for student researchers requesting changes to project
Spreadsheet for Budget Adjustment Requests
||Meeting Time and Location|
|September 17, 2013||September 24, 2013|
|October 15, 2013||October 22, 2013|
|November 19, 2013||November 26, 2013|
|January 21, 2014||January 28, 2014|
|February 18, 2014||February 25, 2014|
|March 18, 2014||March 25, 2014|
|April 15, 2014||April 22, 2014|
red squares =
green dots = travel to use analytical instruments
Michael Gubler (Biology working
with Dr. Matthew
Stone) - The Effect of Inflammatory Mediators
Histamine and Interleukin 1-β on Serotonin Uptake in
Platelets are peculiar bits of cytoplasm that play an important physiological role in the formation of clots. Platelets have the ability to uptake monoamines (such as serotonin and norepinephrine) and store them in organelles called dense granules which they release when they form a clot. These monoamines improve vascular repair by enhancing platelet aggregation and by causing vasoconstriction. It is theorized that inflammatory signals may induce more platelet monoamine uptake so that the platelets will have more monoamines to release at the site of vascular damage; which in theory would work in homeostasis to augment vascular repair. The focus of this research is to see if two major inflammatory signals, histamine and interlukin 1-β, affect the uptake of monoamines like serotonin.
Daughtry (Sociology working
with Dr. Joleen
Greenwood) - Pornography and the Sexual
Objectification of Women presented at the ASA Honors Program
In our society today, objectifying women is the norm—through media images, advertising, or even pornography. The research paper sought to examine the cultural issue of female sexual objectification. Females in media resisting these representations, as well as reclaiming negative terms, are discussed, as well as the concrete harms these patriarchal ideas can cause.
A connection has been found between men's violence against women and media, especially in pornography. The paper considers societal definitions of men and women, how these ideas are portrayed, and the damage caused for both females and males in our culture. While many of these misogynistic messages are unavoidable, it is important to consciously resist and challenge mainstream, normalized pornography and ideas of objectified female bodies. The paper notes that, in resisting, females must also consider the use of responsive violence.
The paper also briefly looks at the sex trafficking industry, and its reflection of—while more extreme—our own accepted culture, where women exist as objects for the purpose of serving men. The paper concludes with the potential power in confronting the cultural patriarchal standards where possible, and resisting the misogynistic "norms" of society..
Many planktonic organisms show a specific behavior termed diel
vertical migration, wherein they migrate down to deeper waters
during the daytime and return to surface waters at night for
feeding. As they move through the water column, they move through
increasing pressures with depth. These pressure changes cause
physiological and sometimes behavioral changes in the organism. I
am currently exploring these effects in laboratory cultures of the
freshwater plankton Daphnia magna and the saltwater
plankton Mysidopsis bahia. The proposed research will be a
continuation of this study, looking at the effects of increasing
pressures on freshly caught plankton samples. The organisms will
be placed at pressures of 0, 50, and 100 atmospheres, and their
metabolism will be measured by recording O2
consumption. This data will then be compared to the data from the
current lab experiments. This research is important because it
will allow us to better understand physiological changes that
occur in a wide range of planktonic organisms as they are exposed
to increasing pressures..
I am currently a junior Marine
Science Major, in the Biology track. I intend to continue on
to graduate school to study marine animal physiology. I am
especially interested in marine invertebrates, and this
research will provide an excellent opportunity for me to
carry out research in the field on planktonic metabolism.
on as future sociologists and those already a part of the professional sociology world.
working with Dr. Ronald
W. Stoffey) - The Impact of
Interactional Justice on Causal Attributions: A Replication
The idea of fairness in organizations has received considerable attention by organizational scholars and practitioners. Procedural justice refers to the perceived fairness of procedures that are used to allocate or distribute resources. Self-serving bias refers to a phenomenon in which we attribute our personal successes to ourselves and our personal failures to external forces (e.g. your boss, the weather, luck, etc.). In this research, we investigated whether being treated with social sensitivity and given informational justification (a structural determinate of procedural justice called interactional justice) following a failure scenario will cause people to attribute those failures to them thus reversing the self-serving bias.
