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UW-Eau Claire announces Student Research Day winners

RELEASED: May 7, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has announced the following awards from the 18th annual Student Research Day held April 26-28.

Research Day highlights student research accomplishments and the role that faculty and academic staff play as mentors in the scholarly activity process. This year's Research Day featured 265 faculty-mentored projects. The event also is supported by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Junior Mark Bauer, a mathematics and business finance major from Spencer, was awarded the Kell Container Corp. Scholarship. He worked with Dr. Simei Tong of the mathematics faculty on a research project titled "Optimizing Emergency Evacuation of a Major Shopping Mall."

Several projects also were selected for special recognition. The following students and faculty mentors received honors in their categories:

Arts and Humanities

  • First place — Junior English major Buckley Cloud, Wisconsin Dells, with faculty mentor Dr. Scott Lowe, philosophy and religious studies, "Scientific and Unscientific Aspects of Buddhism."
  • Second place — Senior history major (and sociology minor) Lucas Knowles, Beloit, with faculty mentor Dr. James Oberly, history, "Beloit, Wisconsin and the Great Migration."
  • Third place — Senior music majors Johnathan Turba, Platteville, and Stephanie Schmidt, St. Croix Falls, with faculty mentor Dr. Nicholas Phillips, music and theatre arts, "Exploring the Piano Music of Roy Harris."

Behavioral and Social Sciences-Psychology

  • First place — Senior psychology majors Eric Fuerstenberg, North Branch, Minn., and Maria Vander Wyst, Little Chute, with faculty mentor Dr. April Bleske-Rechek, psychology, "Scientific Literacy and Its Correlates: Knowledge of Evolution, Genetics, and the Physical Sciences in UW-Eau Claire Freshmen."
  • Second place — Senior psychology majors Heather Harris, Stanley, Leah Erickson, Oakdale, Minn., and senior biology major (and psychology minor) Kelly Denkinger, Shoreview, Minn., with faculty mentor Bleske-Rechek, "Women's Appearance and Body Shape across the Menstrual Cycle: Heightened Attractiveness at Ovulation?"
  • Third place — Senior psychology majors Dustin Greelis-Vanlaningham, Bloomington, Minn., Leah Erickson, and Jennifer Becker, Eau Claire, with faculty mentor Dr. Jeffrey Goodman, psychology, "Stigma Acknowledgment: Why and When is it an Effective Social Strategy."
  • Fourth place — Senior communication sciences and disorders major Jaime Barth, Stanley, senior psychology majors Holly Perszyk, Wauwatosa, Jeffrey Miller, Appleton, Katie Wiskow, Weston, Tory Miller, Rice Lake, Samantha Liggett, Stoughton, and Brianne Foiles, Colfax, with faculty mentor Dr. Daniel Holt, psychology, "Evaluation of Three Leash Training Approaches with Canines."

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • First place — Senior mathematics and economics major Paige Hehl, Brooklyn Park, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. David Schaffer, economics, "Wage Penalties in Majority-Female Occupations."
  • Second place — Senior economics majors Bryan Reinhold, Appleton, and Elizabeth Reinke, Rochester, senior psychology major Amber Jamelske, Eau Claire, and sophomore economics major Kevin Reinhold, Appleton, with faculty mentors Dr. Eric Jamelske, economics, and Dr. Lori Bica, psychology, "Evaluating the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in Wisconsin Elementary Schools: Comparing Program Effects after Two Months and Six Months of Program Implementation."
  • Third place — Senior communication and journalism majors Katherine Northey, Wayzata, Minn., Meghan Rohe, Neenah, Lindsey Smith, Buffalo, Minn., Anna Riedel, Wisconsin Rapids, and senior communication and journalism and Spanish major Samantha Howard, West St. Paul, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Martha Fay, communication and journalism, "The Silencing Effect of Uncertainty: Communication Apprehension and Organizational Change."
  • Fourth place — Junior geography major David Melsness, Chetek, with faculty mentor Dr. Ryan Weichelt, geography and anthropology, "Geographical Crime Displacement: The Robert Taylor Homes and Englewood."
  • Fifth place — Sophomore economics major Laurelyn Wieseman, Lake Geneva, senior economics majors April Ross, Wauwatosa, Samuel Block, Minnetonka, Minn., and sophomore economics major Drew Christensen, Wausau, with faculty mentor Jamelske, "The Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development Cash for Clunkers Project: An Overview of the Guidelines and Goals of the Program and an Assessment of the Program's Success."

