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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Undergraduate Research Center

Proceedings 2009

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/urc/proceedings/ursproceedings2009.html

Table of Contents

Art & Art History

Communication Studies, Education Studies, Elementary & Childhood Education, Speech Communications

Anthropology, History, Psychology, Economics and Speech Communications

College of Arts & Humanities and College of Social & Behavioral Studies

Automotive Engineering & Technology, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Chemistry, Mathematics, and Statistics

Biology and Chemistry

College of Science, Engineering, and Technology and College of Social and Behavioral Science

Business Law

Human Performance, Speech Communications, and Women's Studies

Social Work

Art

Business Law

Psychology

Women's Studies

College of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Monday, April 27 Presenters

Session 1 8:00 – 10:00 CSU 202

Art & Art History

Large Scale Paintings
Amy Magnuson (Department of Art)
Brian Frink, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Large Grant

Investigating Porcelain
Dennis Loucks (Department of Art)
Todd Shanafelt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Through the Layers of Encaustic Skin: Fusing Print and Paint
Gina Hunt (Department of Art)
Brian Frink, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

Strata: Collaging Through Layers
Colin Ruff (Department of Art)
Liz Miller, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Political Art of the Black Panther Party: Cultural Contrasts in the Nineteen Sixties Countermovement
Melissa Seifert (Department of Art)
Alisa Eimen, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)

Session 2 8:00 – 10:00 CSU 204

Communication Studies, Education Studies, Elementary and Childhood Education, Speech Communications

Can You Hear Me Through the Glass? Understanding Communication and Relationships in World of Warcraft
Grant Anderson (Department of Speech Communication)
Warren Sandmann, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Crime and Punishment: The Impacts of the Messaging Project on the Abortion Debate
Sarah Walker (Department of Communication Studies)
James Dimock, Faculty Mentor (Department of Communication Studies)

Cross-Cultural Understanding of Philosophies of Pre-Service Teachers
Katelyn McMahon, Anastasiya Horeva, Katie Robb (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
Elizabeth Sandell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Large Grant

Use of Global Guidelines Assessment in Early Childhood Education Settings
Casandra Schmit, Anna Kucherenko, Alexandra Zhykova, Anne Kennedy (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
Elizabeth J. Sandell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)

You've Got Mail: Identity Perceptions Based on Email Usernames
Laura Pelletier (Department of Speech Communication)
Warren Sandman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Impact of Text Messaging on Communication
Heidi Hemmer (Department of Speech Communication)
Daniel Cronn-Mills, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Experiential Learning and Small Group Dynamics: Working with the Genocide Intervention Network
Krista Monson (Department of Speech Communication)
James Dimock, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Communicating Without Words: The Effectiveness and Future of Purely Visual Advertisements
Bradford Wakefield (Department of Communication Studies)
James Dimock, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Cross-Cultural Understanding of Philosophies of Pre-Service Teachers

Katelyn McMahon, Anastasiya Horeva, Katie Robb (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
Elizabeth Sandell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Large Grant

This project conducted cross-cultural research concerning the philosophy of education held by teachers in two cultures. This project was part of a partnership between Minnesota State, Mankato and North-Eastern State University in Magadan, Russian Federation. Specifically, a card sorting methodology (known as Q-sort methodology and described by Stephenson, 1953) was used to study and identify which of four types of contemporary educational thought are predominant among teachers in two cultures. The data collected were used to identify the beliefs and values (i.e., teaching philosophies) that are most commonly held in each region. The findings will be used to create recommendations for developments and improvements in cross-cultural university partnerships and in pre-service teacher education programs.

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Session 3 8:00 – 10:00 CSU 255

Anthropology, History, Psychology, Economics and Speech Communications

Gender Differences in Symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, Hyperactivity and Conduct Problems among Children Ages Eight to Fourteen
Jenna M. Schley (Department of Psychology)
Sarah Sifers, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

Elderly Attitudes Toward Exercise
Kari Ek (Department of Psychology)
Daniel Houlihan, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

Cluster B Personality Disorders Separated by Gender Expectations
Brianna Kloss (Department of Speech Communication)
Rachel M. Droogsma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Do They Hear You Now? Effectiveness of a Social Norm Mass Media Campaign on a Rural Campus
Jessica Appel (Department of Psychology)
Dawn Albertson and Emily Stark, Faculty Mentors (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Effects of Adultism on Youth in Social Movements
Megan P. Evans Martinson (Department of Speech Communication)
James Dimock, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Sovereignty and National Identity In Regards To The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Mohamed R. Seck (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)
Dr.Kathryn J. Elliott, Faculty Mentor (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)

Technology and the Changing Role of Therapy Managers in Africa
Christopher Wright (Department of History)
Agnes Odinga, Faculty Mentor (Department of History)

Sports Franchise Valuations
Anthony Brown (Department of Economics)
Phillip Miller, Faculty Mentor (Department of Economics)

Technology and the Changing Role of Therapy Managers in Africa

Christopher Wright (Department of History)
Agnes Odinga, Faculty Mentor (Department of History)

Africans relied exclusively on traditional healing until many embraced western medicine in the nineteenth century. The resulting medical pluralist practices transformed the role of what John M. Janzen, an ethnographer, termed "therapy managers." Therapy managers are a unique part of African medical culture. They form a group that manages the illness and therapy of the sufferer. This duty was typically performed by relatives, or friends and associates, who lived in the vicinity. While scholars have explored the therapy manager's role, they have failed to account for the impact of technology on the composition and role of these individuals. My preliminary oral and secondary research indicate that examining the role of technology in health and healing expands upon Janzen's commonly accepted explanation of therapy managers.

An analysis of interviews with Africans in Minnesota will provide an understanding of the complex role and place of Diaspora therapy managers. Therefore, my research will build upon Janzen's conceptual and theoretical framework by examining the role of African therapy managers in the Diaspora. An in-depth study of the use of communication devices such as cell phones and email, and internet reveals that therapy managers are younger, closer kin and global. This is a departure from Janzen's view that they are older, extended relatives, and localized. This research will contribute to the ongoing discussion on globalization, technology, health and healing in Africa.

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Poster Session A 10:00 – 12:00 CSU Ballroom South/Center

College of Arts & Humanities and College of Social & Behavioral Studies

#1 - The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant: Nuclear Racism or Business as Usual?
Melissa Lorentz (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)
Ronald Schirmer, Faculty Mentor (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)

#2 - Impact of Integrating Service Learning and Spanish-speaking Community Health Programs
Bridgette Bernier (Department of Spanish)
Kimberly Contag, Faculty Mentor (Department of Spanish)

#3 - Educational Fiscal Policy and Its Effects on How Our Children Learn: Comparing Minnesota and Illinois
Sally Anne Stenzel (Department of Political Science)
Kevin Parsneau, Faculty Mentor (Department of Political Science)

#4 - Barriers That Children Experience in Being Placed in Adoptive Homes
Julie Nielsen (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#5 - Consequences for Smoking in a State Treatment Facility
Meredith Hegeman (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#6 - The Impact of an After School Program on Motivation, Performance, and Attendance
Melissa Grèce (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#7 - Comprehensive Sex Education versus Abstinence-Only
Shawna L. Soper (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#8 - Equine Therapy
Tonya Wagner (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#9 - Collateral Sanctions
Megan Wexler (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#10 - Adolescents in Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Do They Gain Knowledge on Addiction?
Sara Martin (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#11 - School Connectedness
Shannon Abel (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#12 - Second Chance Class: Education and Awareness Prevention
Nancy Torres (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#13 - Family Councils
Amanda Reed (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#14 - Where are they now? Caretakers Affect on Children Who Have Been Placed in Foster Care, Relative Care, or in Adoptive Homes
Crysta Lynch (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#15 - The Autism Spectrum Disorder Survey: What is Working?
Katie L. Browning (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#16 - Intake Reports: Who is Reporting Possible Child Abuse and Neglect?
Julia Bauer (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#17 - “Doubly Disadvantaged?”: The Presidential Candidacy of Shirley Chisholm
Andrea Diekman (Department of Women’s Studies)
Jocelyn Stitt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

#18 - Role of the Special Review Board, Supreme Court Appeal Panel, and Hospital Review Board in Mentally Ill and Dangerous Court Committed Cases
Jessica Regan (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#19 - Safe Streets Restored Program: Is this Sentencing Alternative for Offenders Beneficial When Evaluating Recidivism Rates?
Hannah Beckius (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#20 - Comparison and Contraction of Long-Term Treatment Program between Past and Present Residents in Juveniles Service Center
Sheng Xiong (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#21 - Satisfaction of the Referral of Students to an Offsite Special Education Program
Samantha Smith (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#22 - How to Best Develop and Implement a New Therapeutic Group in an Inpatient Psychiatric Setting with a Diverse Population
Stephanie Wieland (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#23 - Brain Gym Exercises: How do they help adolescents throughout their school day?
Samantha Wersal (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#24 - Risk Factors for Students Attending a Sober School in Mankato, Minnesota Prior to Discharge from School: What Are They?
Shannon Riley (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#25 - School Connectedness and Drug Use
Sarah Burnham (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#26 - Out of Home Placement and the Impact of Family Group Decision Making
Jessi Hornick (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant: Nuclear Racism or Business as Usual?

