Undergraduate Research

The KapCC STEM Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) provides students with numerous opportunities to participate in faculty mentored research projects. STEM URE engages students early in their academic career in research that they will encounter later in related STEM fields. URE participants gain hands-on experience, valuable insight into the research and professional workplace, while developing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed in the STEM field. Students conduct research alongside STEM faculty in independent, group, or competition team projects. URE students can apply for research stipends each semester.

Students interested in participating in the STEM URE should first find a faculty mentor to discuss possible projects or interests. Once a research project has been established, students may apply for the STEM URE program and a research stipend.

Students are also encouraged to apply for other summer research internships to broaden their experiences. For more information on the URE Program, scholarship, or internship opportunities, please contact Naomi Nihipali, the Undergraduate Research Coordinator, at naomimn@hawaii.edu.

Eligibility:

While all students are welcome to participate in the URE Program, those wishing to apply for student stipends and/or funding must meet certain eligibility criteria:

  • Must be taking at least 6 credits at KapCC.
  • Registered STEM student in a STEM major (Contact STEM Coordinator, Mrs. Keolani Noa for more info)
  • Registered for the ASNS Degree (Contact Counselors Lori Sakaguchi or Karmi Minor-Flores for more info)
  • Faculty mentor approval
  • In good academic standing
  • Complete and return the URE application form by the appropriate deadline for projected research term as listed on the application form.

Current/Past Projects:

To view the summary poster of the project, please click on the project name. Please note that some project presentations require oral presentation summaries instead of posters, so not all projects will have accompanying posters.

Spring 2013

  • Topic: CanSat Team; Students: Kelsey Kawaguchi, Diamond Tachera, Rae-zan Belen, Logan Tamayo, McClyde Gaborno, Joshua Tamayo, and Taylor Viti; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin.
  • Topic: The Lifter Project; Students: James Bynes, Holm Smidth, Liem Nguyen, Lisa Kotowski, Rae-zan Belen, and Alexander Mile; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin.
  • Topic: Verification of the Location of Kukaniloko (Sacred Hawaiian Birth Site) as the Piko (Center of Mass) of the Island of Oa’hu; Students: Maria Petelo, Tiffanee Pahia; Faculty Advisors: Dr. Herve Collin, Keolani Noa
  • Topic: Physiological Sleep Signal Analysis (Pupillometry Project); Students: Roberto Ramilo, Michelle Chu, Nicholas Nguyen; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin
  • Topic:Implementing Intelligent Electronic Traction Control Systems in Robotic Platforms; Students: Arvin Niro, Lee Do, and Makana Ramos; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Aaron Hanai; Presented at 2013 NCUR
  • Topic: The Effect of Predator Cues on phototaxis in Calcinus seurati hermit crabs; Student: Megan Onuma; Faculty Advisor: Wendy Kuntz; Presented at KCC Student Undergraduate Research Fair, UH Manoa Tester Symposium
  • Topic: Design and testing of 3D printed plastic shells for use with Calcinius laevamanus; Student: Mark A. Guerin; Faculty Advisor: Wendy Kuntz
  • Topic: Uncovering the Science behind the Legend of Ka’au Crater’s Red Spring; Student: Melanie keliipuleole; Faculty Advisor: Mackenzie Manning
  • Topic: Segway System (Arduino based Segway System); Students: Holm Smidth, Liem Nguyen; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin
  • Topic: Thrust Force Analysis of a Rotating Ionocraft Under High Voltage; Student: Rae-Zan Belen; Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin; Presented at ERN 2013 Conference
  • Topic: Use of Phage Display to Produce Antibodies Against Campylobacter jejuni; Student: Robin Kaai. Faculty Advisors: Matthew Tuthill, Alan Garcia and John Berestecky; Presented at 2013 JABSOM Biomedical Sciences Symposium University of Hawaii; Winner of Best Overall Undergraduate Presentation
  • Topic: Effects of Retinoic Acid on Proto-Oncogene and Tumor Suppressor Gene Expression in Neuroblastoma; Students: Aaron Halemano, Melanie Nakatani and Micon Garvilles; Faculty Advisors: Matthew Tuthill, Randal Wada and John Berestecky; Presented at 2013 JABSOM Biomedical Sciences Symposium University of Hawaii

