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Division of Research and Graduate Studies

45th Annual Central California Research Symposium
Wednesday April 3, 2024 | Location: Fresno State's Resnick Student Union

2024 Central California Research Symposium: List of Awardees 2024 Central California Research Symposium: Photo Album

UCSF Outstanding Undergraduate Oral Presentation Winner:  Benjamin Awad (#75), Dr. Mihai Gherase, “X-ray Fluorescence and X-ray Attenuation Measurements of a Primary Incisor Tooth Slice”

UCSF Honorable Mention Undergraduate Oral Presentation:  Nikhil Hematillake (#135), Dr. Mihai Gherase, “Fundamental Parameter Method Application to Determinations of Absolute Elemental Concentrations in a Thin Lamb Bone Slice from Microscopic X-ray Fluoresce Measurements at the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron” 

UCSF Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation Winner:  Jason Datsko (#134), Dr. Hubert Muchalski, “Competition Kinetics of Peroxidation with 19F NMR Spectroscopy: Synthesis and Characterization of Hydroperoxides of para-Fluoroallylbenzene”

UCSF Honorable Mention Graduate Oral Presentation:  Ana Ramirez Perez (#108), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Karine Gousset, “Analyzing the Role of L-Plastin in the Formation of Tunneling Nanotubes”

EECU Outstanding Math Presentation:  Catie Corchado (#103), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe, “Studying Math Recitation Sessions’ Effects on Peer Engagement and Course Success in College Calculus”

EECU Honorable Mention Math Presentation:  Mikayla Leggett (#52), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Mario Bencomo, “A Spectral method Approach to Solving Heat Equation with Time-Varying Boundary Conditions”

Davin Youngclarke Award Winner:  Yvette De Jesus (#97), Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Rosa Toro, “Does Bicultural Involvement and Family Cohesion Mediate the Relationship Between Language Brokering and Problem Behaviors Among Latinx Adolescents”

ACS Outstanding Undergraduate Oral Presentation Winner:  Gurneet Kaur (#57), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Morgan Hawker, “Analyzing the surface chemistry and surface roughness of nitrogen plasma-treated silk fibroin films for corneal epithelial tissue regeneration scaffolds” 

ACS Outstanding Graduate Oral Presentation Winner:  Andrew Manion (#105), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Cory Brooks, “Epitope Characterization of MUC16 Specific Monoclonal Antibodies”

ACS Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation Winner:  Zulaikha Ali (#53), Faculty Mentor, Dr. He Wei, “Two-pronged Computational and Experimental Analyses of New Single-nanometer Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for MRI Applications” 

ACS Outstanding Graduate Poster Presentation Winner:  Mackenzie Jackson (#178), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Kristina Closser, “Computational Modeling of the Radical Formation of Pentane and Acrylic Acid as Plasma Precursors in Low Temperature Plasma” 

The following awards are sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social Sciences, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development and the Lyles College of Engineering.

Oral Presentations:

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Cyndee Mai Nguyen (#215), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Christina Luna, “Supporting School Leaders with Developing and Maintaining their Social Justice Beliefs and Identities”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Hannah Martinez (#192), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jenna Kieckhaefer, “An Analysis of College Students’ Knowledge of Human Trafficking in California’s Central Valley”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Parshwa Khane (#249), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Sankha Banerjee, “Creating and Analyzing a Water Purification System Integrating Activated Carbon, Graphene Nanoplatelets, and a Ti3C2-Based Composite Nanofiltration Matrix:  Advancing Multifunctional Nanofiltration Systems for Precise Elimination of Emerging Contaminants”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Siddhartha Erelli (#243), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Manideep Tummalapudi, “Leveraging Emerging Technologies in Construction:  Opportunities and Challenges”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Anber Choudhry (#85), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Martin Shapiro, “The Psychophysiology of Vicarious Embarrassment”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Harley Calleros Cuadros (#51), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Katherine Fobear, ““¿Cuanto Orgullo Es De Ser Latine?”: A View on LGBTQ+ Latinas on The Basis of Media and Latin Cultures 

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Crystal Rodriguez (#23), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jes Therkelsen, “The Enigma Report”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Lindsey Biehler (#92), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Joel Slade, “Genetic Diversity of Toll-like Receptor 4 in Cardueline Finches”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Yazmine Bedolla (#63), Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Cory Brooks, “Recombinant Expression of a MUC16 Antibody Fragments in E. coli”

Outstanding Oral Presentation Winner:  Dillon Allen (#79), Dr, Khang Tran, “Zeros of Sums of Polynomials Satisfying a Three-Term Non-Contiguous Recurrence Relation” 

Honorable Mention | Oral Presentations:

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Ajmeet Pama-Ghuman (#113), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Karine Gousset, “Characterization of the Transcriptomes of Specific Subtypes of Cellular Protrusions Isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection”

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Sarah Lindsay (#50), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jenelle Gilbert, “Active and Efficacious: Exploring the Link Between Physical Activity Levels and Self-Efficacy for Activities of Daily Living in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries 

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Abel Gutierrez (#45), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Danette Dutra, “In post-operative coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients, does the occurrence of at least one hypoglycemic event correlate to adverse outcomes?”

