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Office of the Vice President for Research

2022 SPARC Graduate Research Grants will fund meritorious research, scholarly and creative projects by 52 graduate students

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to award 52 2021-2022 SPARC Graduate Research Grants to support graduate student researchers across eight University of South Carolina academic units. These SPARC recipients, listed below, will use their funding to engage in research, scholarly and creative projects over a 15-month period beginning this May.

Through SPARC, or Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity, graduate students compete for internal funding of up to $5,000 to support their meritorious research, creative and scholarly projects. This process offers the possibility of funding along with valuable experience in the process of applying for sponsored awards. SPARC applicants complete many of the same steps involved in developing extramural research funding proposals, like planning a budget, documenting current and pending support, and drafting and refining the proposal narrative. By practicing these skills, SPARC applicants prepare themselves for a future in research, which often involves applying for funding through similar processes.

Please join the Office of the Vice President for Research in congratulating these promising graduate student scholars.


2021-2022 SPARC Graduate Research Grant Recipients

Recipient Name

Degree Program

Proposal Title

Andrea Acosta Anthropology Behind the Roman gens: A Bioarchaeological Study of Family Structure and Social Change in Iron AgeItaly (900 - 700 BCE)
Mohammed Al-Fahdi Mechanical Engineering Design Novel Thermoelectric Materials by Generative Adversarial Networks and Density Functional Theory
Gabriel Benavidez Epidemiology Examining Disparities in Cancer Stage and Mortality Among Medicaid Enrollees
McKenzie Black Mathematics Collective dynamics with nonlinear velocity alignment
Samantha Bouknight Biomedical Sciences Effects of Oxytocin in the Locus Coeruleus on Addiction-Related Behavior
Kexun Chen Chemistry Pathway Selection of Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation on Metal Nanoparticle Surfaces
Shuying Chen Comparative Literature O'Neill Beyond the Horizon: Eugene O'Neill Adapted in 1980s China
Candice Cheung Biomedical Engineering Elucidating sexually dimorphic responses of primary satellite cells to ATRA-PLG particles for muscle recovery.
Ellen Cooper Communication Sciences and Disorders Impact of Training and Experience on Hearing Loss Health Literacy in Speech-Language Pathologists
David Eap Chemistry Do Metallothioneins Have a Role in Regulating Fungal Iron Homeostasis?
Alexis Federico Clinical-Community Psychology Assessing Familial Risk of ASD and ADHD
Claire Fisher Chemistry Elucidating the Function of the Monothiol Glutaredoxin, GrxD, in Escherichia coli
Karen Flynn Social Work Shaped by capital, constrained by context: Exploring processes of professional inclusion for High Skilled Venezuelan Migrants in Argentina
Kenneth Frederick Biological Sciences Drug-induced dystonia: investigating underlying molecular mechanisms and novel therapies.
Kyle George Chemical Engineering Bioinspired Chiral Photonic Nanostructures Based on Hydroxypropyl Cellulose
Farivash Gholamirad Chemical Engineering The Performance of Ti3C2 MXene/Polyelectrolyte Assemblies for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Shielding
Nicolas Harder Sociology Heuristics and Cultural Competition: How the Status of Cultural Objects are Formed and Status Influences Survival
Julia Hohn Biomedical Sciences Effects of emodin on doxorubicin-induced cardiac fibroblast dysfunction
Erin Hunt Clinical-Community Psychology Inhibitory Control in Children with Fragile X Syndrome: Biological Underpinnings, Familial Predictors, and Functional Outcomes
Sarah Jackson Geography The Role of Geographic Context in Tornado Risk Perception and Response
Madison Janakis Biological Sciences Visual Ecology in the Porcelain crab, Petrolisthes armatus
Sadia Jehan Social Work Understanding the role of Despair in Prescription Opioid Misuse Among Adults in United States
Julia Johnston Clinical-Community Psychology Role of Sensory Processing and Neuropathic Pain in Pain Experiences in Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease
Devin Kellis Biomedical Sciences Cholinergic determinants of rodent individual differences in fear extinction
Eric King Social Work Examining the perceptions of choice and military enlistment: an exploratory study
Jody Lanza-Gregory School Psychology Exploring Educator Readiness for a School Neuropsychological Approach to SLD Identification
Jennifer Linscott Biological Sciences Ephemeral Water and Shorebird Migration in the Northern Great Plains
Mary Lynn Epidemiology Infectious causes of perinatal and congenital morbidity in pregnant women from rural El Salvador
Xiao Ma Hospitality Management ‘I want YOU!’: Exploring post-pandemic recruitment and retention strategies in the U.S. restaurant industry
Zachary Mack Pharmaceutical Sciences Preventing adaptive therapeutic resistance to CDK4/6 inhibition with CDK8/19 inhibitors
 Helen Marodin History Confectionery Arts of Pelotas, Brazil: Intersectional Foodways in the Nineteenth Century
Sean McQueeney Exercise Science Influence of Maximal Grip Contraction on Medial Elbow Joint Space Displacement in College Baseball Pitchers
Kristiaan Merritt Biological Sciences The Colorful World of Cryptophyte Microalgae
Chandani Mitchell Biomedical Sciences Role of AhR in IL-22 secretion by Rorc-expressing cells during indole-3-carbinol treatment of colitis
Carly Moser Communication Sciences and Disorders The Role of Physiological Coordination Among Parents and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Chelsea Norregaard Health Services Policy and Management The role of structural racism on the association between maternal obesity and severe maternal morbidity in South Carolina
Nkechi Okpara Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Body Image blended with Nutrition, and add a dash of Self-compassion: A randomized controlled trial for African American high school teenage girls
Sarah Pace Social Work The Use of Technology in Reducing Isolation and Loneliness Among Low-Income Older Adults
Hannah Parker Exercise Science The Feasibility of a Community-Based Resistance Training Program of Youth with Overweight and Obesity
Victoria Pinkston Linguistics Program Tracing Discourses of Racism from National to Local Spaces
Megan Routh Sociology What We Say in the Shadows: Whisper Networks Among Women and Gender Minority Individuals in STEM
Nina Schreiner Anthropology Settler-Colonial Artifact Collection at Woodville Plantation, ca. 1850-1925
Mary Elizabeth Sewell Educational Psychology and Research The HERO Within: Developing the Psychological Capital of First-Generation Students
Fanghui Shi Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior The impact of structural racism on poor engagement along the HIV care continuum in South Carolina
Rebecca Smith-Hill Special Education Agency and College Students with Intellectual Disabilities: A Photovoice Project
Carlie Todd History Breaking the ‘Old Boy’s Club’: A History of Women in the US Intelligence Community, 1945-2001
Lancen Tully Geological Sciences From the Mountains to the Sea: Advancing our Knowledge of Earth History and Sediment Dynamics Through Detrital Zircon Geochronology in the South Carolina Coastal Plain
Janay Vacharasin Biological Sciences Defining the Role of mTOR Signaling in ASH1L-related Autism Spectrum Disorder
Mihyun Waugh Biomedical Engineering Peptoids As Potential Inhibitors of RAGE in Alzheimer's Disease
Alexandra Weaver Educational Psychology and Research Self-Efficacy Rates of Bereaved Students and Implications for Retention
Cheng Xiao Linguistics Program Bridging Meaning and Sound: The Effects of Emotional Prosody on Semantic Processing in Mandarin Chinese Words and Sentences
Gene Yang Mechanical Engineering Design of Vertically Strained Interfaces in Oxide Heterostructures for Fast Oxygen Reduction


14 January 2022

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