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    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.




    2015 USF Leadership Alliance Students

    Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized by | Comments Off on 2015 USF Leadership Alliance Students


    Home Institution: Rider University, Lawrence Township, NJ
    Major: Chemistry Mentor: Stanley Stevens, Ph. D.
    Research Project: Molecular Insights into Pharmacological Inhibition of Microglial Pro-Inflammatory Response Using Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics

    I have a passion for chemistry, mathematics, and helping others. As I grew up in Jamaica, I dreamed of helping a large quantity of people which is why my ultimate goal is to aid in developing various medicines. I will be heading into my fourth year of my undergraduate career where I face a heavy load of maintaining my scholarly requirements while applying for PhD programs and aiming to take the Chemistry Honor Society (GSE) to new heights as their new President. Aside from the busy schedule I take on, I try to find time to enjoy my hobbies such as playing tennis and spending time with my family and friends. When I feel overwhelmed I remember my personal motto by Arthur Ashe, “success is a journey, not a destination”. It constantly reminds me that being successful is not going to happen after one class but that it takes real commitment and true passion; everyone’s view of success is different.


    Home Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Major: Art History Mentor: Lisa M. Piazza
    Research Project: Why “Do Not Touch”?

    Began her studies in art at the School of Fine Arts in Bayamón. She has a high school diploma with specialization in Visual Arts from the Paul Casals Fine Arts School in Bayamón. Currently she performs a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art History and emphasis on Western Art. Her works have been exhibited in various areas of Puerto Rico. As an art historian figure as president of the Association of Students of Art History and as a partner of the student magazine of art critic Punto de Fuga of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She was selected as a volunteer to the registration area and collection management of the Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico.


    Home Institution: Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Major: Natural Sciences Mentor: Jason Rohr, Ph. D.
    Research Project: Acquired Resistance for Helminth Infections in the Cuban Tree Frog O. septentrionalis

    I’m a rising sophomore at Colorado College currently studying molecular biology. I find viruses fascinating and will talk someone’s ear off about amazing measures viruses use to avoid the immune system. Unsurprisingly, my dream is to become a practicing virologist at a research hospital. I remember my freshman year biology course in high school and seeing my first picture of the structure of HIV, and my Ms. Frizzle-esque teacher lecturing about amazingly terrifying things a particle so infinitesimally small could do to its host. I was hooked. I knew I loved science at a young age, but that moment was the first source of clarity I had about what I wanted to do when I grew up. Aside from my love of science, I enjoy the great outdoors. I love hiking up mountains and biking scenic trails


    2015 Research in Arts Scholarship Opening Reception

    Monday, November 16th, 2015 | Posted in Events, Uncategorized by Lisa Piazza | No Comments »


    Small pix for web


    On Thurs. Nov. 12, 2015, the OUR hosted an opening reception for the 2015 Research in Arts Scholars. Visit the OUR website to learn more about this Scholarship


    McKinna Anderson

    Thursday, November 12th, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by | No Comments »

    During my time in Paris I became entranced by the need to physically catalogue my place in the city. I realized quickly that my phone was automatically registering the steps I took each day, and being in a walking city, the numbers were rather high. To create and hold my presence in Paris I started collecting everything around me. I started with words which I wrote and scanned when I returned to Florida. I also collected numbers, since that caught my eye to begin with. Instead of resisting this authority my phone took on, I embraced it. I created a system of logic behind my movement through the city. After compiling the number of steps I took and transferring them to miles, I applied these numbers to metro travel. The number of miles represented the number of stops I would take in any direction. Upon arrival I focused on acclimating myself to this new space and becoming situationally cognitive of what the people surrounding were doing and how they utilized this new location. The activities I accumulated, and gathered before arrival took shape as signifiers, or icons of Paris.

    The location was photographed using a twin lens and developed there in the city. Later, after the film was processed, I used those signifiers to manipulate the film shot. Since the signifiers were actions carried out on the film that stood for ways we classify Paris the main manipulations were: burning cigarettes onto the film, soaking them in wine, taping them to the bottom of my shoe on my daily walk to class, and taping to the bottom of a metro turnstile.

    When I returned back to Florida I had an interest in why I had a strong need to do these actions and what made them necessary. The process as a whole was a way to orient myself in a new city and take personal control over my movements and to feel powerful where I felt so small. Paris has the power to make an individual feel very small when encompassed by its size and age. The indexical nature of the final image also became an important aspect of the project. Referring to the index of photography through the images by placing the city back onto itself. The process of taking in relation to the resulting image carries out the essence of photography visually through its tactile experience.


