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Fall 2022 Exhibition: Book of Abstracts

The Undergraduate Research Exhibition, presented by the Office of Undergraduate Research, is a biannual, in-person event in which students showcase original research, scholarly projects, and creative works. Following the event, the EFSC community and the general public can view projects via this online archive. You can also view and download photos from the event in our Flickr album.

Scroll to view all projects or use the alphabetical list of links by student researcher last name to view their project topic, abstract, poster and/or creative work.

  1. Sophia Alberts
  2. Savannah Bernard
  3. Erin Cole
  4. Elizabeth Eskildsen: 2nd Place
  5. Jennifer Gutowski
  6. Trinity Hendricks
  7. Sean Kohut
  8. Austin Lightholder
  9. Brittany Lowe: 1st Place
  10. Aems Maggard
  11. Clair Mallace: 3rd Place
  12. Brandon Pimer
  13. Rebecca Ronstrom
  14. Lydia Royce
  15. Kameron Sawyer
  16. Rena Schemait
Nostalgia-Net: The Immutability of Fandom Culture

Student Researcher: Sophia Alberts 
Mentor: Dr. Warren Jones 

Sophia Alberts'  poster

Abstract: This project examines the persistence of fandom culture through the rise of the modern internet, which has largely snuffed all methods of self-identification through personalized webpages in the rise of monopolized social media. There are two concepts which are foundational to the modern internet: Jonathan Zittrain’s definition of benevolent generative systems which propagate user innovation and expression, and Mark Fisher’s conceptualization of social media networks and conventional networked devices as nostalgia-generating machines. Generative systems, as defined by Zittrain, are adaptable networks that are inherently receptive to spontaneous innovations designed by their users. Mark Fisher describes a rift between the rapid advancement of online communicability with the popularization of networked machines as compared to the simultaneous slowing of cultural development; this rift creates the nostalgia which permeates online culture. Both of these concepts signify a loss of agency on behalf of the user in shaping their online spaces; social media users are limited in their ability to freely accessorize their profiles and to control the content they are shown. This is in direct contrast to the generative customizability of personal sites preceding modern social media networks, such as GeoCities and Myspace. In nostalgia-fraught attempts at reviving an online culture paralleling the liberated, generative past, many users within the fandom community at large have appropriated services such as Carrd to create personal biographies and directories that are aligned with the individuality of the old internet. There have also been multiple attempts to delineate user-run online spaces, including the Twitter analogue Mastodon, and the restoration of GeoCities into the passion project NeoCities. These attempts at restoration are most often subsumed by the domineering social media networks, but they represent a powerful retort on behalf of fandom and other online communities to the restrictions imposed by conventional social media networks.

Interventional Procedures - A Sonographer's Role

Student Researcher: Erin Cole, Aems Maggard, Savannah Bernard, Rebecca Ronstrom, Rena Schemait
Mentor: Dr. Harry Holdorf

Erin Coles' poster

Abstract: This project explains what interventional procedures are, specifically renal biopsy and aspiration, and the role of diagnostic medical sonography within these procedures.



The Washout Phase of Construction Painting: A harmless move? The effects of latex paint on terrestrial environments

Student Researcher: Elizabeth Eskildsen  
Mentor: Dr. Ashley Spring 
This project won 2nd Place Honors in the Fall 2022 Exhibition

Elizabeth Eskildsen's poster

Abstract: The Indian River Lagoon is a 250-km body of water that inspired a push toward sustainable practices in Brevard County after the lagoon health declined with increased terrestrial runoff. This proposed undergraduate research observes the possible effects of latex paint entering a simulated terrestrial habitat with garden snails, Cornu aspersum, and earthworms, Lumbrincina terrestris. Hypothesis: The presence of latex paint at low, medium, and high levels will decrease activity and increase mortality of earthworms and garden snails. If the hypothesis is supported through experimentation, then further studies will focus on plant recovery after latex paint is introduced to the environment.

The Advances of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Imaging in Pregnancy

Student Researcher: Jennifer Gutowski 
Mentor: Dr. Harry Holdorf 

Jennifer Gutowski 's poster

Abstract: Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Imaging during pregnancy was revolutionized by Dr. Kypros Nicolaides’ contributions. Dr. Nicolaides, an expert in fetal medicine, is a lead pioneer in innovation, research, and education in the field of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound in pregnancy. His contributions have changed the way the international obstetrics’ community understand in utero fetal development. Dr. Nicolaides’ research consists of more than 1400 scientific publications, many using ultrasound to detect abnormal fetal development during pregnancy. Some of his greatest achievements in ultrasound include: discovering the heads of babies with spina bifida have an abnormal shape; detection of chromosome abnormalities at 12 weeks gestation; and using ultrasound to measure Doppler Velocity in fetal brain development. Earlier in his career Dr. Nicolaides went from hospital to hospital in the United Kingdom training doctors and sonographers in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound teaching simple indicators to detect fetal abnormalities during pregnancy. His passion to teach his findings lead to the popularization of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound in Pregnancy that we see in today’s world. In 2022, Dr. Nicolaides’ trains the medical community in fetal medicine and diagnostics at yearly conferences and seminars and via the Fetal Medicine Foundation by offering internet based training. Prior to Dr. Nicolaides’ revolutionary advancements, Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound was undeveloped and the information that was available was inaccessible to most doctors and their patients.

