In January 2024, the Office of Undergraduate Research announced 78 SURF Awards for the spring semester. Congratulations to all those who received awards!

Architecture & Urban Planning (School of) 


  • Samuel Bensemann and Gavyn Wilson working with Samantha Schuermann, “Model Homes: Gender, Labor, and Form in 20th century Home Economics” 
  • Alexia Bunge working with Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, “Architecture for the Act of Voting”
  • Dominic Gomez-Tagle working with Maura Lucking, “Stretching the Limits of Utopia: Laura Cornelius Kellogg and the Struggle for an Indigenous Garden City”
  • Evan Johnson working with Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, “Reimagining Assembly Spaces for Face-To-Face Democracies”  

Urban Planning 

  • Spencer Smolen working with Carolyn Esswein, “Green and Healthy Schoolyards: Transforming Milwaukee Public Schools”  

Arts (Peck School of the) 

Art & Design 

  • Islam Awad working with Nathaniel Stern, “Cybernatural Landscapes” 
  • Greta Craemer-Meihsner, Ambrose Schulte, and Sydney Seebach working with Nathaniel Stern, “Mother Computer: Thinking with Natural and Artificial Intelligences”  
  • Giron Pavonis working with Yevgeniya Kaganovich

Film, Video, Animation, & New Genres 

  • Georgia Didier, Rhea Raje, and Emanuel Zander working with Sean Kafer, “The Brady Street Neighborhood Historical Project” 
  • Aral Nen working with Sean Kafer, “Unity, Progress, and Activism in Milwaukee’s Urban Neighborhoods”  
  • Samuel Schoonover working with Sean Kafer, “Lasting Connections: The Service of Dr. Finlayson to a Community”  


  • Owen Groth working with Sheri Pannell, “Once upon a Mattress a Musical Comedy with Music by Mary Rodgers, Lyrics by Marshall Barer, and Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer”  

Biomedical Sciences & Health Care Administration (School of) 

Biomedical Sciences 

  • Alia Ahmed working with Troy Skwor, “Identifying the Virulence Genes of Aeromonas Bacteria Responsible for Causing Adhesion to Human Colonic Epithelial Cells”  

Business (Sheldon B. Lubar School of) 

  • Gabriel Heller De Messer working with Aaron Mandell, “Non-GAAP Reporting in Master Limited Partnerships”  

Engineering & Applied Science (College of) 

Biomedical Engineering 

  • Dani Christopherson working with Mahsa Dabagh, “Working with Biomedical Images”
  • Setayesh Abiazi Shalmani working with Mahsa Dabagh, “Using Machine Learning in Biomedical Applications” 
  • Emlyn Swardenski working with Priyatha Premnath, “Role of Vasculature in Osteogenesis”  

Computer Science 

  • Alec Brookens and Bijay Panta working with Jerald Thomas Jr, “Evaluation of Walking Speed Guidance Mechanisms in VR”  
  • Cole Tauscher working with Jerald Thomas Jr, “Development of VR-Based Vestibular Dysfunction Assessments”
  • William Zickler working with Jerald Thomas Jr, “Leveraging Augmented Reality to Control an Industrial Robotic Arm”  

Electrical Engineering 

  • Nicholas Birschbach working with Shuaiqi Shen, “Collaborative Artificial Intelligence on Connected Embedded Devices”  

Materials Science & Engineering 

  • Jagger Vicente working with Pradeep Rohatgi, “Application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Manufacturing Metal Matrix Composites”  

Mechanical Engineering 

  • Clara Broecker working with William Musinski, “Multimodal Characterization and Testing of Murine Bone” 
  • Zachary Herbert working with Krishna Pillai, “Modeling the Wicking and Deposition of Uranium Salt in the Vadose Zone”
  • Jake Siong and Matthew Van De Wege working with Brooke Slavens, “Exploration of Shoulder Pathology and Function in Manual Wheelchair Users with Spinal Cord Injury”  

Freshwater Sciences (School of) 

  • John DeTuncq working with Russell Cuhel, “Water Chemistry of the Milwaukee Area of Concern as a Driver of Phytoplankton Community Structure and Primary Productivity” 
  • Benjamin Gallion working with Sandra Mclellan, “Phosphorous Status of Beaches and the Link to E. Coli Growth in Sand”
  • Tessa Kooij working with Ryan Newton, “Determining Microsystis Genotype Relationships between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay”
  • Emma Linhares working with Harvey Bootsma, “Constructing the Lake Michigan Food Web Using Fatty Acid Analysis”
  • Said Mustafa Sadat working with Thomas Hansen, “Investigating the Training of Neural Networks for Automated Detection of Fish in Underwater Video”  

Letters & Science (College of) 


  • Eric Walker working with Megan Thornton, “Cultural Item Inventory and Collections Management for Archaeological Sites in Winnebago County, Wisconsin”  

 Art History 

  • Indigo Garzez working with Richard Leson, “Creation and Implementation of New Digital Tools for Instruction in Medieval Art”  