My name is Alberto Tineo and I
am senior psychology major with an interest in the
Industrial-Organizational field. I was the first in my
family to attend to college and in the future want to also
become the first to attend graduate school. My goal beyond
graduate school is to enter the I-O field and contribute the
knowledge of I-O Psychology to society. I feel this grant
will help me travel to Washington and help meet many people
in the psychology field and I will be able to make
connections that will benefit me in the future.
Grandinetti (Biology working
with Dr. Marilyn
Baguinon) - The Effects of Urbanization on
When trying to analyze the health of a stream, one way is by assessing the larva of insects present in the water. Aquatic insects have a specific tolerance range depending on their species, which allows them to live in areas with specific ranges such as nitrates, pH, or conductivity. By identifying the insects the health of the stream can be assessed using the ranges that each insect family has. One possible effect on the health of a stream would be the amount of urbanization, or how developed an area. It is expected that the greater urbanization the lower the health of the stream which can be seem through the presence of the various insect larva present..
During my time as an
Environmental Science, Biology Major at Kutztown University
I have had many opportunities to do research. In 2011, I
worked with Dr. Allison Roy as a research assistant on her
project studying the effects of Urbanization on Pennsylvania
streams. I have continued this project into my senior year
and chose to finish it as my research in biology. This past
summer I was chosen as an REU student by Blandy Experimental
Farm, with the University of Virginia, and worked as a
researcher on the survival rate of aquatic predators. If I
were to get this grant, I would be able to present the
research I have been working on for two years at my first
conference. With this experience, I will be better prepared
for presenting research and attending conferences for
graduate school which I plan to attend in the fall of 2013.
Science: Biology working with Dr. Wendy Ryan) -
Duration of Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and Steller
sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the Artificial Habitat of
In Mystic, Connecticut the Mystic Aquarium is very special. Not only does this facility have established student-research collaboration with Kutztown University, they also have outdoor exhibits for beluga whales and steller sea lions. Unfortunately, certain populations of the beluga whales and steller sea lions have become endangered and are now protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Having the opportunity to observe these marine mammals is extremely helpful for researchers, such as me, to better understand their behavior during varying times of the day and year. For my research, I will be examining the dive durations of the beluga whales and steller sea lions. Observing the dive durations of these marine mammals can highlight physiological differences between sexes and age. If there is a variation noticed in one sex or in mature animals, then it may provide insights into physiological differences under largely controlled environmental conditions. Having the ability to compare the animals in an artificial environment versus the animals in their natural environment is another important aspect of observing the dive durations. For example, throughout the day, the beluga whales and steller sea lions are fed by the Mystic Aquarium trainers through “enrichment training” but when these animals are in their “wild environments” they forage for their food, therefore dive duration varies greatly on a daily basis as a function of foraging activities. I will be observing the dive durations and other behaviors performed by these marine mammals approximately once a month throughout the spring and fall semester of 2013 and the spring semester of 2014. After all is said and done, I plan on presenting the results of my research during the spring 2014 semester..
Growing up, I had always had a
fascination about the oceans and it's inhabitants, therefore
I had chosen to be a Marine Science Biology major at
Kutztown University. The fall of my sophomore year, I
was selected by Dr. Adrienne Oakley to study the magnetic
anomalies and topography of a selected area in the Pacific
Ocean. During this trip I was able to work with 4 other
undergraduates from Kutztown University and researchers from
Scripps, Woods Hole Institute of Oceanography, and Texas
A&M. This research cruise allowed me to learn about
various aspects of marine geology, the research vessel
itself and the protected species observers that I would not
have been able to learn in a classroom and I am so thankful
for gaining that experience and knowledge. The spring of my
junior year, I was asked by Dr. Wendy Ryan to volunteer with
her research students to observe the beluga whales and
steller sea lions of Mystic Aquarium Mystic, CT. A couple
trips later, I had decided to join in on the fun and start
my own research project. With my senior year coming up, I am
planning on continuing my education by applying to graduate
schools that have an interest in marine mammal conservation.
