Bachelor of Science in Human Science Honors Program

A Human Science Honors student presents her research at the Undergraduate Research Conference


The honors program in human science recognizes those students pursuing a high level of independent discovery research (laboratory, archival, community, epidemiological) during their undergraduate years, culminating in a senior undergraduate thesis as they complete their Human Science major course of study.

The purpose of this program is to permit students of high academic achievement to enjoy greater responsibility and initiative in their major work. The honors program in Human Science requires a significant mentored research experience in a topic of the student’s choosing.

Graduating with Honors in Human Science requires completion of the Human Science curriculum with the addition of a senior thesis. Students who complete an acceptable Honors Thesis and all other requirements for the Human Science major will graduate with a B.S in Human Science with Honors.

How to Apply

Full-time human science students with at least a 3.0 science GPA may apply anytime after the end of their first year, but before the posted deadline. To apply, students should review and follow the Description of the Human Science Honors Program and complete the Application for the Human Science Honors Program. Questions regarding the program should be directed to Jan LaRocque, Director of the Human Science Honors Program.

Past Honors in Human Science Senior Theses

  • Elijah N. D. Choos. Empagliflozin Treatment Alters the Inflammatory Response in Hepatic Steatosis of Obese TallyHo Mice. Honors. (Mentor: Blythe D. Shepard)
  • Elizabeth “Lizzie” Graham. The Impact of Cell Cycle and Sex on DNA Double-Strand Break Repair Pathway Choice in Drosophila melanogaster. Honors. (Mentor: Jan LaRocque)
  • Ileana Mendez Espinoza. Analyzing the Metabolomic and Lipidomic Profiles of Mice Under a High-Milk-Fat Diet Treated with and without Empagliflozin. Honors. (Mentor: Blythe D. Shepard)
  • Aneesha Kumar. The Probiotic BB-12, Adverse Events Same as Placebo : Meta-Analysis and Individual Patient-Data Meta Analysis. Honors. (Mentor: Dan Merenstein)
  • Britney Shaw. Elucidating the Role of Renal Olfactory Receptor 1393 in Female Type 1 Diabetic Mice. Honors. (Mentor: Blythe D. Shepard)
  • Aleksandra “Ola” Swiatek. Investigating the effects of the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) and globus pallidus externa (GPe) on the motor and non-motor behavior output of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). Honors. (Mentor: Ted Nelson)

  • Julia R. Alvey. Characterizing the DNA Damage Response of the NORAD lncRNA in Human Osteosarcoma. Honors. (Mentor: Alex Theos)
  • Elena E. Evans. Dysregulation of FBLP-1 Binding Partner Interactions in the Molecular Etiology of CRMO. Honors. (Mentor: Alex Theos)
  • Zahraa S. Hotait. Characterizing Murine Diabetic Glucose Metabolism Under Conditions of Attenuated Renal Glucose Reabsorption. Honors. (Mentor: Blythe Shepard)
  • Jen-Yuan Christine Kao. Examining Associations Between Discussing Lung Cancer Screening Results & Determination To Quit Smoking. Honors. (Mentor: Joan Riley)
  • Arjun Mathur. Investigating the Role of OCR-2 and OSM-9 in Alkalinity Sensitivity. Honors. (Mentor: Ted Nelson)
  • Janessa Mendoza. Literacy, self-stigma, and well-being: the triad of college student mental health – Mental health literacy, self-stigma of seeking help, and well-being in Georgetown students. Honors. (Mentor: Joan Riley)
  • Cornelia D. “Nina” Williams. Impact of Emergency Medical Technician Training on the Well-Being of Young Adult Trainees. Honors. (Mentor: Joan Riley)

  • Dalton Fowler. Characterization of a Mouse Liver Cell Line to Elucidate Sensory Receptor Function in Hepatic Tissue. Honors. (Advisor: Blythe Shepard)
  • Ali Jordan. Elucidating the role of estrogen receptor signaling in the development of STZ-induced type 1 diabetes mellitus. Honors. (Advisor: Blythe Shepard)
  • Andrew Tiu. Investigating drivers of influenza seasonality. Honors (Mentor: Shweta Bansal; Advisor: Ted Nelson)

  • Elizabeth “Lizzie” Considine. Olfactory Receptor 1393 in Type 1 Diabetic Knockout Mice: Mechanism and Consequences. Honors. (Advisor: Blythe Shepard)
  • Sara Misiukiewicz. Neuropeptide-Y Mediated Perineural Invasion as a Mechanism for Ewing Sarcoma Metastasis. Honors. (Advisor: Jason Tilan)
  • Sara Niederberger. The Crystallization and Properties of Thymine Hydrate Grown with Tailored Lattice Substitutions. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • Jinia Sarkar. Prescription Literacy and Viral Suppression in HIV-Positive Women in Washington D.C.: A Pilot Study. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)

