Spring 2017 Senior Honors Presentation Schedule

Sunday, May 7

Kaitlynne Kim

8:35-8:55 a.m
Steven G. Mihaylo Hall (SGMH) 1307
Mentor: Maria Linder

"Investigation of Cerloplasmin in Dog Plasma"


Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is the main copper (Cu) binding protein in the blood plasma of mammals. It is a multifunctional protein which oxidizes iron (ferroxidase) and certain amines, neutralizes reactive oxygen species, and donates its copper to uptake transporters on the cell surface. In mammals, the liver is central to conserving copper homeostasis through regulating excretion via the bile. When this means is disabled, the copper accumulation causes severe liver damage. Certain canine breeds have a tendency towards liver copper overload and thus develop Cu-associated hepatitis. The current objective is to examine whether analysis of copper components of blood plasma may reveal a marker for diagnosis of copper overload and aspects of the mechanism of its excretion. When blood plasma from humans, rats, mice, and other mammals were separated by size exclusion chromatography, the Cu profile displayed a major peak of Cp, as well as the respective shoulders of macroglobulins and albumin. However, blood plasma from dogs revealed a different Cu profile: the Cp peak eluted much earlier. Immunoblotting of SDS-PAGE confirmed that Cp was of normal size and normal enzymatic activity; therefore, the earlier elution indicates that it is bound to another protein. Our goals are to test these hypotheses and fully understand the copper binding components of dog blood plasma, including the identification of what protein(s) dog ceruloplasmin is bound to. Ascertaining what protein is bound to Cp in canine blood plasma may reveal unknown factors contributing to normal copper homeostasis.


My name is Kaitlynne Kim and I will be graduating with a 3.73 GPA for Bachelors of Science in Biological Science, with a concentration in Cell and Developmental Biology and minor in Chemistry. Each semester, I have achieved the Dean’s List for the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. Through the past 2 years of my undergraduate career, I did research Dr. Maria Linder’s biochemistry lab and also presented my work at the CSUPERB 2017 annual conference. I am the standing president of the Honors Student Advisory Council and the ASI Elections Assistant for the past two years. I also work as a medical scribe at Saddleback Memorial’s Emergency Room and volunteer at Hoag Presbyterian Hospital. After graduation in May 2017, I will continue my pursuit towards medical school.

Dylan Campbell

8:35-8:55 a.m.

Mentor: Herbert Axelrod

"The Effects of a Single Residue Change in ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase"


There is an increasing demand for the energy storage compound- starch. Starch is prevalent in a variety of different areas such as industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and our diets. The most interesting application of starch is its ability to be fermented into bioethanol. Bioethanol is a biodegradable and renewable carbon source that may act as a petroleum substitute. Unlike petroleum, bioethanol is combusted into water and carbon dioxide to produce energy. These waste products are more environmentally friendly, as the carbon dioxide produced is offset by the carbon dioxide intake of the crops themselves. Consequentially, starch is a very valuable resource. Instead of planting more crops to harvest starch, the biosynthetic process of starch synthesis can be enhanced to yield a large quantity of starch per plant.

ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase (ADPG PPase) is the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the glucan synthesis pathways of bacteria and plants. Agrobacterium tumefacians (Ag. t) is the bacterium used to grow and purify the enzyme of interest. Using site-directed mutagenesis, the enzyme is altered to form the mutant, T110A. This mutant is successfully cloned and subcultured into Ag. t. Once the DNA/RNA concentrations are quantified, the results are assessed using a restriction enzyme digest. The colonies are screened and a specific activity is found to measure the enzyme’s activity. Future studies include kinetically characterizing the T110A mutant.


My name is Dylan Campbell and I’m a 4th year senior studying Biochemistry at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF). I’m expected to graduate during Summer 2017 with a BA in Biochemistry. Currently, my GPA is a 3.83. I’ve been a member of the Dean’s List every semester since starting at CSUF and was also awarded the Outstanding General Chemistry Achievement Award by the Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM) department in April 2015. I currently volunteer at the UCI Medical Center and am a representative of Students United with Community Collaborators to Enhance Success in Science (S.U.C.C.E.S.S), in the NSM Interclub Council (ICC).  Post-graduation, I plan on going to graduate school- but am undecided in which specific area I’d like to study. However, I do find an interest in protein engineering, molecular biology, and analytical chemistry. In all, I anticipate the chance to further my education and pursue a successful career.