The grant I had received from the URC has allowed me to
continue my research at Mystic Aquarium which will put me
one step ahead in furthering my education..
Kilpatrick (Physics working
with Dr. Kunal Das)
- Effect of Nonlinearity in Matter Wave
We are theoretically evaluating system in which ultra cold atoms are confined to move about a ring under certain potential energy conditions which only allow the atoms to exist in either a spin up or spin down state. We start all of the atoms in the spin up state. If the ring is not rotating, then all of the atoms will transition to spin down. However, if the ring is rotating, some of the atoms are trapped in the spin up state. The proportion of spin up to spin down atoms can give information as to how fast the ring is rotating. We have found that if we consider how the “background noise” of the atoms attracting and repelling each other we can detect far smaller magnitudes of rotation. This component, called nonlinearity, has always been a problem for researchers rather than a benefit. This makes our work very unique in solving a problem using a method others have not been able accomplish.
We have developed a computer program written in a language called Fortran 90 that simulates these conditions and uses the governing laws and equations to provide us theory on what would happen if this experiment were done.
I am a Physics Major at Kutztown
University currently conducting research with Dr. Kunal Das
in the area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics. I
have been working with Dr. Das for over a year now learning
Fortran programming and numerical methods of propagating
quantum wave packets. I am an adult student and veteran of
the United States Marine Corps. I am married and have a
toddler daughter and infant son. I run a small business
which allows me to pay my way back to school. I am
maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Kutztown and hope to go on to a
graduate program upon completion of my undergraduate work
Killeen (Biology working
with Dr. Daniel Aruscavage)
- The comparative analysis on the persistence of Salmonella
enterica Enteritidis on cut romaine lettuce (Lactuca
sativa) versus whole spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
As food borne illness outbreaks in relation to contaminated leafy greens becomes more prevalent, determining a possible cause is imperative to finding an applicable solution. Through this experiment we aim to determine whether contaminated chopped romaine lettuce allows for the growth of Salmonella more freely than contaminated whole spinach leaves. Fresh leafy greens will be soaked with bacteria, dried, and stored in a manner that mimics typical usage by consumers. Contaminated samples will be analyzed daily for four days using microbiological nutrient plating techniques as well as conducting carbohydrate utilization assays using Biolog Ecoplates. The data will be statistically analyzed to determine which leafy green allows for more bacteria persistence. This research could lead to discovering if certain varieties of leafy greens are more susceptible to bacterial contamination and whether after contamination, the bacteria are able to persist under typical use conditions.
As a graduate of the world’s
premier culinary college, a culinary professional, and an
aspiring food microbiologist, this research will allow me to
gain experience using aseptic technique and methodology as
it applies to the field of food science. Successful
completion of this research may prove beneficial in my
acceptance into Graduate school to further my education to
become a Food Scientist. After completing graduate work I
aspire to work with the USDA or an industrial food company
researching methods to reduce bacteria contamination before
and during food commodity manufacturing. Receiving this
grant will fund an invaluable research experience through
which I can hone my research prowess, an opportunity that
will prove to be beneficial in my path towards becoming a
Eric Wink (Geology working
with Dr. Adrienne
Oakley) - Investigating barrier
island migration and storm overwash on Wallops Island, VA
Wallops Island (WI) is a rapidly eroding barrier island located on the Eastern Shore of VA. Barrier islands migrate toward the mainland, or rollover, as a natural part of their development. Barrier Islands are important coastline features because of the amount of protection they offer the mainland and estuarine environments. These islands are strongly affected by sea level rise (SLR) and are constantly being reshaped by currents, waves, and storm surge. Erosion and flooding related to SLR and storms cause difficulties for communities and facilities built on barrier islands. WI is home to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility which is a billion dollar launch, research and training facility and is of great economic importance to the surrounding area. In light of recent and predicted future acceleration in SLR, it is important to understand the natural migration of barrier islands. In this study we use core data collected by vibracore, along with historical photographs, to investigate storm overwash and barrier island migration on WI..
