Shapiro Showcase

As an undergraduate in 2002, Dr. Jenessa Shapiro founded RURS to give Rice student researchers an opportunity to share their diverse work. Twenty years later, we honor Dr. Shapiro’s legacy with the Shapiro Showcase, a competition featuring students across the disciplines who have been nominated and selected by faculty in their respective schools. The Shapiro Showcase represents the top undergraduate researchers at Rice. Presenters will deliver 8-minute talks on their intermediate to advanced research, followed by a short Q&A. One winner will be selected through judge evaluations and announced at the closing reception.

Shapiro Showcase nominees come directly from the Deans in each school. Each school has a different process for selecting students. Nominations are due March 20th, 2024. Contact Abby at for more information.

2024 Shapiro Showcase Nominees

Shapiro Showcase Abstracts

Session I: Tuesday 4/9, 9:15 am - 10:45 am in the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library

  • Anuska Santra (Natural Science)
  • Adam Leff (Natural Science)
  • Sam Nance (Engineering)
  • Rijuta Vallishayee (Humanities)
  • Morgan McMains-Nurisio (Social Science)
  • Jaylin Vinson (Music)
  • Jason Han (Engineering)

Session II: Tuesday 4/9, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm in the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library

  • Phoenix Orta (Social Science)
  • Galio Guo (Engineering)
  • Yundi Yao and Liufei Zhu (Architecture)
  • Hannah Li (Natural Science)
  • Ethan Kelly, Antonio Crivello, Jordan Martin, Jonah Wagner, Darrell Good, Evan Dunbar, and Samatar Dalmar (Engineering)
  • Nikita Singh (Humanities)
  • Lily Scholnik (Humanities)

Session III: Wednesday 4/10, 9:15 am - 10:45 am in the Farnsworth Pavilion, Rice Memorial Center (RMC)

  • Evelyn Chiu (Natural Science)
  • Sumin Yoon (Social Science)
  • Robert Heeter, Sahana Prasanna, Richard Chan, Archit Chabbi, Kevin Li, Anushka Agrawal (Engineering)
  • Rafe Neathery (Engineering)
  • Caroline Leung (Natural Science)
  • M. Almazan (Humanities)
  • Grace Andrews (Architecture)

Session IV: Wednesday 4/10, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm in the Farnsworth Pavilion, Rice Memorial Center (RMC)

  • Anna Hsu (Natural Science)
  • Sean Hamilton, Thomas Kutcher, John Reko, and Jimmy Dickantone (Engineering)
  • R Sean Cartwright and Will Doherty (Business)
  • Huijun Mao (Humanities)
  • Megan McDonald (Social Science)
  • Sydney Coldren (Social Science)
  • Bibek Samal (Natural Science)
2023 Shapiro Showcase Nominees

STEM Shapiro Showcase:

Andrei Mitrofan - Regionally Activated Interstitial Drugs for Brain Disorders

Mentor – Dr. Jerzy Szablowski

Alison Qiu - Data Analytics Approach to Addressing Children's Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic Era

Mentor – Dr. Su Chen

Jack Tomkiewicz - An Efficient Mulitfeed Rectenna For RF Energy Harvesting

Mentor – Dr. Taiyun Chi

Annette Jones - Dynamic Control of Energy Transfer in AuNR-PANI Hybrids through pH

Mentor - Dr. Christy Landes

Zoe Griffin - Skin Color Development and CRISPR Genome Editing in the Brown Anole Lizard (Anolis sagrei)

Mentor – Dr. Bonnie Kircher

Emilia Pitchon - Human-Induced Changes in Atlantic Tropical Cyclones and the Bermuda High: Clues from the Last Millennium

Mentor - Dr. Sylvia Dee

Ryan Wang - Noninvasive Multiplexed Neuromodulation using Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics

Mentor – Dr. Jerzy Szablowski

Social Science, Humanities and Architecture Showcase:

Hoang Nguyen and Loic Duggal - History of Japanese Farmers in Texas

Mentor - Dr. Sidney Lu

Mabel Tang - Providing Pain Management for Marginally Viable Neonates and Fetuses Does Not Make Abortion Ethically Impermissible

Mentor - Dr. Frank Placencia

MaeLea Williams - Informing Trainings for the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

Mentors – Dr. Brian Riedel and Dr. Helena Michie

Jacob Buergler - Emotion Dysregulation Associated with Greater Depressive Symptoms and Memory for Details

Mentor – Dr. Kayla Clark

Aditi Velgekar (with Fernanda Morales-Calva, Michelle Sekili) – The Effects of Attention and Learning on Episodic Memory Performance

Mentor – Dr. Stephanie Leal

Isabella de la Iglesia and Bay Fujimoto - Present Future

Mentor - Albert Pope