2022-23 CUGR and MSGC Academic Year Undergraduate Fellowship Recipients Announced

The University of Maine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has announced the 2022-23 CUGR and Maine Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) academic year fellowship winners. 

The CUGR Research and Creative Activities fellowships were developed to enhance and increase undergraduate student involvement in faculty-supervised research and are supported through the office of the Vice President for Research. Each fellowship provides $1,500 per student for costs associated with the project. 

The 2022-23 Academic Year MSGC Undergraduate Research Fellowship awards help provide research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students in aerospace technology, space science, human exploration and space development, Earth science and other science- or engineering-related fields. The focus of proposed projects funded by the fellowships must be aligned with the research priorities of NASA’s Earth and space science strategic enterprises. 

Students interested to learn how to write successful research proposals, and receive their responsible conduct of research are encouraged to sign up for INT 125 course this Spring and participate in Experiential Programs Innovation Central (EPIC). For more information visit umaine.edu/epic

This year’s recipients are: 

2022-23 Academic Year CUGR Research and Creative Activities Fellowship 

  • Madeline Abell, Marine Biology, “Protein Concentration in Sea Lice Hemolymph,” advised by Ian Bricknell
  • Ava Ardito, Biology, “An in-depth literature review proposing possible solutions to reduce nutrient runoff and soil erosion along Maine shorelines using wild blueberry rhizomes and biochar,” advised by Yongjiang Zhang
  • Tamra Benson, Biology, “Mutual Aid: A Community-led Solution to Economic Hardships at the University of Maine,” advised by Robert Glover
  • Kacie Bond, New Media, “Disruption of the Artist: AI Generated art in the Art World,” advised by Michael Scott
  • Brooklyn Buxton, Sociology, “Family Member Perceptions of Radicalization in Homegrown Violent Extremists,” advised by Karyn Sporer
  • Samuel Cartwright, Communication Sciences and Disorders, “Rural Healthcare and Education Access and Utilization after Childhood Brain Injury,” advised by Jessica Riccardi
  • Casey Casey, Earth and Climate Science, “Extracting and Comparing Freeze Level Data from Tropical Glaciers Against Global Data,” advised by Alice Doughty
  • Joseph Cleaves, Wildlife Ecology, “Reassessing the presence of tick-borne pathogens transmitted by the seabird tick Ixodes uriae in Gulf of Maine seabird colonies,” advised by Allison Gardner
  • Caeli Connolly, Earth and Climate Science, Stratigraphic Architecture of Pozuelo Mound C as Revealed By ERT Surveying, Chincha Valley, Peru,” advised by Daniel Sandweiss
  • Kjersti Conway, Financial Economics, “The Effects of Food Allergies on Food Security,” advised by Kelsi Hobbs
  • Laura Curioli, History, “A Study in The Evolution of Educational Philosophies Across Three Centuries,” advised by Joel Anderson
  • Peter Cusack, International Affairs, “Social Media Analysis of Mass Casualty Terrorist Incidents,” advised by Asif Nawaz
  • Lauren Cusson, Biochemistry, “Defining the Role of Src Kinase in Activation of Cellular Signaling Pathways in JC Polyomavirus Infection,” advised by Melissa Maginnis
  • Kaidar Donenbayev, Earth and Climate Sciences, “Modeling glaciers of Papua New Guinea,” advised by Alice Doughty
  • Faith Flynn, Marine Biology, “Sea Lice Survival Curve Study,” advised by Ian Bricknell
  • Luke Goldman, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, “Evaluation of mycorrhizal fungal community structure and recovery ensuing experimentally induced soil-nitrogen perturbation,” advised by Peter Avis
  • Avery Gosselin, “Computer Science, “Developing an Interface for Meaningful Photo Sharing,” advised by Sabrina DeTurk
  • William (Bill) Hartt, Spanish, “Commonalities Among and Generational Prevalence of Russian Second Locative Nouns,” advised by Zachary Rockwell Ludington
  • George Horvat, Chemistry, “Asymmetric Oranocatalysts: Synthesis and Use in the Augmentation of Antisense Oligonucleotide Sterochemistry,” advised by Matthew Brichacek
  • Madeline Howorth, Political Science, “An Equity-Oriented Research Practice Partnership,” advised by Rebecca Buchanan
  • Nicholas Johnson, Finance, “The Post-USMCA Dairy Industry: The Dynamics of Free Trade Agreements and Their Impact on Global and Local Economies,” advised by Stefano Tijerina
  • Isaac Lambrecht, Microbiology, “Is the induced expression of bacterial virulence factors the cause of Hermetia illucens decrease in weight gain when grown on fish substrate with Vibrio parahaemolyticus?,” advised by Edward Bernard
  • Megan MacKay, Biology, “Establishing Maine’s Natural and Human Fire History,” advised by Jacquelyn Gill
  • Hunter Praul, Biology, “Exploring the relationship between scute annuli growth patterns and weather in wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta),” advised by Matthew Chatfield
  • Mackenzie Reynolds, History, “‘All Are Cordially Invited’: Suffrage Activism and Exclusion in Maine, 1900-1925,” advised by Kara Peruccio
  • Mikayla Reynolds, Management, “Exploring University of Maine Undergraduate Students’ Priorities and Desirability for Post-Graduate Employment on the Basis of Company Benefit Packages,” advised by William Obenauer
  • Brandon Rockwell, Biochemistry, “Investigating the Interdependent Relationship between Prophage and Group B Streptococcus,” advised by Melody Neely
  • Simon St. Pierre, Philosophy, “An Aristotelian Account of Musical Pieces,” advised by Robby Finley
  • Santiago Tijerina, International Affairs, “A Story of Student Activism: Divest UMS,” advised by Michael Grillo
  • Katherine Westbrook, Earth and Climate Science, “How Does Modern Retreat Compare to Regional Variability in Alaskan Glaciers?,” advised by Karl Kreutz and Aaron Putnam


