to manage my time more efficiently as well as extended the number of hours a day I spent on academics, research, and extracurricular activities. The discovery of new, academic capabilities will serve me throughout my career and future of life long education.

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Samuel Yacinthe

Samuel Yacinthe

Samuel Yacinthe is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to moving to Orlando, he attended West Boca High School in Boca Raton, Florida. His area of research in Mobile Robot Dynamics allows him to work under the supervision of Dr. Suhada Jayasuriya. Through the UCF ICubed program, Samuel has engaged in STEAM activities and research that has supported his academic curricula. These activities have also helped him improve his communication abilities of technical information. Also, as an ICubed Fellow Samuel has participated in technical outreach activities that include the Engineering Futures Forum at Orlando Christian Prep, and the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF). These activities have proven to be extremely valuable experiences for Samuel, as they allowed him to reflect on the importance of STEM careers, while impacting future scholars. One of Samuelís future goals includes enrolling into a Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering. Meanwhile, Samuelís free time is used visiting the gym, spending quality time with family and friends, and becoming a connoisseur of sweets.

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Sara Bolivar-Wagers

Sara Bolivar-Wagers

My name is Sara Bolivar Wagers and I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I moved to the United States at the age of ten to pursue an education and career opportunities. I am currently a junior majoring in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. My career plans are to pursue a MD/PhD and conduct translational research with a focus in pediatrics and infectious disease. During the summer of 2012, I participated in Stanford University's Summer Research Program conducing biomedical research. This academic year I became an ICubed Scholar which has provided me with many beneficial experiences. I have learned to communicate my research more proficiently by working with graphic design students to design a poster that represents my research. I also have been involved in mentoring elementary school students who are part of the International Science and Technology Fair. I am part of the team who is working on making backpacks lighter for students. Since I joined ICubed, I have attended the Minority Access 13th National Role Models Research Conference in which I gave an oral talk and was awarded third place with a $1,000 scholarship. I also attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Jose, California and presented my research through a poster presentation. There I was awarded within my scientific discipline, as well as I earned the interdisciplinary award. In the month of November I was recognized as undergraduate researcher of the month by Office of Undergraduate Research. Another big accomplishment has been becoming a part of the McNair Scholars Program which will serve me to prepare very adequately for my future career as a physician and scientist.

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Travis Henriques

Travis Henriques

My name is Travis Henriques and I am currently a Junior at the University of Central Florida. I am pursuing a bachelorís degree of science in civil engineering; after graduation I plan on pursuing my masterís degree and going into the field of structural engineering. Currently I am an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Necati Catbas working in the research field of Structural Health Monitoring. I have been a part of his research team since May, and I have learned a significant amount about bridges, sensor technology, and structural performance.

This past fall I became an ICubed Fellow, and my experience so far has been an interesting learning opportunity. Last semester, I got the opportunity to work with a visual arts student on a poster interpreting my research into an art from. This project greatly helped me in conversing about my research with someone is involved in a completely different form of academia. Also, I have been able to participate in an outreach opportunity where I was able to talk to teenagers about my life as a STEM major and life at UCF. Currently I am involved in another project with architect students at the Valencia West campus. So far, I have given a presentation to the class about my research to which the students responded in a very positive way. They asked many good, thoughtful questions. This presentation was the longest that I have given about my field of research, and it greatly challenged me to truly understand what it is that I am doing. All of these experiences have improved my oral communication skills by giving me the opportunity to present myself and what I do to a unique audience.

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Gabriel Padilla

Gabriel Padilla

I am a sophomore majoring in Chemistry on the Biochemistry track. I am a pre-medical student hoping to attend the UCF medical school in the fall of 2015. Dr. Stephen Kuebler is my faculty mentor, and the research focuses on improving the operating techniques of photonic crystal development via multiphoton absorption. ICubed has been a wonderful experience that significantly improved my understanding and appreciation for non-STEM students. Most importantly, I have learned that despite the difference in our academic interests, arts students bring as much, if not more, to conversations in research as my peers in STEM do.

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Tatiana Viecco-Botero

Tatiana Viecco-Botero

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