Melissa Lorentz (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)
Ronald Schirmer, Faculty Mentor (Department of Anthropology and International Relations)

The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant (PINGP) is the only nuclear power plant in the nation adjacent to a Native American reservation. The history of the power plant up to the present has been fraught with controversy, particularly between Xcel Energy (formerly NSP) and the Prairie Island Indian Community (PIIC). Historical and cultural factors complicate the relationship between the PIIC and Xcel and have led to allegations of racism. This study compared the PINGP to five other power plants in the United States with nearby populations and geographic features similar to the PINGP. The relationship of the power plant to nearby communities was assessed by reviewing public comments to CON and EIS applications, notices of intent, newspaper articles, and lawsuits and by comparing the size of exclusion zones surrounding the power plants. The null hypothesis was that there is no significant difference between the PINGP and power plants adjacent to non-native communities. Differences were measured by size of the exclusion zone, the degree to which the communities are kept informed about the power plant, concerns expressed by the community about the presence of the power plant, and how these concerns are expressed.

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Impact of Integrating Service Learning and Spanish-speaking Community Health Programs

Bridgette Bernier (Department of Spanish)
Kimberly Contag, Faculty Mentor (Department of Spanish)

Service learning is an opportunity that is highly valued among students and staff at universities, but rarely available for the majority of students. This project reviews two unique service learning opportunities developed at Minnesota State University, Mankato and how these opportunities to integrate second language Spanish skills and my nursing skills provided valuable learning opportunities for me and others. The first program I examined was a community health experience through the School of Nursing. The program allowed select students to complete their Community Health Rotation in Guiamaca, Honduras. Students gained hands on experience in the most basic of health care, while providing educational and medical services to the people of Guiamaca. The second program was an individualized pilot-project in the area of community health in Mankato. My Spanish service-learning project was to prepare for and participate in a service learning experience at Open-Door Clinic in Mankato, MN where the client population is 33% Spanish-speaking. Both experiences provided opportunities to gain additional experience in practicing community health and Spanish within a clinical setting. My research focused on the impact of integrating service learning and Spanish-speaking community health programs here and abroad and argues for increased opportunities for students.

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Educational Fiscal Policy and Its Effects on How Our Children Learn: Comparing Minnesota and Illinois

Sally Anne Stenzel (Department of Political Science)
Kevin Parsneau, Faculty Mentor (Department of Political Science)

First, Minnesota and Illinois educational policies are compared. The main difference is that Minnesota funds their public schools from the state level, while Illinois funds theirs from the local level. Unfortunately, Illinois' fiscal policies lead to districts receiving unequal funding. As one might assume about this funding system, a wealthier district would receive more money, while a poorer district would receive less. Meanwhile, Minnesota strives to achieve equal funding across all districts. Then test scores and graduation rates are compared between the states to reveal if a correlation between funding and achievement levels exist. To further the study, test scores and graduation rates between wealthier and poorer districts in both states are compared as well. In addition, other variable factors for low achievement levels besides funding, such as poverty rates, pupil/teacher ratios, and technology, are accounted for.

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Comprehensive Sex Education Versus Abstinence-Only

Shawna L. Soper (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

"Each year in the United States, 800,000 - 900,000 adolescents aged ≤19 years become pregnant" (CDC, 2000). In addition "about one in four sexually active teens acquire a sexually transmitted disease every year" (The Power of SADD, 2003). The primary purpose of this study was to develop a comprehensive sex education program for adolescents in a rural Minnesota school district that would assist in reducing the high risk of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Additional research was to determine if comprehensive sex education was more effective than abstinence-only, as well as, the appropriate grade level to begin effective sex education with the students. In order to conduct the study, a classical experimental design was used. A treatment group of adolescents were randomly selected to participate in a prevention program that focused on comprehensive sex education, lasting over a period of two weeks. The program promoted abstinence-only, but also provided information on sexually transmitted diseases and ways to prevent unintended pregnancies. In addition, a control group was randomly selected to participate in the study. A pretest and posttest was given to measure results. Additional data on the most appropriate and effective grade level to begin sex education was collected through the use of a survey instrument. The instrument was randomly distributed to students and faculty in the middle school (sixth through eighth grade), as well as, high school (ninth through twelfth grade). A comprehensive approach to sex education is a consideration that public schools may want to consider.

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Session 4 9:30– 12:00 CSU 253/4

Automotive Engineering & Technology, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Design, Construction, and Testing of the 2009 Formula SAE Chassis
Eric Crear, Kris Rysavy (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Gary Mead, Faculty Mentor (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)

Flex Fuel Retrofit Device Research
Michael Adams, Alex Boser, Ross Haliburton, Keith Igoe, Kenton Johnson, Anton Nasledov, Alex Palamari, Curtis Wilson (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Bruce Jones, Faculty Mentor (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

2009 Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
Cliff Backler, Alan Dreier (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Craig Evers, Faculty Mentor (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Hybrid Development and Diesel Emissions Technology
Jayson Ramthun, Aaron Jackson, Matthew Blaha, Michael Dannenberg, Alex Bellus, David Carroll (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Bruce Jones, Faculty Mentor (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Vincent Winstead, Faculty Mentor (Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Technology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Research of Biogas and its Negative Effects
John Anderson (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
Gary Mead, Faculty Mentor (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Design, Construction, and Testing of the 2009 FSAE Engine
Nick Adamini, Sarah Friesen, Daryl Green, Jordan Cachiaras, Chris Borge (Automotive Engineering Technology)
Bruce Jones, Gary Mead, Faculty Mentors (Department of Automotive Engineering Technology)

Adding Flex-Fuel Capability to a Passenger Vehicle Engine Using a Do-it-Yourself System
Shizen Shrestha, Saroj Phuyal, (Department of Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology)
Gary Mead, Faculty Advisor (Department of Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology)

Anatomy of a Small Autonomous Vehicle
Joshua Vander Hook, Wade Kallhoff, Mitch Beckman (Department of Computer Science)
Steven Case, Faculty Mentor (Department of Computer Science)

General Contractors’ Awareness and Participation in Sustainable Construction Practices
Awale Hussein Awale, Mike Franks, Shirley Hu (Department of Construction Management)
Scott Fee, Faculty Mentor (Department of Construction Management)

Session 5 10:00 – 12:00 CSU 202

Chemistry, Mathematics, and Statistics

Determination of Structural Polysaccharides and Lignin in Cattail Biomass
Sarita Bhetawal (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
James Rife, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Expression of 9/13 Hydroperoxide Lyase in Cucumber Leaves
Samee Ranginwala (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
James Rife, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Differentiable Game Theory and Strategic Decision Making in Business
Austen Rud (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Brian Martenson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

On Sign-Solvable Linear Systems and Their Applications in Economics
Eric Hanson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
In-Jae Kim, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Synchronization of Biological Oscillators
Joshua Wuollet, Jesse Feller (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Namyong Lee, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Anne-Marie Hoskinson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

Mathematical Modeling of Tick-Borne Encephalitis in Humans
Michael Meyer (Department of Biological Sciences) Amanda Kriesel, Geoffrey Peterson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Namyong Lee, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Anne-Marie Hoskinson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