    Jennifer Kilburn

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by | No Comments »

    A body is the only thing a human being ever truly owns. It’s a private vehicle for the motor of our intellect, but what is it worth after we’re finished driving it? I’ve always been fascinated by the catacombs of Paris, and set about researching this site as an art installation. From the first moments of descending into the space, I realized that it is an art installation in the most literal sense. The skeletal remains displayed there were belonged to the lower class citizens of Paris from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Wealthier Parisians were buried outside of the city, or in the more exclusive graveyards, but the common and poor were simply discarded in mass burial pits. An 18th century citywide effort towards sanitation led to a massive relocation of these burial pits to the empty space below the city. With this abundance of human remains on their hands, the movers built geometric stacks of skeletal patterns dotted with plaques engraved with literary, biblical, and philosophical quotes about mortality. The space is obviously a statement about momento mori, the secondary statement concerning the equality of death, the erasure of identity after death, and the total loss of autonomy once our bodies are vacant. We can’t know how these individuals would feel about being displayed in this manner, but we know that the result has captivated visitors for two centuries, and has elevated these skeletal remains to art.

    Julia Kristeva is a major writer on the topic of abjection, or the attraction to and repulsion by the human body, and she writes, “… it’s not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection, but what disturbs identity, system, and order.” One of the greatest fears I have of death is the loss of self and disruption of the ego fueled life I’ve created for myself. I think that’s the common feeling among most people, and we as a society go to great lengths to express our wishes for our bodies after their death; where we want to be buried, what we want to wear in our coffins, and what we want our families to do with our ashes. It’s all very personalized and taken very seriously, but if our identity is erased and our ego is left out of the equation, what remains of a body can readily become art.

    Andres Serrano is a photographer who specializes in post mortem photography, and ensures that each of his subjects are given complete anonymity. He zooms in on the subject, giving a hint as to who they might have been and titling his photographs only with the cause of death. By removing the identity, he elevates what might have been mere coronary evidence to high art. This is similar to what the curators of the catacombs did in Paris when they embraced their desire to create something thought provoking out of human remains.

    The famous and ongoing Bodies project is a traveling pseudo-scientific show in which donated bodies are dissected, contorted, and displayed for maximum visual impact. It’s a fascinating look at the human body under the skin, a view normally reserved for a surgeon or an autopsy table. It is art in the purest sense, using ingenuity and vision to elevate what would be a corpse to something beautiful. It’s abject and completely macabre, but somehow irresistible to the crowds that flock to get a look at the human body in the raw. To be included in the exhibit as a specimen, the body must have been donated by the entity formerly living in it and the names of the contributors are available. But all identifying factors are removed for the show, and some specimens are children that couldn’t have volunteered their bodies for display in any legal sense. And in the same vein, what about the personal wishes of the mummified corpses on display in museums? Are these bodies “found art”?

    Marcel Duchamp coined the found art movement when he found a common urinal, titled it “Fountain” and submitted it under the pseudonym R. Mutt to the Society of Independent Artists in 1917. It was famously rejected until they realized who had actually submitted it, and then suddenly it sparked the discussion that perhaps art is art if an artist says so. Technically one could put a slant on any found object and it is art, if the artist has the debate skills to back that claim up. It’s similar to come across the chance to use the human body in this way, to display one because of the artistic merit, or the cultural value. The human body itself is something valuable, displayable, and can be manipulated in any way.

    A pile of skeletal remains is not art, nor are coronary photos, autopsy subjects, or urinals. They’re not art because nobody says that they’re art. But when found, manipulated in the correct manner, and displayed as art, they are indisputably beautiful, fascinating, and somehow more “safe” to get close enough to look at. The artist’s hand has the ability to purify something abject or macabre, elevate it to art, and create something that far outlasts death. That’s the goal of any artist, to provoke thought and emotion or express a feeling; and using the human body, the only thing that’s really ours, is the ultimate medium.


    Dawn Grayford

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by | No Comments »

    “My three year old could do that.”

    Artist Research

    In what ways can an artwork communicate different levels of complexity?

    Everyone experiences an image differently; there’s no right or wrong way of seeing an image. However, do we consider how an art piece communicates or is meant to communicate with its audience?

    In American culture, there is this lack of appreciation towards art, a lack of understanding. Viewers engage a work, but most art experiences are flawed; they look at a piece, but they do not know how to acknowledge the content; they do not experience the enlightenment a work is intended to inforce. Most viewers do not think about the artist process. But why do we think that is?