I am a senior Marine Science / Oceanography student. Since 10th grade, I have wanted to study the ocean and work on the beach. Throughout most of my college career I was uncertain which aspect of the marine system interested me the most. Working with Dr. Oakley and fellow students I have learned that oceanography, like the beach, packs all aspects (biology, geology, and conservation) into one interlocked package. I love the thrills and spills associated with research and hope to continue using the many skills I have learned here at KU after graduation- whether through graduate school or a job. This grant will allow me to showcase the work I am capable of doing as well as express my interests and potential while networking with scientists and other students in my field of interest.
Nepal (Biology working
with Dr. Marilyn
Baguinon) - Studies on the
antioxidant and radical scavenging properties of curcumin and
cinnamic acid in Bacillus subtilis
This research focuses on the study of the antioxidant properties of two compounds: curcumin and cinnamic acid on Bacillus subtilis. This bacterium produces oxidative compounds during its normal growth. In this research project, we will determine the anti-oxidative properties of curcumin and cinnamic acid and the effects of these compounds on the growth of Bacillus subtilis.
I’m a senior undergraduate at
Kutztown University. I am majoring in Molecular Biology and
Biochemistry. I have worked at SAAN research institute
(Kathmandu Nepal, 2011) and at the Center for Diagnostic
Nanosystems (Marshall University, WV, 2012-2013). My
research interest is more on drug efficacy on human and
animal model. This research will give me an understanding on
research responsibility, a chance to interact with faculty
members and will help me prepare for my future research
Liasha L. Batson (Biology working
with Dr. Marilyn
Baguinon) - Site-directed mutagenesis of TcUAP1, a
gene that encodes one of the two UDP-N-acetylglucosamine
pyrophosphorylase enzymes in the red flour beetle, Tribolium
The overall goal of this research is to gain understanding in the function(s) and structure-function relationships of the UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase (UAP) enzymes in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Prior studies have provided some insight on some functions of UAP in Drosophila, however, little is known of the function(s) of this enzyme in T. castaneum. To begin to understand the specific function(s) and structure-function relationships of the UAP genes, my project will be focused on TcUAP1, one of two newly discovered genes in Tribolium. What we propose to do is to introduce a mutation in the TcUAP1 gene using site-directed mutagenesis to target specific amino acids in the sequence. The gene which was previously cloned will be introduced with specific mutations and the success of the procedure will be determined through DNA sequencing.
I am currently a senior Biology major, with concentration in Micro/Cell & Molecular Biology. I anticipate my graduation in May, 2013, after which I intend to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology, and eventually a Ph.D. I have a great interest in biological research. This research opportunity is invaluable to my growth as a student, and will equip me with a number of functional and organizational skills that will aid in my success as a future graduate student.
Sanneda Petion (Biology working
with Dr. Angelika
Antoni) - Palmer-Plantar
Keratoderma: Gene Expression and Inhibition
Palmer-Plantar Keritoderma (PPK) is a genetic disease affecting many people around the world. The disease involves a mutation in a protein causing keratin to stick together forming dense masses over the palmer-planter surfaces of the body, hands, soles of the feet and nails. To date no current cure exists, and treatment consists of a painful topical, acid base, ointment application to these surfaces as a means to remove several layers providing temporary relief from pain, cracking and bleeding. Potential infection can be caused by conducting the simplest everyday activities. Last year, we collected DNA samples from a family affected by PPK and identified a mutation in the keratin 1 gene in one member of the affected family. This research aims to confirm the mutation is disease causing by testing other family members, and also to create a model cell line of the disease in order to test potential cures.