A Bright Smile

Student Researcher: Trinity Hendricks
Mentor: Joanna White

Trinity Hendricks' poster

A Bright Smile

Abstract: A Bright Smile” is a mixed media portrait which utilizes oil paint and plastic unicorn figurines to depict a fantasy scene with the artist’s face as the sun. Click the image of the finished artwork to view it larger.

“And Ye Shall Be as Gods”: Japan’s Pop Media Complex (JRPGs, Anime, Manga, etc.) & the Cultural Shift from Adventitious Divine Proclivity to Zealous Rebuke of Providence

Student Researcher: Sean Kohut 
Mentor: Dr. Warren Jones

Sean Kohout's poster

Abstract: Mediums in the form of Japanese roleplaying games (JRPGs), anime, and manga relay an unorthodox perspective relative to Western society’s traditional values via stories that challenge staunch religious, philosophical, and societal point of views. In SquareEnix’s JRPG Xenogears, Creative Director Tetsuya Takahashi utilizes Freudian, Nietzschean, and Gnostic themes to convey a Humanist message through his tale of troubled characters beset by a doomed world, at the behest of a manmade “Deus.” The “god-slaying” trope apparent within Hideaki Anno’s anime Neon Genesis Evangelion centralizes on three adolescents who are weaponized by the government to combat “Angels,” cosmic terrors seemingly bent on destroying the planet. Japan experienced an economic expansion after WWII; however, an economic crash in the 1980s led to “The Great Regression,” where adults of all ages indulged in traditionally childhood activities. The emerging narrative of slaying God(s) within Sci-Fi & Fantasy narratives began to blossom in correlation with “The Great Regression.” Currently, the West is experiencing “The Great Resignation,” which, like Japan in the 1980s, is eschewing traditional adulthood and work culture. From thriving streamers to cosplayers, from avid fandoms to gamers, people are embracing nontraditional paths of adulthood. This shift in Western culture raises questions concerning these seemingly “child-like” overindulgences as a link to escapism and egocentrism, or perhaps as a response to the modern age’s greatest fears like that of a doomed humanity, revealing that the U.S. is experiencing its own “Great Regression.”

Florida Wildlife Mural

Student Researcher: Austin Lightholder 
Mentor: Joanna White

Austin Lightholder's poster

Abstract: Over the course of three months I painted a 177 square foot mural of a Florida forest scene, including 11 different native animals of Florida. The purpose of this artwork is to immerse the viewer into Florida's natural beauty, as well as fulfill the wish of the elderly woman who commissioned this artwork. Her request was to, “Make me feel like I’m in the middle of the forest I can no longer hike.” Artwork details: Acrylic paint and acrylic UV gloss clearcoat on cement wall, approximately 22 feet long and 8 feet high.

Spectrometric Investigation of Plant-Based Enzymes for Pancreatic Insufficies

Student Researcher: Brittany Lowe
Mentor: Dr. Ashley Spring
This project won 1st Place Honors in the Fall 2022 Exhibition. Brittany Lowe also presented at the 2022 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference in February.

Brittany Lowe's poster

Abstract: Pancreatic insufficiency is a major issue for patients with cystic fibrosis, requiring the use of supplemental pancreatic enzymes to combat malnourishment and illnesses caused by malnourishment. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that plant-based enzymes (bromelain protease, oat lipase, oat amylase, and mango amylase) will have significantly higher or comparable amounts of digested protein, fat, and carbohydrates compared to prescribed pancreatic enzymes. Using Bradford reagent, iodine, and Rhodamine 6G, the amount of digested proteins, fats, and carbohydrates after adding the control and plant-based enzymes were analyzed through spectrophotometry. The results of this study indicate that the plant-based enzymes all had significantly higher amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates digested when compared to the prescribed pancreatic enzymes. As opposed to current supplemental pancreatic enzymes derived from pig intestines, the plant-based enzymes have additional properties that could be of great interest to the cystic fibrosis community. Bromelain's protein digestion has an alkalizing effect further aiding digestion and absorption, the mango amylase has shown antidiabetic properties comparable to medication metformin, and oat lipase has been documented to be an efficient source of fiber.

