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UW-Eau Claire announces Student Research Day awards

May 17, 2012

EAU CLAIRE — The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has announced the awards from the recent 20th annual Student Research Day.

More than 500 students shared 284 faculty-mentored projects via poster presentations. The event highlighted student research and creative accomplishments and the important role faculty and academic staff serve as mentors.

At UW-Eau Claire, 25 percent of seniors report working on a research project with a faculty mentor outside of a course," said Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research. "This is above the national average for institutions like ours, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement. The dedicated faculty at UW-Eau Claire play a critical role in making this level of student participation possible. Each year faculty and academic staff mentor more than 800 students."

The Kell Container Corporation Scholarship for 2012-13 was awarded to senior Ashley Van Galen, River Falls. She will work with Dr. Warren Gallagher, professor of chemistry, on research titled "Investigating the Fragments of Methanobactin Molecules."

The following students and faculty mentors received honors in their categories:

Arts and Humanities

  • First Place — Graduate student Craig Ferries, a native of Black River Falls, with faculty mentor Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, associate professor of history, "The March from Selma to Montgomery: A Change in the Philosophy of the Civil Rights Movement."
  • Second Place — Senior Heather Buhr, Denmark, with faculty mentor Dr. Kristin Schaupp, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies, "Diotima's Dismissal: Sound Argument or Unwarranted Phallacy?"
  • Third Place — Senior Glenn Terpstra, Bloomington, Minn., with faculty mentors Wanrudee Buranakorn, assistant professor of art & design, and Dr. Sean Ford, lecturer of English, "Super Graphics."

Earth and Life Sciences

  • First Place — Senior Giselle Conde, Eau Claire, with faculty mentors Dr. Phillip Ihinger, professor of geology, and Ellery Frahm, research fellow at the University of Sheffield, "Chemical Effects of Glass Hydration in the Natural Environment."
  • Second Place — Seniors Gregory Nelson, Oconomowoc, and Molly Kreiser, Vadnais Heights, Minn., along with Peter Blum, Appalachian State University; Gretchen Wilbrandt, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, East Bethel, Minn.; and Stephanie Erlandson, University of Minnesota, with faculty mentor Peter Wragg of the University of Minnesota, "Pollination Ecology of Aclepias Ovalifolia."
  • Third Place — Senior Gregory Nelson, Oconomowoc, senior Molly Kreiser, Vadnais Heights, Minn., and senior Adam Schneider, Middleton, with faculty mentor Dr. Tali Lee, associate professor of biology, "With Changing Global Precipitation Patterns, Will the Growth of Prairie Plants Be More Constrained by Reduced Rainfall Frequency or Reduced Rainfall Volume?"
  • Fourth Place — Senior Jordan Montpetit, Baldwin, junior Gavin Sunde, Madison, and alumnus Timothy Lauer, a native of Whitewater, with faculty mentor Dr. Derek Gingerich, assistant professor of biology, "Characterization of an Arabidopsis thaliana Mutant Identified in a Genetic Screen for Altered Red Light Responses."

Education, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Health Sciences and Services

  • First Place — Seniors Sarah Tweedale, Richfield, Elsa Kraus, Stratford, Nicholas Severson, Arcadia, Mary Wolf, Elkhorn, Jacqueline Ann Lee, Becker, Minn., Mathias Hughey, Lodi, and Paul Williams, Brookfield, and junior Virgil Ward, Madison, with faculty mentor Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of students, "The Impact of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage on UW-Eau Claire Students' Intercultural Knowledge and Competence."
  • Second Place — Seniors Rachel Ferestad, Mukwonago, Chelsea Boesel, Dousman, Brynn Caslavka, Maple Plain, Minn., Hannah Gytri, Northfield, Minn., and Tiffany Melby, Whitehall, with faculty mentor Dr. Jeffrey Janot, associate professor of kinesiology, "The Effects of Myofascial Release and Dynamic Warm-up on Exercise Performance."
  • Third Place — Senior Amanda Mortensen, Delafield, with faculty mentor Karen Mumford of the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies, "Campuswide Healthy Eating Assessment."
  • Fourth Place — Sophomore Allison Gehring, Lino Lakes, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Michael Axelrod, associate professor of psychology, "Applying Brief Experimental Analysis to Empirically Select Interventions that Improve Oral Reading Fluency."