My name is Sanneda Petion and I am currently a senior Biology-Pre-Professional student at Kutztown University. Being that my parents are from Haiti, a country with limited medical resources, medicine has always been a fascination of mine. Helping people has always given me a deep sense of satisfaction so choosing to work toward pursuing a career in pharmaceutical research and development only seems natural to me. In doing this research I believe I will experience a joy beyond potentially making a breakthrough but a joy from helping people in need. This grant would help me achieve my overall academic and professional goals in that it will allow me to enter the world of research with confidence and experience.
Boyd (Biology working
with Dr. Todd Underwood) - An Experimental Test of the
Effectiveness of Cleaning Bird Feeders in Winter
Many people place bird feeders in their yards to provide birds with additional resources during the winter. However, few realize that bird feeders may actually be harming birds due to their potential to harbor diseases which could easily spread between birds. The Audubon Society recommends cleaning bird feeders in a 10% bleach solution once or twice a month to potentially decrease the spread of disease at feeders. The goal of my study was to test this recommendation by cleaning one feeder in each on nineteen pairs once every two weeks, while never cleaning the second feeder in each pair. All of the feeders were sampled for bacterial and fungal levels. I found that cleaning feeders did not successful reduce microbial levels on cleaned feeders compared to dirty feeders. Also, overall, the cleaned feeders did not display reduced microbial levels over time. Finally, microbial levels were not correlated to activity at bird feeders. Overall, these results indicate that cleaning bird feeders did not have the expected impact on microbial levels. Still, I recommend that feeders should be cleaned but only once every one to two months or sooner if they appear contaminated with fecal matter or dead birds are present near the feeders because this could be a sign of disease in the area.
I am a senior majoring in
biology at Kutztown University. My long-term goal is combine
my interest in science and my drive to help others by
becoming a nurse. Funding from the Undergraduate Research
Committee will allow me to present my findings at a
professional meeting. Also, this research helped further my
career goal of becoming a nurse by providing me with basic
knowledge of harmful microorganisms and how to properly
remove them from surfaces.
Thomas Bond (Geology working
with Dr. Adrienne
Oakley) - Monitoring Sediment Transport and
Grain Size Distribution Along Wallops Island, Virginia, Pre- and
Wallops Island, a barrier island on the eastern shore of Virginia, has experienced severe erosion for more than a century. This erosion, combined with rising sea level, is causing the shoreline to retreat rapidly to within meters of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, a multi-billion dollar complex. With a narrow beach, storm surge, waves, and high winds cause massive flooding and sand overwash on the island and threaten existing infrastructure. In response to these threats, NASA began to replenish the beach in April 2012, adding millions of cubic yards of sand from an off-shore shoal to the existing beach and in front of the seawall. In order to understand how beach replenishment will affect Wallops Island’s coastal system, including habitats for endangered species and sediment transport and deposition, we established baseline conditions pre-replenishment. We collected sediment samples along the Wallops Island beach from March 2011-April 2012 to determine sediment transport trends and grain size distribution. Our results show a north-south trend in grain size distribution, with coarser sand accumulating to the south and finer grained sand to the north. Wallops Island is experiencing significant accretion to the north and severe erosion to the south. This south to north sediment transport trend is reversed from mid-Atlantic regional transport. This is in part caused by a local reversal in longshore current created by the interaction between tidal outflow from the Chincoteague Inlet and the geometry of Wallops Island and adjacent Assateague Island.