Fall 2012

  • Topic: Limu Hoku. Student: Devan Tatemichi. Faculty Advisor: Ms. Mindy Mizobe.
  • Topic: Ahupuaa Palolo. Students: Bradley Hughes and Melanie Keliipoliole.
  • Topic: Ahupuaa Kuliouou. Students: Micah Kaimana Ramos.
  • Topic: Kukaniloko. Students: Maria Petelo, Tiffanee Pahia, Jasmine Lorenzo, and Hiilani Asing. Faculty Advisors: Dr. Herve Collin and Mrs. Keolani Noa.
  • Topic: Hakalau. Students: Diamond Tachera and Pookela Stillman-Reyes. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wendy Kuntz.
  • Topic: The Lifter Project. Students: Steven Ewers, Bryan Fong, Rae-zan Belen, James Bynes, Lisa Kotowski, Liem Nguyen, and Holm Smidth. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin.
  • Topic: Pupillometry. Students: Roberto Ramilo, Michelle Chu, and Lee Do. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Herve Collin.
  • Topic: Expanding Robotic Interaction and Maneuverability Through Holonomic Motion in Remote Robotic Intervention; Students: Arvin Niro, Makana Ramos, Jeffery Oshiro;  Faculty Advisor: Dr. Aaron Hanai; Presented at 2012 NCUR & 2012 SACNAS Conference
  • Topic: Estimation of N-myc DNA Copy-Number in Human Cancer Cell Lines via Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Students: Micon Garvilles and Thomas Premeaux; Faculty Advisors: Randal Wada, John Berestecky and Matthew Tuthill; Presented at 2012 SACNAS Conference; Winners of a National Biology Award
  • Topic: The Quantification of FOXP3 Expression in Human Peripheral Blood Samples via Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction; Students: Aimee Tramel and Thomas Premeaux; Faculty Advisors: Matthew Tuthill, Randal Wada and John Berestecky; Presented at 2012 SACNAS Conference
  • Topic: Use of growth curves to measure adherence of Campylobacter sp. in HeLa cells; Students: Lucas Manica and Codi Wong; Faculty Advisors: John Berestecky and Alan Garcia; Presented at 2012 SACNAS Conference; Winners of a National Award in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Spring 2012

  • Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters in Microgravity: James Bynes, Steven Ewers, Hiroshi Park.Faculty Adviser: Herve Collin
  • CanSat: Mitchell Heins (Team Lead), James Bynes, Albert Carter, Sam Lewis, Benjamin Lozano.Faculty adviser: Herve Collin
  • Development of Assay for Campylobacter Invasion: Lucas A. Heldt Manica, Thomas Premeaux, Codi-Lee Wong. Faculty Adviser: John Berestecky.
  • IMU Localization: Heath Larner. Faculty adviser: Aaron Hanai
  • Intervention Robotics: Steven Cory, Arvin Niro, Jeffrey Oshiro, Makana Ramos. Faculty adviser: Aaron Hanai
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Generator: Kaai Bustamente, Nick Smithson, Amy Yeung. Faculty adviser: Dennis Perusse.
  • MATLAB Visualization: Kelsey Kawaguchi. Faculty Adviser: Herve Collin.
  • N-myc Gene Copy Number: Micon Garvilles. Faculty Adviser: Matthew Tuthill.
  • Orbital Dynamics of the Earth-Moon System: Matthew Rappeline. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin, Dennis Perusse
  • The Physics of Electrical Guitars: McClyde Gaborno, Jarvis Ishigami, Jasper Ishigami, William Kaeo.Faculty adviser: Herve Collin
  • Physiological Sleep Signal Analysis: Sydney Bailey, Michelle Chu, Roberto Ramilo. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and Matthew Fleming
  • Profiling Ecological Connectivity in Distinct Elasmobranch Populations in Species using Oral Bacteria and Stable Isotope Analysis: Kehau Manoi, Tiffanee Pahia (KCC Field Assistant), Bryson Baqui (KCC Field Assistant). Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael S. Rappe (UHM)
  • Quantum Mechanical Tunneling: Vy Luu. Faculty adviser:
  • Real-Time Bus Geolocation Display via Public Web API: Noah Guy. Faculty adviser: Aaron Hanai
  • Tesla Experiment: Steven Ewers. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin

Fall 2011

  • Allelopathy of Strawberry Guava: Kelly Bongolan, Faculty Adviser: Wendy Kuntz
  • Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters in Microgravity: James Bynes, Steven Ewers, Hiroshi Park. Faculty Adviser: Herve Collin
  • CanSat: Mitchell Heins (Team Lead), James Bynes, Albert Carter, Sam Lewis, Benjamin Lozano. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin
  • Feeding, Hunting and Housing Behaviors of the He’e Mauli (Octopus cyanea) in Hanauma Bay: Daniel Jennings-Kam, Faculty adviser: Mackenzie Manning. Other advisers: UH Sea Grant, Hanauma Bay Education Program.
    • Poster from 2011 SACNAS National Conference.
  • IMU Localization: Heath Larner. Faculty adviser: Aaron Hanai
  • Intervention Robotics: Steven Cory, Arvin Niro, Boyd Ramos, Makana Ramos. Faculty adviser: Aaron Hanai
  • Ka Ume Pili: Bradley Hughes. Faculty Advisers: Kahelelaniokahakai Clark, Nelda Quensell.
  • N-myc Gene Copy Number: Micon Garvilles. Faculty Adviser: Matthew Tuthill.
  • Orbital Dynamics of the Earth-Moon System: Matthew Rappeline. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin, Dennis Perusse
  • The Physics of Electrical Guitars: McClyde Gaborno, Jarvis Ishigami, Jasper Ishigami, William Kaeo. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin
  • Physiological Sleep Signal Analysis: Sydney Bailey, Michelle Chu, Roberto Ramilo. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and Matthew Fleming
  • Oral Bacteria Analysis of Distinct Elasmobranch Populations: Kehau Manoi, Tiffanee Pahia (KCC Field Assistant), Bryson Baqui (KCC Field Assistant). Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael S. Rappe (UHM)
  • Submarine Groundwater Discharge in Waikiki: Kanoelani Steward. Faculty Adviser: Mackenzie Manning
  • A Survey of Local Feline Gut Microbiome: Emily Mishina. Faculty Adviser: Matthew Tuthill
  • Tesla Experiment: Steven Ewers. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin

Spring 2011

  • Cloning, exogenous expression and purification of the Campylobacter jejuni peb1A gene in Escherichia coli: Pamela Tang. Faculty adviser: John Berestecky.
    • Poster presented at 2011 NCUR Conference.
  • Extraction of oil from algae to produce Biodiesel: Daniel Jennings-Kam. Faculty adviser: Kathleen Ogata.
  • Improving Heart Rate Predictions of Energy Expenditure: Naomi Nihipali, Hoang Nguyen. Faculty advisers: Ronald Dunn, Amy Patz Yamashiro.
  • Existence and characterization of fresh spring water spouts in Waikiki: Kanoelani Steward. Faculty adviser: Mackenzie Manning.
  • Native Hawaiian Garden and GIS Mapping: Nanette Tavares, Bradley Hughes, Leisha Caspillo Aalona. Faculty advisers: Wendy Kuntz, Nelda Quensell.
  • Characterization of T. gondii, responsible for toxoplasmosis: Emily Mishina. Faculty advisers: Matthew Tuthill.
  • Effect of Mucin and Deoxycholate on the growth and behavior of Campylobacter: Aysha Bindya Cheekuthanakath Ebrahimkutty, Gerardo Ramos. Faculty adviser: John Berestecky.
  • Thermotolerance in Nerita picea: Patricia Cockett. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.
    • Poster: “Thermal tolerances of four littoral gastropods: Oahu, Hawaii.” 2011 NCUR Conference
  • Effects of Batesian Mimicry on shell selection of hermit crabs: Sunny Kao. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.
    • Poster: “Batesian mimicry in Hawaiian hermit crabs: Do they choose cone shell mimics in the presence of a predator?” 2011 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • Allelopathy of Psidium cattleainum: Kelly Bongolan. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.
  • Effect of Siphonaria normalis on microalgae growth: Amy Yeung. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.
  • Cansat (Engineering) – Phase TWO: Stanley Weber (Team Leader), Mitchell Heins, Ghian Pajarillo, Shohan Islam. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Pupillometry and Actigraphy (SLeep research): Erika Galindo, Rachell Corrado. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Energy Balance: Naomi Nihipali, Hoang Ngyuen, Patrick Moon. Faculty advisers: Amy Patz, Ronald Dunn.
  • Biodiesel: Albert Carter, Daniel Jennings-Kam, Chelsea Goto. Faculty advisers: Kathy Ogata.
    • Poster: “Biodiesel produced from acid esterification and base transesterification.” Presenter: Albert Carter. 2011 NCUR Conference.
  • Ecology/Ecosystem: Kanoe Steward. Faculty adviser: Mackenzie Manning.
  • Autonomous Robotics: Eric Jordan, Jeff Griffith. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
    • Poster: “Autonomous Mapping Platform (AMP).” Presenter: Eric Jordan. 2011 NCUR Conference.
  • National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NASA): Liem Ngyuen, James Bynes. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Physics (Electrokinetics): Thomas Lee, Vy Luu. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • UROV (Engineering): Makana Ramos. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.

