The Office of Student Research funded 12 student-faculty projects during the 2013-14 academic year.

The Biodiversity of Mayflies (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) in Minnesota

  • STUDENTS: Ceara Burnett and Andrew Usher
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Luke Jacobus
  • DIVISON: Science
  • ABSTRACT: This study aims to catalog and identify the mayflies in the State of Minnesota, make observations regarding their habitat and range and hopefully produce a rare species or two! The State is abundant in aquatic fauna, yet many native species are poorly studied, the mayfly being one of them. The changing habits of mayflies may be equated with global climate change, human habitation interference, and ultimately, the question will arise of how the distribution of an organism low on the food chain may pose wide ranging implications for future human activities.

    Project Poster
Burnett Usher

Twitter and Political Consciousness: An Analysis of Social Media Engagement Based on Political Framing

  • STUDENT: Jonathan Crabtree
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Lauren Burch
  • DIVISON: Business
  • ABSTRACT: This study will analyze the traction of entries (or tweets) on the micro-blogging site Twitter, based on political framing. We will achieve this by creating three Twitter accounts that mimic three major news organizations. Traction will be determined by monitoring Retweets, Favorites, Mentions, and re-use of URLs on Twitter by followers. This information should show whether a political bias can be used as a tool in social media propagation.

    Project Poster

Creativity and Mood Disorders: An Assessment of the Efficacy of Creative Thinking in Reducing Anxiety 

  • STUDENT: Lloyd Dobbins
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Mark Jaime
  • DIVISON: Science
  • ABSTRACT: This study is designed to confirm the results of previous studies showing a relationship between mood disorders and high creative thinking scores. It is also designed to measure the effects of creative thinking on anxiety.

    Project Poster

Local Sports Tourism Programs: A Methodology for Estimating Economic Impact Using Existing Empirical Studies 

  • STUDENT: Kayla Marie Freeman
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Ryan Brewer
  • DIVISON: Business
  • ABSTRACT: Studies have consistently shown that sporting events can generate a positive economic impact to the host community. Typically, their economic impact is estimated event-by-event, using extensive surveys of each sporting event, but this is not always practical or even feasible for small communities. The purpose of our research is to develop a model for economic impact estimation of an annual sports program which does not require event-specific surveys. 

    Project Poster

Impact on Student’s Self-Efficacy in Mathematics Using Lego© Mindstorm Robots

  • STUDENT: Davida Harden
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Kate Baird
  • DIVISON: Education
  • ABSTRACT: To determine whether using technology with student-centered inquiry enhances the development of conceptual learning among middle school students and whether such inquiry has a measurable impact on the student’s self-efficacy in mathematics. Using the principles of Universal Design for Learning as my framework, I intend to incorporate LEGO© Mindstorm Robots in student-centered inquiry into EV3 design engineering projects to meaningfully merge science instruction with deliberate support for content-specific mathematics acquisition.

    Project Poster

Polymer Composites Based on Chitin from Underutilized Sources

  • STUDENT: Heather Jean Johnson
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. James D. Mendez
  • DIVISON: Science
  • ABSTRACT: Chitin is an extremely abundant natural polymer found in insect shells, crustaceans, and fungi cell walls. Even though it is used commercially in a wide range of applications, most chitin is obtained from just a few sources (mostly fungi and shrimp). We are going to investigate other sources of chitin besides shrimp and fungi, and we are going to use the extracted chitin to make composites with other, more common, plastics.

    Project Poster

Girl Power: Feminist Interpretations of the Works of Sylvia Plath and Lisa See

  • STUDENTS: Makayla Knight and Lindsay D. Montgomery
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick
  • DIVISION: Liberal Arts
  • ABSTRACT: Both projects analyze literature written by women and critique them using feminist theories. Within this project we demonstrate the importance of studying women in minority groups, and we consider why it is important to write about the female body. It is vital to expand our knowledge on these two subjects in order to better understand our society.

    Project Poster

Police Officers’ Stress: The Feeling of Not Feeling

  • STUDENT: Adriana Marciano
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Joan Poulsen
  • DIVISION: Science
  • ABSTRACT: Police officers’ stress is extremely powerful. It is intense and never stops. As a result, I predict that as the daily stressors of the calls and pressure of the different situations increase, emotional numbness and burnout will increase as well.

    Project Poster

Aftermath of Conflict: Communication of Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace

  • STUDENTS: Emma Metz and Courtney Seiwert
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Anna Carmon
  • DIVISON: Liberal Arts
  • ABSTRACT: Conflict can lead to negative consequences for the employees and the organization: research suggests conflict can decrease employee motivational levels, or an individual’s willingness to work at tasks. Some research has also illustrated that conflict can cause individuals to engage in dissent with the organization. This research study sought to understand the potential effects of interpersonal conflict on employee motivation and perceptions of organizational dissent.

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Beyond the Southern Strategy? An Analysis of Rand Paul’s Speech at Howard University

  • STUDENT: James O’Mara
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Ryan Neville-Shepard
  • DIVISION: Liberal Arts
  • ABSTRACT: This essay argues that U. S. Senator Rand Paul’s speech at Howard University in April 2013, given in order to repair the Republican Party’s tattered relationship with minority voters, ultimately fell short by perpetuating a “race-blind” vision of the Civil Rights Movement, emphasizing white agency in the movement while deemphasizing inequalities inherent in United States history. The essay concludes by discussing the implications of Paul’s speech for the future of the Republican Party.

    Project Poster

Prey Attraction to the Carnivorous Plant Genlisea  

  • STUDENT: Kirk Rumple
  • FACULTY MENTOR: Dr. Barbara Hass-Jacobus
  • DIVISION: Science
  • ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to understand if Genlisea prefers one kind of prey organism, such as Paramecium and Daphnia, over another. Also, I will be observing how the organisms interact with the Genlisea traps: whether the plant traps its prey passively (the organism walking into the traps) or actively (the traps sucking in its prey).

    Project Poster

A Comparative Study of Hand Hygiene Techniques in School Age Children

  • STUDENT: Crista Turmail
  • DIVISION: Nursing
  • ABSTRACT: Currently, three different forms of hand washing exist in the general public: hand washing with regular (non-antibacterial) soap, hand washing with antibacterial soap, and the use of hand sanitizer. However, little is known which method is more effective for the average time an individual washes his or her hands. Finding and implementing the most effective practice could decrease the prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections in children, while also decreasing student and adult absenteeism, company loss (due to employee absenteeism), and hospital costs (due to hospital acquired infections).

    Project Poster