"Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

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  • 2022 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    Natalie Doherty
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Role of Microbiota and Metabolites in Gut Motility for Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Rickey Durga
    The Paleoethnobotany of Bohe, Yucatan, Mexico: Changes in Subsistence Practices during the Classic Period of the Northern Maya Lowlands
    Erica Lin
    Investigating Varying Levels of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis in SUNN and SOBIR mutants of Medicago Trunculata
    Jarek Maleszka
    Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Life-Like Molecular Machines to Encode Chemical Information in Light Signal
    Camila Treptow
    Biology and Spanish
    New Technology and Software to Deter Break-ins, Abductions, Sexual Assaults, and More By Informing The Apartment/Dorm/Hotel guests that their door has been opened and/or Someone has Tried to Access their Key Fob Lock

  • 2021 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    Greeshma Venigalla
    Chemistry and Biochemistry
    The Implication of the Gut-Microbiome Brain Axis in Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms

  • 2019 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    Alexander Claman
    Identification of Genes Required for Neuroendocrine Cell Development and Mechanical Activation
    Samantha Hessinger
    Theatre Arts / English
    The Fight for Female-Fueled Theatre: A Study of Female Directors in Dublin and London
    Joshua Kleinman
    Public Health and Sociology
    Knowledge, Use, and Accessibility of PrEP among Recently Released Parolees in South Florida
    Mendel Lebowitz
    Understanding Typical and Non-typical Infants’ Social Development
    Jakob Nordenstam
    Classics and Economics
    The Impact of the Classical World and its Customs on Viking Societies
    Lelia Thompson
    Ecosystem Science and Policy
    An interdisciplinary film of the Miami Pine Rocklands and its current restoration and research efforts : "The Lost Pines"

  • 2018 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    Mollie ColeMollie Cole

    I am so grateful that the Beyond the Book scholarship gave me the opportunity to intern at Start-Up Chile, Latin America's premier start-up accelerator. As a Business Network intern, I got to work on an incredible multinational team of fellow interns and support entrepreneurs from all over the world as they grew their businesses in Chile. Through conversations I had with the staff & participants in our program and projects I was able to work on, I gained so much insight into Santiago's start-up ecosystem and how its success can be modeled elsewhere. I loved working in such a diverse, dynamic environment and this project was an exciting step towards working with global start-ups in my future career!


    MaiaMaia Mulcahy Mulcahy

    My research in Ireland fell at an unprecedented moment in Irish history; the vote to repeal the ban on abortion. This could not have been more befitting for my research, as most of the liturgy of women playwrights in Ireland centers around themes of the interchangeability of 'women' and 'mother' in addition to the role of the wife in Irish society. I took this unique time in Irish history to investigate how Irish drama by women questions and peers into the complicated subject of abortion, maternity and the agency of Irish women.


    Matthew WiefelsMatthew Wiefels

    My research explored the causes for aggressive behavior in weaver ants from different colonies.  Specifically, our research team conducted hydrocarbon analyses, behavior trials, and genetic relatedness analyses.  We carried out these studies in hopes of determining the levels of influence that different factors have on the aggressive behavior that weaver ants display towards non-nestmates.


    Frederic VallejoFrederic Vallejo

    My research with Dr. Regina Graham investigates novel metabolic therapies used to target aggressive nervous system cancers such as Neuroblastoma and Glioblastoma. Patients with these tumors face extremely grim prognoses and are in dire need of new treatment options. Our research on exogenous ketogenic supplementation and glycolytic inhibition has shown promising results thus far.

    “The summit of pleasure is the elimination of all that gives pain.” -Epicurus


    Sarah MonseySarah Monsey

    My research over the summer gave me the opportunity to learn and implement research methods used in fluorescent microscopy. I directly managed the growth and transcription of several cell lines that I stained for fluorescent detection of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 activity.


    Lily Gardino Lily Giardino

    Thanks to the Beyond the Book Award I was given the opportunity to work with Dr. James Baker and test the effects of several new experimental drugs designed and synthesized by Unversity of Miami student researchers. This research explored the various properties and side effects of each molecule on Drosophila melanogaster ovary development with the goal of isolating the specific pathway disrupted by the drug exposure.


