Undergraduate Research at South Florida State College

For more information about Undergraduate Research at SFSC, contact
Dr. James Hawker, dean of arts and sciences, at 863-784-7329 or hawkerj@southflorida.edu. 

South Florida State College seeks to promote deeper learning of subjects beyond regular courses and develop critical thinking and analysis skills of students through undergraduate research (UGR). This aligns with the mission of the College and helps prepare students for success in research opportunities after transferring to universities or to the workforce.

The College offers undergraduate research experiences for students in several disciplines such as natural sciences, humanities, and art. UGR experiences can be done as part of a regular class or honors class, or as a separate special topics course in the discipline. We also offer interdisciplinary research opportunities led by faculty from different disciplines. Students develop and implement research ideas guided by a faculty mentor in the discipline.

The College also promotes students presenting the results of their research projects at state and national conferences as well as a collegewide UGR Showcase in the spring term every year. SFSC students have presented at the Florida Collegiate Honors Conference, the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, the Florida Academy of Sciences Annual Conference, and the National Experimental Biology Conference.

“Undergraduate research gives the students an opportunity to think outside the classroom. They get hands-on experience in lab techniques—they learn how a lab works and how to perform these experiments. It prepares them for university-level work, and it gets them thinking about which area of science they are interested in.”

– Amy Bohan, SFSC biology instructor and Honors Program director

Rimoldi Ibanez working in the lab with gloves and a mask on

Past undergraduate research subjects include:

  • efficacy of biomarkers from patient tissue in colorectal cancer testing
  • the role of micro-RNA as an early detector of canine congestive heart failure
  • the role of micro-RNA in feline kidney failure
  • wearable sensing and imaging technology
  • Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 
  • coral communication through ultrasonic sounds
  • genes in blood vessel formation and neuron function
  • effects of high sugar on the function of endothelial cells
  • function of endothelial cell growth factors and receptors on angiogenesis
  • effects of circadian rhythms on thyroid tumor cell metabolism and cancer gene expression
  • effectiveness of industrial hemp as a phytoremediator of polluted water

For information on past student presentations and research support, visit the Undergraduate Research section of the Library.

We believe that providing authentic research and research-based activities in the first two years of the college experience will better prepare students to be successful in a global economy that demands innovation, collaboration, communication, flexibility, and high-level thinking abilities.

Council on Undergraduate Research


Undergraduate Research Faculty

Natural Sciences
Amy Bohan – Biology
Kate Calvin, Ph.D. – Chemistry
James Hawker, Ph.D. – Biology
Mintoo Patel, Ph.D. – Biology
Daniel Sanches, Ph.D. – Biology

Keith Cavedo, Ph.D.
Jason Fitzgerald
Theresa James, Ph.D. 

Karla Respress