Awards Recipients

The annual SCymposium awards First Prizes of $1000, Second Prizes of $500, and Honorable Mentions for outstanding work in each of the five major academic categories. Judges may also include an additional Interdisciplinary Prize of $1000 within each category.

Additional awards categories for 2021 include:

  • Digital Media (First Prize $1000 / Second Prize $500 / Honorable Mention)
  • American Physiological Society LURAP (First Prize $300 / Second Prize $150)
  • USC Schwarzenegger Institute (First Prize $1000 / Second Prize $500)

For 2021, the event received 127 submissions with 173 undergraduate student participants. Congratulations to all our 2021 SCymposium award recipients!


2021 SCymposium Awards Recipients

Arts & Architecture | Humanities | Life Sciences I | Life Sciences II
Physical Sciences I | Physical Sciences II | Social Sciences I | Social Sciences II
Digital Media | APS LURAP | USC Schwarzenegger Institute


Arts & Architecture

Judges: Ewa Wojciak (lead), Osvaldo Trujillo, Stacy Williams, Bo Doub

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Payton Truszkowski
The Inner White Girl Analogy
Elizabeth Harper, School of Dramatic Arts

Lucy Lyu & Lara Mendez
Urban Canopy
John Dutton, School of Architecture

SECOND PRIZE
Amy Altman
Two Paths, One Direction
Myra Turner, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

FIRST PRIZE
Rudy Falagan
Untitled (Daily Logs)
Andrew Campbell, Sherin Guirguis, and Jennifer West – Roski School of Art and Design


Humanities

Judges: Jeffrey Chisum (lead), Ruth Wallach, Daniel Dissinger, Antonio Elefano, Karin Huebner, Taiyaba Husain

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Sean Silvia
Rebuilding the Roman Baths Embedded in Downtown Tarsus
Lynn Dodd, Dornsife College

Maxwell Burlew
Herms, Nike, and Surveillance Art
Carolyn Laferrière, Center for the Premodern World, Dornsife College

SECOND PRIZE
Jack Casey
Descendants of Ham: “Etíope” and José Antonio Aponte
Edgardo Pérez Morales, History, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Lucy Sun
Escapes and Deceptions: Chinese Women’s Resistance to Sexual Violence During the Nanjing Massacre, 1937-38
Wolf Gruner, History, Dornsife College

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Chasia Jeffries
We’ve Been Knew: An Ode to Black Women Bearing Witness & Bearing History through Poetry
Alaina Morgan, History, Dornsife College
Alice Baumgartner, History, Dornsife College
George Sánchez, American Studies & Ethnicity; History, Dornsife College
Alisa Sánchez, Writing, Dornsife College


Life Sciences I (Physiology, Organismal, Genetic, Neural)

Judges: Sean Curran (lead), Richard Van Krieken, Julie Hopper, Naomi Sta Maria, Anna Kamitakahara, Madhura Patankar

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Sweta Bhagavatula and Aubrey Martinez
Fully Automated Pipeline for the Cortical Thickness Estimation in TBI Rodents
Dominique Duncan, Keck School of Medicine

Jaden Mullin
Copy number analysis of early-stage NSCLC patients using HD-SCA 3.0 platform
Peter Kuhn, Biological Sciences, Dornsife College
Jiyoun Seo, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Dornsife College

SECOND PRIZE
Lana Bridi
Early life Western Diet-induced memory impairments and gut microbiome changes in female rats are long-lasting despite healthy dietary intervention
Scott Kanoski, Human and Evolutionary Biology, Dornsife College
Linda Tsan, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Danika Banh
Stepping into the Future of Dentistry: Virtual Reality and Orthodontic Diagnosis
Glenn Sameshima, Department of Orthodontics, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Samuel Jump
Functional analysis of an enhancer flanked by four tobacco smoke-responsive DNA methylation sites in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene
Ite Offringa, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine

Anastasiya Demenko
Functional Analysis of the Enhancer at cg05575921, a DNA Methylation Site that is Tobacco Smoke-Responsive and Highly Associated with Lung Cancer Risk
Ite Offringa, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine


Life Sciences II (Cellular)

Judges: Bo Han (lead), Terry Takahashi, Vishnu Tripathi, Gabriel Linares, Nikhil Ghate

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Matthew Jeon
AKT but not MYC promotes reactive oxygen species-mediated cell death in oxidative culture
Nick Graham, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Dongqing Zheng, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Jonathan Sussman, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering

David Wen
Identifying Osteoclast Genes Involved in Bone Repair
Francesca Mariani, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Keck School of Medicine

SECOND PRIZE
Ariana Chen
MOTS-c: A Mitochondrial-Encoded Tumor Suppressor
Changhan Lee, Davis School of Gerontology

FIRST PRIZE
Kay Katada
The role of Sprouty2 in regulating protective epithelial cell types in inflammatory bowel disease
Mark Frey, Keck School of Medicine

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Bryson Choy
Activation Mechanism of Class A GPCRs is Dependent on Allosteric Sodium Binding
With support from Vsevolod Katritch, Quantitative and Computational Biology, Dornsife College


Physical Sciences I (Astronomy, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Engineering, Spatial Sciences)

Judges: Jack Feinberg (lead), Kee Scholten, Tommasco Cremaschi, Mohamed Ndaoud, Tingting Yang

HONORABLE MENTION
Elizabeth Zhou
The Effect of Degeneracies on Molecular Free Energy
With support from Vitaly Kresin, Physics and Astronomy, Dornsife College

SECOND PRIZE
Juliana Tichota
Optimized Catanionic Vesicle-to-Micelle Transition for Photoreversible Control of Membrane Protein Folding
Ted Lee, Chemical Engineering
Zumra Peksagla, Chemical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering

FIRST PRIZE
Yubin Lin
In-Body Localization Technique Based on MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Manuel Monge, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Radhika Bhuckory
PyREM: Implementing a Computational Model of Airborne Respiratory Droplet-based Virus Transmission
Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Arvin Hekmati, Computer Science, Viterbi School of Engineering


Physical Sciences II (Computer Science)

Judges: Bo Cheng Jin (lead), Feng Ling, Mona Sharifi, Chenchen Huang, Bin Yao, Tsu-Pei Chu

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Nisha Chatwani, Radhika Agrawal, and Julia Cordero
PoseToCode: Increasing Elementary Student Curiosity in Programming Through Web-Accessible, Multimodal, and Kinesthetic Learning
Maja Matarić, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, Viterbi School of Engineering

Samuel Atcheson, Brian Gillespie
Symbolic Representation: An Avenue for Tactile Programming
Heather Culbertson, Computer Science, Viterbi School of Engineering

SECOND PRIZE
Benjamin Ma
Play it Again, Sam: How Music Characterizes Genre in Film
Timothy Greer and Dillon Knox, Computer Science, Viterbi School of Engineering

FIRST PRIZE
Ipek Goktan and Karen Ly
Mobile MoveToCode: Creating Mobile, Kinesthetic, Augmented Reality Programming for K-12 Education
Maja Matarić, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, Viterbi School of Engineering

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Leena Mathur, Nisha Chatwani, John Heo, Jethro Lim, Maxwell Kofman, Surya Nehra, Jessie Zhang, Karina Yang, Miru Jun, Bari Noor, and Nicolas van Houten
Multimodal Machine Learning Models for Non-Invasive, Low-Cost Dementia Detection
Jean-Michel Maarek, Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering


Social Sciences I (Applied, Analytical)

Judges: Lucy Lee (lead), Lauren Levitt, Andy Rutkowski, Eimmy Solis, Robert Labaree

