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Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Symposium | Summer 2020


Homestead Campus
Rebelling Against ‘Rebels’ Roll Call/AfriCAN AMEriCAN Male ABSENT
Sarah Haybert
Faculty Mentor: Jairo Ledesma
Lawanda Samuel
Faculty Mentor: Alison Davis
Sarah is a Philosophy student who has graduated with an AA in the subject from MDC, and will be attending FIU in the fall. Sarah was born and raised in South Florida, and aspires to become a professor and research leader. In high school, Sarah led the Science National Honors Society as president, and as such, discovered a passion for teaching and leadership.

Lawanda Samuel age 51, is a Native Floridian born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was born the first child of four children to the parents of Mr. Ellis Pope and Mrs. Lizzie Dawkins, currently residing in Miami Florida. Ms. Samuel received her education from Miami Dade County Public schools where she graduated from Homestead Senior High in June of 1987. She is a returning student to MDC and truly enjoying my new journey studying in the field of Psychology.

Ms. Samuel has lived in Miami Dade county for the past 42 years. She retired after 25 years with Miami Dade County Public School system and currently serves with the Department of Corrections chaplaincy programs through Miami, Florida where she has served for the past ten years. Ms. Samuel enjoys the ocean and cooking.

Kendall Campus
How do Virtuous Companies Respond to a Health Crisis? Psychology of Student Success
Sarleth Figueroa Angela Garcia
Scarleth Figueroa-Pereira
Faculty Mentor: Adam Hauptfeld
Angela Garcia
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Lund
Scarleth Figueroa is a junior at Miami Dade College, where she is majoring in Exceptional Student Education. Outside of teaching, her academic interests include environmental policy and moral philosophy. She grew up in Florida, but found her footing in New York City, where she developed a passion for teaching. Scarleth enjoys participating in college affairs; having been published by Miambiance and serving as a member in the Quest for Peace panel organized by the philosophy department. She aspires to pursue a career in academia, and teach at the university level. When she is not busy, she spends time with her dogs and visits the Everglades National Park.

Angela Garcia is a second-year undergrad student majoring in Pre-pharmacy and a peer tutor for philosophy at the Kendall Campus of Miami-Dade College. Originally from California, she moved to Miami as a child and grew up in South Florida. She worked for several years in the wireless telecom industry until she decided to enroll in college to pursue her dreams of working in medicine. She has always had a strong passion for science and a sense of duty to help others in need.

A Spectrum of Emotion, Color, and Sound through Poetic Reflections An Isolated Cry: The Effects of Communism as Seen Through Film and the Negative Impact it Imposes on the Cuban Community
undefined Melanie Perez
Breauna Gibbons
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lara Cahill-Booth
Melanie Perez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marisol L. Varela

Breauna Gibbons is pursuing an Associates degree in English at the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College. Writing has been her passion since elementary school, and her highest aspiration is to be an international best-selling author. When Breauna graduates with an Associates, she wants to continue her academic pathway at Florida International University. Breauna Gibbons is always known as the underdog, whether it be in her academic studies or personal life. However, she is not afraid to embrace any adversity that she comes up against. If anything, she is determined to succeed in life.

