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The Undergraduate Research Center serves AVC undergraduates and faculty in all areas from STEM to non-STEM programs. Our primary mission is to promote, develop, and celebrate undergraduate student research with the overall goal of enhancing undergraduate education and preparing students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, for academic and research careers. We invite you to explore our website to find out more about our programs and services. We look forward to meeting you!


Conducting research as an undergraduate is an excellent way to gain experiences and skills that will benefit you both academically and professionally, preparing you for graduate school and a wide variety of careers.

Participating in undergraduate research lets you:

  • Work one-on-one with faculty,
  • Participate in cutting-edge research projects with far-reaching impacts,
  • Develop creativity, problem solving, and intellectual independence,
  • Improve communication skills, and
  • Enhance your competitiveness for high-level employment, transfer to a 4 year university and admission to graduate and professional schools.


Undergraduate Research

At Antelope Valley College we define undergraduate research (UR) as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original, intellectual, or creative contribution to the discipline...”(from the Council on Undergraduate Research).  This research can take many forms.

  • Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CURE) are learning experiences in which whole classes of students address a research question or problem with unknown outcomes or solutions that are of interest to external stakeholders.
  • Mini-CURE are a CURE that are much shorter in duration that are typically between 1 to 3 weeks long.
  • Independent UR are projects that are either “Faculty-Initiated” or “Student-Initiated”. These projects can be limited to summer (SURE), or multiple semesters and are done outside the classroom.









Undergraduate Journal Catalog

Internship and Research Opportunities (outside AVC)

Internship and Research Opportunities (outside AVC)


CLICK HERE to learn more about and to access resources for UR mentors such as advocacy, assessment, characteristics of excellence, webinars, and more!


SCCUR: 2024 Conference 



Micro-Internships & Mini-Internships

The AVC Title V grant enables us to develop and implement an innovative model that provides authentic Micro and/or Mini applied mini experience in various fields of studies.  We call these Micro-Internship (25 contact hours sessions) and Mini-Internships (Duration 5 contact hours sessions).  These programs are accessible to students at any stage of their education but work best when done early in their academic journey. 


Participating Faculty/Staff

Participating Faculty


Contact info 

Research Interest  


Dr. Zia Nisani 

(UR Coordinator)

Biological Sciences 

Scorpion behavior and ecology, Urban Ecology , and Bird vigilance 


Osvaldo Larios  

Biological Sciences 

Yeast growth, death, and functional decline during biological aging 


Dr. Patricia Butterworth 

Biological Sciences 

Somatic mutations in wing cells of Drosophila melanogaster 


Angela Madsen 

Biological Sciences 

Somatic mutations in wing cells of Drosophila melanogaster 


Dr. Shadi Moghaddas 


In Development – Preclinical and mechanism of action studies in platinum anticancer agents and Metallo-pyrophosphate complexes in human cancer cell lines 


Dr. Thamrongsak Cheewawisuttichai 


Synthesis of antifungal agents 


Caleb Healey 

CTE - Welding 

CNC Mentorship Program: Bridging the Gap in Metal Fabrication Education 

Micro internship 

Dr. Darcy L. Wiewall 

Anthropology & Archeology 

AVCAR Orphaned Archaeological Collections Cataloging & Archeology


Dr. Amy Andrada 


Sociology of education, exploring student learning development at the college level (abstraction and application in college settings) 


Dr. Patricia M Palavecino 

Biological Sciences 

Ecology of Joshua trees 


Kevin North 

Film & Television 

Film & Video Special Effects. Work with Green Screen and miniatures trying to create life like effects.  


Dr. Rachel Thibault 


In Development – Social Psychology 





Students getting hands-on experience with vector-based imagery and computer Numerical Control applications in a welding micro-internships.


Image = Students getting hands-on experience with vector-based imagery and computer Numerical Control applications in a welding micro-internships.

“I've increased the capacity in my skillset by being able to think critically. I also feel given this mentorship it allowed me to become more confident to do projects on my own and help teach others how to perform the tasks in a high-quality manner.“ - Grace Henderson

“My internship experience has rekindled my passion for creativity within the welding shop. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn and be trained on the CNC machine and software. Through this experience, I have gained practical skills in applying basic mathematics to real-life problems and have further developed my critical thinking abilities. Being part of this internship has been incredibly rewarding as it has allowed me to fully engage and feel a sense of excitement about the work I produce.” - Alejandra Martinez




In the past 2 years (2023-2024) AVC students have presented poster and talks at various conferences (Mentors are in parentheses):
There were 4 posters presented at the 46th annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA).

The Effect of Urbanization on Flight Initiation Distance in Western Side-Blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana elegans). Brooklyn Stone (Dr. Zia Nisani)

Survey of Various Soils for the Presence of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. John Juarez, Gustavo Nuno, Justin Tiv (Dr. Jedidiah Lobos).

The Effect of Spices, Herbs, and Essential Oils on Bacterial Growth. Dana Schroer (Dr. Jedidiah Lobos).

The Effects of Temperature on Lactate Dehydrogenase Activity and Fatigue Time in Paruroctonus marksi (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae). Brock Larrick, Shelby Tran, Dejia Gardner, Ahmad Hamdan (Dr. Zia Nisani, Dr. Andres Carrillo).

There were 4 posters and 1 oral presentation at the 2023 Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research hosted by CSU Fullerton (Fullerton, CA).

Beyond Bunny Rabbits: Applications of New Zooarchaeological Methods to Understanding Indigenous Utilization in the Western Mojave Desert. Brittany Burwell (Dr. Darcy Wiewall).

Native Bee Composition in Our Campus' Gardens and Nearby Natural Areas (Antelope Valley, California). Diana Ferrassoli, Stephanie Spiegel, Gustavo Nuno (Dr. Patricia M. Palavecino)

HABITAT & SOUNDS: Investigating the Effects of Habitat and Predator Sounds on Vigilance in the American Coot, Fulica americana. Diana Ferrassoli, Dylan Sandoval, Christine Sipin, Brooklyn Stone (Dr. Zia Nisani)

Effect of Temperature on the Defensive and Predatory Stinging Behavior of the Scorpion Hadrurus obscurus. Megan Bennett, Audrey Enriquez, Melanie Iniguez, Emilia Martinez Rios, Brooklyn Stone (Dr. Zia Nisani)

Daily Activity Patterns of Common Ravens (Corvus corax) in Urban vs Rural Habitats. Georgina Alvarez, Maria Rava, Elena Morales  (Dr. Zia Nisani)