2022-23 Academic Year MSGC Undergraduate Research Experience

  • Ainslie Allen, Biomedical Engineering, “Can Coastline Configuration Create Accumulation Points for Harmful Algal Blooms and Microplastics Pollution?,” advised by Caitlin Howell
  • Cameron Andrews, Biomedical Engineering, “Scalable Cross-Linking to Reduce the Rehydration-Induced Plasticity of Porous Cellulose Materials for Biomedical Applications,” advised by Michael Mason
  • Seth Ashby, Microbiology, “Determining the effects of the electron transport chain on lifespan,” advised by Suzanne Angeli
  • William Cassidy, Biomedical Engineering, “Measuring Coupling Force in an Audible, Sonometric Device Prototype,” advised by Michael Mason
  • Jacquelyn Cook, Microbiology, “Antioxidant Effects of Partridgeberry Leaf Extract,” advised by Jennifer Newell-Caito
  • Stella Cotner, Engineering Physics, “Designing a System to Investigate the Interactions of Black Holes and Quasars in Close Proximity,” advised by Neil Comins
  • Dyllon Dunton, Computer Engineering, “MPI Parallel computing with the Beaglebone Black,” advised by Vincent Weaver
  • Christopher Erb, Electrical Engineering, “3D Printing of Nanopatterned Microfluidic Devices for Use in Space-based Agricultural Runoff Analysis,” advised by Caitlin Howell
  • Sarah Foust, Molecular and Cellular Biology, “Characterizing the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Neutrophil Reactive Oxygen Species Production During Influenza A Virus Infection,” advised by Benjamin King
  • Isabel Geary, Zoology, “Mechanisms of xylem hydraulic recovery after drought in highbush and lowbush/wild blueberries,” advised by Yongjiang Zhang
  • Nicholas Geiser, Electrical Engineering, “Developing a Neural Network for Obstacle Detection,” advised by Vikas Dhiman
  • Rhiannon Gould, Computer Science, “Robust Ensemble Deep Learning Methods for Semantic Segmentation of HyperSpectral Images,” advised by Salimeh Yasaei Sekeh
  • Danielle Hall, Marketing, “PFAS and Outdoor Clothing: Investigating Consumer Awareness, Motivation to Change, and Messaging Effectiveness,” advised by Erin Percival Carter
  • Tucker Humiston, Computer Engineering, “Hardware Accelerator for Domain Adaptive Image Compression,” advised by Prabuddha Chakraborty
  • Nathaniel Lowry, Computer Engineering, “Utilizing Machine-Learning Algorithms for Particle Density Analysis,” advised by Prabuddha Chakraborty
  • Timber Mattson, Biochemistry, “Investigating the role of the electron transport chain in the determination of lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans,” Suzanne Angeli
  • Mary Milligan, Chemistry, “Synthesis and Evaluation of Novel Fluorescent Probe for Biomass Degradation,” advised by Matthew Brichacek
  • Brendan Moline, Microbiology, “Characterization of Manganese-Induced Neurodegeneration in C. elegans Treated with Winterberry Leaf Extract,” advised by Jennifer Newell-Caito
  • Drew Parent, Social Work, “Games as Tools for Reasoning in Transformative Decision,” advised by Robby Finley
  • David Peitz, Electrical Engineering, “Autonomous Object Stacking by Robotic Systems,” advised by Vikas Dhiman
  • John Shay, Computer Science, “Interpretable Machine Learning for Knowledge Discovery on Sequence Data,” advised by Chaofan Chen
  • Ross Sousa, Botany, “Effects of Lobster-shell-based Materials on Verticillium Wilt and Potato Growth,” advised Jianjun Hao
  • Sophia Suriano, Botany, “Extraction and Characterization of Antifungal Compounds Produced by Lowbush Blueberry Plants in Response to Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi Infection,” advised by Seanna Annis
  • Arihant Tallapureddy, Biomedical Engineering, “Biocompatibility of 3-D Cellulose Nano Fiber Constructs with Osteoblast Cells,” advised by Karissa Tilbury
  • Blake Turner, Biomedical Engineering, “Cellulose-Based Hydrogel Wound Dressing With Wild Blueberry Extract,” advised by Michael Mason
  • Zoe Vittum, Biomedical Engineering, “Design and Implementation of a Polarization Control Module in a Second Harmonic Generation Microscope,” advised by Karissa Tilbury
  • Sadie Waterman, Biology, “Testing whether Mylpf protein dosage controls the rate of zebrafish muscle growth,” advised by Jared Talbot
  • Mykayla Weinstein, Biology, “Novel Drug Treatments Improve Influenza A Virus Infections in Zebrafish Measured by Respiratory Burst Assay,” advised by Benjamin King
  • Payson Welch, New Media, “Curating Collective Memory Using AI Art,” advised by Jon Ippolito