Born in Miami, Florida, Melanie Perez was raised by Cuban-American immigrants in a city known as a “cultural melting pot.” Melanie is a first-generation college student attending the Honors College at Miami Dade College as a Psychology Pre-med Major. She aspires to become a Psychiatrist partake in humanitarian work with Doctors Without Borders. Melanie’s interests include: service learning, mental health awareness, philosophy, and social justice activism. She has volunteered at West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami, FL for four years and attended CampNeuro, a camp for High School Students for care and maintenance of the brain as well as psychology, at the University of Miami. She desires to transfer to the University of Florida to continue her academic pursuits.
The Bridge to the Uberwench: A Nietzschean Reading of the Riot Grrrl Movement Prose Poetry and the Exile Experience
Megan Rodriguez Stephanie Trujilo
Megan Ashley Rodriguez
Faculty Mentor: Kristofer C. Arca
Stephanie Trujillo
Faculty Mentor: Carolina Hospital
Megan Rodriguez is an Exceptional Student Education major at Miami-Dade College, philosophy tutor for the Arts and Philosophy Department at MDC, and an active participant in the MDC philosophy book club. She is bilingual (English and Spanish speaker) and is working towards becoming trilingual with the addition of American Sign Language. In her free time, Rodriguez enjoys studying philosophy, interviewing local bands in the Miami DIY punk scene, painting murals, and being an after-school care teacher to her awesome group of kindergarten and first graders. Stephanie Trujillo is a graduate of the Miami Dade Honors College and an upcoming junior at the University of Miami. She found her passion for writing and history in an American literature class that introduced her to many great writers. Now she is pursuing a bachelors in English to further refine her craft in documenting the present-day.
North Campus
Human Rights Research Illustration A Modern Perspective on Albert Camus’ The Plague
Natalie Aguilar Zachary Lee Debedout
Natalie Aguilar
Faculty Mentor: Victor Gomez
Zachary Lee Debedout
Faculty Mentor: Janet Raskin
Natalie Aguilar is an English major from Miami Dade College's North campus. She graduated from the Honors College with an Associate of Arts degree. Her plan is to transfer to a four-year institution this upcoming fall. Natalie is also the President and Editor-in-Chief of AXIS Magazine. AXIS is the creative arts magazine of the campus. Some of her accomplishments include earning the Academic Excellence Award for Literature and Creative Writing and Dean's List for four consecutive semesters. One of her poems was published in Volume 17 of AXIS Magazine. Also, Her painting was featured in Miami Dade College's Black History Art Exhibit. Zachary Debedout is an aspiring cinematographer and filmmaker, who is passionate about collecting vintage cameras. At Miami Dade College, he received his A.S. in Film Production Technology, as well as his A.A. in Computer Arts Animation. He is devoted to graphic design and has received three Adobe certifications. He is also the recipient of the 2020 Film Production Technology Award at Miami Dade College. Most recently he was featured in the May 14, 2020, Certiport Authorized Testing Center Newsletter. He is currently seeking a Bachelor's degree at Miami-Dade College in the Film, Television, and Digital Production.
Drama in the Jamaican Classroom: An Exploration of Theories and Techniques Rx Humor: For a Life of Well-Being and Healing
undefined Kelly Mayol
Winsome Drummond
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ildiko Barsony
Kelly Mayol
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael J. Lenaghan

Winsome Drummond is from the island of Jamaica where she experienced firsthand the stigma against Patois speaking persons. She attends Miami Dade College where she is pursuing her Associates in Arts degree in Drama/Drama Education. Her 4.0 GPA has placed her on the Dean’s List; she is also an English tutor at the North Campus. Her passion for drama and desire to advocate for Patois drives her research projects because she strongly believes the two can make a difference for her country. Winsome strongly believes that Patois is the verbal representation of the Island’s motto “Out of Many One People.”

Kelly Mayol is a rising sophomore at The Honors College of Miami Dade College, North Campus. She is pursuing an Associates Degree in Biology with the goal of becoming a Pediatric Dentist. Kelly is a dedicated and focused student. Throughout her time at Miami Dade College, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA while working as a Writing Tutor at The Writing Center, North Campus. This Spring, Kelly was selected to attend the Global Citizenship Alliance Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. This is a study abroad experience that exposed her to new perspectives on global issues and challenged her to participate in graduate-level lectures. Moreover, her involvement in academics and extracurricular activities is well-rounded. She has been a member of the AXIS Creative Arts Magazine since Fall 2019, and she will have a photograph published in its upcoming edition. When Kelly is not busy studying, she enjoys cooking new recipes and visiting new places in Miami with her friends.
Never, Ever Give Up: Coming Home from Homelessness Women in Architecture
Marlene Montenegro Rocio Rodriguez
Marlene Montenegro
Faculty Mentor: Maria Caridad Cumana
Rocio Rodriguez
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ginny Peterson Tennant

Marlene Montenegro-Toirac is a digital humanist and advocate for building partnerships to prevent and end homelessness. She has degrees in psychology and radio and television production. Her interests include photography, film, data analytics, and instructional design. Marlene believes that educating ourselves allows others to learn. She enjoys education through travel, plays the piano, and loves classical music and poetry.