Expression of 9/13 Hydroperoxide Lyase in Cucumber Leaves

Samee Ranginwala (Department of Chemistry & Geology)
James Rife, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry & Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Fatty Acid 9/13-Hydroperoxide Lyase (9/13-HPL) in the cucumber plant is an enzyme that cleaves either 9- or 13-hydroperoxides of polyunsaturated fatty acids to form volatile C9 or C6 aldehydes respectively. Since these aldehydes may play a role in the plant’s defenses against pathogens (K. Matsui, et. al. Phytochemistry 67 (2006) 649-657), the enzyme is stress induced during vulnerable times such as when the plant is injured. In order to better understand how this enzyme is induced, we tested the effect of various factors on transcription of the 9/13-HPL gene. We specifically tested factors that have been shown to induce defense responses in other plant systems. Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction was used to quantitate levels of 9/13-HPL mRNA. In initial experiments, the effect of mechanical wounding of cucumber cotyledons on the transcription levels of the 9/13-HPL gene in wounded tissue and unwounded leaves was examined. In subsequent experiments, the effects of mechanical wounding coupled with treatment with methyl jasmonate, ethylene or norborandiene (an ethylene antagonist), was tested. The RNeasy Plant Minikit from Qiagen was used to isolate mRNA from the plant tissue. SYBR Green was used as the detection system for Real Time PCR.

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Differentiable Game Theory and Strategic Decision Making in Business

Austen Rud (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Brian Martenson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

Game Theory is a branch of applied mathematics often used in the social sciences. Simple games involve two players competing against each other. The goal for each player in a game is to maximize their benefit as much as possible. Game theory attempts to solve and analyze the optimal decisions for each player in order to reach their goal. In discrete game theory, these decisions are taken in turns or in steps. In differential game theory, decisions are made on a continuous basis and each player's optimal (control) strategy is studied. A standard example of differential game theory is the homicidal chauffeur pursuit problem, in which a fast car attempts to catch a slow, but very mobile, person. In this talk, we describe a differential game involving two corporations' advertising strategies. We examine how slight alterations to the rules of the game affect the optimal strategies.

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Mathematical Modeling of Tick-Borne Encephalitis in Humans

Michael Meyer (Department of Biological Sciences) Amanda Kriesel, Geoffrey Peterson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Namyong Lee, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Anne-Marie Hoskinson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

We have developed mathematical model of Tick-Borne Encephalitis to better understand their phenomena and dynamics. We also have studied the relationship between vectors and their hosts in this disease. This project will show our modeling process and biological understanding through a computer simulation.

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Session 6 10:00 – 12:00 CSU 284

Biology and Chemistry

Determining Genetic and Clonal Diversity of Typha spp. Using Microsatellites Markers
Monica J. Ngeno (Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Sciences)
Robert E. Sorensen, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Determination Of The Antioxidant Potential, Total Phenolic Content and Total Flavonoid Content of Vernonia Amygdalina
Cybill E. Okitikpi (Department of Biological Sciences)
Danaé Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Modeling the Effects of Environmental Influences on the Phenotypic Plasticity of the Tiger Salamander
Ashley Geiger, Monica Ngeno (Department of Biological Sciences)
Anne-Marie Hoskinson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
Namyong Lee, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

Purification of Isoform Specific Actin Capping Protein Antibodies and Immunofluorescent Studies
Jenna Kastenschmidt (Department of Biological Sciences)
Marilyn Hart, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

Exploring the Potential Reaction between DNA and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural
Teddy Kobingi (Department of Biological Sciences)
Danaé Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry & Geology)

Poster Session B 1:00 – 3:00 CSU Ballroom South/Center

College of Science, Engineering, and Technology and College of Social and Behavioral Science

#1 - Analysis of Pronunciation Variation and Linguistic Structure Using Decision Trees
Tatyana V. Mamchuk (Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology)
Rebecca Bates, Faculty Mentor (Department of Computer Science)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#2 - Effectiveness of Remineralizing Toothpaste on Tooth Decalcification
Dorothy Vo (Department of Dental Hygiene)
Brigette Cooper, Faculty Mentor (Department of Dental Hygiene)

#3 - Assessing Patients’ Risk for Diabetes and Its Relationship to Gingival Disease
Nicole A. DeCourcy (Department of Dental Hygiene)
Angela L. Monson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Dental Hygiene)

#4 - The Nutrition Care Process in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
Krista Hagert, Vanessa Steffl, Stephanie Engst (Department of Family Consumer Science)
Susan Fredstrom, Faculty Mentor (Department of Family Consumer Science)

#5 - The Effect of Red Bull Energy Drink on Attenuating Muscular Fatigue Following Heavy Exercise
Amanda Lipetzky (Department of Human Performance)
Robert Pettitt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Human Performance)

#6 - Choosing Between Parametric and Non-parametric Tests
Russ Johnson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Mezbahur Rahman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

#7 - Three Dimensional Transient Asymmetric Flowfields in Physical Vapor Transport
Joseph L. Dobmeier (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Patrick Tebbe, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#8 - Energy Calibration of a Van de Graaff Accelerator
Christopher Prokop, Ryan Wickland, Scott Clarke, Chad Anderson, Arbin Timilsina (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
Andrew D Roberts, Faculty Mentor (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#9 - College Students’ Study Habits and Attitudes
Kaley VanDenBerg (Department of Psychology)
Emily Stark, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#10 - Gender Responses to Advertising Content in Male vs. Female Magazines
Jessica M. Morales, Heidi C. Doerr (Department of Psychology)
Emily Stark, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#11 - Command Types in the Coach-Athlete Relationship
Kari Ek, Charlotte Hoffmann (Department of Psychology)
Daniel Houlihan, Faculty Advisor (Department of Psychology)

#12 - Cross-Cultural Survey of Rewards: Differences in Levels of Reinforcement Between Adolescents from the United States, Australia, Tanzania, Denmark, and Honduras
Kari Ek, Kendra Homan, B.A. (Department of Psychology)
Daniel Houlihan, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#13 - Completing the Triangle: Alcohol Attitudes and Risk-Taking Behavior
Christina Murphy, Danielle Polzin (Department of Psychology)
Dawn Albertson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#14 - Activation of Behavioral Trait Inferences: Impression Formation in the Reading Process
Samuel Martin (Department of Psychology)
Karla Lassonde, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#15 - Attributions of Team Performance in a Dispersed Environment
Jennifer Mans, Daniel Regnier (Department of Psychology)
Andrea Lassiter, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#16 - Are Stereotypes Inherently Negative? Assessing Activation in Memory for Positive and Negative Stereotypes
Amber Scheierl (Department of Psychology)
Karla Lassonde, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#17 - Interpersonal Factors Which Influence Life Satisfaction and Health of American College Students
Sahra Ahmed Ali (Department of Psychology)
Vinai Norasakkunkit, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#18 - Youth Aging out of Foster Care: Utilizing College Funding Programs among a Rural Community in Minnesota
Shanelle Garbutt (Department of Social Work)
Christine Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

#19 - The Use of Teenlect in Adolescents with William Syndrome and Their Typically Developing Peers
Jessica Wandrie, Emily Wallin, Kahlynn Bach, Kelly Olson, Jennifer Worrall (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services)
Patricia Hargrove, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services)

#20 - Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Ellen M. Henkelman (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitative Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitative Services)

#21 - Qualitative Research of Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Aspergers Syndrome
Katherine H. Thayer (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)

#22 - Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Aspergers
Amanda Swanson (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)

#23 - Qualitative Research of Selected Language, Speech, and Hearing Skills of Individuals with Moebius Syndrome
Sarah A. Spoor (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)
Bonnie Lund and Renee Shellum, Faculty Mentors (Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services)

#24 - Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome
Joelle Johanson (Department of Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services)

#25 - Qualitative Research of Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Cornelia de Lang Syndrome
Kelly E. Olson (Department of Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services)

#26 - Faculty Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Grieving Students
Samuel Aron (Department of Community Health)
Dr. Amy Hedman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Community Health)

#27 - Reflections on the Conduct of Research with Human Subjects Across Two Cultures
Kimberly M. Maas (Department of Sociology and Corrections)
Elizabeth Sandell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education, College of Education)

