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    USF Ranks as Top Research School

    Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 | Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    Time to brag a bit, Bulls!

    USF recently ranked #19 on the top 25 colleges nationwide for its technology transfer. Technology transfer is defined as the ability to develop basic research into new technologies and companies.

    The rankings are based on ability to issue patents and licenses on new technology, how much income is derived from licensing and how many startups are formed.

    Only two other Florida universities made the list.

    UCF tried their best… but they still came in three spots below us at #22.

    Check out the article by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, here!



    Bachelor in Fine Arts: Thesis Exhibit Opening Reception

    Monday, April 17th, 2017 | Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »


    Calling all fine art enthusiasts! The BFA Thesis Opening Reception will be Friday, April 28th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carolyn M. Wilson Gallery.

    You can expect food, refreshments, music and of course, art!

    Research in Art Scholars (RIAS), Taylor Crosland and Tina Piracy will be featured in the exhibit.

    Come support these artists and their hard work while enjoying an evening of creativity.

    If you cannot make the opening reception, the exhibit will be open to the public May 1st through 10th Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.



    Colloquium Spotlight: Melissa Donovan

    Thursday, April 6th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog, Uncategorized by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    17807595_1362318450499971_8609568582648090462_oSenior speech pathology major, Melissa Donovan, presented in Poster Session 3 during the research colloquium.

    Donovan researched evidence based speech language pathology treatment for individuals on the autism spectrum.

    “This topic is significant because currently one in 68 children in the United States present with autism spectrum disorder,” said Donovan.

    Autism is characterized by difficulty with social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviors. Since communication is a deficit, speech language pathologists (SLP) play an important role in these individuals interdisciplinary health care team to improve their quality of life.

    Donovan used evidence based practice, which is a combination of scientific research with clinician expertise and patient and caregiver values in order to provide the best service possible to fit individual needs. Her methodology included literature review of evidence based treatments and three interviews she personally conducted with SLPs.

    During her research, Donovan found 105 secondary interviews of SLPs who work with patients with autism in her literature review who said that evidence based practice (EBP) is difficult to implement due to the lack of accessibility to current research, time constraints and high costs. However, the three SLPs that Donovan personally interviewed expressed very positive experiences with EBP. They said it is not only easy to implement but it is worth while.

    “I think a reason for this large disparity in their answers is because the three SLPs I interviewed all work at universities so maybe it’s easier for them to stay up to date with current research,” said Donovan. “The SLPs that I read about in my literature review worked in clinics so maybe they have a harder time accessing current research.”

    Going forward, Donovan believes it would be beneficial to interview a wider variety of SLPs, including those who are not affiliated with universities.

    “Having the opportunity to read about and speak with speech pathologists who work with individuals with autism taught me a lot about different practices that I’ll be able to use one day,” said Donovan.




    Colloquium Spotlight: Janine DeBlasi

    Thursday, April 6th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | 1 Comment »

    Janine DeBlasi OUR
    Junior cellular and molecular biology major, Janine DeBlasi, presented her research during poster session 2 of the research colloquium.

    DeBlasi’s research studied vitamin C as a
    pro-oxidant therapy.

    “When it comes to cancer, increasing oxidative stress can be therapeutic,” said DeBlasi.

    When given to patients intravenously, vitamin C reaches high concentrations that can have a
    pro-oxidative effect.


    DeBlasi found that after 24 hours of treatment with 0.5 millimolar vitamin C and above, about 80% of the mouse-derived metastatic cancer cells were killed, which suggests an anti-cancer effect. She found the same effect on cell growth with concentrations as low as 0.05 millimollar vitamin C which inhibited the growth of the cell and is important information when assessing the efficacy of an anti-cancer therapy.

    Effects of anti-oxidants on cancer cell death with vitamin C were also looked at. DeBlasi found that it prevents cell death from occurring which confirms that it’s working through oxidative stress and is valuable information for clinical application.

    Finally, DeBlasi looked at the effect of both hyperbaric oxygen therapy and vitamin C together.