Biological Sciences 

  • Kleida Doci working with Jennifer Gutzman, “Identification of the Molecules That Regulate Tissue Forces during Zebrafish Brain Morphogenesis” 
  • Maja Malbasic working with An-Phu Tran, “Unraveling the Role of Rab-GTPases in LRRK2-Induced Neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s Disease”
  • Andrew Pagel working with Claire De La Cova, “Modeling Noonan Syndrome Mutations in C. Elegans”
  • Hassan Richardson working with Emily Latch, “Environmental Conditions Predicting the Presence of the Critically Endangered Grenada Frog”  
  • Amelia Scheiber working with Jeffrey Karron, “Variation in Reproductive Success across the Flowering Season”  
  • Leo Vogel working with Jeffrey Karron, “Ecology of Flower Color Variation in Shooting Star”

Chemistry & Biochemistry 

  • Zoe Wardle working with David Frick, “The Ability of Metabolic Enzymes to Utilize Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Covalently Attached to RNA 5’-Ends” 
  • Grace Wheeler working with Alexander Arnold, “Synthesis of Novel Pegylated Imidazodiazepines”  


  • Kiersten Gonzalez working with Erin Parcell, “Marginalized Family Communication”  

Conservation & Environmental Science 

  • Chloe Anderson working with Neal OReilly, “Indian Creek Bacteria and Chloride Study” 
  • Eugenio Calderon Rodriguez working with Neal OReilly, “Development of a Methodology to Assess Building Vulnerability for Potential Bird Strikes”  


  • Bailee Jones working with Anne Basting, “Exploring the Role of Practicing Democracy in Higher Education” 
  • Raquel Quevedo working with Rachel Bloom-Pojar, “Cuentos de Confianza: A Public Humanities Project with Promotores de Salud”  


  • Ross Brandolino working with John Isbell, “Physical Modeling of Iceberg Sedimentation and Grounding Structures as a Means to Identifying Such Features in the Rock Record” 
  • Kasserena Cvikel working with John Isbell, “Atlas of Glacial and Glaciomarine Sedimentary Rocks”
  • Megan Davis working with Martin Dangelmayr, “Evaluating Nutrient Attenuation and Release in a Restored Urban Stream”  
  • Paige Ehmke working with Charles Paradis, “Modeling Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport during a Single-Well Injection-Drift Test”  


  • Dane Frieburg working with Rachel Buff, “Lost in the Red Scare” 
  • Ava Schultz working with Arijit Sen, “Climates of Inequality: Creating an Exhibit on Environmental Justice Struggles in Frontline Communities”  

Journalism, Advertising, & Media Studies 

  • Delaney Carlson working with Marc Tasman, “From Malls to Social Media: The Emergence of Digital Third Spaces” 
  • Meredith Hetzer and Miles Verban working with Rachael Jurek, “Assessing University Engagement on the Campus ESP Family Portal”
  • Liv McCurdy working with Marc Tasman, “The Role of Color Theory in Political Branding”
  • Sonya Sinkula working with Marc Tasman, “Fandoms and Digital Communities”  


  • Preston Ruh working with Hanyong Park, “The Effects of Orienting Attention on the Training of Production for Non-native Utterances”  

Mathematical Sciences 

  • Victor Florez working with Peter Hinow, “The Use of Generative AI as a Supporting Tool in Research in Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics” 
  • Theodore Koss working with Pamela Harris, “Arithmetical Structures on Coconut Trees”
  • Stephen Lasinis working with Pamela Harris, “Pinnacles on Graphs”  


  • Starr Boney working with Min Gyu Kim, “Antiferromagnetic Topological Insulator (Mn, TM)3Al9Si with TM = Fe, Cr, and Co.” 
  • Se Jin Lee working with Ionel Popa, “The Mechanics of Polypeptides inside Biomaterials Made from Denatured Proteins”  

Political Science 

  • Joshua Matthews working with Sara Pashak, “Supreme Court Justices’ Appearances and Legitimacy”  


  • Dakota Gordon working with Jeffrey Lopez Rojas, “Processing of Social Information by the Entorhinal Cortex” 
  • Madeline Jereb working with Jeffrey Lopez Rojas, “Social Memory Processing in a Mouse Model of Schizophrenia”
  • Anna Knight working with Jeffrey Lopez Rojas, “Differential Processing of Social Information by Medial and Lateral Entorhinal Cortices.”  

 Spanish & Portuguese 

  • Salvador Prado working with Nancy Bird-Soto, “From Hispanic to Latinx and UWM Latine Activism”  

Public Health (Joseph J. Zilber School of) 

  • Charlee Katzka working with Scott Strath, “Research Grade Activity Monitor Responsiveness to Change for Measuring Sedentary Behavior”
  • Nathaniel Rodriguez-Rood working with Todd Miller, “Analysis of Algal Toxins in Green Bay Fox River” 
  • Nicholas Wielgosz working with Todd Miller, “Analysis of Algal Toxins in Fish”  

Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology (School of) 

Athletic Training & Performance Psychology 

  • Nathan Ebersole working with Barbara Meyer, “Change in Firefighter Cadet Mental Skills Use before and after Mental Skills Training Workshops”  

Social Welfare (Helen Bader School of) 

Criminal Justice & Criminology 

  • Katharine Vetuschi working with Danielle Romain Dagenhardt, “Examining the Impact of Pretrial Decision-Making on Sentencing during COVID-19” 

 Social Work 

  • Zoe Kearney, Olivia Nwachukwu, and Kelly Prather working with Andrew Steward, “Evaluating the “Aging Together” Anti-ageism Peer Support Program for Older Adults”