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2009 EXCEL Welcome Party

Dear EXCEL participants,

Saturday, August 22nd is the 2009 EXCEL Welcome Party for new and returning EXCEL students. 

The keynote speaker is Jason Lovelace from Disney Corporation. Jason is a UCF alumnus and he will give us a presentation explaining some of the work that he is responsible for at Disney. Jason Lovelace is the Team Leader of the Ride and Show Engineering Sustaining team for Disney’s Hollywood Studios Region, which includes the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park, Disneys Typhoon Lagoon, Disneys Blizzard Beach, and Disneys Wide World of Sports™ Complex.

Activities are planned to help the new (09 cohort), and older (06-08 cohorts) EXCEL students to get to know one another.

The details of what, when, and where are below.

What:    EXCEL Welcome Party
When:   Saturday, August 22, 2009,  4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where:  Harris Engineering Center, room 125

There will be dinner (BBQ) served at around 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Article posted: 08/21/2009

EXCEL students recognized at Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence

EXCEL would like to congratulate those students who participated in this years Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence on April 2, 2009. The showcase, which was held in the UCF Student Union, is a forum for University of Central Florida undergraduates to present their research to others. The showcase is a wonderful way for students to display and speak about their research experiences and accomplishments.

Many of the EXCEL students highlighted in the showcase obtained access to research in labs that are of interest to them by participating in the EXCEL Undergraduate Research Experience (URE). We are proud of the outstanding work our students are doing in the lab under the guidance of their faculty mentors.

The next Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence is scheduled for April 1, 2010. Please visit for more information.

2009 Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence EXCEL participants:

Mechanochemical Approach to Alkyne Synthesis
Mentor: Dr. Richard Blair, Chemistry

Effects Of Seed Sensity and Habitat On Seedling Emergence Of Chamaecrista Fasciculata
Mentor: Dr. Pedro Quintana-Ascencio, Biology

Elucidating SNARE Complex Formation in Plasmodium Falciparum
Mentor: Dr. Debopam Chakrabarti, Molecular Biology & Microbiology

Measuring and Teaching Creativity to Improve Engineering Curriculum
Mentor: Dr. Yan Wang, Industrial Engineering & Management Systems

Development Of A Flow-through Layer-by-Layer Deposition Method For A Smart Capillary Tube
Mentors: Dr. Hyoung-Jin Cho, Mechanical Materials & Aerospace Engineering and Dr. Lei Zhai, Nanoscience Technology

Enterococcus Faecalis, A Model System For Synthesis Of Labile Selenoenzymes
Mentor: Dr. William Self, Molecular Biology & Microbiology

Genetic Variation in Male Quality Has A Direct Influence On Female Physiology and Fitness
Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Fedorka, Biology

Simple Bayesian Classifier
Mentor: Dr. Michael Georgiopoulos, School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Weighing In: Using Photographs to Estimate Polar Bear Body Condition
Mentor: Dr. Jane Waterman, Biology

Novel Precipitation Agents for the Rapid Identification of Pharmaceuticals
Mentor: Dr. Richard Blair, Chemistry

The Design of A Future Supersonic Commercial Airliner
Mentor: Dr. Educardo Divo, Engineering Technology

Growing Up Fast- Differences In the Movement of Juvenile Cape Ground Squirrels Xerus Inauris Prior to Dispersal
Mentor: Dr. Jane Waterman, Biology

Optical Measurements in Nucleate Boiling In a High Pressure Refrigerant Flow
Mentor: Dr. Ranganathan Kumar, Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering


Article posted: 09/23/2009

New Opportunity: EXCEL URE Extra Funding Available for Fall 2009

There is a new scholarship opportunity for fall 2009 that is open to students completing the EXCEL program. The YES Scholarship Program is a great opportunity open only to EXCEL students majoring in engineering and computer science. The purpose of the YES program is to recognize talented engineering and computer science students who are interested in a business-oriented (entrepreneurship career) path or an academic-oriented (research career) path.

The YES program provides 23 scholarships a year (typically of $5,000 each) to junior and senior EXCEL students from the CECS (College of Engineering and Computer Science) who qualify for the YES scholarship.

We invite you to visit our website  for more information and eligibility requirements.  Application deadline is June 30.

If you have any additional questions about the program or eligibility requirements, please contact Kim Small at or call 407-823-2455 for an appointment to discuss this opportunity further.

I hope that you will consider continuing your research interests with this program.


Dr. Christopher L. Parkinson

Dept. of Biology


Article posted: 06/09/2009

Important Scientific Discovery Made by Dr. W. Self, One of EXCEL’s Applications of Calculus Faculty

An important scientific discovery has been made by Dr. William Self, microbiologist in the Burnett School of

Biomedical Sciences, and one of EXCELs Applications of Calculus faculty.  He has found that the arthritis drug

Auranofin inhibits the growth of bacteria such as super-bug Clostridium difficile, which can lead to

life-threatening bouts of diarrhea, and Treponema denticola, a major contributor to gum disease.

 Read more at…,0,1926041.story




Article posted: 06/04/2009

EXCEL Advising Day, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008-10-15.

EXCEL Advising Day:

Mark your calenders for EXCEL Advising Day this Thursday, Jan. 8th in the EXCEL Lab. If you are not able to make it on Thursday you must contact your advisor to schedule an appointment for Friday, Jan. 9th. This is mandatory for those who have a UCF GPA below a 2.5

Advisor Schedule during Advising Day:

First Year Advising, Ms. Meena Datta 10:30 to 3:00

College of Engineering & Computer Science, Ms. Melissa Falls 10:00 to 3:00

College of Sciences, Ms. Erin Myskowski 12:00 to 3:00

M&M, Ms. Ana Schwindt 10:00 to 3:00

EXCEL Advising Day

Welcome back to another brilliant semester at UCF! We hope you had a peaceful, relaxing holiday break.

To kick off the Spring 2009 semester EXCEL will have Advising Day in the EXCEL lab on Jan. 8th. This is an opportunity to meet with an advisor to discuss your schedules, major, or any other academic concern you may have. First Year Advising as well as college advisors will be there to assist you.

If your GPA has fallen below a 2.5 you are required to meet with your advisor. You must schedule an appointment with your advisor for Friday, Jan. 9th if you are not able to attend Advising Day on Thursday.

Mark your calender!!

Who: EXCEL students, 6, 7 and 8
What: EXCEL Advising Day
When: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: EXCEL Lab, CCII-223

View Flyer

Article posted: 04/27/2009