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The 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium at The University of Tampa is an online showcase of student research accomplishments. This event will be held on May 1, 2020, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and clicking each title below will open a Zoom meeting where the student will give a 5 minute presentation on his or her research. In the Zoom meeting, you are welcome to interact with students and ask questions. The entire UT community as well as friends and family members are welcome to join and participate. 

Please direct questions to Eric Freundt, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, at

2020 Program

Student Presentations 

Class and Access to Governance in Burkina Faso
Julia Ingram, Political Science
Mentor: Kevin Fridy

Using Mobile Learning to Teach Spanish Vocabulary
Alysha Assaf, Spanish and Elementary Education
Mentor: Andrew DeMil

The Origins of Racial Discrimination in Public Health: The 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic of Philadelphia
Abigail Nelson, English
Mentor: Kacy Tillman

The Effect of the Sea Slug Elysia clarki's Anti-predatory Chemical Defense on the Feeding Behavior and Long-term Memory of Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus
Samantha Schreiter, Marine Science-Biology
Mentor: Michael Middlebrooks

There is Something in the Water! Correlation of Trihalomethanes with Head and Neck Cancer in the Tampa Bay Area
Magen Hoch, Biology
Mentors: Kimberly Dobrinski and  Michelle Crosby

There is Something in the Water! Video

The Reductive Dehalogenation of Substituted Benzenes Utilizing Carbazole Derivatives as Photocatalysts
Tyler Weinhold, Chemistry
Mentor: Ashley Longstreet 

The Best Health and Safety Practices in University Fab Labs
Nicole Scotto, Public Health
Mentor: Tracy Zontek

Tissue Specific Compensatory Regulation of Gene Expression Associated with Copy Number Variants in Danio rerio
Sherrea Brown, Biochemistry
Mentor: Kimberly Dobrinski 

Generational Academic Stress among Immigrant Students
Anagha Surendra, Psychology
Mentor: Jennifer Blessing

Role of Microtubules on the Coalescence of Viral RNA Polymerase of TMEV
Devon Grey, Biology
Mentor: Eric Freundt

The Exploration of the Sexual Objectification of Women in Society
Jacqueline Zogby, Criminology/ Criminal Justice
Mentor: Kathryn Branch 

Henry B. Plant Park Phone Tour Project: A Historical Stroll
Jenna Moscaritolo, Mathematics; Sabrina Cabrera Rivera, Writing
Mentors: Aimee Whiteside, Andrew DeMil and Stephen McFarland

Abiotic and Biotic Habitat Preference of a Unique Hippocampus erectus Population
Matthew Gamache; Marine Science-Biology
Mentors: Heather Masonjones and Emily Rose

Impact of Diet on Photosynthesis and Survival of Kleptoplastic Slug Elysia papillosa
Alexandra Nockengost, Marine Science-Biology
Mentor: Michael Middlebrooks

Burkinabè Personality Traits and Support for Vigilantism
Ariana Ferraro, Political Science
Mentor: Kevin Fridy 

Qualitative Inquiry into Vaping among College Students
Briana Lipski, Public Health
Mentor: Mary Martinasek

Qualitative Inquiry into Vaping Among College Students Video

Using a Carbazole Derivative as a Photocatalyst in the Dehalogenation of Aryl Halides
Melissa Chin, Criminology
Mentor: Ashley Longstreet 

Using Carbazole Derivative as Photocatalyst Video

Spatial Analysis of Mark Recapture Data from an Endemic Seahorse Population from the Bahamas (Hippocampus erectus) Provides Critical Management Insights for Park Development
Megan Pinder, Environmental Science
Mentor: Heather Masonjones

Spatial Analysis of Mark Recapture Data from Bahamian Seahorses Video

National Human Rights Institutions Coding Project: African Institutions
Katie Sturmer, Political Science
Mentor: Ryan Welch

Tampa Bay Ocean Acidification and the Influence of Dissolved Organic Carbon on
Accurate Carbonate System Measurements
Miranda Conley, Forensic Science
Mentor: Rob Masserini

Gender and Perceptions of Security among Burkinabè
Cheyenne Lee, Political Science
Mentor: Dr. Kevin Fridy 

Do Sustainable Methods Affect the Socioeconomic Development of a Country?
Brooke Venturo, International Studies-Political Science
Mentor: Ryan Welch 

Surface Water Injection into the Floridan Aquifer: Biogeochemical Transformations and Ramifications
Carley Reid, Forensic Science
Mentor: Rob Masserini

Quantifying Sexually Selected Traits in the Female Gulf Pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli)
Coley Tosto, Environmental Science
Mentor: Emily Rose

College Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Intended Use of Mental Health Resources
Abigail Nerogic; Marimyr Bosque; Hannah DeCosta; Nathaniel Mansour and Alexander Rolle; Psychology
Mentor: Erica Yuen

College Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Intended Use of Mental Health Resources Video

An Exploration of How Student Perceptions of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Affect Reporting Rates of Sexual Assault
Trinity Clark, Criminology-Criminal Justice
Mentor: Kathryn Branch

Foreign Direct Investment on the Development of Underdeveloped and Developing Countries
Gabrielle McSwain, International Studies
Mentor: Ryan Welch 

Impact of Corruption on Economic Development
Ana Castaneda Galdos, International Studies
Mentor: Ryan Welch 

Memory for Medical Terms: Overconfidence, Yet No Picture Superiority
Bailey Joy, Psychology
Mentor: Sara Festini 

The Economical Effects of Immigration Openness
Armando Martinez, International Studies
Mentor: Ryan Welch

Assessment of Microbial Presence on Waterpipe Tobacco Machines
Frederic Montz, Biology
Mentors: Kimberly Dobrinski and  Mary Martinasek

Indoor Air Quality: Carbon Monoxide Levels for Hookah Lounge Patrons and Workers
Frederic Montz, Biology and Allison Barthel, Public Health
Mentor: Kimberly Dobrinski and Mary Martinasek

The War on Oil Prices
Mariah Elkins, Political Science and International Studies
Mentor: Ryan Welch 

Diet and Range Expansion of the Sea Slug Felimare ruthae
Daniela Gutierrez Andrade, Marine Science-Biology
Mentor: Michael Middlebrooks

The Relationship Between Foreign Direct Investment and Nationalism
Samsara Lavaggi, International Studies and International Business and Marketing
Mentors: Liv Coleman and Ryan Welch

Psychometric Evaluation of Interpersonal Dyad Video Content
Jessica LaFontaine, Psychology
Mentor: Meredith Elzy 

Humor Styles, Gender Differences, and Receptivity to Sexual Advances
Michelle Mooney, Psychology and Applied Sociology
Mentor: Deletha Hardin 

A Public Choice Analysis of the US Military and the Environment
Alexandra Marter, Environmental Science
Mentor: Abigail Blanco

James Joyce's Portrayal of Women in His Early Works
Olivia Parsley
Mentor: Kathleen Ochshorn 

Americans’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Genetic Counselors: A National Sample
Christina Pasca, Applied Sociology
Mentor: Ryan Cragun 

The Retinal Pigments of Filter-feeding Sharks and their Role in Visual Foraging Ecology
Katherine Serba, Marine Science-Biology
Mentor: Jeffry Fasick 

Gender Animus and Support for Police Militarization
Christina Pasca, Applied Sociology
Mentor: Ryan Welch