Inspired by her mother who had been an architect in Cuba, Rocio loves designing things, so she decided to study architecture in Miami Dade College. Rocio absolutely loves architecture and she is glad that she can study something she is passionate about. The architecture pathway is not an easy one, but it is one that has taught Rocio diligence and given her the ability to test boundaries. Rocio’s goal is to, within the next six years, start an architecture firm that promotes working on sustainable buildings around the world.
A Harry Potter Journey: From Coping Skills to Self-Actualization Rise Up: A Visual Analysis of Sula
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Juan Romero
Faculty Mentor: Carmen Bucher
Labiba Bin Zaman
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sabrina Walters

Juan Romero is a graduate of the The Honors College at Miami-Dade where he majored in English. Growing up reading literary classics and cult favorites like Harry Potter and The Giver, he knew that he wanted to explore the world of literature. His love for the creative arts can be seen in his work as an editor for the Axis Creative Arts Magazine published throughout Miami-Dade College. Passionate about Human Rights and their importance in society, Juan has given several speeches about the service-learning work he has conducted at a local high school where he led Human Rights seminars. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family. He can usually be found listening to music in his backyard with his dogs.

Labiba Zaman is a Miami Dade College sophomore majoring in Secondary Education Mathematics. She graduated from William H. Turner Technical Arts Senior High School where she ranked in the top 3 percentile of her graduating class. As a child, Labiba discovered a love of art and immersed herself in painting, drawing, and sketching. Labiba also found a connection to mathematics and plans on transferring to the University of Central Florida after graduating from MDC to pursue a bachelor’s degree in math. She currently tutors elementary and middle school students in mathematics.

Padron Campus
Positive Creative Experiences in Early Childhood Dialects and Closing the Educational Gap
Adriana Alvarado Nicholas Anthony Dore
Adriana Alvarado
Faculty Mentor: Alicia Garcia
Nicholas Anthony Dore
Faculty Mentor: Tricia Foster
Dedicated to teaching young children for more than 16 years as a professional in the early childhood area. Adriana has done training in various areas associated with teaching young children such as Powerful interactions, Scoring system class assessment, project approach, visible thinking, Creative Curriculum, and VPK. He worked with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 6 years as a Spanish teacher in the dual language program of “United Way Center for Excellence”. She has participated in conferences nationwide as NAEYC, Visible Thinking, Reggio Emilia, presented at the Annual Conference of FLAEYC (Florida Association for the Education of Young Children), and Miami Dade College Early Childhood Conference. She currently works for the Continuing Education Department in Miami Dade College Inter Eduardo J. Padron Campus in the Child Care Program and she is studying to pursue her Mayor in Early Childhood Education.

Nicholas Dore is a student at MDC Padrón campus, and is majoring in political science. In 2017, he graduated from Brito Miami Private School and worked retail management for 2 years before deciding to enroll in college and pursue his career goal. His hobbies and activities include advocating for social justice reform, volunteering on political campaigns, and he is currently interning on congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s reelection campaign. After he completes his A.A. at MDC, he plans to transfer to a university, with the hopes of working in international relations and foreign policy.

Misrepresentation of Queerness in Contemporary Young Adult Media The Unseen Link Between Cognitive Performance and Collective Memory During COVID-19
Laura Santos Benjamin Shannon
Laura Santos
Faculty Mentor: Emily Sendin
Benjamin Shannon

Laura Santos is a first-generation immigrant originally from Honduras who has a deep passion for challenging the status quo and improving her community. She emigrated to the United States in 2014 and became really invested in politics and economics with an aspiration to pursue law with public policy; thus, completing a degree in political science. As an orphan, she holds deep interest in social policy in order to improve the system and infrastructure for those who have undergone similar situations.

Benjamin Shannon is currently majoring in biology at Miami Dade College and plans on transferring to John Hopkins University to attain his Bachelor's in biology and ultimately becoming a trauma surgeon. In his off time you can usually find him entertaining his affinity for classical music, staying up late researching other topics he finds interesting, meditating on his thoughts or a combination thereof. His professional research, however, focuses on cognitive processes- specifically, memory- and how they relate to feelings of closeness in groups.

A great opportunity that led Benjamin towards his research interest was a 4-week marine-biology science expedition in the British Virgin Islands. This project consisted of studying local microorganisms and their impact on the ecosystems, discovering newly invasive creatures, tagging turtles, aiding local rescue efforts, and coral reef preservation efforts to name a few.

