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UW-RF Students Receive Funding for Research

By Molly Exner
UW-RF News Bureau

NOV. 18, 2004--The UW-River Falls College of Arts and Sciences awarded more than $5,000 to 17 undergraduate students to support on or off-campus student research.

Last spring, the University Foundation contacted CAS alumni looking for ideas and support to establish a grant program for students interested in working on scholarly or creative projects.

Nearly 500 alumni and friends responded, and together they created the CAS Fund for Excellence designed to support student participation with faculty in specific areas of student interest.

"The University is developing a very strong program of undergraduate research, and it has been very exciting to see the wide variety of projects and activities students are engaged in to extend their educational experiences at UW-RF," says Gorden Hedahl, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The funds have contributed to projects from nearly every program and segment of the College of Arts and Sciences and have supported activities ranging from science experiments to arts performances to social science projects and presentations.

Individual grants cover supplies, project expenses, research, travel and conference attendance. The fund also promotes educational opportunities that exist beyond the classroom, which result in empowering experiences for participating students.

According to Hedahl, several students have indicated that they might not have been able to complete their projects without this assistance, and some students have already reported that their research had an impact on their applications for graduate schools and job opportunities.

"I'm extremely pleased that we have been able to have that kind of effect on students and the departmental faculty that work with them," said Hedahl.

The following is a list of awarded UW-RF students, hometowns, projects and advising faculty members:

Art
Ashley Ryan Hawke: Hometown: Oakdale, Minn. Project: Regional artist Rianna de Raad will provide a one-day workshop for eight students developing a mosaic work for the Klienpell Fine Arts Building. Advisor: Lynn Jermal, professor and director of art education.
Gregori Starrett: Hometown: River Falls, Wis. Project: Art installation materials for a senior art show. Advisor: Peter Mak, assistant professor.

Biology
Kendra Scudder: Hometown: Verona, Wis. Project: Research to determine the effect of synthetic estrogen on feminization mutations in C. elegans. Advisor: E. Katherine Miller, associate professor.

Chemistry
Sarah Barfknecht: Hometown: River Falls, Wis. Project: Purchase chemicals to synthesize new compounds that may have commercial usefulness as analgesic drugs. Advisor: David Rusterholz, professor.
Steve Cummings: Hometown: Spring Valley, Wis. Project: Synthesize cystine trisulfide (CS3) with a simpler, new method. CS3 is useful in the treatment of some types of poisoning. Advisor: David Rusterholz, professor.

Music
Colleen Cantlon: Hometown: Ettrick, Wis. Project: Enable participation in two honors' band ensembles. Advisor: Kristin Tjornehoj, professor.

Physics
Michael Majer: Hometown: Madison, Wis. Project: purchase and install eyepiece accessories for UW-RF telescope, followed by quantification of the telescope's angular resolution with the new accessories. Advisor: Glenn Spiczak, assistant professor.
Amanda Pittman: Hometown: Hudson, Wis. Project: Purchase viewing hours at the Tenagera Observatory in Arizona for the purpose of determining the rotational period of the asteroid 2973 Paola, which contains new information to help physicists determine the evolution of the solar system. Advisor: Matt Vonk, assistant professor.
Allen Riley: Hometown: Hudson, Wis. Project: Light fixtures for observation deck at UW-RF to reduce light pollution. Advisor: Glenn Spiczak, assistant professor.
Michael Sykora: Hometown: Deer Park, Wis. Project: Purchase and install CCD
electronic imaging camera on UW-RF telescope, then photograph celestial objects and install a display of them in the observatory lobby on campus. Advisor: Glenn Spiczak, assistant professor.

Psychology
Katarina Bengtsson: Hometown: River Falls, Wis. Project: Poster presentation on attitudes about racism at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago, Ill., May 5-7. Advisor: Cyndi Kernahan, assistant professor.
Michelle Gryczkowski: Hometown: Somerset, Wis. Project: Poster presentation on the predictors of road rage behavior at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago, Ill., May 5-7. Advisor: Travis Tubre, professor.
Matthew Schuelke: Hometown: Glidden, Wis. Project: Paper presentation on the
predictors for academic success in first-year college students at Rocky Mountain McNair Research Symposium, March 31-April 3. Advisor: Travis Tubre, professor.
Casey Smedstad: Hometown: St. Cloud, Minn. Project: Poster presentation on
how perceptions about mental illness vary depending on the gender and social status of a mentally ill person at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago, Ill., May 5-7. Advisor: Cyndi Kernahan, assistant professor.

Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice.
Brianna Larson: Hometown: Danbury, Wis. Purpose: Project: Underwater camera for use in an internship conducting research on coral reefs for Green Reef, an environmental organization in Belize, Central America. Advisor: Ed Robins, professor.

Speech Communication and Theatre Arts
Gabriel Richmond: Hometown: River Falls, Wis. Project: Present research paper on a cultural shift during Tai Kwan Do training at Central States Communication Association Conference in April 2005. Advisor: Jennifer Willis-Rivera, assistant professor.
Virginia Steffen: Hometown: River Falls, Wis. Project: Entrance fees for five film
festivals to allow submission of the short film, "Her Own Truth," which was produced during fall 2004. Advisor: Ken Stofferahn, professor.


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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:18 Central Daylight Time

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