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Destiny Ortiz (#144), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Karine Gousset, “Effect of Fixation on Immunofluorescence”

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Matthew Gomes (#246), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Vivien Luo, “Integrating Flood-Resistant Design and Construction Strategies in Sustainable Homes in the Central Valley: Effective Approaches for New and Existing Structures” 

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Kalue Yang (#217), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Soua Xiong, “It Matters Where Hmong Students Receive Their Academic Advising”

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Rob Swart (#188), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Julia Shatz, “Disturbance, Riot, or Reign of Terror?: The 1949 Pro-Democracy Movement in Colonial Uganda” 

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Heena Bindlish (#226), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Nan Wang, “Optimizing a Resource-sharing Round Robin Arbiter design using Clock gating in the NoC router to improve total power” 

Honorable Mention Oral Presentation:  Ali Dadawalla (#66), Faculty Mentor, Dr. David Lent, “Modeling Parkinson’s Disease Through the Enteric Nervous System of Drosophila melanogaster using Alpha-Synuclein” 

Poster Presentations:

Outstanding Nursing Poster Presentation Winner:  Matthew Benincosa (#42), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Bryan Tune, “Comparison of Intermittent and Continuous Enteral Feeds and Their Effect on Glucose Levels in Burn Subjects”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Monique Marquez (#133), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Katherine Waselkov, “Evaluating the Taxonomic Relationships of Different Phlox pungens Population Centers Utilizing Genetic Characteristics”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Karen Medina (#88), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Hubert Muchalski, “Efficient Synthesis of Fluorine-Tagged tert-Butyl Peroxyester Precursor of Allylbenzene Radical”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Grant Mendoza (#47), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Emanuel Alcala, “Geospatial Analysis of the Association between Food Deserts, Transportation, and Hypertension Prevalence in California”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Yogeshwari Oka (#146), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Cory Brooks, “Investigating AR9.6 inhibition of protein-protein interactions between MUC16 and binding partners”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Mona Sandoval (#76), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Martin Shapiro, “The Manipulation of the Better-than-Average Effect in Motor and Memory Tasks”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Karina Hernandez-Hernandez (#106), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jason Bush, “Investigating one carbon metabolic pathway in HER2+ breast cancer”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Angela Maldonado Alfaro (#231), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Jorge Pesantez, “Unlocking Water Demand Patterns and Outdoor Consumption Insights for Targeted Conservation Strategies”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Lillian Kier (#208), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Todd Lone, “Using drainage water to grow an alternative salt and boron tolerant crop, guayule, that produces natural latex and resin for the San Joaquin Valley in Central California, then conducting parametric analysis to investigate the economic feasibility for farmers”

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Nicholas Amely (#242), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Hovannes Kulhandjian, “AI-Based Bridge and Road Inspection Framework Using Drones with GPS-less Navigation” 

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Hiba Suhail (#190), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Ryan Ditchfield, “Perceptions of Police Legitimacy Explain Color-Blind Racist Attitudes Above and Beyond Socioeconomic Status, Empathy, and Just-World Beliefs: A Multivariate Analysi

Outstanding Poster Presentation Winner:  Eduardo Martinez (#102), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Amith Belman, “Machine Learning for Advanced Signature Verification”

Honorable Mention | Poster Presentations:

Honorable Mention Nursing Poster Presentation:  Japneet Gill (#36), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Bryan Tune, “Identifying Whole Blood Donation Barriers in Sikhs in the Central Valley”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Ireland McCall (#71), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Beth Weinman, “Subsurface Water Flow Potential and Groundwater Recharge”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentations:  Dustin Hedrick (#38), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Emanuel Alcala, “Health Literacy Intersections with M ental Health and Social Determinants of Health in Fresno County”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Abbas Dadawalla (#112), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Qiao-Hong Chen, “Isolation of Potential Anti-Prostrate Cancer Agents from Erigeron canadensis”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Courtney Goodwin (#8), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Debra Bekerian, “Impacts of COVID-19 on Social Anxiety”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Josue Magana (#129), Faculty Mentor, Dr. Katherine Waselkov, “Creating a Phylogenetic Relationship Between the US Southwestern and Galapagos Islands Amaranthus Species”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Eddye Rodriguez (#59), Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Rosa Toro, “Exploring the Role of Filial Responsibility in the Link between Family Achievement Guilt and Internalizing Symptoms among Latinos in College”

Honorable Mention Poster Presentation:  Harini Gangadharan (#61), Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Jason Bush, “Comparing the gene expression of ERBB gene family in brain metastatic breast cancer using 3D cell culture model” 

Fresno State students listening to a research poster presentation

Call for Abstracts

The 46th Annual Central California Research Competition will be held in April 2025 at the Resnick Student Union. The deadline for student submissions will be set at a later date. Please adhere to these important dates to ensure your participation in the competition.

View the Call for Abstracts
Students preforming research in lab coats with test tubes

Submit your Abstract

Ready to submit your abstract? Check back in Fall 2025 and use the provided submission form and adhere to the guidelines. Note that once you have submitted your abstract, you will not be able to make any further edits or changes. If you require any assistance during the submission process, please do not hesitate to contact us at or call our office at (559) 278-0840. We are here to help.

Submit abstract

The purpose of the Symposium is to share recent research
with community investigators in various fields, college
students, and faculty as well as to encourage research
activities in the Central Valley. All fields of research will be considered for presentation to exchange further ideas among
investigators and the general public.
All individuals, including faculty, residents, graduate and
undergraduate students are encouraged to submit


Authors of papers entered in the
student competition must be sponsored by a faculty member.
Your google submission will be routed to your faculty mentor for approval.

In order to participate in sessions,
participants must confirm their invitation to present. Presenters
who do not confirm will not be scheduled.

If a first author chooses to withdraw his or her abstract for any reason, a request must be submitted by
March 29, 2023.