#28 - A New Look at Nonprofit Online Fundraising: Persuasion through the Means of Credibility and Psychological Consistency
Kaytlin M. LeMier (Department of Speech Communication)
Kristen Cvancara, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

#29 - The Role of Culture in Context Sensitivity and Social Anxiety
Jaclyn R. Gile (Department of Psychology)
Vinai Norasakkunkit, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#30 - Will the Olympics Impact an Individual’s Sense of Nationalism as Well as Attitudes Towards the Host Country?
Hassan Mohamed, Samatha Madhavarapu, & Cory Vaske (Department of Psychology)
Norasakkunkit Vinai, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

#31 - Type II Diabetes in African-American Women
Farhia Abdulahi (Department of Community Health)
Amy Hedman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Community Health)

Analysis of Pronunciation Variation and Linguistic Structure using Decision Trees

Tatyana V. Mamchuk (Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology)
Rebecca Bates, Faculty Mentor (Department of Computer Science)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

As automatic speech recognition becomes more heavily used in applications such as computer enhanced dialog systems and automatic dictation, an improved understanding of linguistic structure and the physiology of speech becomes more important. There is great variability in how people speak depending on gender, health, age, geographic origin, and education level. All of this makes it difficult for computers to recognize speech. Typical recognition results for read speech are over 90% accurate, but for spontaneous conversational speech, which has greater pronunciation variation, results reduce to about 70%. This work examined pronunciation variation and different structures of articulatory-feature-based linguistic models to assess their usefulness for speech recognition applications. Articulatory features describe characteristics that distinguish specific speech sounds, or phonemes, and are related to the human vocal tract. Groups of phonemes can share the same features; however, each phoneme has a unique combination of them. The set of features defines a sound and makes it distinguishable from all other sounds. Using the difference between the dictionary pronunciation for words and hand-labeled pronunciations of spoken words, decision trees were built to predict feature changes. Decision trees were used because they give descriptive means for calculating conditional probabilities and help to visualize patterns between different features. Decision tree models were built to represent two different linguistic models and tested using data held out from the training process. While a long-term goal is to improve automatic speech recognition, this work contributes a more detailed understanding of ways to quantify linguistic theory and improve pronunciation modeling.

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Choosing Between Parametric and Non-parametric Tests

Russ Johnson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Mezbahur Rahman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

A common question in comparing two sets of measurements is whether to use a parametric testing procedure or a non-parametric procedure. The question is even more obvious in dealing with smaller samples. Here, using simulation, several parametric and non-parametric tests, such as, t-test, Normal test, Wilcoxon Rank Sum test, van-der Waerden Score test, and Exponential Score test are compared.

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Three Dimensional Transient Asymmetric Flowfields in Physical Vapor Transport

Joseph L. Dobmeier (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Patrick Tebbe, Faculty Mentor (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

Physical Vapor Transport is a manufacturing process used to produce single crystals of semiconductor materials such as mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2). In the past this time-varying process has been studied with numerical simulation by assuming axi-symmetric three dimensional flow or modeling the flow in two dimensions only. It is generally agreed that neither of these methods accurately represent the true behavior of the process. The purpose of this research was to extend the asymmetric model to three dimensions. The resulting data was then visualized and analyzed. The simulations were performed with a commercially available computational fluid dynamics software package called FIDAP on the 138-processor "supercomputer" here at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The visualization tool used was Tecplot 360. The results have shown that the flowfield is indeed asymmetric and cannot be characterized by a two dimensional simplification.

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Completing the Triangle: Alcohol Attitudes and Risk-Taking Behavior

Christina Murphy, Danielle Polzin (Department of Psychology)
Dawn Albertson, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

According to a recent study, over five million college students binge drink at least once every month. A thorough understanding of the factors involved with alcohol use is crucial when trying to successfully reduce risky drinking behaviors in students. Although studies have demonstrated relationships between alcohol attitudes and drinking behavior, as well as risk taking and drinking behavior, this was the first study directly assessing the relationship between risk taking behavior and alcohol attitudes. Two hundred and forty participants from a medium-sized Midwestern university were used in this study. First, participants completed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), a computer-based assessment that measures an individual's willingness to take risks based on rewards. Next, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs toward alcohol before taking the BART once again. We expect risk-taking behavior, as assessed by the BART, to be significantly correlated with more positive attitudes, thoughts, and feelings toward alcohol. If so, a complete triangle would be formed that links alcohol use, risk taking, and alcohol attitudes together. This triangle of knowledge would help to gain a more complete understanding of the factors that influence alcohol consumption and could be used to prevent dangerous drinking behaviors in college students.

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Activation of Behavioral Trait Inferences: Impression Formation in the Reading Process

Samuel Martin (Department of Psychology)
Karla Lassonde, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

When reading text, it is likely that readers make inferences about characters. If a passage is read about Tom who has a lot of friends, it is likely that one would describe Tom as friendly. Describing Tom as friendly would be a behavioral trait inference because it was not explicitly mentioned that Tom was friendly. We were interested in examining conditions in which these inferences are activated while reading. We developed a set of twenty-four passages. Each passage contained a main character that was described in three different conditions: consistent, inconsistent, and neutral. Each of these passages described a specific behavioral trait. Thirty participants enrolled in introductory psychology courses at Minnesota State University, Mankato, read these passages in the three conditions. After each passage, they were asked to write down three words describing the main character. The most frequently reported words were selected as behavioral trait targets for the next part of the study. In this experiment, forty participants read twenty-four passages on a computer screen. Following the last line of each passage, a target word was presented. Participants were asked to name the target word aloud as quickly as possible. The passages were either consistent or neutral with these target traits. Participants' naming time was facilitated for target traits that followed consistent passages but not for target traits that followed neutral passages. This is evidence that behavioral trait inferences were made. These results will be used to further investigate the effects of trait inferences on reading and memory.

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Are Stereotypes Inherently Negative? Assessing Activation in Memory for Positive and Negative Stereotypes

Amber Scheierl (Department of Psychology)
Karla Lassonde, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

The influence of stereotypes on behavior and beliefs has been studied extensively in psychology. Early research of stereotypes made use of primarily explicit measures, which examined overt attitudes. Recent studies have examined stereotypes using implicit measures to avoid social desirability. A series of experiments by Lassonde (2008) examined stereotype activation during reading. Participants read passages in which stereotypes were not directly stated but were likely inferred early-on in the passage. Reading time was slowed for subsequent text in which presented information was inconsistent with the inferred stereotype.

In the current experiment we assessed whether or not activation of stereotypes would vary as a function of whether the stereotype was either positive or negative. Thirty participants from Minnesota State University, Mankato who were enrolled in introductory psychology courses, read twenty-four passages on a computer screen. The passages contained information about a character which was intended to activate a stereotype. This context was followed by a target sentence in which information was either consistent or inconsistent with the inferred stereotype. The time it took participants to read target sentences was measured. The results replicated earlier work; that is, reading time was slowed for target sentences in which presented information was inconsistent with stereotypes when compared to reading time for target sentences containing consistent information. However, reading time was slower for negative inconsistent target sentences than positive inconsistent target sentences. The implication of these results on our understanding of stereotypes will be discussed.

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Selected Language Skills of Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Ellen M. Henkelman (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitative Services)
Bonnie Lund, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitative Services)

This research project explains Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and its affect on individuals' speech and language skills. The background, history, physical anomalies, and characteristics of FASD were also discussed. With more in depth concentration on speech and language, further descriptions were given on the language comprehension, articulation, and fluency difficulties that individuals with FASD may face. A qualitative research study was done to gain knowledge from the experience of raising a child with FASD. The results of the research were coded and categorized, and final assertions were made regarding the development of individuals with FASD, including their speech and language development.

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Faculty Beliefs and Attitudes toward Grieving Students

Samuel Aron (Department of Community Health)
Amy Hedman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Community Health)

Students often experience the loss of their loved one and are caught in a grieving process that can range from one day to many days depending on their culture. This grieving will definitely have some effect on the learning process of the student, and thus affects their success. Our plan was to conduct an online survey to a random sample of MSU-Mankato full-time instructional faculty and analyze the following issues: faculty's comfort level discussing death with students and faculty's comfort level referring their students to counseling services. The likelihood that faculty will provide accommodations to grieving students is measured among a sample of college faculty. Faculty's perceptions of students' likelihood to discuss death with them, the relationship between empathy reported among faculty and likelihood faculty will provide accommodations to grieving students were studied. Results from this study indicated that faculty reacted positively toward the grieving student.

