Track 1: CPRG Awardees

Lori Ungemah, Guttman Community College
Dan Collins, Guttman Community College
Maggie Dickinson, Guttman Community College
Tara Bahl, Guttman Community College
When Culturally Relevant Pedagogy is Too Culturally Relevant: An Exploration and Analysis of Unintended Consequences

Larisa Honey, Queensborough College
Sara Danzi Engoron, Queensborough College
Exploring Social and Biological Aspects of Ancestry in the Anthropology Classroom

Track 2: MURG Awardees

Homar Barcena, Kingsborough Community College
Chemical Upcycling of Acetaminophen

Jaewoo Lee, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Combinatorial Analysis and Egyptian Fractions

Track 3: SCROG Awardees

Bertie Ferdman, Graduate Center
Peter Eckersall, Graduate Center
Title of Proposal: “Theatre in the white room: How dramaturgy and curatorial practices are intersecting in the contemporary arts”
Abstract: This study investigates how the display of live performance has become prevalent in visual arts institutions and is becoming a hallmark of the experience of contemporary art. Arising from this is the need to rethink how performance and visual arts are defined and how they communicate with their spectators, and remake the practice of art. Read More

We identify dramaturgy and curatorship as the two institutional-creative practices that bridge this trend. There is now an urgent need to better understand the basis and further potentials of these connections. Taking a multimodal approach, we analyze live events in ‘white box’ galleries and in contemporary mixed media performance festivals. We interview dramaturgs and curators who are at the vanguard of these changes and examine the display of key art works as productions of a combined awareness of dramaturgy and curatorship. Through documentation and publication this study aims to investigate how art and the live are transforming our practice of culture. While integral in its outcomes, this project will also be in dialogue with key cultural institutions to build partnerships and develop further research at the national and international levels.

Naydu Carmona, Queensborough College
Akira Kawamura, Hunter College
Title of Proposal: “Transcriptome Analysis of a Knockout and an Overexpressing Rhomboid Protease Mutant”
Abstract: Rhomboids are intramembrane proteases found in all domains of life with a diversity of functions, loosely associated with signaling. Streptomycetes are gram positive soil bacteria with a complex multicellular life cycle that are prolific producers of secondary metabolites with important biological functions. The expression of natural products is Read More

coordinated with the cell cycle through signaling pathways, not yet fully understood, that integrate environmental, physiological and stress inputs. We propose rhomboid proteases play a role in these signaling mechanisms. We have identified SCO3855, a functional rhomboid protease in Streptomyces coelicolor and have constructed a SCO3855 knockout (KO) and an overexpression mutant. Phenotypical analysis of both mutants suggests that the SCO3855 rhomboid protease is involved in the developmental cycle of S. coelicolor. The purpose of the current proposal is to detect genome-wide changes in gene expression both in the KO and overexpression mutants compared to the wild-type. We anticipate this approach will shed light on signaling pathways dependent on SCO3855 and identify its substrate.

Miguel Fiolhais, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Andrea Ferroglia, NYCCT
Title of Proposal: “Search for New Physics Effects at the Large Hadron Collider”
Abstract: The objective of this research proposal is to measure the production of the Higgs boson in association with a top quark pair at the Large Hadron Collider, in order to search for new anomalous physics effects beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. High precision theoretical calculations will be carried out by Prof. Ferroglia, which will allow Prof. Fiolhais to Read More

implement a statistical analysis in order to experimentally measure the associated production of the Higgs boson with a top quark pair. These measurements will be performed using protonproton high-energy collision data extracted by the ATLAS experiment. In order to isolate the signal from the main background contributions, we will introduce new angular distributions and asymmetries, which are anticipated to increase the signal’s purity and statistical significance. The proposed strategy is expected to significantly improve the sensitivity of the associated production of the Higgs boson with a top quark pair, and to new physical phenomena at the Large Hadron Collider.

Marjan Persuh, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Frank Grasso, Brooklyn College
Title of Proposal: “Volitional Reflex Suppression in Octopus”
Abstract: A fundamental questions in Psychology is how the unconscious and conscious processes interact within a complex nervous system. Although most studies have explored these questions in humans, it would be advantageous to have an animal model system, phylogenetically distinct from humans, for comparative analyses. Octopuses, a highly intelligent invertebrates, are particularly suitable for studies of cognition. Read More

Octopuses possess eight arms, controlled by a peripheral, semi-autonomous nervous system and evidence suggests that octopuses are unaware of the positions of their arms. Octopuses also possess a more central nervous system that is hierarchically interconnected with the more peripheral nervous system. Behavioral and neuroanatomical evidence has led to the suggestion that the two systems in octopuses are two cooperating but fundamentally different brains. Octopus’ arms are covered with numerous suckers that will attach to almost any surface automatically. This sucking reflex is locally controlled. We propose to test whether octopuses are capable of overriding the reflexive attachment reflex in the appropriate context. Results of the proposed experiments will led to understanding of how a local, more autonomous system is interacting and being modulated by a central nervous system that in humans and perhaps in octopus underlies more complex cognitive abilities and conscious perception.

