Debating whether to attempt research and/or creative activity to see if it’s something you want to pursue? Are you unsure of how to find the right faculty mentor or topic to even look for? No need to worry, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence has you covered. 

Join us on Wednesday, September 22nd from 7PM-8PM via Zoom to hear fellow undergraduate students talk about their research journey in this student-led virtual panel! We will be going over topics such as identifying faculty mentors, determining your interests, building your projects, and much more! The panel will feature 7 remarkable panelists from a wide range of academic and creative backgrounds. Learn more about the panelists, their research, and what they look forward to sharing with you below!

Nathan Reynoso

Nathan Reynoso (‘21) is a recent graduate from Chapman University with a BFA in Creative Writing and BA in Theatre. His research focuses on post-war British radio dramas and regional identity within the paradigms of Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”. He is currently applying for a Fulbright Study/Research grant to expand his research at Queen Mary University of London for the ’22-’23 academic year!

“I have not attended this panel while I was a student at Chapman. Yet, I wish I had taken advantage of this opportunity in the past since it is not only informative to hear about other scholarly projects but inspirational, especially if you come across someone that has a similar research background or interest. You never know until you engage in a dialogue of questions and truth-seeking answers. I’m keen to hear about the creative projects from other scholars in this community because every project begins with an idea, and any idea is worth pursuing a this moment, whether it is in STEM or the humanities.”

Edena Khoshaba

Edena Khoshaba (‘21) is a recent graduate from Chapman University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in both Leadership as well as Rhetoric and Writing. She is currently applying to medical school in her gap year while she works at a dermatology clinic as a medical assistant and teaches a section of Organic Chemistry Lab here at Chapman. As for her research, she studied potential biomarkers for chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in pediatric leukemia patients. Specifically, she was looking for novel metabolites that were significantly different in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients who developed neurotoxicity versus healthy controls.

“I look forward to communicating my research with interested students and providing advice to those looking to get involved in research at Chapman” 

Nat Pendergraft

Nat Pendergraft (‘22) is a double major in History and TV Writing and Production. Their project is an interactive museum exhibit on medical history, so they were doing the research necessary over the summer. 

“I really had no idea about this panel until I was invited to be on it. I do wish I could have attended this panel before, I think it would have got me on this path even sooner. I love to share my experiences, especially if it means helping others to figure out what they want to do. Also, I would love to speak with people and answer any questions they may have!”


Harshitha Venkatesh

Harshitha Venkatesh (‘22) is a Psychology major with a minor in Chemistry. As a research assistant and lab manager of the Affect Regulation & Health Lab, she has analyzed child postoperative pain data taken from children who underwent elective surgery at CHOC Children’s Hospital. She is part of a study at CHOC that collects data and examines how a teen’s asthma symptoms change over the course of a week to assess health-related quality of life and emotions. Additionally, she ran a COVID-19 research study and collected data over a span of 9 months from Chapman students. 

As a freshman, I never really thought that research would be something that I enjoyed so deeply, but my biggest regret is not exploring earlier. I encourage all students to join as you will not only gain insight on what research has to offer, but you might even explore your hidden interests. As a panelist, I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and inspiring other students to explore different research opportunities here at Chapman. I am also excited to listen to the research journeys of the other panelists and how it has shaped their college experience.”

Emma Krivoshein

Emma Krivoshein (‘22) is currently a senior Psychology major with a minor in Neuroscience. She works with Dr. Aaron Schurger on a project at the Brain Institute that uses combined TMS-EEG and pupillometry to investigate the role that norepinephrine neuromodulation plays in modulating phenomena that are related to consciousness. 

I have not attended this panel as a student, but I do wish that I had attended because there are so many resources and opportunities for research activities at Chapman that I didn’t know about until I was an upperclassman. As a panelist, I am excited to hopefully illustrate how accessible research is at Chapman and to encourage other students to pursue the many opportunities that  Chapman has to offer for research activities”

Lauren Bramlett

Lauren Bramlett (‘23) is a Junior double majoring in Dance Performance and English Literature, Rhetoric, and Cultural Studies. Her current research focuses on the rhetorical power of dance performance, most recently in the sphere of protest art. She is interested in how dance and other types of performance can be used to contribute to social change, and she conducted her 2021 SURF project with this question in mind. She rhetorically analyzed various concert dance pieces from 1950-2000 from choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Pearl Primus, Katherine Dunham, and Neil Greenberg, among others. To perform her analysis, she used a joint methodological approach of dialogic materialism, working from Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism and new materialism as situated by Laurie Gries and Rosi Braidotti. She used both rhetorical frameworks to create a series of questions and criteria which with she examined dances to better understand how bodies and movement can be used to contribute to social movements. Going forward, she is interested in exploring dance rhetoric within other genres of dance, perhaps applying what she has learned to dance as it functions in contemporary protest settings.

“I attended this panel as a student on Zoom last fall. I remember hearing the story of one specific student doing research that involved musical theater, which was one of the first times I realized I could go into research within the field of dance; that research could be in the arts and humanities and was not limited to disciplines that I’d considered conventionally “academic.” It was a wonderful experience! Without the panel, I probably wouldn’t have done SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship). I’m looking forward to meeting students that are eager to learn more about the research environment at Chapman. I’m also excited to discuss the wealth of research and creative activity opportunities here at Chapman – I am still awed by how much is right at our fingertips. I’m also excited to learn more about the research of my talented and devoted peers!”

Nikki Trippler

Nikki Trippler (‘22) is a senior double major in Theatre Studies and Strategic and Corporate Communication. This past summer, she participated in the Center for Undergraduate Excellence’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and conducted research about College Students’ Friendships and Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She conducted 12 interviews over zoom with college students and learned more about the forms of interpersonal communication among this age group during this time. 

I encourage students to attend panels like this one. For the disciplines that I am currently interested in, research with undergraduates is not as well-known and it’s important to me that events like this get the word out to my peers that they, too, can be a part of amazing research and creative opportunities provided at Chapman. I look forward to sharing the work I researched this past summer with fellow colleagues and “geeking out” about research in general because I love learning new things and one of the best parts of being chosen for the SURF program was learning all the different types of research available. Regardless of your major or primary interests, there’s so much out there and the process of research itself is unique, especially at an undergraduate level.”


Make sure to pre-register for this virtual event here. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from such outstanding students in their field! Paws Up!

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