    Hyperbaric oxygen is an approved medical therapy for wound healing. DeBlasi found that at a lower, but pharmacologically relevant concentration of vitamin C, which can be achieved through IV, combined with a single session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the there is a synergistic effect.

    DeBlasi says her next step is to test this in the animal model to see the therapies’ effects on survival and tumor progression.

    “Hopefully this would translate into a clinical study if it does show more efficacy,” said Deblasi.


    Colloquium Spotlight: Ryan Lavorata

    Thursday, April 6th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    Sophomore finance major, Ryan Lavorata, presented his research on the mistreatment of persons with disabilities (PWD) in Ghana during Session 1 of the research colloquium.

    RyanLavorata’s global disabilities honors class led him to begin his research and find that over 5 million individuals (20% of the population) are living with disabilities in Ghana. His research was based on three questions:

    In what ways are a person with disabilities being mistreated?

    Are there laws that protect persons with disabilities?

    What are the possible solutions for the mistreatment?

    “Being a person with disability is Ghana carries a stigma because of their religion,” said Lavorata, “children are looked at as curses and their parents are judged for their past sins.”

    Lavorata found that Ghana’s institutions for PWD’s are in dreadful and unsanitary conditions. PWD’s are chained to the wall in the institution’s living quarters. These quarters are similar to prison cells with cinderblock walls and a mere sleeping pad on the floor. Patients admitted undergo horrific treatment methods such as electroconvulsive shock therapy. However, not all PWD’s are admitted into institutions. Lavorata also found cases where parents hid children in basements in order to escape the shame that Ghana’s society associates with disabilities.

    In effort to better PWD’s living conditions, Act 715 was created in 2006 which gave PWD’s access to transportation, all public places, free medical care, and education.

    “Even though it’s a good start, its not enough because they [Ghana] only put 1% of their economy towards it,” said Lavorata.

    Lavorata found some solutions that can begin to improve conditions for PWD’s in Ghana:

    • Groups can petition for the government to change from institutional care to community care.
    • Amend the current laws and UN standards of rights for persons with disabilities.
      • Ghana Federation of Disability Organization who are working on amending Act 715 to make it more accommodating.

    “I wanted to look into the mistreatment and abuse of persons with disabilities and it was just really shocking because I went into this knowing nothing about Ghana,” said Lavorata.



    5 Tips for Attending the Colloquium

    Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    The Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium is the perfect was to get out of the lab and showcase your research while interacting with faculty, peers and like-minded researchers. However, it is important not to merely attend the colloquium but to make the most of your time.

    The Office of Undergraduate Research has packed poster, oral and art presentations into the day-long event. Over 500 students are presenting at this years colloquium so it can get a bit overwhelming.

    Check out these tips to ensure the most effective colloquium experience:

    • Take the pamphlet!

    Take one of the information pamphlets upon entering the colloquium. The pamphlet includes all of the information you need about the event including session times and detailed topics that each presentation covers. This will help you strategically plan your time to check out the presentations that most interest you.

    • Talk to EVERYONE

    The hundreds of students who are presenting are there to discuss their research! Don’t be afraid to walk up to a poster, ask questions or just admire a student’s work. Presenters will be happy to explain their work and you might learn something new!

    • Bring Business cards

    The colloquium is a perfect way to network with people in your field. You never know who you may bump into or what opportunity may come your way. Bring business cards to connect with people and make a lasting impression.

    • Branch out of your comfort zone

    The colloquium is all about encouraging research and creativity. Check out a poster on a topic you’ve never heard of or isn’t in your line of research. Connecting with different fields is a great way to collaborate and broaden your understanding for research all together. You may even surprise yourself by catching interest for something you never thought you would!

    • Follow up

    Don’t let your experience end once you leave the colloquium. Remember to email people you met to stay connected. Also, use #OUR17 to share your experiences on social media both while your at the colloquium and afterwards.


    Rejoice, Undergraduate Research Week is Here!

    Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 | Tags: , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    Undergraduate Research Week 2017

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    This week, April 3 through April 9, is nationally recognized as Undergraduate Research Week!