Brisamar Hernandez

8:55-9:15 a.m.
Mentor: Dr. Maria Linder

"The Effect of Estrogen on the Proportion of Holo to Apo Ceruloplasmin in Rat Plasma"


Copper is an essential trace element found in all living organisms. Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is the main copper binding protein in the blood. It is synthesized in the liver into two forms, holo (bound to six copper atoms) and apo (without copper). After analyzing a blood sample from a woman taking oral contraceptives data suggested there was an increase in Cp activity and copper concentration in the blood. Since the active ingredient in oral contraceptives is estrogen we wanted to see if estrogen was causing the increase in Cp activity by promoting copper incorporation into the Cp being synthesized. To test this, we ran a two-week experiment twice where an estrogen treated and a control group of Sprague Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously once a day. We hypothesized that the estrogen treated samples would have higher amounts of holo-Cp relative to apo-Cp. The control group (four rats), was injected with an ethanol solution; while the estrogen treated group was injected with a β-estradiol in ethanol solution. To analyze the proportion of holo to apo-Cp in all blood samples collected we first performed DEAE anion-exchange chromatography to obtain partially purified Cp. To compare the ratio of holo to apo Cp a native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis Western blotting system was developed and then used to analyze all eight samples. After visually comparing the estrogen treated group versus the control group on the gel, results seemed to show that some estrogen treated rats had a higher holo to apo-Cp ratio compared to the control. These results can help us better understand the mechanism behind copper transport by ceruloplasmin to the fetus and placenta during pregnancy.

These past four years as a B.S. Biochemistry major have been unforgettable. Not only have I grown as a scholar with the help of the Honors Program, the Abrego Future Scholars Program, and the Millennium Momentum Foundation. I have also had the honor to serve others as a volunteer in the Rotaract Club, the child life department at the Children’s Hospital of Orange, the Santa Ana Building Healthier Communities center, and my church. Being the first in my family to get a degree hasn’t been easy but it is a great honor. Many sacrifices were made and now it is my turn to give back. After attaining my Bachelor of Science degree on May 2017, I will pursue my dream of becoming a physician and continue laboratory research so that I can help make a difference in people’s everyday life.  

Elysse Mosquera

9:15-9:35 a.m.
Mentor: Dr. Derek Pamukoff

"Ultrasound of ARFL Thickness"


Lateral ankle sprains are one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal injuries in both the sporting world and the general population. Of these injuries, the anterior talofibular ligament is the structure that is most commonly injured, followed by the calcaneofibular ligament and the posterior talofibular ligament. This project focuses on the effects of ligament thickness after injury. In this research project, 15 participants, whose ages range from 18-25 and had a history of lateral ankle sprain, had their anterior talofibular ligament ultrasound. Through the images, averages of ligament thickness were then calculated. In theory, larger structures are thought to be stronger because they have larger areas to evenly distribute impact forces. Thus, applying this concept to ankle ligaments, healthier ligaments are ones that are thicker. While in theory this applies to healthy ankles, injured ankles undergo healing in which scar tissue can replaced injured ligamentous fibers. Thus, injured ligaments appear thicker. However, the injured ligament’s tensile integrity is compromised. Further research about recovery for optimal tensile strength is still needed.


Starting college as a business major, I was unaware of the multitude of majors out there for me. After completing a project that focused on exercise and nutrition, I was hooked. The next year I took my introductory classes for kinesiology, learning about different career paths in one class and all the splendor of the human body in another. Later that summer, I had officially become a kinesiology major. As a fourth year kinesiology student, I have spent multiple classes with not only nationally recognized professors, but also truly passionate educators with real-life experience. I am now working under one of these dedicated professionals, Dr. Derek Pamukoff. After graduating, I plan on getting my Master of Medical Science for Physician Assistant degree.