  • Carolyn Hofley. Provider-Level Barriers to Hepatitis C Treatment among Persons Who Inject Drugs: A Qualitative Study of Primary Care Providers in southern New Hampshire. Honors.(Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • Lindsay Caprio. The role of Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and its Y5 receptor (Y5R) in refractory Neuroblastoma. Honors. (Advisor: Jason Tilan)
  • Alexis “Lexi” Schiazza. Sweet Victory: Controlling Glucose Handling via Renal Olfactory Receptor 1393 Offers Protection in a Type 1 Diabetic Mouse Model. Honors.(Advisor: Blythe Shepard)
  • Jowan Watson. Role Separation’s Impact on Student-Athlete Well-Being. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)

  • Joseph Dao. Investigation of tmc-1 and Salt Chemotaxis Learning with C. elegans. Honors. (Advisor: Ted Nelson)
  • Sarah Joseph. Temperature-dependent sorting of fluorescent protein-tagged tyrosinases to the melanosome. Honors. (Advisor: Alex Theos)
  • Noori Srivastava. The Role of DmBlm in Double-strand Break Repair and Gene Conversion. Honors. (Advisor: Jan LaRocque)
  • Larissa Wietlisbach. A stressful study! Prenatal stress identified as a risk factor for Neuroblastoma development and malignancy in offspring. Honors. (Advisor: Jason Tilan)
  • Danielle Zamalin. Identification of SpCas9-Specific Immune Response in Immunocompetent Mice. Honors. (Advisor: Alex Theos)

  • Benjamin Johnson. Psychosocial Impacts on College Students Providing Mental Health Peer Support. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • Madison Keefe. The Effects of Submaximal Exercise on Autonomic Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • McKenzie Schwarze. Characterization of cell biology and potential functions of Tyrp1 variants. Honors. (Advisor: Alex Theos)
  • Kristen Watkins. Huntington’s disease and employment: The relative contributions of cognitive and motor decline to the decision to leave work. Honors. (Advisor: Rosemary Sokas)

  • Rachel Acree. Investigating the Role of NPY in Ewing Sarcoma Metastasis Formation. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Jason Tilan)
  • Shannon Glynn. Smokeless Tobacco Use Among Undergraduate Male College Students: Motivation for Use. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley).
  • Jeff Haake. Uncovering the Mechanisms behind Rad51 Misregulation in Response to Strigolactone Treatment in Cancer Cells. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden)
  • Margaret Krackeler. Characteristics and Behaviors of Male College Student Smokeless Tobacco Users: Nicotine Dependence and Cessation Attempts. Honors. (Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • Jennifer LaPier. Investigating the combined effects of Strigolactone and PARP inhibitor in cancer cells as a potential synthetically lethal drug combination. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden)
  • Neha Rajpal. Barriers and Facilitators to BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Counseling among at-risk Latina Breast Cancer Survivors in Washington D.C. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Joan Riley)
  • Pallavi Tatapudy. The Function of RECQ1 in Genome Stability and its Conservation Across Species. Honors. (Advisor: Jan LaRocque)
  • Yuzana Khine Zaw. Targeting Mutant p53 in the Growth Inhibition of Human Oral Cancer. Honors. (Advisor: Alex Theos)

  • Anthony Do. Determining the role of mismatch repair in suppressing recombination between diverged sequences. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Jan LaRocque)
  • Christopher Grivas. Strigolactones Compromise Microtubule Integrity and Inhibit Invasive Properties in Cancer Cells. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden)
  • Yuhao (Tom) Shi. Rac1-mediated DNA damage and inflammation promote Nf2 tumorigenesis but also limit cell cycle progression by inducing p53 checkpoint and cellular senescence. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Jason Tilan)
  • Victor Wang. Strigolactone analogue induced reactive oxygen species activate pro survival responses prior to apoptosis in cancer cells. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden)
  • James Nolan. Investigating the Role of BRCA1 and Posttranslational Modifications in the DNA Damage Response. Honors with Distinction. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden)

  • David Christian. Prenatal Stress Enhances Neuroblastoma Development and Progression Through the Neuropeptide Y system. Honors With Distinction. (Principal Investigator: Joanna Kitlinska, PhD, Mentor: Jason Tilan, PhD)
  • Melissa Metcalf. Internally Tagged Glycoprotein Non-metastatic Melanoma Protein B (GPNMB(HT)i) Overexpressed in ARPE19-NHT cells: A Model System for GPNMB Function. (Advisor: Alex Theos, PhD)
  • Alexandra Pietraszkiewicz. The G2/ M Key Regulator, Cyclin B, is SUMOylated in Response to DNA Damage. (Advisor: Ronit Yarden, PhD)