    Ashely Brooks

    Sebastian the Ibis“Performing research in the Dominican Republic was a challenging and extremely worthwhile experience. It is so important to get out into the field and engage the topics that we’ve learned about in the classroom.”



    Angelica Millan Rodriguez

    Sebastian the IbisDuring the summer, I had the opportunity to work together with my faculty in the department of Geological Science.  We lead a research project focused on analyzing core samples obtained from several areas of Miami Beach in order to discern the geological history of the zone and the possible implications this could have for our city in terms of sea level rise. The project involved a lot of dedication, time and effort as it entailed a lot of detail; nevertheless, it was a positive, enriching experience as I now truly feel much more prepared for the future, given that I thankfully have hands-on experience on something I'm truly passionate about.


    Emily Wheeler Emily Wheeler

    The Galápagos Islands serves as a model for what is being experienced throughout the world: the everlasting struggle between humans and the environment. This summer, I investigated the socioeconomic and ecological problems of this remote archipelago by going right to the source: the residents. Thanks to the Beyond the Book Award, I was able to survey over 500 Galápagos residents and tourists, conduct personal interviews and focus groups, construct an interactive map of the islands through photography and GIS software, and create connections and memories to last a lifetime. Ultimately, I hope this study will aid conservation and social efforts by providing a comprehensive analysis of the current problems experienced in the Galápagos Islands.

  • 2017 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    Arrix Ryce Arrix Ryce
    Biochemistry / Religion, Medicine & Society - Medical Sociology
    Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Program

    “Arrix completed a mentored research experience at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (Penn LDI). His two research projects aimed to identify unmet palliative care needs among hospitalized patients with COPD and to characterize attitudes toward minorities within medicine. Additionally, Arrix composed a piece called "Reestablishing a Medical Space for Hope and Healing" that has been published on the SUMR Times Blog of Penn LDI” – Arrix Ryce


