College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Chemistry

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Counseling Psychology

Using Gender: Do People Employ Traditional Gender Roles to Get What They Want?

"It is widely accepted by scholars of gender that society places men and women on unequal footing with differing and limiting expectations of each gender. Gender stereotypes are abundant in society, dictating what men and women should and should not do, how they should and should not be. Given that rigid gender roles are restrictive and costly, we wondered whether people may also adapt to these rigid gender roles by re-purposing them. In other words, men and women partly reduce the costs of behaving according to gender norms by using gender-related stereotypes to their advantage. For example, a woman may behave in accordance with the stereotype of “women are weaker” by allowing a man to carry a heavy box for her, a box she could have carried herself, but preferred not to.

We wondered whether some people would recall specific, life experiences when they sought a personal benefit by enacting a gender role stereotype, while privately rejecting the stereotype. Then, whether participants’ degree of personal conformity with gender norms related to whether they described such an incident. We reasoned that both rejecting a traditional stereotype and re-purposing it to gain a personal advantage reflect a failure to conform to gender norms, so we predicted that those who described a re-purposing incident would have lower scores on gender norms. However, people who reported doing this actually scored higher on conformity to traditional gender norms. This is interesting because people may be internalizing gender norms as true of them, while only superficially rejecting the stereotype, and the internalization of gender norms is associated with negative psychological outcomes such as depression, substance use, and relationship problems. This superficial short-term benefit may actually be detrimental in the long term.

(Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 16.2)"


College of Fine Arts - Music

I have been casted as a lead role of "Count" for the production of "Le Nozze di Figaro,” composed by W.A. Mozart.

Once in Germany with the role memorized and prepared independently, I will work with professional repetiteurs, coaches, and directors from around the world. I will also be studying under the German theater system, and studying the German language. Additionally, I will receive voice lessons, stage movement coaching, and acting lessons. All of these are instrumental towards a successful career as a classical singer. With these skills, I can bring to the School of Music, and my assistantship appointment, more professionalism and experience. There is also an opportunity for me to audition with agents of German opera companies, but this is not exclusively why I am attending LOSW. By auditioning for these agents, I can bring back to the undergraduate students the experience of auditioning outside the United States. I have never completed a live international audition, and I know it must be equally as compelling for the undergraduate students craving a chance to learn more about the classical music industry. Young Artist Programs are education and experience oriented. With immersion into the industry, as well as various educational opportunities, and an experience in a foreign county with a rich history of opera, the potential for professional development is significantly high. Being an internationally minded student is an essential part of the Gator Nation because it is the right thing to do for the individual, and for the global community. The Gator Nation is global, and that further illustrates how interconnected the global community is. I may meet University of Florida alumni while in Germany, and if I do, I would swell with pride. To represent the University of Florida on stage, singing music hundreds of years old, studying an art form even older than the opera itself, and practicing languages, movements, and social practices even older still will surely be a benefit to myself, and therefore a benefit to the Gator Nation. Expressing emotion, thought, and the human experience through music is a form of communication that can reach many people's lives, and touch them in an indescribable way. With the performance opportunities I have had in this past academic year, I know what I learn in Germany will not be lost upon the student body at UF. The lessons and experiences would fuel my passion to share music with my fellow Gators.


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - English

Instruments of Death: Teenage Assassins and the Reclamation of American Innocence

"In recent years, young adult literature has seen an increase in the publication of fantasy novels about teenage assassins. These books – including Robin LaFevers’s His Fair Assassin trilogy and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass sextet, among others – have become very popular, often appearing on bestseller lists. In these novels, the assassin character usually winds up learning that their job of killing people lacks morality, and so they set upon a journey in which they aim to find a more appropriate way of applying their deadly skillset in day-to-day life.

In my paper, I argue that this particular journey, which can be found across dozens of novels, is in fact reflective of a larger national concern: that of a country grappling with the reality of soldiers returning home after their time at war. Within each of these books, the fictional assassins must face many of the same questions that young soldiers encounter in real life: in what circumstances can killing be justified, can the organization or authority relaying orders be trusted, how best to use one’s specialized training for ethical ends. These fantasy books offer solutions to very real anxieties, and as such are worth examining to understand how our young people might maintain their innocence in the face of a violent career.

(Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 15)"


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Botany

Evaluating evidence for ancient Whole Genome Duplications from Synonymous Substitution Rates

When analyzing large amounts of data, such as complete genome sequences, we will generally find patterns. Whether or not these patterns are meaningful is not always clear. One example is the detection of whole genome duplication in the evolutionary histories of plants. Whole genome duplication is of generally interests, as some often attribute the diversity of flowering plants or the development of new protein functions to these events. However, I present evidence that suggests the role of whole genome duplications in plants is complex, and sometimes, of little consequence. Additionally, previous hypotheses based solely on observing patterns in data are called into question, through a combination of simulation experiments and rigorous hypothesis testing. The big picture is that we need to be careful about drawing too much based on what we see. When we invoke statistical hypothesis testing, and provide more biologically realistic simulations, it is clear that some patterns may arise in large data sets by chance alone. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 15.8)


College of Engineering - Environmental Engineering Sciences

Hydrologic Restoration via Low Impact Design Retrofit

"I used the University of Florida as a subject site for a low impact design retrofit project. Low impact design (LID) is an approach to land development which allows water to travel more like it did naturally, prior to development. Example of this are green roofs, rain gardens, pervious pavement, wetlands etc, all which allow water to slow down and infiltrate, reducing peak flows and runoff volume, while encouraging groundwater recharge.

The proposed project which I based my research on was presented to the EPA (by an interdisciplinary team for which I mentored and performed engineering calculations)for the EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge, in which the our University of Florida team won 1st plact nationally 2012 and 2013. I used a ground and surface water integrated model to determine the short and long term impacts to campus hydrology that implementing this proposed project would result, as well as modeled a number of scenerios in which the University could implement to create a hydrologic condition closer to pre-development conditions.

I also created an LID land development tool for developers and engineers to make selecting a more sustainable design easy and cost effective, while within local regulation requirements. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 18.3)"


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Chemistry

Synthesis and Characterization of a Family of M2+ Complexes Supported by a Trianionic ONO3- Pincer Ligand: Towards the Stabilization of High-Spin Square-Planar Complexes

Chemistry students learn that inorganic complexes adopt predictable geometries and electronic structures depending on the identity of the ligands, the metal ion, and its oxidation state. Convincing metal ions to adopt unusual geometries and electronic structures is important to realizing new chemistry. More specifically, it is appealing to expand the scope of iron and cobalt chemistry because of their low toxicity, abundance, and therefore low cost relative to the noble metals like gold and platinum that are usually used as catalysts. In this poster we report the synthesis and characterization of cobalt and iron complexes in geometries and electronic states that are extremely unusual, with only five other examples previously known. In addition we show for the first time that these unusual properties we observed in the solid phase are retained when the compounds are in solution, a key piece of information to explore their potential as catalysts. In particular, the cobalt compound displays very interesting magnetic properties that could be tuned for applications in quantum computing and high-density information storage. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 19.3)


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Animal Sciences

Seasonality distributions of number of breedings and conception rate of Florida dairy farms

Dairy production is a very important economic activity in USA and world-wide. However, due to hot climate, dairy farms are seasonal in their productive and reproductive performance. Although seasonality and the effects of heat stress in dairy cows is an object of study everywhere, the distribution of seasonality across farms has not been quantified. Besides, the amount of seasonality of a farm can define the management decisions adopted by a farmer in order to maximize the production and the profitability of the farm. The objective of my research is to study seasonality in productive (milk production, milk quality, culling of dairy cows) and reproductive parameters (number of breedings, conception rate, pregnancy rate) of dairy farms in USA. We will also apply a economic tool called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in order to evaluate the best farms and the benchmarking according to the amount of seasonality and management decisions, especially reproductive management decisions. We will use data obtained from USDA-AIP from the year 2006 to 2012. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 16.5)


College of Design, Construction, and Planning - Design, Construction, and Planning (Ph.D.)