  • David Barton. Traumatic Brain Injury: Targeting Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown Via an Apolipoprotein E-dependent Pathway. Honors With Distinction. (Advisor: Maureen Basha, PhD)
  • Ryan Bellmore. A Characterization of the Site-specific Dephosphorylation of Microtubule- associated Protein 2 in Response to Neuronal Activity. (Advisor: Maureen Basha, PhD)
  • Petar Georgiev. Quantifying Levels of Nicotinic Acetylcholinergic Receptor Ligands In Serum and In Brain. (Advisor: JP Hyatt, PhD)
  • Neha Jejurikar. Understanding Subcellular Location of GPNMB Points to Putative Biological Function of the Protein as a Potential Driver of Tumor Progression (Advisor: Alex Theos, PhD)
  • Danielle LoRe. Eye Movements and EEG Activity During Task Performance Reveal Personalized Brain Dynamics for Coping with Fear and Anxiety. (Advisor: Alex Theos, PhD)
  • Colin Ryan. Strigolactones Cause Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis via Formation of DNA Double-Strand Breaks (Advisor: Ronit Yarden, PhD)
  • Madeline Tadley. Investigating the Role of ESCRT in the Intracellular Transport of GPNMB in Human Melanoma. Honors With Distinction. (Advisor: Alex Theos, PhD)
  • Scott Wisniewski. EGFP-tagged Temperature-Sensitive Tyrosinase as a Tool for Tracking ER Exit and Potential Protein Refolding. (Advisor: Alex Theos, PhD)

  • Dana Alsaadi. Msx1 Expression Analysis in Endometrioid Ovarian Epithelial Carcinoma. Honors with distinction.
  • Melissa Gadsden. Missorting of GPNMB-R150X Protein in DBA/2J Mouse Melanocytes: a Model for Pigmentary Glaucoma. Honors with distinction.
  • Ashley Huber. Resveratrol Treatment in Rhesus Macaques has Minimal Influence on Skeletal Muscle Genotypic Expression and Glycolytic/Oxidative Enzyme Activity. Honors with distinction.
  • Ali Soroush. Challenging the Canonical RNA Binding Model of Hepatitis Delta Antigen Using a Mammalian Cell-based Assay. Honors with distinction.

  • Chelsea Feldman. Characterization of the Sorting Signals that Direct GPNMB Internalization and Trafficking. Honors with distinction.
  • Lauren McDaniel. The Role of c-Myc in Antiestrogen Resistant Breast Cancer. Honors with distinction.
  • Megan McMenamin. The Impact of Method of Delivery on the Development of Allergic Disease. Honors with distinction.

  • Laura T. Boitano. The effects of yoga on the immune status of breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Honors.
  • Brigitte L. Granger. Impact of studying abroad on U.S. college students’ tobacco use. Honors with distinction.
  • Kaileen Rohr. Complex Dysregulation of Cytokine Production in XLA monocytes following TLR and Bacterial Stimulation. Honors.

  • Roland M. Dimaya. Assessing short-term memory in Tourette Syndrome using a nonsense-word repetition task. Honors.
  • Bridget Dowd. Cysteine residues within the fractalkine-like domain of the attachment G glycoprotein of respiratory syncytial virus play a critical role in the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response upon infection. Honors.
  • Stephanie M. Zare. Navicular drop not static arch height is a better predictor of stress fracture risk in male athletes. Honors with Distinction.

  • Allison C. Boyd. Novel HIV-1 Genomic Mutations Related to Antiretroviral Drug Resistance. Honors with Distinction.
  • Emily M. Herzberg. PDE-5 inhibitor use and associated risk behavior HIV- patterns among positive males at an urban HIV clinic in Washington, DC. Honors with Distinction.
  • Jennifer Mulla. The role of IRF-1 in ICI 182./80 mediated apoptosis of MCF7/LCC9 breast cancer cells. Honors with Distinction.
  • Caitlin Wallach, Comparative Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Intravenously Administered Ravuconazole in Healthy and Neutropenic Rabbits with Pulmonary Aspergillosis. Honors.
  • Emily P. Wang. The effect of estradiol in the presence/absence of antiestrogens on the ErbB2/PI 3-K/Akt1 pathway in hormone-dependent breast cancer. Honors.
  • Bradley M. White. In Vitro Dopamine Sensing Capabilities of Polycarbazole Film-Modified Platinum Electrodes. Honors with Distinction.

About the Information on This Page

Approved by the Human Science Faculty: May 10, 2006

Modifications approved by Human Science Faculty: May 2, 2007; May 13. 2010, April 5, 2013; October 10, 2014; May 16, 2016; August 29, 2016; March 26, 2021; October 6, 2022; May 2023; October 2023