    Meghana ShownkeenMeghana Shownkeen
    Neuroscience - Neurology
    SEM analyis of the Ultrastructure and Composition of Cerebal Thrombi Retrieved by Mechanical Thrombectomy Devices in Ischemic Stroke Patients
    “My research uses scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to examine the fine structure of cerebral thrombi retrieved by mechanical thrombectomy devices in ischemic stroke patients.” - Meghana Shownkeen
    Michael OrtegaMichael Ortega
    Neuroscience - Law and Mental Health
    Improving Strategies for Diverting People with Mental Illness Away from the Criminal Justice System
    “With funding from Beyond the Book, I studied a population of individuals at the intersection of Miami-Dade County’s mental health and criminal justice systems. Specifically, I recorded their progress through a court-run linkage service program - the Criminal Mental Health Project - to identify and correct gaps or redundancies in our services. I also travelled to the 35th Biannual International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Prague to collaborate with teams around the world involved in similar research.” – Michael Ortega
    Nidhi PatelNidhi Patel
    Neuroscience - Humanities
    “My Beyond the Book experience explored a sustainable model for donating educational materials to influence microsystem processes in rehabilitation schools in India. Through this award I was not only able to donate backpacks, uniforms, physical education activities and much more to five schools but also established a structured model for donation by maximizing funds. Data collection from previous schools I had donated to reported increases in number of students attending as well as long term student retention.” – Nidhi Patel
    Kyla LeonardKyla Leonard
    Psychology - Psychology
    Effects of Infant Touch on Behavior
    “Infant touch, such as skin-to-skin contact and massage is a vital aspect of infant rearing; however, little is known about the effects of social touch on behavior. My research explored individual differences in reactions to social touch, priming effects of social touch on visual attention to faces, and the relationship between touch enjoyment/avoidance and visual attention to faces.” – Kyla Leonard
    Sarah PriceSarah Price
    Anthropology - Anthropology
    Burials, Food Life, and Understanding the First Floridians
    “Over the summer of 2017, thanks to the Beyond the Book Scholarship, I was able to conduct a research project examining the skeletal material of several ancient Floridian groups, with the guidance of Monica Faraldo and Dr. Linda Taylor of the University of Miami’s Department of Anthropology. I took measurements and visual assessments of the skulls, mainly the faces, of the individuals in each collection in the hopes of understanding more about their ancestry, migration to the Americas, and possible relationships to the other groups in the study. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I was given to put my education to practical use and develop real world skills while forging connections with professionals in my field” Sarah Price
    Bennett Leeds
    Musical Theatre - Greek Theatre History
    Ancient Greek Theatre: A Link to the Past
    Sebastian the Ibis“My Beyond the Book travels brought me to the birthplace of theatre in the heart of Athens. I visited some of the largest theaters in the world and immersed myself in Greek culture by seeing contemporary productions across the Greek peninsula. With my scholarship, I gained perspective on the roots of my work that my normal undergraduate experience would not have provided me.”- Bennett Leeds
    Christine Li
    Biology and Economics - Biology/Neuroscience
    Gap junctions and neural coordination of the egg-laying circuit in Caenohabditis elegans
    Sebastian the Ibis“Gap junctions are essential intracellular structures needed for cell communication and regulation. Our research investigates the function of the UNC-7 and UNC-9 innexin gap junctions in egg-laying behavior and circuit.” – Christine Li
    Faraah Bekheet
    Chemistry - Adolescent HIV Education and Awareness
    Promote 2 Prevent
    Sebastian the Ibis“The Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Miami is Miami’s sole clinic that provides free STD, HIV, and pregnancy testing and treatment exclusively for adolescents. Unfortunately, Miami has the highest rate of HIV infection in the country, emphasizing the importance of the clinic’s mission. In the past, the clinic has primarily partnered with local schools to conduct testing, which limits access to young adults that dropped out of high school or did not continue their education after graduation, a population that is more prone to endangering behaviors. Therefore, research over the summer was devoted to testing ways of expanding the clinic’s reach through social media marketing and partnering with local business that employ young adults, such as restaurants and retail stores.” – Faraah Bekheet
    Robert EddyRobert Eddy
    Musical Theatre BFA Acting - Shakespeare
    Exploring Shakespeare's London in a Modern World - Change to " The Crusade of Connor Stephens"
    “The Beyond the Book scholarship permitted me to obtain a deeper understanding of the American theatrical world through my work as Associate Director on the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway production of The Crusade of Connor Stephens. Coupled with my exploration of the other current running Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, my research provided insight into the ways in which we can make progressive theatre accessible for American audiences. I now return to my studies at the University of Miami with the motivation to cultivate an environment of conscious theatre makers." - Robert Eddy
                                      Jack Adcock
    Sebastian the IbisBiology and Psychology - Ecology and Behavior
    Effects of Biogenic Amines on Aggression and Recognition in the Weaver Ant

  • 2016 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • Elizabeth Bocanegra  (Psychology & Sociology)
    • Zoe Cosner (Biochemistry & Mathematics)
    • Kurt Daum (Geography)
    • Iren Gasparyan (Religious Studies)
    • Eva Maria Mann  (Geological Sciences & Anthropology)
    • Robert McMahon  (Biology)
    • Annika Patel  (Biology)
    • Keisha Patel  (Biology)
    • Stefanie Rodriguez (Political Science)
    • Alex Sidelev (Mathematics & Marine Science)
    • Ian Thompson (Marine Science & Geology)
    • Jaclyn Verity (Geography & Health)
    • Yujia Zhou  (Neuroscience)

  • 2015 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • Daniel Amat (Chemistry)
    • Amelia Bahamonde (Microbiology & Immunology, Biology)
    • Tara Brown (Musical Theatre)
    • Phillip Davidson (Biology)
    • Ariane Karine Goncalves (Chemistry)
    • Benjamin Langer (Biochemistry)
    • Josh Marzano (Spanish and Women and Gender Studies)
    • Joseph Miller (Political Science)
    • Erin Smith (Anthropology)
    • Andres Taledro (Geological Science)
    • Jeanette Tho (Biochemistry)
    • Laura Vander Meiden (Ecosystem Science and Policy, Biology, Marine Science)
    • Jacob Yomtoob (Biochemistry and Neuroscience)
    • Jorge Zambrano (Psychology)