Fall 2010

  • Cansat (Engineering) – Phase ONE: Stanley Weber (Team Leader), Mitchell Heins, Ghian Pajarillo, Islam Shajedul, Anadil Chowdhury. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Pupillometry and Actigraphy (SLeep research): Erika Galindo, May Salcedo, Rachell Corrado, Moa Morton, Anela Burg. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Energy Balance: Naomi Nihipali, Hoang Ngyuen, Patrick Moon. Faculty advisers: Amy Patz, Ronald Dunn.
  • Biodiesel: Albert Carter, Daniel Jennigs-Kam, Chelsea Goto. Facultyadvisers: Kathy Ogata.
  • Ecology/Ecosystem: Kanoe Steward. Faculty adviser: Mackenzie Manning.
  • Botany: Megan Carr, Erin Fujimoto. Faculty adviser: Nelda Quensell.
  • Autonomous Robotics: Eric Jordan, Tadd Oshiro, David Horton, Jeff Griffith, Matthew Inouye. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • DNA sequencing: Alexandra Morimoto. Faculty adviser: Matt Tuthill.
  • MicroBiology: Gerard Ramos, Aysha Bindya Cheekutthanakath Ebrahimkutty, Lucas Heldt-Manica. Faculty adviser: John Berestecky.
  • Computer algorithm programming: Jiecai He. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Hermit Crab (Ecology): Blaine Shimabukuro, Patricia Cockett. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.

Spring 2010

  • Cansat Competition – Phase TWO: Jeffrey Griffith (Team Leader), Dana Johnson, Jiehua He, Sean Lesley, Kai Goa, Panakhaporn Unchanpat, Stanley Weber, Jihan Kim, Ricky Tso, and Ghian Pajarillo. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin, John Rand, and Maria Bautista.
  • MATE Competition (UROV) – Phase TWO: Cyrus Legg (Team Leader), Max Lindsey, Corey Shimabukuro, Christian Daoud, Andy Pham, Darrick Hatch, Eric Jordan, Ibrahim Chebib, Anadil Chowdhury, Jason Epperson, Daniel Fong, James Herras, David Horton, Shajedul Islam, Kurt Kalhoefer, Garric McLean, Mishkat Rahman, and Norman Tansey. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and John Rand.
  • Solar Tracking System: James Omori, Andy Pham, and Darryl Mckinley. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Biodiesel: Albert Carter, Zachery Darnell, Gerard Ramos, and Daniel Jennings-Kam. Faculty advisers: Kathleen Ogata and Herve Collin.
  • Ecology: Jason Alstad and Patra Foulk. Faculty adviser: Wendy Kuntz.
  • Biotechonology: Sheryle Ishimoto, Alexandra Morimoto, Vannarin Tan, and Lucas Heldt-Manica. Faculty adviser: Matthew Tuthill and John Berestecky.

Fall 2009

  • Cansat Competition – Phase ONE: Jeffrey Griffith (Team Leader), Dana Johnson, Jiehua He, Brian Hur, Sean Lesley, Kai Goa, Panakhaporn Unchanpat, Stanley Weber, and John Yap. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin and Maria Bautista.
  • MATE Competition (UROV) – Phase ONE: Cyrus Legg (Team Leader), Julien Cercillieux, Max Lindsey, Corey Shimabukuro, Christian Daoud, Andy Pham, Darrick Hatch, Deserie Bala, Andrew Miyashiro, Mishkat Rhaman, Eric Jordan, Shadejul Islam, David Horton, Daniel Fong, Jason Epperson, Anadil Chowdhury, Ibrahim Chebib, Garric McLean, and Mark Baptista. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin and John Rand.
  • Pupillometry: Kendra Dilcher – Kendra presented her individual research at the Hawai’i NASA Space Grant Consortium conference in November of 2009 at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and John Rand.
  • Solar Tracking System: James Omori. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.

Spring 2009

  • Cansat Competition – Phase TWO: Leon Santinizio (Team Leader), Jon-Erik Gunderson, Chaoming Liang, Alexander Williams, Weifeng Li, Huilin Xie, Chamille Esteban, and Elizabeth Gregg. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin, John Rand, and Maria Bautista.
  • MATE Competition (UROV) – Phase TWO: Cyrus Legg (Team Leader), Max Lindsey, Corey Shimabukuro, Christian Daoud, Andy Pham, and Darrick Hatch. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and John Rand.
  • Sleep Research: Kendra Dilcher, May Salcedo, Jason Shuster, and Kelli Yamaguchi. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and John Rand.