Business and Professional Studies

  • First place — Senior management major Eric Becker, North Mankato, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Kristina Bourne, management and marketing, "Becoming a Global Leader: Examining the Barriers for Chippewa Valley Businesses."
  • Second place — Freshman kinesiology major Hannah Stoelzle, Farmington, Minn., and senior kinesiology majors Kristi Finco, New Berlin, Sadie Foss, Shell Lake, Jenna Snyder, Menomonie, and Katie Edwards, Hammond, with faculty mentor Dr. Marquell Johnson, kinesiology, "Accessibility of Fitness and Wellness Facilities in Western Wisconsin for Individuals with Disabilities."
  • Third place — Sophomore biology major Spencer Rohlinger, Fitchburg, with faculty mentors Dr. Ruth Cronje, English; Kelly Murray, biology; and Dr. Todd Wellnitz, biology, "Promoting Students' Scientific Understanding with the Science Writing Heuristic."
  • Fourth place — Senior communication sciences and disorders major Katie Humbert, Hastings, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Vicki Samelson, communication sciences and disorders, "Strategies First Graders with Low Oral Language Skills Use to Solve Math Word Problems."

Biological and Chemical Sciences

  • First place — Junior biochemistry/molecular biology major Benjamin Krentz, Weston, with faculty mentor Dr. Warren Gallagher, chemistry, "The Structure of a New Methanobactin Hints at the Existence of a Whole New Class of Peptide-derived Metal-binding Molecules."
  • Second place — Senior biology and Spanish major Kate Pischke, West Salem, senior biology and English major Jessica Soine, Iron Belt, senior biology majors Sarah Ames, Brooklyn Center, Minn., and Nicholas Schoenfuss, Wausau, junior biology majors Zachary Snobl, Eau Claire, and Joshua Pletzer, Mount Horeb, with faculty mentors Wellnitz and Dr. Eric Merten, biology, "How Many Lichen? How Many Trees? Island Biogeography in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness."
  • Third place — Senior biology major Brandon Blaisdell, Prior Lake, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Derek Gingerich, biology, "Phenotypic Characterization of lrb Mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana."
  • Fourth place — Sophomore physics major Kurt Flesch, Platteville, with faculty mentor Dr. Christine Morales, chemistry, "Computational Study of Structure and Stability in Supramolecular Liquid Crystals."
  • Fifth place — Senior biochemistry/molecular biology major Danae Fitzmaurice, Neillsville, with faculty mentor Dr. Winnifred Bryant, biology, "Environmental Estrogens and Regulation the Prolactin Promoter in Pituitary Cells."

Physical, Mathematical and Earth Sciences

  • First place — Senior geology and Spanish major Giselle Conde, Eau Claire, with faculty mentors Dr. Phillip Ihinger, geology, and Ellery Frahm, University of Minnnesota, "Geochemistry of Anatolian Obsidian: Implications for Sourcing and Dating of Artifacts."
  • Second place — Junior mathematics and business finance major Mark Bauer, Spencer, and sophomore mathematics major Hong Yang, Chippewa Falls, with faculty mentor Dr. Simei Tong, mathematics, "Optimizing the Evacuation of Hospitals Phase II."
  • Third place — Senior geology majors Crystal Nickel, Lake Mills, Shane Peterson, Randolph, and Taylor Crist, Eau Claire, with faculty mentor Dr. Katherine Grote, geology, "Three Dimensional Vadose Zone Characterization of a Wisconsin Orchard Using Electromagnetic Techniques."
  • Fourth place — Senior physics majors James Bomber, Eau Claire, and Nicholas Brewer, Clintonville, with faculty mentor Dr. Thomas Lockhart, physics and astronomy, "Bouncing Liquid Jets: The Role of the Air Film."
  • Fifth place — Junior geology major Jessica Meyers, Green Bay, and senior geology major Bryan Hardel, Arlington, Minn., with faculty mentor Dr. Geoffrey Pignotta, geology, "Geochemical characterization of the Paleozoic Mt. Attree volcanic complex, Terrace, British Colombia."

Graduate Entries

  • First place — Britny Gabert, a 2009 school psychology master's degree recipient from Eau Claire, with faculty mentor Dr. Michael Axelrod, psychology, "Spectrum Disorders and Specific Learning Disabilities: Parental Perspectives of Special Education Services.



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