The Owl is a peer-reviewed publication of research articles and creative works by Florida State University undergraduates. The journal exhibits the academic pursuits and intellectual heterogeneity of Florida State’s emerging scholars from all disciplines.
The Owl is a publication of the Student Council for Undergraduate Research and Creativity (SCURC) and is sponsored by the Student Government Association.
Named The Owl after the original seal used from 1851 to 1901 by West Florida Seminary, the journal is anchored in the history of our institution, showcases our university’s brightest minds of today, and helps shape the future of undergraduate research at Florida State.
Associate Editor: Matthew Masa
Matthew Masa is a fourth-year Political Science student with a minor in Urban & Regional Planning. His experience includes evaluating and revising the Providence Neighborhood First Initiative Community Engagement Strategy as well as St. Mark’s National Wildlife Comprehension Plan (both under Dr. Holmes). Matthew’s interests include community activism, transportation policy, and Russian literature. After graduation, Matthew plans to pursue a MSP in Urban & Regional Planning.
Associate Editor: Caitlin Blanchard
Caitlin Blanchard is in her third year studying biology while minoring in both chemistry and Spanish. She learned to love research through UROP, where she studied how psychological strengths impact patients with heart disease under Dr. Amy Ai. Caitlin is part of Florida State’s Honors College, is a Freshman Interest Group leader, is part of the Medical Response Unit at Florida State, is part of the Pre-Dental Society, and enjoys her job as a hostess. She plans on applying to dental school next summer and plans on attending the following year to become a dentist or endodontist.
Associate Editor: Vinnie Vassalotti
Hey! I am Vinchenzo Vassalotti, but I go by “Vinnie”. I am a second-year, but an academic junior. I have been involved in UROP, and I am the Vice President of Communications for Omicron Delta Kappa here at FSU! I am a psychology major with a minor in criminology, and I am hoping to attend grad school for my PhD in clinical psych somewhere on the north-west coast. My ultimate goal is to become a professor and, one day, teach abroad. I love research and writing is a hobby of mine, so I look forward to collaborating with you!
Associate Editor: Elena Gurau
Elena is a third-year senior from Miami, Florida studying Political Science with minors in Humanities and Law and Society. As a freshman, she served as a Student Government senator as well as an editor for the Kudzu Review. In her sophomore year, she completed the RIBC program and completed an internship at Liebenhaut Law. She hopes to go to law school after she graduates.
Associate Editor: Catherine Cosgrove
Catherine Cosgrove is a fourth-year student majoring in Literature/Media/Culture and Sociology. Her research experiences include working on Schools, Social Media, and Students (Dr. Dennen and Dr. Rutledge) to study the social and educational landscape of high school social media use, a summer grant focusing on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic (Dr. Dennen and Dr. Rutledge), and violent women in contemporary American literature for her honors thesis (Dr. Robin Goodman). She is a humanities UROP leader and works for the Kudzu review. Catherine plans to attend graduate school and eventually teach.
Associate Editor: Caitlin Violette
Caitlin Violette is a fourth-year psychology student minoring in biological science. Her research experience includes studying social media use in high school students and how it relates to visible and invisible communities (under Dr. Vanessa Dennen and Dr. Stacey Rutledge) and in behavioral coding of the early red flags of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with the FSU College of Medicine, Autism Institute (under Charly Nottke, M.S.). She is a member of the Torchbearer 100, Psi Chi, and is a second-year UROP Leader. After graduation, Caitlin plans to pursue a Ph.D. in School Psychology.
Associate Editor: Tyla Dolezel
Tyla is a fourth-year student majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. Her research experience is in Dr. Linda Rinaman’s lab, where she focuses on hindbrain GLP-1 and noradrenergic A2 neurons and their role in feeding and anxiety-like behaviors. She is a member of Nu Rho Psi, the National Honor Society in Neuroscience, and serves as an NRP Mentor for freshman and sophomore neuroscience majors. She has also been an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the lab component of Physiological Psychology, a neuroanatomy lab using sheep brains, since Spring 2020. After graduation, Tyla plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Associate Editor: Ally Davis
Hey everyone! My name is Ally and I am a senior here at Florida State University. I study International Affairs and the Spanish language where I get to explore and learn from a diverse range of cultures across the globe. I have a passion for all thing’s creative as I believe that it is when we are creating with authenticity that we are our happiest selves. My love of research stems from my inherent curiosity about the world. My research endeavors revolve around my passions for sustainability, culture, and wellness. It is my hope to inspire others to find what lights them up and use it to create the change they wish to see in the world.
Associate Editor: Jordan Block
Jordan Block is a fourth-year Biology student at FSU and is pursuing a minor in Communications as well. She has assisted Dr. Douglas Storace with his neuroscience research lab, which focuses on olfactory responses in mice. Jordan has an interest in research on genetic diseases and disabilities and hopes to obtain her Masters in Genetic Counseling after graduating from FSU. She intends to focus her research on genetically-transferred mental disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Associate Editor: Isha Chekuri
Isha Chekuri is a sophomore, majoring in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience with a minor in chemistry and general business. Her research interests are quite extensive, from translational research to clinical psychology. In the past, she has researched the regenerative properties of exosomes in treating myocarditis under Dr. Katelyn Bruno in Dr. DeLisa Fairweather’s Cardiovascular lab at Mayo Clinic. She is currently researching in Dr. Natalie Sachs-Ericsson Psychology lab under the mentorship of Melissa Meynadasy. Isha plans to attend medical school to pursue an MD and to continue research throughout her career in the clinical setting.
Associate Editor: Josh Hill
Joshua “Will” Hill previously earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology and International Affairs from FSU and a master’s in Health Administration from Hodges University. After completing that first leg of his education Josh decided to spend two and a half years vagabonding in the world. His travels included backpacking solo through Europe, driving across the United States (with the obligatory breakdown outside of Las Vegas), and even a brief month-long stint in Tijuana. Now, he has returned to FSU as an undergraduate student to study Civil Engineering and pursue a PhD in the field. He plans to do research that helps create resilient and sustainable cities of the future.
Project Coordinator: Naomi Coté
Naomi Coté is a third year English Education major with aspirations to become a teacher after graduating with her master’s degree. She has been involved in the research process through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program where, under Dr. Miranda Waggoner, she analyzed the social impact of scientific language used to describe fetal programming. Because of her passion for teaching, she is continually looking at new research in the education field and its relevance for helping teachers and students alike.
Project Coordinator: Carly Mayzum
Carly Mayzum is a second-year behavioral neuroscience student. She participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program where she assisted Mert Bilgin in his research involving enhanced milieu teaching and experience books to improve the verbal skills of children with both developmental disabilities and visual impairments. She is also involved with Dance Marathon, Hands of Hope, and is an Honors Colloquium Leader. After graduation, Carly plans to attend graduate school in hopes of becoming a genetic counselor.
Project Coordinator: Jordan Barrow
Jordan Barrow is a junior and aims to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in English. He has recently completed Florida State’s Research Intensive Bachelors Program and collected survey data for a professor regarding the radicalization of U.S. politics. Jordan also has been writing satire for the Eggplant and served as a brother in the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega since he was a freshman. He is currently working on publishing fiction pieces in magazines online and hopes to be an author one day.
Project Coordinator: Shrivathsan Margam
Shrivathsan Margam S is a third-year International Affairs and Management Information Systems student. While in UROP, he (under Dr. Mrinmoyee Bhattacharya) researched the early phase of the French Revolution through its visual culture. He is an Honors student with a particular interest in the effect of present interest payments on future sovereign borrowing. Following graduation, Shrivathsan plans to apply to law school.