Wolfson Campus
The Blooming of You La Historia de Puerto Rico
undefined Frances Ariel Perez
Mariely Deleon
Faculty Mentor: Prisca Milliance
Frances Ariel Perez
Faculty Mentor: Robert Henry

Mariely Deleon was born in Miami to Dominican parents who helped her find her love of design. Her passion for fashion stemmed from her high school classes where she took fashion design classes alongside computer editing classes for her four years. During her time at MFI, she worked on her design skills in designing garments and developed many projects that showcased her imagination and creativity. She hopes to become a costume designer for TV and movies and to publish books.

Frances Ariel Perez strives to make information accessible to a broader audience. Currently pursuing her associate degree in English, Frances uses her experience with research and writing to further her goal. During the spring semester, Frances worked with Professor Henry and the Humanities edge program to develop a project that focused on gentrification. Through her understanding of the digital humanities, Frances developed a timeline that followed several of Miami’s historical sites from their blueprints to their destruction. As a student in the Honors program at MDC, she hopes that she can share her projects and encourage peers to create their own.

Florida International University

Pick Ticks: A Graphic Movie

Florida Left Behind: Bilingual Education Policy Under the No Child Left Behind Act

Omar Angulo Martina Brady
Omar Angulo
Faculty Mentor: William Maguire
Martina Brady
Faculty Mentor: Vanessa Sohan

Omar Angulo is a storytelling illustrator, sound artist and graphic designer with the ability to draw from a wide array of influences like film, music, art and world history, sub and pop culture.

Based in Miami, Florida, Omar Angulo’s art is a graphic combination of mark making, music, comics, film and design. He has collaborated with artists, labels, and promoters to create album art, custom packaging, and limited edition collectible art and merchandise. Omar is perhaps best known for his punk rock album covers and his poster art for bands across the musical spectrum including artists such as Against All Authority, Alice Cooper, Bad Brains, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Odd Future, Skrillex, The Cool Kids, Danzig, Dethklok, Gogol Bordello, The Melvins, The Misfits, Q-Tip, Subhumans, Ted Nugent, Lightning Bolt and many others...

He could be found drawing, making videos, writing and drawing comics, illustrating posters for cultural events or collaborating with sound artists.

Martina Brady is a senior year at FIU, majoring in English and minoring in Political Science. She was born in New York City and grew up in the Caribbean. Previously, she attended Miami Dade College, where she covered Arts & Entertainment at The Reporter. She is currently employed as a research assistant for the Computer Science department at FIU. After graduation, she hopes to be a journalist. When she is not writing, she enjoys playing guitar and cooking.



Establishing a Fixed Home: The Attempt at Identity Completion in Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Ana Menéndez’s In Cuba I was a German Shepherd, and Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work The Making of a Monster
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Anaridia R. Molina
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ana Luszczynska
Tiffany M. Oharriz
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Martha Schoolman

Anaridia R. Molina graduated this May from Florida International University with a B.A. in English Literature and certificates in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a fellow of the Andrew W. Mellon-HSI Pathway to the Professoriate, and a member of the Mellon-Humanities Edge Program, Tau Sigma Academic Honor Society, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She is also a recipient of FIU’s Global Learning Medallion. In the fall, Anaridia plans on attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to pursue her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature.

Tiffany M. Oharriz is a Miami born Puerto Rican woman (pronouns she/her/hers) and a self-published author. She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from FIU with degrees in English, Anthropology, and Women’s & Gender Studies. Her research interests are centered around monstrosity, particularly how bodily alterity through the intersection of disabilities, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, and religiosity are portrayed as monstrous within multiple literary devices. Through this research, she attempts to explain how cultural and societal norms shape these “monsters” as villainous while questioning the validity of the accounts presented by the narrator/author who employs classic silencing techniques to these characters.
The Smithereen: The Fractured Social Order of Late Capitalism  
Michael Soriano
Faculty Mentor: Mark Kelley
Michael Soriano is a Graduate Student at Florida International University with a B.A. in English Education pursuing his MA in Latin American and Carribean Studies and his PhD in Political Science. Michael’s areas of interest are 20th-century literature, Marxist Critical Theory, Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, Film Theory, and Political Theory and the intersection of these fields on the work of Slavoj Zizek. Michael has also taught as an AICE Media Studies Film Instructor for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Michael’s past research has focused on implementations of the Propaganda Model on news organizations. Currently, Michael’s research focuses on subjectivity and being in literature under specific socio-economic systems and the formation of the Lacanian schizophrenic.