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Sunyoung (Stacy) Uhm
Chronically Left Out – Lack of Patient Diversity in Chronic Disease Clinical Trials in Los Angeles
Terry Church, School of Pharmacy

Zachary Hrenko
Why Small Businesses Struggle to Get Loans in the Middle East and What Governments Can Do to Fix it
Jeffrey Nugent, Economics, Dornsife College

SECOND PRIZE
Jackson Fitzgerald
Submerged Cultural Heritage Analysis
With support from Lynn Dodd, Religion, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Kyra Chan, Kathy Lam, Elise Wimberly
USC Student Food Access
Brenda Wievel, USC Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and Sol Price School of Public Policy

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Alicia Adiwidjaja, Naman Casas, Felix Goldwasser
USC GeoHealth Hub
John Wilson and Beau MacDonald, Spatial Sciences Institute, Dornsife College


Social Sciences II (Behavioral)

Judges: Zackary Gassoumis (lead), Anthony Vacarro, Mohammad Atari, Elisa Shimada, Andrew Marshall, Megan Fitzhugh

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Kyla-Rose Walden
Internalizing Behavior and Inhibition/Activation Sensitivity In Mauritian Youth With And Without A Parental History of Drinking Problems
Susan Luczak, Psychology, Dornsife College

Sumedha Attanti
Isometric Handgrip Exercise Improves Reaction Times on a Working Memory Task
Mara Mather, Davis School of Gerontology
Shelby Bachman, Gerontology Graduate Program

SECOND PRIZE
Haley Hsu and Madeline Rouse
The Effectiveness of Linguistic Manipulations on COVID-19 Related Health Messages
Elsi Kaiser, Linguistics, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Clarisa Wijaya
The Meaning of Health and Illness in the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults with Chronic Illness: A Qualitative Study
Caitlin Sayegh, Keck School of Medicine

INTERDISCIPLINARY PRIZE
Dahlia Earleywine, Patrick Lee, and Peyton Brown
Associations between partners’ negative communication styles and physiological arousal in the lives of young adult romantic couples
Gayla Margolin, Alexis Beale, Alaina Gold, and Yana Ryjova, Psychology, Dornsife College


Digital Media

Judges: Trina Gregory (lead), Evan Hughes, Saty Raghavachary

HONORABLE MENTION
Kristin Wong
The La Brea Tar Pits: An Ice Age Storymap
Jennifer Swift, Spatial Sciences Institute, Dornsife College

SECOND PRIZE
Abriannah Aiken and Luis Rodriguez-Perez
Eagles Nest Hunting Lodge Through the Years: Historical Recreation and Accessible Interactive Experiences
Lynn Dodd, Archaeology, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Nisha Chatwani, Radhika Agrawal, and Julia Cordero
PoseToCode: Increasing Elementary Student Curiosity in Programming Through Web-Accessible, Maja Matarić, Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, Viterbi School of Engineering


American Physiological Society LURAP

Judges: Gioia Polidori (lead), Lorraine Turcotte

SECOND PRIZE
Samuel Jump
Functional analysis of an enhancer flanked by four tobacco smoke-responsive DNA methylation sites in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene
Ite Offringa, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine

FIRST PRIZE
Susan Kishi
The role of lactate shuttling in mediating synaptogenesis and learning in motor cortex
Michael Jakowec and Adam Lundquist, Keck School of Medicine


USC Schwarzenegger Institute

Judges: Allison Kay (lead), Francisca Martinez, Christian Grose

SECOND PRIZE
Cameron Audras
Reconciling Industrial-Scale Solar Siting and Community Concerns in the Mojave Using Mixed Methodologies
Jennifer Bernstein, Spatial Sciences Institute, Dornsife College

FIRST PRIZE
Rachel Ablondi, Jackson Fitzgerald, Seher Randhawa, and Erik Huisman
USC Urban Trees Initiative
John Wilson and Beau MacDonald, Spatial Science Institute, Dornsife College


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