GIS-Based Decision Support System for Smart Project Location

These days we might hear about green construction and environmentally friendly buildings. But have you ever thought about if it is a good idea to build the best type of buildings in a bad location? An exaggerated example could be a building with the best technological building methods and finest material in a far place where there is no accessibility to infrastructures, urban services, etc. Our research resulted in creation of a system which helps developer analyze different project locations based on surrounding environment, accessibility to the urban infrastructures and services etc. to find which places are better to build what you plan to build. In fact, it can help the residents in saving on transportation, decreasing the auto-dependency, reducing generated CO2 (which eventually helps the environment), promoting public health (as with maximizing walkability), and so many other key parameters. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 17.5)


College of Health and Human Performance - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

Perceived Destination Personality Based on Visitors’ Experience: A Case of Jeju Island, South Korea

Tourists’ emotional connection is considered to be the upmost important attribute in their choice of destination to travel. Moreover, scholars in tourism study have highlighted that tourists’ emotion toward the destination is built based on reflection of tourist’s personality. It is known that tourists choose a destination which is similar to their personality. Thus, examining how tourists evaluate destination to their personality is essential for destination marketing organization (DMO) to establish their marketing and promotion strategies. Thus, this study explore destination personality from perception of tourists using self-reported tourists experience in blogs. However, brand personality is found to be distinct for each culture. Therefore, in order to better understand destination personality from a positioning and promotion perspective, this study compares each destination brand personality trait between East and West markets. The destination personality traits were operationalized based on UGC (travel blogs). The data were examined through Content analysis and chi-square analysis. The findings revealed significant differences between markets in Excitement and Peaceful traits while the rest of the destination personality traits did not exhibit a significant difference. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 17)


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Entomology and Nematology

"This trip is part of a Tropical Entomology course offered by Dr. Ron Cave in the Entomology and Nematology Department. The lab section of the class is a ten day trip to Honduras, where I am interested in surveying native Honduran orchids for pollinators. I will collect and identify pollinators, and plan to produce a paper that can be submitted for publication upon return. During this trip I also plan to meet with orchid researchers at Pico Bonita National Park, who could be potential collaborators in future research projects. I would like to learn about the type of research that they conduct and the methods that they use, so that I could apply this knowledge in my own studies. At the end of the trip, I will give a presentation to explain the research I was conducting and a preliminary outline of the data that was collected.

In addition to the research, there are planned visits to several locations for educational tours. We will be visiting the Zamorano arthropod collection, herbarium, biological control laboratory, apiculture laboratory, and International Seed and Grain Science Center, in addition to the Museo de Mariposas and Centro Universitario Regional del Littoral Atlántico (CURLA). These trips will provide an appreciation for the biological diversity in the tropics, and some of the applied practices that are used there. " The Tropical Entomology trip to Honduras would be beneficial not only for me, but for the Entomology and Nematology Department and the greater UF community. This trip will provide the opportunity for potential collaborations with researchers in Honduras for future UF students. Because the research that I am interested in is not strictly entomological, students interested in other aspects of plant or orchid biology could contact the Honduran researchers for a variety of projects. I also plan to submit a manuscript on the data collected from the pollinator surveys to a journal, so that the data can be freely available. The published data can be used as a reference for future related studies.


College of Engineering - Chemical Engineering

Controlled Pt deposition onto well-defined CeO2 nanostructures using ALD and their catalytic activities

Catalysts are important part of people's daily life. From the enzyme in our body to the catalytic converter in our cars, a good catalyst will make normally difficult chemical reaction happens under easier condition or steer the reaction toward the desired products. Traditionally, catalysts were made over commercial materials with limited control of the parameters. In our research, we first prepared the materials using advanced method which provide very well defined parameters. Then we used atomic layer deposition(ALD) to provide even more control of the final catalysts. As the result, in theory, we should be able to tailor the catalysts' properties and make them more efficient for many other reactions. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 13.1)


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Animal Sciences

Transport of a fluorescent analog of glucose (2-NBDG) by rumen bacteria

Our research is about the microbes in the cow's stomach. Cows and other ruminants have ability to digest fiber while human being can not, which are attributed to the microbes residing in the first compartment stomach of cow, called rumen. Currently only 10% of the 5000 rumen microbes species have been cultured, the remaining 90% can't be thoroughly studied because they can not survive in the lab conditions. So we developed a culture independent method to study those microbes by using a fluorescent glucose analog. Historically all the study were done by using radioactive material, which has obvious disadvantages and do not exist in our new method because fluorescent material are much more environmental friendly. So our method is dosing the bacteria with fluorescent glucose analog, incubating for some time, then filtering the bacteria by retaining them on the membrane, finally reading the fluorescence through dissolved membrane. Our result showed that this method can identify the bacteria that is taking up glucose with a specific glucose transport system called mannose-PTS. Therefore, this new culture independent method could help identify the remaining 90% of the 5000 species, which 20% have this mannose PTS transport system. Also this method could be applied to other microbial ecosystem as well. (Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 15.3)


