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Faculty, students across academic disciplines awarded spring research grants

April 3, 2023
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

The Worcester State Foundation has awarded 19 students and faculty members more than $16,000 in grants for research projects and academic conferences. The projects span the sciences and technology, literature and music, criminal justice and urban studies.

Each year, the Foundation awards research grants in the spring and fall to support faculty and student research, creative work, and travel and expenses for participation in conferences around the world. This spring’s grants were given to 15 faculty members, one graduate student and three undergraduates. The grants are part of the more than $2 million the Foundation provides to the university annually from fundraising and private donations.

Here are the grant recipients and their projects:


Riley Sanderson, geography major, “Identifying the sedimentary record of the 1947 Great Fires of Maine in Biddeford”

Ynhi Nguyen and Sydney Demers, chemistry majors, “Synthesis study of DNA polymerase IIIC inhibitors for antimicrobial resistant bacteria”

Cassie Giardina, graduate student in non-profit management, “Exploring the participation and barriers in recreational activities for immigrant youth”


Anne Armstrong, Earth Environment & Physics, “Community Science Pollinator Gardening Partnership”

Erika Briesacher, History and Political Science, data analysis for Book Project: “Make me a mask: Material/Culture of a Pandemic”

Aimee “May” Delaney, Criminal Justice, “The Victimize Effect: An international exploration of gender-based violence”

Antonio Guijarro-Donadios, World Languages, “Death by despair: trauma, suicide ideation, and recovery in 17th Century Spanish short theater”

Riley McGuire, English, “Monster-Making: Field notes on reframing relevance in Victorian Studies”

Eric Nichols, Communication, “The Tangible Intangible”

Alison Okuda, History and Political Science, Development editor for Pan African Resonance book

Maura Pavao, Biology, “A model of the lung microbiome”

Laura Reynolds and Diana Sharpe, Earth Environment & Physics and Biology, water quality monitoring of local waterways

Luis Rosado, Biology, “Bridging the gap between 3D digital and traditional A&P lab models using smart tablet technology”

Brittany Severance, Communication, “A Momentary Stop”

Noa Shaindlinger, History and Political Science, “Displacement and Erasure in Palestine: The Politics of Hope”

Champika Soysa, Psychology, “Mindfulness, serenity and emotion regulation in relation to stress and wellbeing”

Francisco Vivoni, Sociology, “Skate friendly Worcester: Imagining public space through youth participatory action research”


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