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Student Research Day scholarship and recognitions announced

RELEASED: May 16, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has announced the awards from the 19th annual Student Research Day held May 2-4.

The event highlights student research and creative accomplishments and the important role faculty and academic staff serve as mentors. This year's Student Research Day featured 253 faculty-mentored projects, many examining issues throughout the state, across the country and around the globe.

Senior Kara Braunreiter, Eau Claire, was awarded the Kell Container Corporation Scholarship for 2011-12. She will work with Dr. Jamie Lyman Gingerich, assistant professor of biology, on research titled "Identification and Characterization of Factors Affecting PKD-2 Localization in C. Elegans."

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

Arts and Humanities

  • First Place – Seniors Jonas Hacker, Lake Delton, and Erin Kenneavy, Appleton, with Dr. Mitra Sadeghpour, associate professor of music, "King and Queen of the High C's: The Bel Canto Love Affair of Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland."
  • Second Place – Junior Jason Hansen, Willard, with Dr. Matt Waters, professor of history and foreign languages, "The Alcmaeonidae and Their Role in the Battle of Marathon."
  • Third Place – Senior Megan Risdal, Burnsville, Minn., with Dr. Erica Benson, associate professor of English, "I'ma Tell You 'bout I'ma": A Sociolinguistic and Syntactic Analysis of the Reduced Form of "I'm Gonna."
  • Honorable Mention – Seniors Matthew Troge, Black Earth, and Benjamin Klema, Racine, with Allyson Loomis, assistant professor of English, "Everything and Nothing" film project.

Earth and Life Sciences

  • First Place – Senior Jessica Meyers, Green Bay, and alumnus Bryan Hardel with Dr. Geoffrey Pignotta, assistant professor of geology, and Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, professor of geology, "Geochemical Characterization and Geochronology of the Paleozoic Mt. Attree Volcanic Complex, Terrace, British Columbia."

  • Second Place – Junior Phillip Rynish, Seymour, with Dr. Chris Floyd, associate professor of biology, "How Do Characteristics of Aspen Stands and the Surrounding Landscape Influence the Prevalence of Aspen Heartrot Fungus?"

  • Third Place – Seniors Christopher Wojan, Wausau, and Matthew Haak, Maple Grove, Minn., and sophomore Joseph Weirich, South Milwaukee, with Dr. Todd Wellnitz, associate professor of biology, "Assemblage of Lichen Communities on Rocky Shorelines of the North Woods."

  • Fourth Place – Seniors Michael Kristoff, North Richland Hills, Texas, Audrey Mohr, New Ulm, Minn., Anya Benda, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Taylor Crist, Eau Claire, with Dr. Katherine Grote, assistant professor of geology, "Monitoring Infiltration in Sandy Soil using GPR Groundwave Techniques."

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

  • First Place – Seniors Nolan Peterson, Rochester, Minn., Christopher Thewis, Mellen, Jacob Charette, Prescott, Shane Forsting, Alma Center, Luke Grosskreutz, Clear Lake, with Dr. Gary VanGuilder, assistant professor of kinesiology, and Dr. Jeffrey Janot, associate professor of kinesiology, "Modifying the University Classroom to Increase Energy Expenditure in College Students."

  • Second Place – Junior Laura Szymanski, Green Bay, with Dr. Jessica Miller, assistant professor of French, "Effects of Learner-Produced Podcasting on French Conversation Skills."

  • Third Place –Abdulaziz Mashat, Hanadi Al Harbi, Nadar Alasis, Najlaa Alhazmi, Salwa Mothana, Abdulelah Sejini, Yijin Sun, and Jibao Xie, all of Eau Claire, with senior lecturer of foreign languages Julie Adler, "UW-Eau Claire Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about Islam."

  • Fourth Place – Seniors Emily Nyeggen, Eagan, Minn., Beth Ascher, Sparta, Stacey Erickson, Chippewa Falls, Haley Salaway, Verona, and Caroline Schwedler, La Crosse, with Dr. Kris Retherford, professor of communication sciences and disorders, "The Autism-Spectrum Quotient: Autistic Traits of Students from Various Majors at UW-Eau Claire."

  • Fifth Place – Senior Gregory Nelson and junior James Fay, both of  Oconomowoc, and sophomore Andrew Kleist, Eau Claire, with Dr. Crispin Pierce, associate professor of environmental public health, "Particulate Pollution: UW-Eau Claire Student Center and Chippewa Falls Sand Plant."