Kai Rendino

Mentor: Dr. Paulo Simoes

"A Beginners Guide to Revolution"


We truly are blessed and cursed to live in interesting times. Faced with an unprecedented set of problems, the 21st century is gearing up to be one of monumental change. Yet despite the unparalleled stakes of the modern era, we continue to cling to our tiresome old paradigms. We of the present may take comfort in knowing that we are not the first - nor will we be the last - to live in interesting times. Perhaps we can look to our courageous ancestors, who chose to tear down their own obsolete paradigms for advice. How would the Enlightenment Revolutionaries see us act in response to our own increasingly oligarchic and oppressive political system? When does the tipping point for a certain paradigm occur? Along these lines, when will we reach our own tipping point? When those institutions begin to break down in the face of modern anomalies, it is time for a conscientious shift into uncharted territory. These revolutionary moments are what end up defining a generation. The Beginner’s Guide to Revolution pulls insights from these paradigm shifts to show why revolutions occur and how we can apply these insights to the modern era.


My name is Kai "Katahdin" Rendino, and I am a senior at California State University, Fullerton. I will be graduating in the Fall of 2017 as a Pre-Law Psychology major with a minor in Spanish. Starting in the Spring of my junior year, I began debating on the CSUF Speech and Debate Team. I was immediately infatuated with the challenge and opportunity to debate competitively with so many intellectually gifted and passionate individuals. Despite my lack of high school debate experience, I have won several tournaments as well as speaker awards in both the Policy and Public Forum Events. This has been a particularly formative activity in my college career, mentally and emotionally. My success in the debate sphere eventually morphed into driving ambition to become an attorney. I plan on attending law school in NYC to advance a career in International Law with a specialization in US-Latin America Policy Making. I someday hope to work as an attorney for the United Nations where I can help influence a fair and inclusive international policy.

Victoria Serafini

Mentor: Dr. Hunter Hargraves

"Martyrdom as a Mode of Queer Television Spectatorship"


Under the mentorship of Professor Hunter Hargraves, my Senior Honors Project focuses on how martyrdom has become a mode of spectatorship for queer television viewers. This mode of spectatorship is both oppositional and anticipatory as queer people’s unique temporality and relationship to suffering affects how they perceive televisual representations. Last year, 2016, was a year of crisis for LGBTQ+ representation and identity. This project has thus become a way to reflect upon the changing political landscape of television and of our larger social institutions in the United States. Due to its political stakes, my project is centered around speculative fiction television programming (science-fiction, horror, fantasy, etc) airing within the past few years. How can queer fans utilize martyrdom as a tool to reclaim both televisual and historical narratives and characters? In my research I discovered that queer fans politicize their television viewing habits as a result of the television industrial patterns of queerbaiting and trope-ridden narratives. Along with viewing habits, these fans engage in the creation of transformative works on social media which are heralded as texts of activism to fight for better television representation.


My major is Cinema and Television Arts, concentrated in Television Studies. My expected graduation date is Spring 2017. I will graduate summa cum laude with a 3.97 GPA and be the student speaker for the CTVA commencement ceremony. In addition to this honor, I earned the CTVA Department Scholarship in Spring 2016. I presented my original research at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference two years in a row (Spring 2016; Spring 2017) and will publish my first article in the peer-reviewed academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures in June 2017. My academic research was recognized in Spring 2017 when I was awarded the Outstanding Student Scholarly and Creative Activities Award. After graduation, I plan on applying to graduate school to begin pursuing my life goal of being a professor and academic.

Brittany Goss

Mentor: Dr. Leslie Bruce

"Young Adult Dystopian Literature Creating a Generation of Activists'


I looked at the surge in popularity in the young adult (YA) dystopian genre and the way these topics foster a culture of questioning and rebellion among teens. I wanted to look at the way various popular and critically acclaimed YA dystopians portray their heroes/heroines in their rise to find agency and identity in the face of oppression and opposition. I studied three novels—The Giver, Carbon Diaries: 2015, and Starters—comparing the battles each main character faces both in the world of their novel and the allegorical, real world translation. I found each novel provided a different archetype for activism and illustrated for readers how to handle the awakening that occurs when entering adulthood. In addition to this, I created two different assignments to accompany this topic if it were to be presented as a unit within a classroom. I worked with Dr. Leslie Bruce, Ph.D. from the English department who teaches a course in young adult literature; she assisted in mentorship, scope, and general guidance on the form the project took shape.