“PLZ Tell Me Fangz”: Fanfiction, coded language, and harmful misrepresentation

Student Researcher: Clair Mallace 
Mentor: Dr. Warren Jones 
This project won 3rd Place Honors in the Fall 2022 Exhibition

Claire Mallace's  poster

Abstract: The use of coded language in sci-fi/fantasy fanfiction allows minorities (people of color (POC), the LGBTQ+ community, as well as people with disabilities) to safely discuss their own lived experiences without risking exposure and persecution. One popular fanfiction, My Immortal, is a satirical piece written in the world of Harry Potter. Written in 2006, My Immortal has since become a staple in fanfiction history, leading to the creation of thousands of spin off fanfictions. Fanfiction is not only utilized by youths today, but many authors throughout history have used fanfiction in order to tell stories featuring underrepresented minorities such as the ones previously mentioned. Such as Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. Comparable to many of today’s youth, Anderson wrote a fanfiction of a preexisting motif in order to tell a story about life as a queer man without the risk of exposure and persecution. In modern day many young people use websites such as Articles of Our Own (Ao3) to anonymously post their own written works. Ao3 alone features over ten million written works spanning over fifty thousand different fandoms. One can begin to understand the modern application of fanfiction by examining the current state of minority representation in fictional narratives, the history of fanfiction, and the coded language used in modern fanfiction. The current representation of minorities in fictional narratives is lacking and potentially harmful in many ways; Disability and POC erasure, queerbaiting, tokenism, racist and antisemitic caricatures all contribute to the growing use of fanfiction. When examining the evolution of fanfiction throughout history one can better understand why Gen-Z uses fanfiction in order to facilitate a safe space and sense of community for underrepresented minorities.

Visceral Reality: The Desire for Bodily Stimulation in Real VR, the OASIS, the Matrix, and the Holodeck

Student Researcher: Brandon Pimer
Mentor: Dr. Warren Jones

Bradon Primer's poster

Abstract: Just as the liminal spaces in Ready Player One, The Matrix, and Star Trek collapse virtual reality and reality into a singular frame of bodily sensations, so is our rapidly advancing technology doing the same. In November 2022, Palmer Luckey, the original Oculus developer, constructed a new VR headset embedded with deadly explosive charges which raises questions concerning the psychological and physiological reasoning as to the human desire and need for visceral and bodily sensations beyond jump scares. The newest mass-produced technological advancements in the newest VR, Meta’s Quest Pro, provides real-time eye tracking as well as facial mimicry to merge reality into virtual reality. This embodied cognition is being enhanced through haptic feedback suits that enables players to experience simulated pain and simulated pleasure. However, some people want more stimulation than simulation. They are altering haptic feedback suits to cause real pain and to stimulate real pleasure. Beyond these extremes, other embodied cognition uses concern medicinal applications of VR, such as psychology’s use in cognitive behavioral therapy to change landscapes and combat settings. Surgeons use VR for training, physical therapists use it, the military, aeronautics, aerospace—ever-increasing connections of VR and bodily cognition seem to amend Baudrillard’s idea into a Stimulated Reality, a Stimulacrum.

Three Piece Composite Form

Student Researcher: Lydia Royce 
Mentor: Bobbie McMillan 

Lydia Royce's poster

Abstract: I had fallen in love with ceramics after the first time I threw on the potters wheel. This semester will be my third time in the class and I have focused on creating larger composite pieces.

Lydia Royce Ceramics

The piece that you see here is thrown on the wheel in three separate parts and put together later when in the leather-hard stage. Once the piece is together I pierced the surface with piercing tools and set it out to dry completely to greenware. It is then bisque fired to 1830F, and finally glazed. I sprayed the composite form with two different color glazes and it is put in the glaze kiln to be fired at 5/6. Click the image of the finished ceramic piece to view it larger.

Creating inspector Gadget: Advancing Technology and its Potential for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Student Researcher: Kameron Sawyer
Mentor: Dr. Warren Jones

Kameron Saweyer's poster

Abstract: Cybernetics can function as a valuable tool for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Cybernetics assist children with ASD by giving the child a cheat sheet of how to handle different social interactions. Technology has programed and reliable responses that calm the children and make social situations easier to handle. Studies show, assistive technologies do not stunt development, however, because ASD and prolonged screentime both cause inflammation in the nervous system, experts advise boundaries. ASD is a neurological disorder that typically presents in developmental delays and issues socializing. Many journals and websites provide new information about ASD. Cybernetics enhances or aids living organisms by adding to or replacing with technology. With cybernetics, children with ASD would have the ability to register and recognize social cues and give appropriate responses. A study by Autism Speaks shows assistive technology does not impede a child’s learning. Children with ASD find the predictability of technology comforting. The importance of caution and limits must be stressed, unsupervised screen time has proven detrimental to an individual’s health.

Visit the Undergraduate Research Exhibition main page for information about the next event.