I began my college career as a Marine Science/Biology major, to broaden my knowledge of the “water-world” we inhabit – and what better way to accomplish this than to study something so very few people know anything about, the oceans. This was also a great way for me to add some contrast to my knowledge base, establishing something that will extend beyond what is currently a 7 year career in the United States Army. As the end of my first semester approached, Dr. Oakley presented me with an outstanding research opportunity to join an expedition that would study seafloor magnetics of the Jurassic Quiet Zone in the Western Pacific. This was an offer I could not refuse, and consequently, my major area of study has transitioned into Marine Science/Geology to better match experiences and interests gained through that research cruise. Since then, I have begun working with Eric Sergent and Dr. Oakley on an ongoing research project at Wallops Island, VA. To be awarded this grant would enable me to better broadcast the significance of what is happening to not only Wallops Island, but all barrier islands. I plan to present the current results of this research at the National GSA Conference held in Charlotte, NC, this November. I will continue to collect data throughout the Spring semester and hope to publish the results of this study in a scientific journal. Eventually, I plan to go to graduate school.
working with Dr. Matthew
Junker) - Engineering a GFP based screening
method for tag-fused gene of interest cloning &
Living organisms contain thousands of different proteins, some of which provide basic structure to cells and tissues, while others take on a more active role by catalyzing chemical reactions that make life possible and allow its propagation. Studying specific proteins and their functions in these processes allows us to better understand life at the molecular level. A useful method of producing a particular protein for these studies is to clone its gene into a bacterial plasmid. The plasmid is then incorporated (transformed) into a bacterial cell, which has all the “machinery” needed to read the DNA and produce a desired protein. The “machine” is then “turned on”, or said to be induced by the researcher. Once the protein is made, the cell can be lysed (split open) and the protein be separated (purified). This process is not only useful in studying individual proteins and their interactions with others, but also for large-scale manufacture of medically relevant proteins such as insulin.
The aim of this research project is to design two new plasmids that will be useful in the study of protein function and interaction as described above. In addition to being a new tool for biologists & biochemists in general, I (we) will specifically use them (along with two existing plasmids) to perform functionality and binding interaction studies of human proteins inside of the bacteria Escherichia coli. The two human proteins we will study are related to apoptosis (programmed cell death), which is not yet fully understood but is know to play a role in cancers & neurodegenerative disorders.
I am a non-traditional student
at Kutztown University majoring in Biochemistry &
Biology (micro/molecular/cell) and expect to graduate spring
of 2014. A number of years ago I completed coursework
towards a degree in Finance at Shippensburg University. Life
& disinterest in the subject matter led me to leave
Shippensburg to pursue an opportunity to open a franchised
home improvement business with my father, which we have
operated successfully for the past 10 years. My return to
school at Kutztown University was not a result of wanting to
shift my career path, but instead, to pursue higher
education for personal satisfaction, and to better
understand what has always been more of a casual interest in
biology & the sciences. As I’ve progressed through my
coursework at Kutztown University my interests have
broadened, yet become more focused. Realizing the links, and
importance of chemistry to fully understand much of what I
was learning as a Biology major I decided to add
Biochemistry as a second major. As these interests have
grown through the semesters I have started to consider
graduate programs in the Sciences. I have begun to phase
myself out of my duties within the business in preparation
of a move to whatever graduate program or career
opportunities may be available to me upon my graduation from
Kutztown University. I feel this research opportunity will
allow me to further hone my interests, better my
understanding of biology & biochemistry, and provide me
with valuable “hands on” laboratory experience; all of which
will help in my decision of where to head after graduation.
Caitlin Gaultney (Astronomy/Geology working
with Dr. Erin Kraal)
- Morphology of Craters with Alluvial Fans in Terra
A small percentage of Martian impact craters contain alluvial fans; sedimentary depositional features caused by fluvial transport and identified by their conical shaped layered deposits and source alcoves. Craters with alluvial fans generally occur in three specific regional areas and their pattern of formation is not well understood. For example, it is unclear why alluvial fans occur in certain craters and not others with similar size, type, and morphological characteristics. The large alluvial fans appear to form exclusively within the crater rims, so the process may be linked to the cratering process itself.