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Reflections on the Conduct of Research with Human Subjects Across Two Cultures

Kimberly M. Maas (Department of Sociology and Corrections)
Elizabeth Sandell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood Education, College of Education)

This study examined the potential benefits, challenges, and barriers faced by university students and research colleagues who were involved in international partnerships for cross-cultural research projects between the United States and Russia. In scholarly investigations in the United States, research subjects must be informed of the precautions that will be taken to protect their safety and their privacy (Amdur, Bankurt 2002). Particularly in Russia, there are no counterparts to the procedures followed by university institutional review boards for working with human subjects. Furthermore, international partnerships have faced new challenges as a result of the restructuring of American security since the events of September 11, 2001. This study focused on trust in international partnership, challenges of funding and institutional support, reliability of data, and the influence of institutions on research processes. Researchers used grounded theory and auto ethnography to code and inductively analyze data from semi-structured interviews and personal experiences in the field.

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Session 7 1:00 – 3:00 CSU 201

Business Law

Employment Background Checks
Eric Lucker, Brianne Sorensen (Department of Accounting), Christopher Swol (Department of Economics), Brittanie Schafer (Department of Human Resources), Eric Nagel (Department of Construction Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

References, Opening the Lines of Communication
Joshua Schultz, Jonathan Elwood (Department of Construction Management), Kristin Ashe, Heather Johnson (Department of Accounting), Leah Kahler (Department of Management and Human Resources), David Lindell (Department of Sports Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

History of Sexual Assaults at MNSU and the Legal Liability for Them
Robert Brommel, Thomas Homan, Nicole Comstock (Department of Human Resource Management), Molly Cunningham (Department of Accounting), Thomas Lyon (Department of Spanish), Tim Hansen (Department of Construction Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

You have been falsely accused of sexual harassment, now what? The top 10 things to consider
Anna Holst, Adam Vortherms, Amanda Wise, Anthony Untiedt (Department of Management)
Angela Larson, Adam Mikelson (Department of Accounting)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

The Effects of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on Employers in the Mid-West.
Michelle Reiners (Department of Human Resource Management), Leonette-Ann Riley, Mariel Korton, Melissa Erdman (Department of Accounting), Marissa Baumann (Department of Music Industry), Matt Sayre (Department of Construction Management)
Vicki M. Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

False Entrapment
Jenny Starken (Department of Marketing), James Christianson (Department of Finance), John Matheson, Jenny Nass, Jared Andrashko (Department of Management), Ike McWaters (Department of Construction Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Mankato University On-Campus Penalties for Students Involved in Off-Campus Activities
Scott Trnka, Ray Betts, Mark Robinson (Department of Business Management) Nate Day, Wade Skogstad (Department of Construction Management), Tadd Tepfer (Department of Marketing Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Identity Theft: The growing problem amongst MSU college students
Kevin Clark, Matthew Dulany (Department of Accounting), Lindsey Rague (Department of Sports Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Accounting and Business Law)

Session 8 1:00 – 3:00 CSU 255

Human Performance, Speech Communications, and Women’s Studies

Perceptions of Female Elite Athletes Posing Semi-Nude or Nude
Alicia J. Johnson (Department of Human Performance)
Cindra Kamphoff and Suzannah Armentrout, Faculty Mentors (Department of Human Performance)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Large Grant

Selling Gender: Gender Role Portrayals in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements
Laura Pelletier (Department of Speech Communication)
Daniel Cronn-Mills, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Performance as Advocacy for Abused Survivors
Megan Rae (Department of Communication Studies)
Rachel Droogsma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Communication Studies)

Tina Fey’s Parody of Sarah Palin
April M. Larson (Department of Speech Communication)
Daniel Cronn-Mills, Leah White, James Dimock, Faculty Mentor (Department of Speech Communication)

Comfort Women, Intersectionality and the Importance of Women’s Voices
Miho Chisaki (Department of Women’s Studies)
Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

The Representation of Women in American Western Film and Literature
Jessica Sebold (Department of Women’s Studies)
Anne O’Meara, Faculty Mentor (Department of English)

Griots: Transformations in Young Woman of Color
Donna McGhee-Weaver (Department of Women’s Studies)
Helen Crump, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)
Avra J. Johnson, Interim Asst. VP, Mentor (Department of Academic Affairs)

Sexual Violence Education Programs Presented in Public Schools
Teresa Parker (Department of Psychology and Department of Women’s Studies)
Lauren Pilnick, Staff Mentor (Women’s Center)

The Influence of Participation in an Aerobic Conditioning Class in College-Aged Students
BreAnna Kruger, Amanda Trost (Department of Exercise Science)
Mary Visser, Faculty Mentor (Department of Exercise Science)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Session 9 1:00– 3:00 CSU 204

Social Work

An Exploratory Study of Hiring Difficulties Among Rural Social Service Staff in Minnesota.
Renee A. Lips (Department of Social Work)
Paul F.E. Mackie, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

The Cost-Effectiveness of Providing Transportation
Samantha Henrich (Department of Social Work)
Chris Black-Hughes, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

HIV Support Group Needs Assessment
Jennifer Kolstad (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

What is the Purpose of a Street Outreach Program and How Will it Benefit Lutheran Social Service of Mankato, Minnesota?
Rachel Johnston (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

Transition Services for Youth: Are the Services Working?
Ilhan Duale (Department of Social Work)
Laurie Strunk, Faculty Mentor (Department of Social Work)

URC Performace Presentation 3:30 – 4:30 Ostrander Auditorium

Art

Breaking with Traditions
Matthew Bright (Department of Art)
Todd Shanafelt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Art)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Tuesday, April 28 Presenters

Session 10 9:00 – 11:00 CSU 201

Business Law

Analysis of Underage Alcohol Consumption in Blue Earth County
Ann Kincaid (Department of Business Management) Andrea Bauer (Department of Accounting) Brooke Woitas (Department of Sports Management) Tony Muchow (Department of Construction Management) Amanda Ulfers (Department of Sports Management) Alison Buhler (Department of Accounting & Finance)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Member (Department of Business Law)

Should the University Have the Right to Punish Students Who Get Caught Drinking Off Campus?
Chris Perry (Department of Business), Chris Gasner (Department of Business), Connor Nelson (Department of Business), Cornelius Cotton (Department of Business), Bryan Jellinger (Department of Business), Cliff Dodge (Department of Business)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Application of Employment At-Will Principles Among College Students
Anthony Seidl (Department of Accounting), Benjamin Traxler (Department of Accounting), Bethany Imdieke (Department of Finance), Brandon Schlichter (Department of Accounting), Brett Thompson (Department of Accounting), Michelle Meurette (Department of Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Freedom of Speech
Jillene Preusser (Department of Marketing) Jason Barnett, Justin Sawyer (Department of Management) Jon Rivers, Jason Goebel (Department of Finance), Jordan Curtiss (Department of Accounting)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Property for Sale
Ana Silva (Department of Business Law), Amber Flaten (Department of Business Law), Amanda Olson (Department of Business Law), Blane Sharkey (Department of Business Law), Brent Forslund (Department of Business Law), Andrew Paik (Department of Business Law)
Vicky Louma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Proposal on How to Tax Motorists
Megan Rynda, Melissa Neal, Megan Hejhal, Matt Wills, Mike Kipke (Department of Business Law)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Analysis of the Legal Responsibilities of Peers in Alcohol Related Injuries or Deaths
Derek Hahn, Derek Nyvold, Elena Shrestha (Department of Accounting) David Reeb, Grace Lee (Department of Marketing), David Smith (Department of Construction Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

Application of Employment At-Will Principles Among College Students

Anthony Seidl (Department of Accounting), Benjamin Traxler (Department of Accounting), Bethany Imdieke (Department of Finance), Brandon Schlichter (Department of Accounting), Brett Thompson (Department of Accounting), Michelle Meurette (Department of Management)
Vicki Luoma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Business Law)

This project was primarily structured so that there would be better understanding of employment history of college students. For research purposes, a survey of approximately 100 college students asked a number of questions regarding their recent employment history. Within the survey, students were asked the number of jobs they held during college, how many times they have been laid-off, and reasons for being laid-off. After further analysis of the survey, we have made certain conclusions that have allowed us a better understanding of employment patterns among college students.

