A Look Back at 2015: UConn Nation – Students

Twelve examples of students who are pursuing their passion at UConn.

Shemona Singh at the Homer Babbidge Library on April 2, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Shemona Singh '18 (ENG) was excited to begin research as a freshman. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

With the New Year just around the corner, UConn Today takes a look back at some highlights of 2015. The second of a three-part series reviews some student stories.

UConn students excelled this year in every sphere, from academics to advocacy, art, and athletics. Here’s a selection of their stories.

Shemona Singh '18 (ENG) at the Homer Babbidge Library on April 2, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Shemona Singh ’18 (ENG) says the opportunity to begin research during her freshman year led her to a new way of thinking. She was one of five undergraduates profiled in a video series, #WhyWeAreHuskies.



Alyssa Merkle '15 (ENG), Patriots cheerleader, works on her senior project in engineering. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Alyssa Merkle ’15 (ENG) found time to participate in the Super Bowl as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots as well as building an incubator for testing cancer cells during her last semester before graduation.


Anh Nguyen ’15 (ENG), left, Anson Ma, assistant professor of chemical and bimolecular engineering, Leonora Yokubinas ’15 (ENG) and Nicholas Fleming ’15 (ENG) taste a test batch of reduced sugar ice cream at the UConn Creamery on April 8, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Two teams of engineering seniors tapped their scientific knowledge to develop a reduced-sugar ice cream at UConn’s famous Dairy Bar.



Mathematics/actuarial science major Xiaoxuan Zhuang '15 (CLAS) presents to classmates in his advanced Chinese writing course. (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)


Students graduating this past May included the first to major in Chinese at UConn.


David Rifkin '16 (BUS).

Many UConn students gained valuable experience as interns, in placements ranging from TV production and investment banking to conducting research for staff at the White House.



Three-year-old cacner patient Grace Greiner jumps into her new bed after her bedroom makeover by sophomore Jonathan Markovics.. (Jonathan Markovics/UConn Photo)

With an IDEA grant to pursue his project ‘Color Out Cancer,’ Jonathan Markovics ’18 (CLAS) brought smiles to the face of a three-year-old cancer patient with a makeover of her bedroom.



Rachel Hill, women's soccer, signs autographs. (Bret Eckhardt/UConn Photo)

Rachel Hill ’17 (ED) is a junior majoring in sports management; she’s also one of the premier soccer forwards in the country.



Nichole Broderick, assistant professor of molecular and cell biology gives instructions to students in a microbiology lab at the Torrey Life Sciences Building on Nov. 10, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Seven freshman students joined the search for potential new antibiotics in a first-year seminar, “Microbe Hunting: Crowdsourcing the Discovery of New Antibiotics.”



Undergraduate researcher Brendan Smalec in Rachel O'Neill's lab on Oct. 30, 2015. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

After two and a half years of tracking a DNA sequence through different rodent lineages, Brendan Smalec ’16 (CLAS) and his mentor Rachel O’Neill are about to submit a research paper to a scientific journal.



Myles Mocarski '16 (SFA) plays violin during a rehearsal of the University Symphony Orchestra at von der Mehden Recital Hall on Nov. 16, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Three student musicians were selected to perform as soloists with the UConn Symphony Orchestra in the annual s Concerto Competition: undergraduates Samantha Lake ’16 (SFA), a tuba player, Myles Mocarski ’16 (SFA), a violinist, and graduate student Hyejin Bae, who plays flute.


A group of students, faculty, and staff traveled in Paris for the UN climate summit, COP21. (Courtesy of UConn@COP21)

Rob Turnbull ’16 (CLAS) and Ron Tardiff ’16 (CLAS) were among a group of UConn students passionate about finding solutions to climate change who attended the climate summit in Paris in early December.



Antonio Campelli '15 (SFA) in a drawing class taught by Deborah Dancy in the School of Fine Arts. (Photo courtesy of Antonio Campelli)

Antonio Campelli ’15 (SFA) was named a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which will enable him to earn a master’s degree at the University of London.