My name is Brittany Goss. I am an English major with a minor in Journalism expected to graduate in May 2018. I have maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout college thus far. In addition to being part of the University Honors Program, I am an active member of the student activist group Students for Quality Education, serve on the board for CSUF Yoga Club, and work as a supervisor at the Starbucks locations on campus. Outside of campus, I am a tutor for JOYA Scholars, serving the Garnet community district in Fullerton to help first generation students reach their college dreams. After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree, I plan to enter into the teaching credential program and later return to school for a Master’s Degree in Education.

Christina Perry

Mentor: Dr. Benjamin Cawthra

"Altering Antietam: Visual Representations of America's Bloodiest Day"


This paper examines the visual representations of the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American history, and how the resulting visual culture influenced public perception of the battle. This research answers why, when faced with such a deadly Civil War, especially after an engagement like Antietam, the Northern public supported the war’s continuation. It also analyzes what role battlefield sketches, newspaper engravings, and photographs played in generating public support. Examining media influence after the Battle of Antietam from a visual culture approach shows how it shaped public opinion in the nineteenth century and the continued influence of media in today’s modern world. This Senior Honors Project is mentored by Dr. Benjamin Cawthra and was inspired by examining the unique, yet gruesome photographs from Antietam. 


My name is Christina Perry and I will graduate Summa Cum Laude in Spring 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. I am a University Honors student and made the Dean’s List every semester. I am a member of Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society), was published in the chapter’s award-winning student journal, the Welebaethan, and serve as one of the journal’s editors. I am also the President of an on-campus organization. For the past three years, I worked in the University’s Outreach department and volunteered with the University’s First Year Experience Program. I plan on pursuing my teaching credential in Social Science at Cal State Fullerton this coming year so I can become a high school History teacher.

Sierra Sampson


Mentor: Dr. Stephen Neufeld

"Germany and its Piratical Nature During World War I and World War II"


Despite the vast research conducted on World War I and World War II, very few people are aware of the piratical nature of the German navy during these major conflicts. When thinking of piracy, one generally thinks of the Barbary Coast pirates: the silks, the parrot, the Pirates of the Caribbean. With support from my mentor Dr. Stephen Neufeld, I argue that Germany actively participated in piracy during these years, both in terms of illegitimate violence through military acts and in terms of piracy portrayed as propaganda due to the violence and the targeting of citizens. Their methods of attack are similar to those of Golden Age pirates. When delving into issues of naval law and flagship, I argue that it is clear that the German navy had definite piratical elements and when viewed on a broader scale can be viewed as pirates.


My name is Sierra Sampson and I am a history major here at CSUF. Being my senior year, I intended to graduate this May. Currently, my GPA is 3.83 and I will be graduating Cum Laude at the very least, if not Magna Cum Laude. Currently, I am a member of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honors society. I am also a lifetime member of Phi Theta Kappa, a prestigious honor society for community college students. Post-graduation, I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in history, but I am starting with an M.A. program, and am currently awaiting a decision of acceptance. My goal is to remain at CSUF and work with the amazing historians we have here before leaving for a Ph.D. program.

Andres Marin

11:20 - 11:50

"The Politics of Magical Realism: Resistance through Reclamation"

This project examines the exploration of politics and history found in magical realist texts. Magical realism is an inherently political literary mode. In its questioning of dominant representations of narratives through its investigation of history and of its inclusion of marginalized realities such as mysticism or the supernatural, magical realism imagines a world wherein the Western focus on reason and logic is pulled into question. By questioning this foundation of the Western worldview, magical realism allows for other, marginal narratives to blossom and to co-exist. I focus on five novels from different countries around the world to examine the literary concerns with political and historical reality that these novels question. Magical realism is viewed as a Latin American literary phenomenon, but I argue that it is, in fact, a global literary mode that offers resistance to dominant political and historical realities in the way in which it brings together realist representations and magical phenomena to co-exist. The five novels I examine are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Red Sorghum by Mo Yan, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, and La Maravilla by Alfredo Véa Jr.


