Discover USC

We hope you will join us at Discover USC 2019, on Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center!

The Graduate School would like to thank all graduate students, faculty, and staff who participated in the second annual Discover USC event on April 21, 2018. Students participated in 3MT and poster presentations. Winners of each competition were:

Poster session winners

A: Chamberline Ozigbu, Health Services Policy and Management—“Physician’s Practice Variation in Blood Pressure Home Monitoring (BPHM) Recommendations: Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2014”

B: Nadia Al-Sammarraie, Biomedical Sciences—“Loss of Transforming Growth Factor Beta-2 in Myocardium Causes Congenital Heart Defects”

C: Daniel Haun, Mass Communication—“Like, Share, Follow: Measuring Brand Engagement through Purposive Behaviors on Instagram”

D: Olivia Spead, Biological Sciences—“Specific Roles of Glypican3 in Axon Sorting and Topographic Map Formation in the Developing Visual System”

E: Ekaterina Dolgopolova, Chemistry and Biochemistry—“Photophysics and Electronic Structure of Metal-Organic Frameworks”

F: Michael Cranston, Experimental Psychology—“Sex Differences in Voluntary Wheel Running in the HIV-1 Transgenic Rat”

G: Shandrea Foster, Genetic Counseling—“Understanding Barriers to Genetic Testing for Sickle Cell Trait: The African-American Male Perspective”

H: Zachary Cannizzo, Marine Science—“Habitat Specific Impacts of Hurricane Mathew on a Range of Expanding Species”

I: Sarah King, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior —“Improving the Walkability of a University Campus One STEP at a Time”

K: Nicholas Dopkins, Biomedical Sciences—“Role of Gut Microbial Metabolite Tryptamine in the Amelioration of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis”

L: Samantha Yaussy, Anthropology—“Patterns of Craniofacial Fluctuating Asymmetry in Industrial-era England” 

M: Tie:

Wurood Neamah, Biomedical Sciences—“2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Induces Immune Tolerance by Altering the Gut Microbiome”  


Katy Pilarzyk, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience—“The Role of PDE11A4 in Isolation-Induced Neuroinflammation”

N: Tie:

Ballie DeHaven, Chemistry and Biochemistry—“Probing the Formation of Reactive Oxygen Species by a Porous Self-assembled Benzophenone Bis-urea Host”


Jordan Holmes, Chemistry and Biochemistry—“Enzyme-free Glutamate Sensing at Ionophore-grafted Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes”

O: William Hayes, Experimental Psychology—“Analyzing Individual Differences in Contextually-based Choice”

P: Tie:

Christopher Perry, Exercise Science—“Eye-hand coordination is Modulated by Attentional Demands”


Jonathan Ruiz-Ramie, Exercise Science—“Cardiovascular Health is Associated with Incidence of Elevated C-Reactive Protein over 18 Years of Follow-up: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study” 

Q: Phani Gummadidala, Environmental Health Sciences—“Flooding is Associated with Increase in Relative Abundance of Aspergillus and Penicillium spp. in Built Environment: Implications to Human Health”

R: Danda Chapagai, Biological Sciences—“Selective Inhibition of Polo-like Kinase 1 PBD for Cancer Therapy”

S: Sara Walden Hanna, Speech Pathology—“Examining the Relationship between Brain Lesion Site and Naming and Comprehension Ability Post-stroke: A Dual Stream Model Investigation” 

T: Emile Culclasure, Speech Pathology—“The Development of Orthographic Knowledge: Exploring Results” 


Three-minute thesis award winners

Overall Winner:

Ashley AllenChemistry, “Miniature Spectrometers for Planetary Exploration”

Overall First Runner-up:

Jamie ClarkMarine Science, “Regenerating Eyes: What Can They Tell Us?”

Overall Second Runner-up:

Alicia DahlHealth Promotion, Education, and Behavior, “The Healthy Motivations for Moms-to-be Study: A Mobile Health Intervention for Targeting Gestational Weight Gain among Pregnant Women” 

Fan Favorite:

Rasha RaheemPathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, “Enterohepatic Helicobacter Species Modulate Severity of DSS-induced Colitis but Do Not Prevent Amelioration by Indole-3-carbinol”


Heat A Winner:

Jamie ClarkMarine Science, “Regenerating Eyes: What Can They Tell Us?”

Heat B Winner:

Patrick O’BrienHistory, “‘Unknown and Unlamented’: Loyalist Women in Exile and Repatriation”

Heat C Winner:

Tanzir ShuvoHealth Services Policy and Management, “Alzheimer’s Attributable Costs in the United States: A Secondary Analysis of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2011-2015”

Heat D Winner:

Ashley AllenChemistry, “Miniature Spectrometers for Planetary Exploration”

Heat E Winner:

Keith FullerBiological Sciences, “Using Satellite Telemetry to Track Environmental and Geographic Preference of a Juvenile Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini)”

Heat F Winner:

Alicia DahlHealth Promotion, Education, and Behavior, “The Healthy Motivations for Moms-to-be Study: A Mobile Health Intervention for Targeting Gestational Weight Gain among Pregnant Women”


Additional awards

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

Jennifer Mandelbaum, Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

Anna Rogers, Sociology


Outstanding Thesis Award

Sajan Shrestha, Mechanical Engineering



Rhude M. Patterson Graduate Fellowship

Holly Smith, Geography

Hannah Huber, English


C.C. Royal Graduate Fellowship

Mohammad Faisal Haider, Mechanical Engineering


George M. Reeves Graduate Fellowship

Tamara Morgan, Spanish


Dera D. Parkinson Graduate Fellowship

Jennifer Deaton, Counselor Education



Please contact Wright Culpepper at, 803-777-2477, with any questions.