Physical, Chemical, Mathematical and Computer Sciences

  • First Place — Senior Erick Carlson, Eagan, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Bart Dahl, assistant professor of chemistry, "Synthesis and Study of Methoxy?Donor/Cyano?Acceptor Biphenyl and Terphenyl Lactones."
  • Second Place — Senior Yer Yang, Chippewa Falls, with faculty mentor Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay, assistant professor of chemistry, "Energetics of Hydride Transfer Reactions in Quinone Reductase 2."
  • Third Place — Seniors Brent Lehman, De Pere, Stephanie Tadayon, Chippewa Falls, James Johnson, Rockford, Ill., and Arrianna Zirbes, Brooklyn Park, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Sanchita Hati, associate professor of chemistry, "Application of Statistical-Thermal Coupling Analysis to Identify Residue-Residue Interaction Networks that Facilitate Coupled-Domain Dynamics in Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases."
  • Fourth Place — Juniors Winston Mosher, Wausaukee, and Corey Schulz, Lannon, with faculty mentors Dr. Christopher Johnson, assistant professor of computer science, and Dr. Daniel Stevenson, professor of computer science, "Using Computer Tools to Automate Age and Growth Measurements from Fish Otoliths."
  • Fifth Place — Senior Thomas Nevins, Chippewa Falls, with faculty mentor Dr. Thomas Lockhart, professor of physics and astronomy, "Formation of Antibubbles in Oil Systems."

Social Sciences — Psychology

  • First Place — Postbaccalaureate student Amber Marion, Boyd, with faculty mentor Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp, assistant professor of psychology, "Attitudes Toward Deliberate Self-Injury and Elective Cosmetic Surgery Patients in Emergency Department and Urgent Care Settings."
  • Second Place — Seniors Alex DeLaPena, Eau Claire, Kim Miresse, Waukesha, and Emily Mertens, Brookfield, and junior Cristina Soto, Mequon, with faculty mentor Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp, assistant professor of psychology, "UWEC Student Counseling Use and Preference."
  • Third Place — Seniors Tehya Rice, Prior Lake, Minn., and Shauna Stoeger, New London, with faculty mentor Dr. Blaine Peden, professor of psychology, "Environmental Advertising: Predicting Environmental Engagement by Exposure to Passive Media."
  • Fourth Place — Senior Mai Vang, Eau Claire, senior Alethia Moua, Eau Claire, and junior Lauryn Pixler, Portage, with faculty mentor Dr. Ann Collier, adjunct assistant professor of psychology, "The Influence of Cultural Values on Hmong Parenting Styles and Perceptions of Abuse."

Social Sciences Other than Psychology

  • First Place — Seniors Lainee Hoffman, Clintonville, Judith Dickinson, Marshfield, Stephanie Mabrey, Franklin, Kevin Reinhold, Appleton, April Ross, Wauwatosa, and Laurelyn Wieseman, Lake Geneva, and junior Stephen Fisher, Maple Grove, Minn., with faculty mentors Dr. Eric Jamelske, associate professor of economics, and Dr. Lori Bica, associate professor of psychology, "The Impact of the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program on Children's Consumption and Other Related Behaviors."
  • Second Place — Juniors Abigail Nygaard, Delano, Minn., and Virgil Ward, Madison, and sophomore Elizabeth Harris, Mondovi, with faculty mentor Shelly Voegeli, student services coordinator, "Blugold Beginnings Multicultural Learning Community: A Comparison of Campus Involvement and Persistence."
  • Third Place — Senior Noah Wiedenfeld, Lake Mills, with faculty mentor Dr. Paul Kaldjian, associate professor of geography and anthropology, "Food Insecurity in Northwest Wisconsin: Lessons from Eau Claire."
  • Fourth Place — Seniors John Hilgendorf, Middleton, and Justine Cornelius, Rhinelander, with faculty mentor Dr. Jianjun Ji, associate professor of sociology, "Health Status of the Chinese Elderly: A Relationship between Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics."
  • Fifth Place — Seniors Kara Koerner, Neenah, Leah Knutson, Brainerd, Minn., Brianne Schwarz, Madison, Nicholas Goffard, Oakdale, Minn., Kelsey JuVette, Stillwater, Minn., and Alyssa Molbeck, Milwaukee, with faculty mentor Dr. Martha Fay, assistant professor of communication and journalism, "Transformational Leadership Between Peers."
  • Sixth Place — Seniors Mara Pearson, La Crosse, and Samantha Peterson, Winona, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Martha Fay, assistant professor of communication and journalism, "Employee Volunteerism and Message Framing."
  • Sixth Place — Senior Alyssa Yanzick, De Pere, sophomore Sheina Wind, Platteville, sophomore Grant Butterfield, Tomah, and junior Kong Her, Eau Claire, with faculty mentor Shelly Voegeli, student services coordinator, "Middle School Blugold Beginnings Program: An Assessment of Growth and Outcomes of Students Enrolled in the Program."

Graduate Entries

  • First Place — History graduate student Heidi Heideman, Manawa, with faculty mentors Dr. Patricia Turner and Dr. Jane Pederson, professors of history, "'This Ain't a Wild West Show': How a Rural Wisconsin Farming Community Adopted a Post-Modern Western Identity."

Student Research Day is sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. For additional information, email or call 715-836-3405.


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