I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English and two minors, one in Cinema & Television Arts, and the other in International Relations. I am a University Honors student and have made the Dean's Honor List nearly every semester for the College of Humanities & Social Science. I have participated in Model United Nations twice, winning Best Position Paper my second year. I have been an active member of Generation United Nations and Hermanos Unidos. I participated in Moot Court this year, placing 4th place in the National Brief Writing Competition. I held a student staff position for three years in the University Outreach & New Student Programs department working as a Titan Delegate, Special Events Student Coordinator, and Titan Delegate Student Coordinator. I also held a position as Community Liaison for the Chicana/Chicano Resource Center. I am taking a year off after graduation before applying to law school.

Michael Harden

Mentor: Dr. David Sandner

"NaNowrimo: A Practical Analysis"


National Novel Writer's Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is a challenge that takes place every November, asking aspiring authors to write 50,000 words in the month of November, averaging out to 1,667 words per day.  In this project, I will be taking part in the NaNoWriMo Challenge three times over the course of summer break, writing those 1,667 words every single day that I am on vacation, and then I will be analyzing my efforts, how the challenge affected my writing and how other authors have handled the challenge.  I will be examining informal, online advice for both NaNoWriMo authors and non-NaNoWriMo authors, and comparing this advice to my own experiences so that I can try to understand how NaNoWriMo made me and others better writers, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the challenge.


My name is Michael Harden, and I am a graduating senior from Cal State Fullerton.  I am a double major in English and American Studies, both programs that obviously deal very heavily with my project's subject, National Novel Writer's Month.  I went into this project fully intending to write 150,000 words in three months, and I can honestly say that, having accomplished that, I'm more proud of it than anything else that I have ever done.  I wrote a full novel, and then 50,000 words of another story.  My computer was stolen when I was about 18,000 words in, and I made up those eighteen thousand lost words in a week, and even ended up ahead of schedule by the end of it.  I wrote at the Grand Canyon, at home, at work, at my parent's house and my girlfriend's house.  And then, when I was done writing, I labeled all of that my appendix and started actually working on my project.

Natasha Mann

Mentor: Ellen Caldwell

"From Chaucer to the "The Office": The Modernity of Satire"


My project looks at the satirical similarities between medieval literature and American Popular Culture as exemplified in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and NBC’s show “The Office.” I bridge the gap between these geographically and culturally distant works in order to prove the universality of satire as an effective comedic storytelling element. I have always relished the humor of The Canterbury Tales; the more I read it, the more similarities I see between Chaucer’s Tales and “The Office.” Human behavior has not changed that much! Both Chaucer and the writers of “The Office” poke fun at the same set of human desires:  male competition for power, and female desire for equality, implicating their societies—and us, the audience--in the critique.    


My name is Natasha Mann and I am a double major in English and Cinema/Television Arts with an emphasis in Screenwriting. I have been on the Dean’s List for multiple years and have enjoyed my involvement in other Honor Societies such as Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Beta Delta. My interest in storytelling has led me to work with elementary students in creating their own stories and in that way to learn the power of their voices. My recent internship has taught me invaluable lessons about how the media industry works behind the scenes. I hope to pursue my passion for storytelling by writing for a major network show and proving that sitcom writing can be witty, entertaining, and socially relevant.