Physical, Chemical, Mathematical and Computer Sciences

  • First Place – Seniors Justin Vasel, Eau Claire, Andrew Bartlein, Mequon, Nicholas Brewer, Clintonville, with George Stecher, professor of physics and astronomy, "Achieving a Closed Orbit Around Neptune Through Aerobraking."

  • Second Place – Sophomore Robyn Mueller, Chippewa Falls, with chemistry lecturer Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay and Dr. Sanchita Hati, assistant professor of chemistry, "Interplay Between Flavin's Redox States and Functional Protein Dynamics in Dihydronicotinamide Riboside (NRH): Quinone Oxidoreductase 2."

  • Second Place – Senior Michael North, Merrill, with chemistry lecturer Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay, "Model for Energetics of the Two-Electron Reduction in Dihydronicotinamide Riboside Quinone Oxidoreductase 2."

  • Third Place – Sophomore Samuel Brueggen, Holmen, and senior Kyle Vogt, Big Lake, Minn., with Dr. Manda Riehl, assistant professor of mathematics, "Genome Rearrangements with Insertions and Deletions."

  • Fourth Place – Senior Shawn Peters, Cumberland, with Dr. Carl P. Schoen, professor of mathematics, "The Mathematics of Perfect n-Shuffles."

  • Fifth Place – Junior Benjamin Zimmer, Rice Lake, and senior Austen Ott, Mount Horeb, with Dr. Daniel Ernst, assistant professor of computer science, "Accelerating Exact Logic Synthesis Using Parallel Computing Methods."

  • Honorable Mention – Seniors Vang Yang, Sheboygan, and Bee Vang, Eau Claire, with Dr. Kim Pierson, professor of physics and astronomy, "Regenerative Breaking DC Motor Controller."

Social Sciences - Psychology

  • First Place – Seniors Nicole Sharrer, Stevens Point, Katie Wiskow, Weston, Katherine Lawrenz, Green Bay, Amber Peirce, Stratford, Kathryn Prince, Junction City, Chelsey Oleson, River Falls, Karl Zimmerman, Watertown, and Caitlin Flanigan, Siren, with Dr. Daniel Holt, assistant professor of psychology, "Prompting versus Spontaneous Pairing of the Behavior Sit in Canines."

  • Second Place – Seniors Amy Thoftne, Lodi, Anne Kulinski, New Berlin, and Matthew Nolan, Merrill, with Dr. Mary Tusing, assistant professor of psychology, "What is Really Measured: Language or Intelligence? A Review of Preschool Intelligence Tests."

  • Third Place – Seniors Heather Harris, Stanley, and Eric Fuerstenberg, North Branch, Minn., with Dr. April L. Bleske-Rechek, associate professor of psychology, "Twenty-Five Years of GRE Scores and Graduate Enrollment Data by Gender, Ethnicity, and Discipline."

  • Fourth Place – Senior Alyssa Bell, Dallas, Texas, and junior Haley Scheer, Menasha, with Dr. Mary Beth Leibham, assistant professor of psychology, "The Relationship Between College Students' Pedagogical Preferences and Their Epistemic Beliefs: Preliminary Findings."

Social Sciences – Other than Psychology

  • First Place – Senior Alexandria Korb, Chippewa Falls, with Dr. Jeff Erger, associate professor of sociology, "What is a Woman?: An Examination of the Discursive Formation of 'Woman' Over Time."

  • Second Place – Senior David Melsness, Chetek, with Dr. Ryan Weichelt, assistant professor of geography and anthropology, "Spatial Crime Displacement in South Side Chicago: From the Projects to the 'Hood."

  • Third Place – Senior Amy Fredman, Pillager, Minn., and sophomore Amy Bainbridge, Port Wing, with Dr. Nicole Schultz, assistant professor, and Dr. Mary Hoffman, associate professor and chair of communication and journalism, "The Unheard Voices: Communication of LGBTQ Concerns in Wisconsin Classrooms."

  • Fourth Place – Senior Alyson Diller, Chaska, Minn., with Dr. Ezra Zeitler and Dr. Ryan Weichelt, assistant professors of geography and anthropology, "Spatial Patterns of Lottery Sales in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin."

  • Fifth Place – Senior Eric Fuerstenberg, North Branch, Minn., with Dr. Daniel Strouthes, associate professor of geography and anthropology, "Again the Stállu Come: The Role of Folklore in the Resurgence of Traditional Sami Culture."

Graduate Entries

  • First Place –alumnus Rachel McCarthy, Hortonville, with Dr. Mary Tusing, assistant professor of psychology, "Use of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills with English Language Learners."

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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