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Session 11 9:00– 11:00 CSU 255

Psychology

Peer Pressure & Need for Approval in Social Situations Involving Alcohol
Ashley M. Weaver (Department of Psychology)
Emily Stark, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

Testing a New Cultural Priming Effect on Self Perception and Spatial Perception
Miwako Fujikata (Department of Psychology)
Vinai Norasakkunkit, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

Assessment of College Students’ Perceptions and Knowledge of Alcohol Before and After Risk-Reducing Drinking Presentation.
Katie Woloszyk (Department of Psychology)
Emily Stark, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

Visual Misperceptions Due to Time Constraints
Laura Aldrich (Department of Psychology)
Dr. Jonathan Page, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

Child Resilience and Family Support: Can Parent and Sibling Support Be Harmful for Children in Stressed Family Environments?
Amanda Baker (Psychology)
Sarah Sifers, Faculty Mentor, (Department of Psychology)

Test-Retest Reliability on a Survey Measure of School Psychology Practices
Seth Sorensen, Charlotte Hoffman (Department of Psychology)
Kevin Filter, Faculty Mentor (Department of Psychology)

Session 12 9:00 – 11:00 CSU 204

Women's Studies

Relationship Violence: Risk Factors for Adolescents
Antoinette Wall (Department of Women’s Studies)
Barbara Keating, Faculty Mentor (Department of Sociology)

The Relationship Between Women of Third World Countries and the Environment, the Overlap of Oppression and the Role Ecofeminism is Playing
Melissa Kjolsing (Department of Women’s Studies)
Helen Crump, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

Gender, Class and Globalization:  A Historical Analysis of Sweatshops in China and Mexico.
Ann Goldsbury (Department of Women’s Studies)
Susan Freeman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

Mixed Messages: The Contradiction of Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign Against Their Better-Aging Products
Meagan Steele (Department of Women’s Studies)
Susan Freeman, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

Online Anti-choice Rhetoric: A New Generation, the Same Old Deception.
Emily Dolentz (Department of Women’s Studies)
Jocelyn Stitt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

The Virginal Archetype: Female Representation in the Slasher Film
Shannon Claybaugh (Department of Women’s Studies)
Helen Crump, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

Domestic Violence in Relationships
Amber Hansen (Department of Women’s Studies)
Jennifer Scheman Snell, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women Studies)

“Doubly Disadvantaged?”: The Presidential Candidacy of Shirley Chisholm
Andrea Diekman (Department of Women’s Studies)
Jocelyn Stitt, Faculty Mentor (Department of Women’s Studies)

Relationship Violence: Risk Factors for Adolescents

Antoinette Wall (Department of Women’s Studies)
Dr. Barbara Keating, Faculty Mentor (Department of Sociology)

Males and females can be both victims and perpetrators of relationship violence. Research shows that females are usually the victims of relationship violence. Using qualitative content analysis, I examine some of the different risk factors that may lead adolescents to become perpetrators or victims of relationship violence. Some risk factors may include self-esteem, rigid sex-role ideas, parents in violent relationships, and friends who are in violent relationships. These risk factors do not apply to every case of adolescent relationship violence. Relationship violence among adolescents is important to study so we can find out when and why acceptance of relationship violence starts. This then can help us find ways to prevent these patterns from reoccurring later on in life.

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Poster Session C 10:00 – 12:00 CSU Ballroom South/Center

College of Science, Engineering, and Technology

#1 - Comparing the Potential Cellulosic Ethanol Production of Five Prairie Grasses
Alex Cahlander-Mooers and Janet Wood (Department of Biological Sciences)
Christopher Ruhland, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Large Grant

#2 - Confirmation of the Polyglutamine Protein KIAA1946’s Intracellular Localization.
Esther Erosmosele, Megan Fischer (Department of Biological Sciences)
Geoffrey Goellner, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#3 - Intracellular Localization of the Novel Polyglutamine Protein KIAA1946
Daniel L. Haus (Department of Biological Sciences)
Geoffrey Goellner, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#4 - Effect of Normal Polyglutamine Polymorphism on Huntington Disease Protein Function.
Mark Thompson (Department of Biological Sciences)
Geoffrey Goellner, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#5 - Effects of Reduced Aldosterone on Resting Blood Pressure in the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) Rat
Angela Sanderson (Department of Biological Sciences)
Penny Knoblich, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#6 - Vasculature Regeneration Following Partial Hepatectomy in the Rat
Brittany Frank, Sarah Karalus (Department of Biological Sciences)
Dr. Michael Bentley, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#7 - Anatomical Characterization of the Rat Peripheral Neurovasculature
Chelsea Vreeman, Stacy Singfiel (Department of Biological Sciences)
Dr. Michael Bentley , Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#8 - Determination of the Mechanism Through Which Activated Charcoal Amendment of Soils Impacts Soil Microbial Community Catabolic Activity
Adam Mely (Department of Biological Sciences)
Timothy Secott, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#9 - The Effect of Nutrient Levels on the Allelopathic Ability of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) on Lettuce
Selina Pradhan (Department of Biological Sciences)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#10 - Comparison Of Distiller’s Grain and Corn Gluten Concentrations on the Germination Of Common Weeds: common mallow (Malva neglecta), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and wild garlic (Allium ursinum)
Mark Saxhaug (Department of Biological Sciences)
Brandon Bragg (Department of Biological Sciences)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#11 - Is Chemical Warfare a Mode of Invasion of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arunduacea) in Wetlands?
Jordy Veit (Department of Biological Sciences)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#12 - Effects of pH on Lead Shot Solubility in Water and Sediment in Upstream and Downstream Locations from a Hunting Preserve in Minnesota
Michael DeMars, Cory Denzer, Roland Pavek, Alison Vikla (Department of Biological Sciences)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#13 - Comparison of Nutrients, pH and Total Suspended Solids in Snow Melt from North and South Facing Slopes in the San Juan Mountain Range of Colorado
Jake Engelman, Wes Gardner (Department of Environmental Science and Geography) Richard Knowlton (Department of Environmental Science and Geography)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#14 - Determination of the Minimum Concentrations of Ampicillin Needed to Inhibit the Growth of Gram-Negative Bacteria Recovered From Tributaries of the Minnesota River
Elias K.Abdi (Department of Biological Sciences)
Timothy E. Secott, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#15 - Determining the Laboratory Conditions Best Suited for Reproduction of Bithynia Tentaculata
Marie Balano (Department of Biological Sciences)
Robert Sorensen , Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#16 - Mycobacterium paratuberculosis Carbon Catabolism in Nutrient-Rich and Nutrient-Poor Environments
Eric Russell, Amanda Vaske (Department of Biological Sciences)
Timothy E. Secott, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#17 - The Impacts of Restored Wetlands and Ravines on Water Quality within the Seven Mile Creek Watershed in South Central Minnesota
Caitlin Langer (Department of Biological Sciences)
Beth Proctor, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#18 -Identifying Currently Unaddressed Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Complexes in Ground Water Systems
Indumini A. Weeramantri, Trista Ayers (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Trent P. Vorlicek, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#19 - Stream Profile Analysis of the Le Sueur River Stream Capture Event
Katherine Schroeder (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Chad Wittkop, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#20 - Allele-Specific PCR and SSCP Analysis of ABO Variants
Yohani K G V Gamage (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

#21 - Investigating the Pathogenesis Response of Soybean Varieties with High Quality Indices
Paskal Pandey and Anil Thapa (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#22 - Effect of Lowered Aldosterone Levels on the Expression of Mineralocorticoid Receptors in Normal and Hypertensive Rat Kidneys
Martina Gray (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#23 - The Effect of Reduced Aldosterone Levels on 11β-HSD Isoform Expression in Normal and Hypertensive Rat Kidney Tissue Using q-PCR
Kristina Dittrich and Linet Nyarobi (Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Terry Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology

#24 - Identification of a reaction by-product in the synthesis of tetradecyl chloride.
Chad Kratochwill (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Dr. Brian Groh, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

#25 - Facilitated Attachment of the N-(3-Hydroxypropyl) Urea Unit to a Solid Phase Resin Using 9-Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (FMOC) as a Protecting and Quantifying Group
Souksavanh Phaengkhouane (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Michael J. Lusch, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

#26 - Quantifying the Immunoreactivity of Polyclonal IGG and IGY
Tizazu Cheritu and Ben Weingartz (Department of Biological Sciences)
Marilyn Hart, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

#27 - Identifying the Specific DNA Sequence that is the Target for Potential Anti-Cancer Agent “SOS”
Elizabeth M. Gripentrog (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Danaè Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

#28 - Investigating the Role that Compounds in Vanilla and Cinnamon Play in Preventing Cancer
Vy T. T. Nguyen (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Danaè Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

#29 - How Guided Inquiry Classes Affect Students’ Learning Chemistry
Brendan P. Roggow (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Jeffrey Pribyl, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

#30 - Synthesis of a Novel Podophyllotoxin Derivative for Use as an Anti-Cancer Drug
Abigail K. Wagner (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Danaè Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#31 - Fluid Movement through the Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota
Kyle Makovsky (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Dr. Steven Losh, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

#32 - Evaluation of Pretreatment Methods in the Production of Ethanol from Cattail Leaves
Kristen Krahmer (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Elijah N. Wreh (Department of Biological Sciences)
James E. Rife, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#33 - Bach Flower Essence Extraction and Identification of Mimulus Extracts
Zane Hauck (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Danaè Quirk Dorr, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Conference Small Grant

#34 - Individual Fly Behavior in Drosophila Lines Selected for Extreme Geotaxis Response
Elijah Wreh, Justin Perlich, and Chad Taylor (Department of Biological Sciences)
Daniel P. Toma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Intracellular Localization of the Novel Polyglutamine Protein KIAA1946

Daniel L. Haus (Department of Biological Sciences)
Geoffrey M. Goellner, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

Of the more than 20,000 proteins coded for within our human genome, a significant percentage remains completely unstudied. One such uncharacterized gene product is the novel 92kDa protein KIAA1946. While little is known regarding KIAA1946’s molecular function in cells, two important features can be inferred from bioinformatic analysis of its protein sequence: (1) it is likely a transmembrane protein, and (2) it contains a polyglutamine (polyQ) region. This last feature is particularly interesting since a number of severe neurodegenerative disorders (Ex. Huntington’s Disease) are caused by mutation of the polyQ stretch within their respective gene products. As an initial step in characterizing the cellular function of KIAA1946, our lab has constructed a KIAA1946-GFP fusion protein, and performed fluorescent microscopy localization experiments in tissue culture cells. Consistent with the bioinformatic data, these early experiments showed that KIAA1946 displays a vesicular staining pattern in the cytoplasm of Cos-7 cells- reminiscent of endosomes or lysosomes. In this study, we employ a co-immunofluorescence assay (with known endosomal and lysosomal marker proteins) to definitively determine which vesicular compartment KIAA1946 localizes to. Our preliminary data suggests that KIAA1946 is likely an endosomal-associated protein.

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Effects of Reduced Aldosterone on Resting Blood Pressure in the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) Rat

Angela Sanderson (Department of Biological Sciences)
Penny Knoblich, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a well known cause of cardiovascular disease. One component of blood pressure regulation, the sympathetic nervous system (flight or fight system), raises blood pressure during activity or stress. This is believed to explain the association between the “type A personality” (high strung individuals) and hypertension. The second component, blood volume, is primarily regulated by aldosterone, produced in the outermost layer of the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone increases blood pressure by increasing the sodium and water retained by the kidneys, which increases the blood volume. Regulation of blood pressure is complex, but both sympathetic nervous system effects and blood volume are important components. The goal of this research is to determine what effects reduced aldosterone will have on resting blood pressure and blood pressure during activity of the WKY rat. WKY rats were subjected to an adrenal freezing surgery that reduced aldosterone levels. Sham rats, underwent a sham (control) surgery that involves identical incisions and sutures, but no adrenal freezing. Both the adrenal frozen and sham rats were implanted with a remote monitor which will take blood pressure and activity readings hourly, for 48 consecutive hours per week. The use of this device allows elimination of the stress associated with manually measuring blood pressure, and a more accurate determination of the effect of reduced aldosterone on blood pressure.

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Identifying Currently Unaddressed Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Complexes in Ground Water Systems

Indumini A. Weeramantri, Trista Ayers (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Trent P. Vorlicek, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

Fluoroquinolones, a class of powerful antibiotics, enter the environment via waste water effluent and soil applications of human sludge, or agricultural manure. The persistence of fluoroquinolones may pose a threat to aquatic organisms and promote bacterial resistance. Such negative impacts of fluoroquinolone contamination on the environment as well as public health demand that these bioactive components’ environmental fate and transport pathways be clearly defined. According to pharmaceutical literature, metal-fluoroquinolone complexes are likely stable within soils and waste waters. Furthermore, metal-fluoroquinolone complexes often have increased antimicrobial activity relative to the fluoroquinolones alone. However, minimal research has been conducted regarding the role metal-fluoroquinolone complexes may play in environmental systems. Results of previous research done in our laboratory showed that cadmium (Cd; a heavy metal found in animal wastes), Ciprofloxacin (a common veterinary fluoroquinolone antibiotic) and P-nitrophenol (PNP; an herbicidal degradation product) readily combine to form a ternary complex. Current work extends to other transition metals (Fe, Cu, Zn) and various chlorinated nitrophenols, which stem from degradation of herbicides that are often chlorinated. Results point to the likely formation of both soluble and insoluble ternary complexes. Iron, the most prevalent transition metal in natural waters, appears to form the sole soluble ternary complex. Experiments involving the chlorinated nitrophenols are ongoing. Since the base forms of the nitrophenols appear to be required for complex formation, the lower pka values of chlorinated versus nonchlorinated nitrophenols ought to ensure the reactivity of these pesticide degradation products over the range of natural water pH.

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Stream Profile Analysis of the Le Sueur River Stream Capture Event

Katherine Schroeder (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Dr. Chad Wittkop, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

The Le Sueur River—a major tributary of the Blue Earth River, which leads to the Minnesota River—is a principle source of sediment to Lake Pepin, which is filling in at an increasing rate. The Le Sueur River is unusual because it shows clear evidence of a recent stream capture event, which diverted the mouth of the river from downtown Mankato (along Stoltzman Road) to the Blue Earth River. With the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), I determined longitudinal profiles of the Le Sueur River and the Blue Earth River. The longitudinal profile shows the change in elevation of the riverbed over distance from the mouth. With these profiles, I identified the location of knickzones, which are sections of the profile with steeper slope that produce high amounts of erosion. I also used GIS to locate terraces, which mark where the river existed before it started cutting a new channel. I have obtained samples of material within the abandoned channel for absolute age dating using optically stimulated luminescence, which determines the time of last exposure of quartz to sunlight. By comparing the position of the Le Sueur River knickzone with the Blue Earth River knickzone, I determined the relative significance of the stream capture event in the evolution of the stream profile. Absolute age dating was used to quantify the results of the GIS analysis and determine the relationship between the stream capture event and the excess sediment load generated by the Le Sueur River.

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Allele-Specific PCR and SSCP Analysis of ABO Variants

Yohani K G V Gamage (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

The ABO blood group system is the most important blood group system for various clinical applications. Some genetic variants of the four basic blood groups A, B, AB and typing that have been problematic in some cases of transfusion medicine. These variants were usually different by only one nucleotide and are called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). The purpose of this study was to develop a quick and simple methodology called Allele Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction- Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism (ASPCR- SSCP) to discover novel variants of ABO alleles and especially new O variant alleles. This PCR-SSCP method amplified and separated DNA molecules based on subtle differences in single stranded DNA sequences and resulted in different banding patterns on a 15% gel following denaturation to single stranded forms. The ability to use allele specific amplification prior to SSCP analysis simplified patterns for heterozygotes. For this study DNA was isolated from blood samples using a column capture kit. Two new sets of primers were designed for both region 1 (exon 6) and region 3 (nucleotides 628-940 of exon 7) of the ABO gene. DNAs were amplified by PCR technique and then analyzed on a 15% polyacrylamide gel following formamide denaturation. The variant represented by new banding pattern was further identified using a Li-Cor DNA sequencer. This study showed that the PCR-SSCP method is an efficient and cost effective way for ABO genotyping to be used in applied research.