Fall 2008

  • Cansat Competition – Phase ONE: Leon Santinizio (Team Leader), Jon-Erik Gunderson, Chaoming Liang, Alexander Williams, Weifeng Li, Huilin Xie, Chamille Esteban, and Elizabeth Gregg. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and Maria Bautista.
  • MATE Competition (UROV) – Phase ONE: Cyrus Legg, Max Lindsey, Corey Shimabukuro, and Christian Daoud. Faculty advisers: Herve Collin and John Rand.

Spring 2008

  • Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle: Cyrus Legg, Max Lindsey, Alexander Williams, and Dwight Van Der Spoel – The students presented their research at the 1st Annual Islands of Opportunity Alliance-LSAMP (IOA-LSAMP) Student Conference from August 14th to the 16th at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Faculty advisers: John Rand and Herve Collin.
  • Fuel Cell: Xi Hang Cao and Huilin Xie. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
  • Robotics (VEX): Landon Higuchi. Faculty adviser: Herve Collin.
Physical Science
Project Student(s) Faculty Advisor(s) Year
2009 MATE International ROV Competition Cyrus Legg, Corey Shimabukuro, Christian Daoud, Kanekawaiola Lindsey, Andy Pham, and Darrick Hatch Herve Collin, M.S. and John Rand, Ph.D. 2009
2010 MATE International ROV Competition Cyrus Legg, Deserie Bala, Mark Anthony Baptista, Xi Hang Cao, Julien Cercillieux, Bob Chebib, Anadil Chowdhury, Christian Daoud, Jason Epperson, Daniel Fong, David Horton, Shohan Islam, Eric Jordan, Kurt Kalhoefer, Kanekawaiola Lindsey, Koa Nakamura, Andy Pham, Mission Rahman, Corey Shimabukuro John Rand, Ph.D. and Herve Collin 2010
CanSat Competition Dana Johnson and Jeff Griffith Herve Collin, M.S. and John D. Rand, Ph.D. 2010
Solar Tracker Andy Pham and James Omori Herve Collin, M.S. and John Rand, Ph.D. 2009
Sustainable Biofuels Project Daniel Jennings-Kam, Albert Carter III, Kristof Lovas, Gerardo Ramos, and Zachery Darnell Kathleen Ogata, Ph.D. 2010
Life Science
Project Student(s) Faculty Advisor(s) Year
Behavior of the Hawaiian Coot Jason Alstad Wendy A. Kuntz, Ph. D. 2010
Impact of Historical Reforestation Efforts on Contemporary Forest Composition Patra Foulk Wendy A. Kuntz, Ph. D. 2010
Impact of Historical Reforestation Efforts on Contemporary Forest CLinking Behavioral Ecology in the Nerita Picea and the Science of Ancient Hawaiiansmposition Patricia Cockett Wendy A. Kuntz, Ph. D. 2010
Energy Balance Naomi Nihipali, Gerry Vazquez, and Reynold Wong Ronald Dunn, Ph.D. and Amy Patz 2010
Virulence of Hawaiian Campylobacter Strains
Isolation, amplification and quantification of bacterial and human gene expression
Cloning and expression of genes found in Campylobacter jejuni Thomas Jessie Aldan amd Hoang-Yen X. Nguyen John M. Berestecky, Ph.D. and Rebecca Kanenaka 2010
Creating antibodies against putative virulence factors found on Campylobacter jejuni Sheryle Ishimoto and Vannarin Tan John Berestecky, Ph.D. 2010
The genotypic and phenotypic analysis of PTC paper testing Sharla Takatani, Andrew Miyashiro, and Christine Medeiros Matthew Tuthill 2010
The isolation, amplification and examination of various human DNA sequences
Genetic testing for the presence of foreign DNA in plant material
Species-species testing of local fish
The isolation and characterization of novel soil bacteriophages
Interdisciplinary
Project Student(s) Faculty Advisors Year
The Life Sustaining Parameters of an Ancient Hawaiian Fish Pond John Reilly and Youngsu Kwon Kathleen Ogata, Ph.D. 2010
Pupillometry Alexander Williams Herve Collin, M.S. and John Rand, Ph.D. 2009
The Science of Sleep Huirong Wang Herve Collin, M.S. and John Rand, Ph.D. 2009