2015 Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase Winners

Student research was displayed during the 6th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on April 14.

The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured 121 presentations from 229 students in the form of 92 posters, 16 oral presentations or performances, and 13 exhibits. Several presentations included multiple students.

Following are the winning presentations:


  • Samuel Gates of Old Town, Maine; and Meghan Hurlburt of Union, Maine, “Multi-Tag Radio Frequency Indication for Use in Indoor Positional Tracking Systems;” adviser: Nicholas Giudice, School of Computing and Information Science

Oral Presentations

  • Danielle Walczak of Lee, New Hampshire, “Forward, Not Back: Young People’s Search for Farming and Community in Maine;” adviser: Melissa Ladenheim, Honors College (first place)
  • Vincent Digiovanni of Belmont, Massachusetts, “Chemical Degradation and Functionalization of Acarbose for the Creation and Study of Novel Alpha Amylase Inhibitors Related to the Acarviostatin Family of Natural Products;” Adviser: Matthew Brichacek, Department of Chemistry (second place)


  • Eliza Kane of Deer Isle, Maine, “The Geochemistry and Historical Ecology of a Burnt Mississippian House at the Lawrenz Gun Club Site in the Central Illinois River Valley;” adviser: Alice Kelley, School of Earth and Climate Sciences (first place)
  • Kai Hermansen of Old Town, Maine; Abbie Gray of Poland, Maine; Evan Nadeau of Brewer, Maine; Viktoria Staples of Brooklin, Maine; and Roger Brasslett of Brewer, Maine, “Exercise Education at Brewer High School Health Class;” adviser: Elizabeth Bicknell, School of Nursing (second place)
  • Jacob Posik of Turner, Maine; Cameron Marcotte of Lewiston, Maine; Jacob Hatch of Portland, Maine; Harold Trey Stewart III of Presque Isle, Maine; and Adam Thibodeau of Bangor, Maine, “Confronting The Challenges of Studentification in Residential Orono Neighborhoods;” adviser: Robert Glover, Department of Political Science (third place)

Also announced at the showcase were the five winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship:

  • Spencer Desrochers of Biddeford, Maine, “Optimizing Power Usage of Modern Computing Systems;” adviser: Vincent Weaver, electrical and computer engineering
  • Ailish Foley of Montville, Maine, “The Effects of Collection Time, Auxin Concentration, and Wounding on Root Formation of Softwood and Semi-Hardwood Cuttings of Rhododendron Canadense;” adviser: Bryan Peterson, School of Food and Agriculture
  • Zachary Mason of Wells, Maine, “Increasing Resolution of Tropical Last Glacial Maximum Record with Cosmogenic Surface Exposure-Dating;” Brenda Hall, Earth and Climate Sciences
  • Scott Mitchell of Haymarket, Virginia, “Use of FAME Profiling to Detect Differences in Microbial Activity in Compost from Horses Treated with and without Antibiotics;” adviser: Robert Causey, School of Food and Agriculture
  • Jessica Moore of Bangor, Maine, “Investigating a Link Between Inflammation and Invasive Candidiasis;” adviser: Robert Wheeler, molecular and biomedical sciences