    On November 16, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives declared the week of April 11, 2011, as “Undergraduate Research Week.” Since then, each year the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has designated a week in April as “Undergraduate Research Week.”

    USF is one of the leading research universities in Florida, so grab your research and join the fun!

    Participate in the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Hashtag-a-thon using #URW2017

    Don’t be shy.. Here are some ideas on what you can post:

    • The thing I value most about UR is … #URW2017
    • Thanks to my UR advisor Dr. X for teaching me…#URW2017
    • Congratulations to my students X, Y, and Z who presented at ABC conference this year! #URW2017
    • I presented my research at the USF Undergraduate Research Colloquium this year! #URW2017
    • My research was published in X journal this year! #URW2017
    • Congratulations to my student, X, who will be attending graduate school at Y institution next year. #URW2017
    • Thank you to the University of South Florida for giving me an opportunity to do undergraduate research #URW2017

    More information on Undergraduate Research Week and the Council on Undergraduate Research can be found here.

    To further celebrate this week, don’t forget to attend the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium from 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM on April 6th in the MSC!

    Happy Undergraduate Research Week & as always, go Bulls!



    Take Your Class to the Colloquium!

    Monday, March 20th, 2017 | Tags: , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    The Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium aims to provide a variety of opportunities for students to learn about research and the opportunities they can participate in. Thus, OUR motivates all USF professors to engage their classes through the Take Your Class initiative.

    This program fosters a greater student awareness of, and excitement about, undergraduate research opportunities at USF. Students get the opportunity to interact with and learn from the first-hand experience of their peers. All undergraduate courses are encouraged to participate in this initiative.

    On the day of the colloquium, the OUR will:

    • Check-in the for students to allow professors to track attendance
    • Provide individual copies of the Engagement Questionnaire for students
    • Provide guidelines for completing the questionnaire and engaging with at least two student presenters
    • Collect all questionnaires

    After the colloquium, the OUR will:

    • Send professors a list of students who attended along with a scanned copy of the completed questionnaire for each student.

    Visit the OUR website and complete the registration form to  ensure your classes spot. Registration closes April 2nd!


    Preparing for the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium

    Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis


    The application deadline to present in the 2017 Undergraduate Research Colloquium has passed! You have your research project and you’ve applied to present, so whats next?

    It’s time to gather your research and prepare your project for presentation! The Office of Undergraduate Research offers the Research and Arts Colloquium Workshop Series  designed to help you create an effective and appealing presentation of your research.

    Workshops offered are Crafting an Oral Presentation, Visually Designing Your Research and Beyond Powerpoint.

    This year, OUR partnered with the USF Library Digital Media Commons to take these workshops to the next level and give students the opportunity to learn multimedia programs. Design basics, InDesign and creative formatting of layouts, graphics and text will all be integrated into the workshops.

    Workshops begin March 20th and spots fill up fast! Sign up for the colloquium workshop series to start preparing your presentation and get assistance throughout your process!


    OUR Passion, OUR Discoveries, OUR USF

    Sunday, February 12th, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    While trying to stay afloat as a college student and claim your niche in the world, it is easy to lose track of why what all the hustle is for. It’s important to remember your journey began because of a dream for your future. In between the studying, club meetings and interning remember to make time to showcase your hard work.

    This year, The Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium is focusing on OUR Passion, OUR Discoveries, and OUR USF to celebrate each and every student who makes our university whole.

    Passion got you here and it will get you across the stage! Dig deep inside to the high school graduate who had endless opportunities and fire inside them. Remember what you are working for and never lose sight of your goals.

    Celebrate every accomplishment. Discoveries can be everything from passing that one class that seemed impossible to gaining new insight. There is no achievement too small when working towards your future.

    Always set yourself apart. Even when surrounded by thousands of students, remember that your work and your passion contribute to the success of our university. Be proud of yourself and proud to be a part of USF!

    – – –

    Visit the OUR website to take part in the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium and showcase your work alongside your fellow Bulls!

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