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  • Posts Tagged ‘#research’


    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 | No Comments »

    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!



    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!


    Welcome, Spring 2017!

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

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    Welcome back, Bulls!

    Hopefully the first week of Spring 2017 has re-sparked your drive and restored your goals that may have been put on pause during winter break. Have no fear, the OUR has been working throughout the break to continue its commitment to students and prepare for the largest research event at USF!

    The office has also undergone some changes.

    Some of you may be aware that Dr. Pollenz is no longer the OUR Director and has returned to his faculty position. We wish him the best in his future and know that he will continue to do great work with students!

    A new OUR Director will be named soon and we will be announcing additional programming in the near future.

    Although the OUR is undergoing a brief transition, these changes do not impact the services and operations of the office. Remember to take advantage of the services the office has to offer, including:

    Be sure to email Lisa Piazza at lmpiazza@usf.edu to schedule personal appointments.

    Time to take the bull by it’s horns and settle for nothing but success this semester!






    21st Century Skills to Ensure Success

    Friday, December 30th, 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    A common question among many students is, “How can I be successful?”

    These 21st century skills are essential for success in both research and in life!

    Oral & Written Communication

    Be sure to practice these skills as much as possible. You have worked hard in your classes, internships and research opportunities so you want to be sure you can effectively communicate your knowledge and skills.  A curriculum vitae (CV) and vision statement are essential to credit your accomplishments and skills. You can also effectively communicate your ideas by learning how to compose professional emails and acquiring presentation skills.

    Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

    University is the perfect place to expand these skills. Be sure to make connections between content in different courses, analyze issues from a variety of perspectives and apply current knowledge to new problems. Take advantage of your setting by asking questions and engaging with individuals even if you have opposing viewpoints.

    Creative Thinking

    It is easy to forget the importance of creativity due to the structure and standards of academia. Reach back to your inner child and access this skill by testing new ideas, reflecting and brainstorming, applying existing knowledge in new ways and challenge yourself to learn new skills.

    Global Competencies 

    USF is the perfect place to become globally aware because we are such a diverse university. You can become globally aware by working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, learning a new language and investigating international issues. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and engage with different cultures, you may learn something you never thought of before.

    Organization & Time Management

    It’s no surprise that organization and time management will lead you on the road to success. Many people utilize these skills differently to fit their personality. Whatever your method may be, it is essential you have one. You can create your own method of organization and time management by setting goals for yourself, managing deadlines and prioritizing tasks.


    Leadership skills display confidence, organization and integrity. You can develop your leadership skills by holding positions in student government or clubs, initiating community service events, becoming a peer mentor or even pursing a leadership minor.


    It is important to develop your personal skills and knowledge to make yourself the prime candidate for your future career. However, networking will also open up new opportunities for you by meeting professionals in your field. Improve your networking skills by creating relationships with a variety of individuals, attending university seminars and events and consulting with the OUR directors.


    The Undergraduate Research Colloquium is Coming!

    Friday, December 2nd, 2016 | Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in OUR Blog by emiliakalogiannis | No Comments »

    By Emilia Kalogiannis

    small pix07

    Finals are upon us and the holidays are quickly approaching, Bulls! As you wrap up the semester and set your books aside for winter break, don’t forget about the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium.

    The Research and Arts Colloquium is open to all undergraduate students conducting research with a mentor. Students have the opportunity to brand themselves and develop writing and presenting skills individually or as a group through poster, oral or a studio/visual arts presentations.

    In addition to gaining credibility and presenting your research in a  professional setting, the colloquium also offers several cash awards to students who present exceptional projects.

    The presenter application will be available on Dec. 9 and is due no later than March 6. Students will then be notified of their acceptance on March 17. Visit the OUR website to apply!


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