College of Health and Human Performance - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

Understanding the Cruise Industry’s Responses to Health-Related Crises: A Case Study Approach

"Serving more than twenty million passengers, the cruise industry is an important player in the global economy. The cruise industry has battled with health-related crises for years, but the results are inconsistent. The impact of health-related crises on cruise ships could be significant for passengers and involved organizations, including threats to individuals’ well-beings, people’s increased risk perceptions, as well as organizations’ economic losses and reputational damages. The cruise industry has implemented different measures to combat this issue, while scholars addressed the need for communication efforts.

This study serves as one of the early attempts that evaluate the cruise industry’s crisis communication and crisis management practices. Specifically, this study analyzed the content of Princess Cruises’ responses to norovirus outbreaks from 2004 – 2014, and evaluated the effectiveness of the responses. Norovirus is one of the leading causes of food-borne diseases in the U.S. and is associated with cruise travels as a common health concern. And the main subject, Princess Cruise, is one of the oldest and the best-known names in the cruise industry, and currently is facing the challenges of Norovirus outbreaks.

In doing so, this study can not only provide a critical review of the current crisis management practices within the cruise industry, but also offer recommendations to the practitioners, with a transformation from theories to real life actions.

(Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 14.3)"


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Physics

"The lectures the Tri-Institute summer School on Elementary Particles 2015 is offering are on topics closely related to my research and given by experts in the field. I think I would greatly benefit from my attendance to the school, as I would gain both a deeper insight on the specific technicalities I need to master for my research, and a wider background knowledge in the field of high energy physics.

I am a graduate student in her third year, and I believe this is the perfect time for me to to explore the academic world outside UF. I haven’t visited other physics departments yet and haven’t had a chance to interact with students or professor from other schools for an extended amount of time.

I think going to the Tri-Institute summer School on Elementary Particles 2015 would be the perfect chance for me to work in this direction."

"The Tri-Institute Summer School on Elementary Particles 2015 is offering advanced lectures on topics highly relevant to my research. Attending will crucially boost my expertise and enable me to work faster toward the production of new research papers and graduation.

I will also get a chance to interact with experts in the field of high energy physics from various schools from US and Canada and possibly to present my current work to them.

The new interactions and knowledge may be an input for new ideas and prospects that I will bring back to UF, giving me and my group the possibility to write more papers.

Finally, I think the summer of the third year of PhD is the best time to visit other departments, travel and start networking."


College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Agricultural and Biological Engineering

"The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) is a software platform used for crop simulation models. The modular software is highly adaptable and to date has been used for over 28 different crops. The DSSAT International Training Program is an intensive, weeklong workshop intended to familiarize participants with both the use of DSSAT and the science behind it.

The goal of my PhD research is to develop a DSSAT crop simulation model for tef, an Ethiopian staple grain that is a vital part of that nation’s food security. The DSSAT platform will allow me to not only simulate the growth of tef under normal conditions, but also to examine the effects that climate change will have on this crop in the future. Since I have not worked with DSSAT before, it is necessary for me to attend this workshop in order to accomplish my research goals. I will learn not only how to use DSSAT to run simulations, but also how to create the DSSAT sub-modules necessary to make a model for a new crop, such as tef.

The workshop will also provide me with an excellent opportunity to network with other crop modelers from around the globe. These people could provide valuable data for my research and could be possible future collaborators. In the crop modeling world, collaboration is not only beneficial, it is crucial. Creating a crop model requires a lot of data, but agricultural data is time and resource intensive to collect. In order to have enough data to create a sound model, modelers need to pool resources. Collaboration is also important for one of the most active fields of crop modeling, model inter-comparison. By running multiple models with the same input data, researchers are able to better understand the true workings of the agricultural system and to create more accurate outputs."

"The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) International Training Program will bring together crop modelers from around the world. As an attendee I will be a representative of UF’s active crop modeling community in a global setting. This will help raise awareness for the world class research happening at UF. Increased name recognition will help UF to draw high caliber students and faculty. Since I plan to use what I will learn at this workshop for my future research, my participation will also lead to publications. Journal papers will reach an even wider audience, informing them of the research happening at UF.

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