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Investigating the Pathogenesis Response of Soybean Varieties with High Quality Indices

Paskal Pandey and Anil Thapa (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

Plants have the ability to defend themselves against pathogens by activating the expression of pathogenesis related (PR) proteins. Very little is known about the induction of these proteins and how breeding for protein quality affects the expression of these PR genes. These proteins include several protein classes; the first two classes include a PR-1a protein and a beta -1,3- endoglucanase enzyme. The objective of this research project was to investigate whether these PR proteins were induced by mechanical wounding, and whether this induction of mRNA expression was similar in two soybean varieties that differed in their protein quality. Soybeans were germinated and cotyledon leaves were mechanically wounded.; Tissues were harvested at varying times following wounding and the RNAs were extracted using a Qiagen RNeasy Kit. After quantitation, the soybean RNAs were used to synthesize complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) using a reverse transcription kit. Primers were designed and the cDNAs formed were simultaneously amplified and quantified using the real time polymerase chain reaction method and SYBR Green dye (qPCR). The method was first optimized to allow for quantitation of both PR mRNAs and the housekeeping mRNA, beta actin. Then, it was used to measure differences in the PR mRNAs in the control and wounded tissues of two different soybean varieties.

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Effect of Lowered Aldosterone Levels on the Expression of Mineralocorticoid Receptors in Normal and Hypertensive Rat Kidneys

Martina Gray (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
*Recipient of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation Grant

Hypertension is a major health concern among adults worldwide that can lead to cardiac morbidity or death. One cause of hypertension stems from the relationship between the binding of aldosterone and active glucocorticoids to the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Aldosterone or active glucocorticoid hormones bind to the MR; this event signals the synthesis of proteins that cause hypertension. Previous results have shown that cryodestruction of the adrenal gland outer layer reduced the levels of aldosterone, but did not always lower blood pressure in the mothers or progeny. These data could have resulted from a compensating increase in the binding by active glucocorticoids or from an increase in the expression of MR. In order to test the latter hypothesis, the levels of the MR were measured in control rat kidney tissues and treated rat kidney tissues. RNA was isolated and quantified from the kidney tissue and then reverse transcribed. Primers and labeled probes were designed for an exon junction region in the MR cDNA and for an exon junction region in a housekeeping cDNA. A real time polymerase chain reaction method was optimized to measure the levels of mineralocorticoid RNA. Then this method was applied to assess differences between the cryo- treated tissues and between normal and hypertensive rat kidney tissues.

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The Effect of Reduced Aldosterone Levels on 11β-HSD Isoform Expression in Normal and Hypertensive Rat Kidney Tissue Using q-PCR

Kristina Dittrich and Linet Nyarobi (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Theresa Salerno, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase (11β-HSD) exists in two isoforms, 11β-HSD1 and 11β-HSD2.  These two enzymes regulate levels of glucocorticoids ; 11β-HSD1 converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol, while 11β-HSD2 catalyzes the opposite reaction. Since cortisol and aldosterone both bind to the mineralocortocoid receptor (MR), increases in cortisol can result in hypertension. The goals of this experiment were to measure the effect of decreased aldosterone levels on the levels of the 11β-HSD isoenzymes. Specifically, we assessed whether there is compensation by the 11β-HSD isoenzymes to account for the observations that blood pressures were not lowered by the decreased aldosterone levels. The specific question addressed was whether there was an upregulation or downregulation of messenger RNA expressions for either isoenzyme and whether the subsequent effect on cortisol levels resulted in hypertension. Our research focused on the experimental design and the development of methodology; design of primers and probes, RNA isolation and quantification, reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Kidney tissues were obtained and RNAs were successfully extracted from normotensive control Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), which underwent surgical destruction of the adrenal glands or a sham surgery. A real time PCR method was optimized and then used to compare mRNA levels of the two isoenzymes relative to mRNA levels of a housekeeping gene.

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Identification of a reaction by-product in the synthesis of tetradecyl chloride.

Chad Kratochwill (Department of Chemistry & Geology)
Dr. Brian Groh, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry & Geology)

In the synthesis of tetradecyl chloride from tetradecyl alcohol and phosphorus pentachloride, an undesired white precipitate was observed to form with the product. After purification of the product and isolation of the by-product these materials we characterized by infrared and NMR spectroscopy. 1H and 31P NMR as well as 31P decoupled proton spectra were obtained. These data proved that some protons were spin-coupled to a phosphorus nucleus in the by-product sample . From these data we were able to deduce that the by-product is possibly an amphipathic salt containing phosphorus and a tetradecyl alkyl group. The by-product structure and supporting spectral data will be presented.

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Facilitated Attachment of the N-(3-Hydroxypropyl) Urea Unit to a Solid Phase Resin Using 9-Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (FMOC) as a Protecting and Quantifying Group

Souksavanh Phaengkhouane (Department of Chemistry and Geology)
Michael J. Lusch, Faculty Mentor (Department of Chemistry and Geology)

In the search for new drug compounds, the current focus has been shifted to a class of compounds called peptidomimetics, which contain urea as possible drug candidates. Peptidominetics are compounds that mimics the biological activity of peptides but possess superior pharmacokinetic properties such as absorption, metabolic stability and a lower toxicity. Previous studies involving the synthesis of urea compounds have been done using solid phase synthesis and the toxic compound phosgene or one of its derivatives. Using a method similar to those used by Kearney, et al., the goal of my research is to see if I can synthesize 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl isocyanate by the reaction of commercially available 9-fluorenylmethyl chloroformate with potassium cyanate. By using potassium cyanate instead of phosgene, the experiment becomes safer and reduces the number of steps needed to produce the isocyanate intermediate. Reaction of the FMOC isocyanate with an O-protected 3-hydroxypropyl amine and removal of the O protecting group would then give an FMOC-protected N-(3-hydroxypropyl)urea which could be attached to a solid phase resin through its hydoxyl functional group. Removal of the FMOC group under standard conditions would then release the free resin-bound propylurea and would also allow the measurement of the amount of urea attached to the resin. Results from the research could lead to the creation of a library of compounds containing urea for further studies in the areas of chemical genetics and combinatorial chemistry. Future studies involving the collection of urea compounds could yield biologically active properties and new possible drug candidates.

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Individual Fly Behavior in Drosophila Lines Selected for Extreme Geotaxis Response

Elijah Wreh, Justin Perlich, and Chad Taylor (Department of Biological Sciences)
Daniel P. Toma, Faculty Mentor (Department of Biological Sciences)
*Recipient of Undergraduate Research Center Small Grant

How do parts contribute to the whole of the organism? And is the whole greater than its parts? Fifty years ago, Dr. Jerry Hirsch began a series of now famous experiments to ask these types of questions regarding behavior. How do certain parts – the genes - contribute to complex behavior in animals? By breeding populations of flies walking up (away from gravity: negative geotaxis) and those that walked down (toward gravity: positive geotaxis) in a t-choice maze, he established Hi and Lo behavioral lines of flies, respectively.; Using these, he was the first to scientifically prove a genetic basis for behavior.; Hirsch’s flies were tested as populations, never as individuals. Therefore, we are studying individual flies, as opposed to groups, to ask 1) how does individual behavior of the selected populations differ from un-selected flies, 2) how did individual decision making change due to selection, and 3) does individual behavior differ from its group? By studying flies based on a binary-choice paradigm, results showed long-term selection produced significant changes in the behavioral response of individual flies. Female flies of the Hi line were very predictable, while the neutral flies were totally random; there is no such thing as a truly neutral fly. All males have moderate predictability - selection appears to have principally acted through males. In addition, search behavior through the maze has been changed and it appears that the Lo line individuals differ significantly from their population in behavior. Other possible differences are presently being examined as well.

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