Sharon Lall-Ramnarine, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Sophia Suarez, Brooklyn College
Title of Proposal: “High Pressure NMR Revelations of Local Ion Confirmations in Ionic Liquid Electrolytes”
Abstract: Ionic liquids comprised of fluorinated sulfonamide anions have potential applications in energy storage and conversion devices such as fuel cells, lithium ion bãUeries and electrochemical double layer capacitors, due in large part to their low to zero flammability and large electrochemical window. Improving the safety and effrciency of these devices Read More

become more relevant as both the world’s population and it’s need for energy increase. To accomplish these tasks, we need to use ionic liquids with high ion transport capabilities. This necessitates a thorough understanding of their short- and long- range charge and mass transports, which are the main goals of the proposed work. We aim to determine the effect of cation and anion type, size and-symmetry on G If. ion dynamics using multi- nuclear (tH,’H, tef¡ highpr”r.* *d variable temperature Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). We will focus on alkyl imidazolium cations with variable chain lengths, and elaborated fluorinated sulfonamide anions with symmetric and asymmetric coordination.

Orlando Justo, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Mario Gonzalez-Corzo, Lehman
Title of Proposal: “Lifting the Economic Embargo on Cuba: An Estimation of the Impact on U.S. Exports”
Abstract: There is an active debate in the economic literature about the use, implementation, and effectiveness of economic sanctions. The U.S. embargo on Cuba is the longest case in the history of sanctions and still remains in effect almost 56 years later. Using a computer-based simulation that separates all the agents and sectors of the Cuban economy into a Read More

matrix, this project aims to estimate the potential size of this market for U.S. exports in the absence of sanctions. It argues that since the prospective volume of trade is so small the opportunity cost in macroeconomic terms of keeping the embargo is very low for the U.S., which does not justify economically an immediate change of policy. Nevertheless, from a microeconomic perspective the results of this simulation can identify what sectors are more likely to become highly involved with U.S. exporters, and what States could benefit more from trading with Cuba. Conducting this research in collaboration with Dr. Mario González-Corzo is beneficial given his vast academic record and experience researching Cuban economy which has made him a nationwide expert in the field.

Ria Banerjee, Guttman Community College
Maria Julia Rossi, John Jay College
Title of Proposal: “On the Page and Embodied: Fostering the Revised Taxonomy of Learning through Drama in Two Literature Classrooms”
Abstract: Does encountering drama experientially in a literature classroom allow students to develop stronger analytic and metacognitive connections? This study follows the CUNY
undergraduate as she inhabits the intersection between a static written text and the dynamics of performance in two literature classrooms. “On the Page and Embodied” Read More

compares student experiences of drama at two CUNY undergraduate classes, Modern Drama at Guttman Community College and Intermediate Spanish II for Heritage Students at John Jay College. We hypothesize that studying drama (in translation or in Spanish) through experiential assignments leads to greater engagement, and hence to further growth in cognitive complexity per the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. This research study seeks to fill a gap in current studies of student experiences encountering drama in the undergraduate classroom. Theatre pedagogy, for example, mainly concentrates on secondary educational settings around the world but not on the US undergraduate experience. Under the broad umbrella of the research question above, we will focus on three specific sub-questions: How does teaching theatre in a literature course impact critical thinking and analysis across languages in students? Does utilizing experiential methods in curricular practice lead to greater cognitive growth? And finally, how can we develop further pedagogic strategies to support this?

Areti Tsimounis, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Joshua Brumberg, Queens College
Title of Proposal: “The effects of sensory deprivation on supragranular projection neurons”
Abstract: Neurons are the fundamental building blocks of cortical circuits. We aim at defining and characterizing the functional classes of neurons in the mouse barrel cortex, which is a major element of the animal’s somatosensory system. We have been applying quantitative means to objectively describe the morphologies of neurons that comprise functionally defined circuits within mouse barrel cortex. Read More

After completion of this part of the project, we will further seek to understand how these circuits are shaped by sensory experience. It has been shown that following neo-natal sensory deprivation there are significant physiological, behavioral and anatomical impacts. We will determine using anatomy if different circuits are impacted similarly or differentially. The results of these experiments will provide deep insight into how cells that are involved in long-range connections operate.

Dickens Saint Hilaire, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Christopher Blaszczak-Boxe, Medgar Evers College
Title of Proposal: “Iodine Isotope (I129/ I127) in Rain, Seawater, and Antarctic Sea-Ice: a latitudinal-dependent study”
Abstract: Although I129 does not presently pose a significant human health risk, its high mobility, long halflife (15.7 Ma), and the fact that more than 90% of spent nuclear fuel is waiting for reprocessing, concentrations of anthropogenic I129 are expected to increase globally. Eventually, elevated levels of I129 in water, atmosphere, and soil will find its way Read More

into the food chain, especially considering that, generally, iodine is concentrated in organisms associated with the human diet. As a dating/tracing system, concentrations of iodine isotopes (I127 and I129) provide vital information about geochemistry, environmental conditions and water mass exchange in oceans. Pre-nuclear I129/ I127 ~ 10-12 have increased to present values ranging from I129/ I127 ~ 10-10 to 10- 4. Given the limited dataset for iodine isotopes and its environmental impact, we will quantify (I129/ I127) in rain, seawater, and West Antarctic sea-ice samples from select locals in New York City, Dominica, and Antarctica via Ion Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) at Medgar Evers College’s (MEC’s) Environmental Analysis Center and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), respectively. Samples will be processed, via wet-chemical analysis, at Bronx Community College and MEC.