  • 2014 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • Blake Fortes (Chemistry)
    • Dan Li (Applied Math and Applied Physics)
    • Tyler Lindberg (Geography)
    • Catherine Rose Tillman (Biomedical Engineering)
    • Shreyans Patel (Neuroscience)
    • Rachel Frisch (Biochemistry)
    • Anna Ivanoua (Neuroscience)
    • Adam Kaufman (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
    • Scott "Skip" Mcclinton (Marine Affairs, Economics, International Studies)
    • Haley Weinig (English)
    • Hunter Wright (Creative Writing)
    • Rhyssa Beckford (BFA/Acting)
    • Haley Edwards (Psychology, Sociology and Human Social Development Minors)
    • Grace Slwaski (Fellowship in Latin American Studies)
    • Enkhjarcgal Batbold (Economics and CIS)
    • Micah Nellesseh (Anthropology, Psychology)

  • 2013 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • William Babinchak (Chemistry)
    • Kayla Costello (Human & Social Development, Geography)
    • Jessica  Dell (Biology & Ecosystem Science and Policy)
    • Rachelle Mariano (Biochemistryl Computer Science)
    • Cory Marx (Geological Sciences)
    • Taaha Mendha (Microbiology and Immunology)
    • Megan  Motley (English Lit, Psychology, and Philosophy)
    • Ryan Nolan (Biology & Eco.)
    • Jennifer North (Fellow in Latin American Studies/Spanish)
    • Amith Ravindar (Computer Science, Economics, International Studies)
    • Stuart Sacks (Chemisttry)
    • Ashwath Sampath (Chemistry and Computer Science)
    • Wang Zhaomengqi (International Studies, Finance)

  • 2012 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • Steven Basart (Neuroscience)
    • Anup Dadlani (Chemistry)
    • Jessica Figueroa (Anthropology)
    • Ikenna Okoro (Biology)
    • Shane Owens (International Studies)
    • Erin Lynn Purdy (History)
    • Ann Siassipour (Biology)
    • Ari Stein (Chemistry)
    • Maximillian Tenaglia (Geological Sciences)
    • Michael Venincasa (Neuroscience)
    • Aaron Wiegmann (Microbiology)
    • Ali Zaman (Neuroscience)

  • 2011 "Beyond the Book" Award Recipients

    • Liliam Albizu-Campos
    • Nicholas Bill
    • Spencer Carran
    • Joseph Cavanaugh
    • Daniela Gayel
    • Stephanie Horna
    • John Maudlin
    • Erin Nutsugah
    • Ryan Pekarek
    • Richardo Reboredo
    • Kathryn Rosin

  • Student Proposals (2011)

    • Expression of Klf-4 and Zfp-161 during Mouse Gonadal Differentiation
           Daniela Gayol
    • Cultural Exchange and its Effect on Ghanaian Perceptions of African-Americans
           Erin Nutsugah
    • Can Cheap Copper Save the Planet?
           Ryan Pekarek
    • Spatialities of Survival: Zimbabwean Livelihood Strategies in Inner-City Johannesburg
           Ricardo Reboredo

  • Student Proposals (2010)

    • What Does the Community 'Think' When the NGO and the International Students Leave for Home?
      A Study of Township Locals in Cape Town, Africa
           Andrew Dawson
    • Influence of Cancer on Emotional and Physical Health of Caregivers
           Janice León
    • The Role of Ankyrin-B in the Cornea
           Ananth Sastry

  • Student Proposals (2009)

    • Isotopic Fractionation of Free Living Corals of the Dominican Republic
           Sean Murray
    • Characterization of N-Cadherin and E-Cadherin expression during
      human endocrine development
           Enrique Garcia
    • Religious Conflict and Reconciliation in South Sudan 
           Daniel Thompson
    • In Situ analyses of skeletal remains from Isla San Lucas, Costa Rica Penal Colony Cemetary 
           Kristina Astone