Sarah Mountain

Mentor: Timothy Henry

"The Acquisition of American English Vowels by Native Hebrew Speakers"


It is commonly observed that adults who learn to speak a second language do not usually acquire the sound system of the language to the degree of a native speaker; adult learners of a language often speak with an accent. Many have studied the idea of a “critical period” for language—that is, that once a person passes a certain age, they are unable to acquire a second language fluently. Although this is debated, the critical period does seem to apply quite often to the acquisition of a language’s phonology. Children acquire the sound system of a second language effortlessly, it seems, while adults often speak with accents. Flege (1995) has proposed the Speech Learning Model (SLM) to account for perception-based issues in the acquisition of foreign language phonology by adult language learners. The present study examined the speech of 6 subjects who spoke Hebrew as a first language and had acquired English as an L2 in order to see how non-native speakers of English dealt with the considerably more complex vowel system of this L2. The results support the various hypotheses of Flege’s SLM that propose the interaction and interference of L1 and L2 phonetic categories with one another.


My name is Sarah Mountain. I am double-majoring in Linguistics and English, with a current GPA of 3.90. I will be graduating in the Spring of 2017. I have worked at the Writing Center on campus for the past three years. I am also President of the Medieval Swordsmanship Club on campus, which I have been an active participant in for all four years of my undergraduate career. In my time at CSUF I have discovered my passion for the study of languages and linguistics, particularly the subfields of phonetics, phonology, and second language acquisition, as well as the Semitic language family. After graduation I will be moving to Tucson to pursue a Ph.D in Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Sofia Pierantoni

Mentor: David Marley

"Disneyland Dark Rides: A Storytelling Analysis"


My honors project is an analysis on Disneyland Dark Rides that compares them to their movie counterparts. I am looking at each ride, utilizing online videos as well as visiting the parks and going on the rides, taking note of the details in the ride and how they tell the story of the movie. I then go back and compare the ride to the movie; making note of any differences and trying to understand why Disney Imagineers changed things around in the ride. The nature of the project is to better understand storytelling in an interactive element, such as a ride. Furthermore, I explore how Imagineers designed a ride that is only 2-5 minutes long yet fits in the story of a full-length animated film. Guests of Disneyland do not typically think about the story when they experience these rides, they just hope to be entertained and see their favorite characters. However, Disney is known for the details they put into every element of their parks. Through my analysis, I strengthen my understanding of how to take a story and create an experience out of it.


My name is Sofia Pierantoni, I am a fifth-year senior graduating this May with my BFA in Animation. Through the struggles of college and a lot of personal growth, I accomplished a lot with staying in the Honors Program with a 3.5 GPA and being on the Dean’s List multiple times. This is a huge feat for me because I have managed to do this while holding down jobs, sometimes two at once. My biggest accomplishment, or at least the one I am most proud of, was being a team leader in Disney’s Imaginations competition in which my team and I were semi-finalists. After graduation, I hope to work for Disney in either their animation department or in Imagineering.

Carly Johnson

1:10 - 1:30

Mentor: Dr. Karyl Ketchum
“Papz”: From the Frontline to the Logline


The basis of this Senior Honors Project is to create a socially conscious, yet hilarious TV sitcom that is a true reflection of my time working at a paparazzi company and the industry as a whole. In the Spring of 2016, I was hired as an Associate Photo Editor for one of the most prestigious paparazzi agencies in Hollywood. I sifted through endless photos of Kylie Jenner, wrote stories about Nicki Minaj’s “fake butt,” and shook hands with the men who single handedly prompted Kanye West’s public breakdown(s). When I heard these stories, when I saw the pride paparazzi photographers had towards catching people in their worst moments for cash, I couldn’t help but question the ethics of this industry and how I was contributing to other people’s public misery. As a Cinema Television major, the way I choose to deal with issues is to turn them into stories and that’s exactly what I did.  Needless to say, I no longer work for this company, but my experiences stay with me and out of those experiences has come a very personal, but fine piece of comedic television that is my open letter of apology to the celebrities whose lives I’ve affected.


I am Carly Johnson and I’m a Cinema Television Major that is expected to graduate in the Summer of 2017. The 4 years I have spent here at Cal-State Fullerton have been consumed with constant scriptwriting that has flourished to the state it’s in today thanks to the supportive professors from the department that have surrounded me.  I am currently working on an original sitcom pilot with Garry Hart, the Department Chair for CTVA and the former president of Paramount TV, that I have plans to pitch to studios in June. This project is a preview of said sitcom.

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