    When I was abroad in Paris, France, I experienced something that I wasn’t fully aware of in the United States- appreciation and curiosity. When I visited the Musée d’Orsay, I had an immediate passion to draw everything in sight. The statues, the people looking at the paintings, the architecture- everything had an impact on me and I couldn’t stop drawing. People in the museums stopped and looked over their shoulders to see what I was doing, and this became more noticeable when I drew the statues in the Louvre. People of different ethnic backgrounds and languages came up to me to see what I was doing, and even exchanged words or glances of curiosity as to what I was doing, or why, and an admiration towards it. It’s an admiration I hardly feel here in the United States unless they see what I’m creating, even then there’s a stigma attached to artists and the idea that I need to make money in order to be better off in society.

    My research will lead me to argue the artistic process and how it strongly relates to communicating the content of artworks. I will evaluate how to get the audience to truly see an art piece, to understand the content of an image and promote an appreciation for the visual arts.

    So my question I again ask is in what ways can an artwork communicate different levels of complexity? How do we get the audience to understand the difficulties that are strived for in art? My intention is to argue the artist process; to have the viewer understand the artist experience; to propose a solution.

    These are some videos to further understand artists.


    Curator Luke Syson
    My blog exhibits some of my adventures and thoughts in Paris, France and Venice, Italy. This also documents my artistic process through my research project.


    Adam Mathieu

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by | No Comments »

    The Tourist as Documentarian

    A woman takes a selfie with her tablet at the Louvre. Photo by Adam Mathieu.
    As technology changes, so too does our way of documenting our own individual worlds. Here I consider the implications of over-photographing, or the implications of the tourist acting as documentarian. I find this idea of the tourist documentarian to carry my concern of what happens when we decide to shoot first and experience later. Gathering my research from first-hand experience in Paris, I observed as digital cameras and smartphones were existed almost universally in the hands of tourist as they moved about museums, chateaus, and the monument of the city. Additionally, I turn to research already done which examines what the eager photographer could be doing to their true memory in favor of creating these digital file-based memories.

    This blog is an extension of the project, one in which I ask for people to submit their selfies to be published on the page. In this participatory act I hope to create some dialogue about the selfie as well as provide a platform for these moments to get another breath of life, after all, these selfies are capturing moments that are either significant or were deemed worthy of documentation.


    Natalie Bohin

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized by | No Comments »

    The videos below display how my choreography evolved throughout the months of my research.

    Video 1

    The choreography was entirely inspired by my time spent in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris. This was the first time I had performed the piece, so the choreographic choices weren’t solidified.

    Video 2

    I perform the piece at our showing in Paris. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to film the entire work.

    Video 3

    I filmed the choreography based from Rodin’s sculpture in the gardens of the Museum before I left Paris.

    Video 4

    I started playing with the choreography and trying to “surrealize” it.

    Video 5:

    The finial study. The choreography and music is inspired by Salvador Dali’s process of surrealism.


    Summer Research at Brown University- Apply Now!

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lisa Piazza | No Comments »

    The following FULLY PAID UG RESEARCH projects are available at BROWN UNIVERSITY this summer.  The application deadline is the end of January and the OUR will work with interested students on their applications. 

    STUDENTS SHOULD CONTACT Dwain Pruitt in the OUR (dpruitt2@usf.edu ) .

    Computer Science:
    Developing tools and environments that make programming easier, faster and more secure while making programmers more productive.  Students should have had significant programming experience and be knowledgeable about some combination of software engineering, user interfaces, machine learning, compilers, visualization, and graphics.

    The Center for the Capture and Conversion of CO2 aims to develop new catalytic chemistries that enable CO2 to become a sustainable feedstock for large-scale commodity chemicals.

    Three strategic areas of research and innovation are being pursued that taken together support our overall vision: (1) gain new fundamental insight into the mechanisms by which metals (in molecular, supported, or bulk form) activate CO2, (2) co-develop with industrial partners new processes by which activated CO2 is incorporated into the industrial synthesis of commodity targets, and (3) co-develop with industrial and utility partners new approaches to compressing and purifying CO2 from flue gas of a combustion-based power plant to a state that is suitable for utilization as a concentrated feedstock.

    Division of Applied Mathematics:
    Research this summer will include group projects in the areas of:

    Applications, dynamical systems, and probability theory.

    Numerical approximations to partial differential equations (PDEs).


    Congratulations to Undergraduate Researcher Olivia Means!!

    Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lisa Piazza | No Comments »

    Congratulations to biology major Olivia Means who graduated at the end of the Fall 2013 semester. Olivia participated

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