This research focuses on Terra Sabaea, where 7 impact craters contain alluvial fans, as identified by Moore and Howard (2005). We analyzed the crater morphology of two groups of craters in this region; those modified by alluvial fans and those not modified by alluvial fans. Using the crater characteristics reported in Robbins and Hynek (2012) database, we compared the two groups. In addition, we compared the crater rim curvature between the two groups by selecting representative craters and extracting eight elevation profiles using gridded MOLA topography. We calculated the curvature of the crater rims using two different approaches. The first method, outlined in Moore and Howard (2005) and Kraal et al. (2008), describes how concave or convex the profile of the crater is. The second method, used by Mangold et al. (2012), describes the geometric shape of the crater rim by comparing the rim slope to the overall crater diameter and shape. We will compare our crater characteristic results for Terra Sabea to those published for Margaritifer Terra and Tyrrhena Terra (Mangold, et al. 2012)..
I am a Secondary Education major with a concentration in Earth and Space Sciences, and I will be graduating from Kutztown University this coming Spring. I am extremely passionate about teaching and I thoroughly enjoy being able to discuss my subject matter with others. Conducting this research with Dr. Kraal has given me a great deal of experience in research methods in astronomy, as well as in conveying important ideas and their relevance, a fundamental goal in teaching. This grant will help me with the costs of attending and presenting my research at the Geological Society of America Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC in November.
Stecker (Geology working
with Dr. Sarah
Tindall) - Influence of mechanical stratigraphy
on thrust belt morphology in physical models
My research used compression box modeling to investigate the effects of different granular materials, representing sedimentary layers of different strength in Earth’s upper crust, on the structural development of mountain systems. Three models were conducted, each containing both vertical and lateral differences in the composition of layers. Analysis showed that the map-view complexity of models changed systematically depending on the lateral and vertical locations of layers of different granular materials within each model. The resulting differences in each model’s surface complexity can be compared with geologic structures like folds, faults, and regional-scale curvature of real-world mountain belts.
I am a non-traditional student
who has based most of his time in school focused on the
study of earth sciences. While attending Kutztown
University I became increasingly interested in structural
geology and pursuing a career in this field. The new
technology propelling us into the next century will focus on
discovering and utilizing energy resources. My goal is
to contribute to the development of this new
technology. To accomplish this I need a Master’s
Degree in structural geology. I hope my research will
help show my interest in structural geology and show I am
dedicated to working hard if accepted into a Master’s
Epoxy-based adhesives and coatings are as diverse as the
applications in which they are used. The performance of these
materials often depends upon cure time and the degree to which the
epoxy cures. In order to follow the epoxy curing process we have
constructed a portable, T-Format, LED-based, anisotropy
fluorometer (T-LEAF) that is capable of measuring fluorescence
anisotropy comparable to a research-grade, steady-state
fluorescence spectrophotometer. At a fraction of the cost, ~$100,
the T-LEAF is powered by a 9-V battery, and uses a custom
interface designed in LabView to collect and process fluorescence
intensity measurements. Fluorescence anisotropy depends upon
molecular rotations, which slow as an epoxy cures. An instrument
like this dramatically reduces the cost of fluorescence anisotropy
measurements, and takes this capability outside of the lab.
I am currently a senior
Chemistry major, expected to graduate in May 2013. Working
on this research project allowed me to become acclimated
with fluorescence spectroscopy, building circuits, and
programming in LabView. The skills that I have learned
during research will greatly help me obtain a job in my
related field of chemistry. This grant will allow me to
present my work at the Eastern Analytical Symposium and
Exposition in front of the top chemistry and pharmaceutical
companies. The work that was completed during this research
will also be submitted for publication in the Journal of
Eolian dune fields and associated environs are extremely
sensitive to short- and long-term changes in climate, such as
differences in precipitation. One of the oldest erg deposits is
present in the ~2.0 Ga Makgabeng Formation, Limpopo Province,
South Africa. Within the formation various facies are
distinguished that reflect one of the earliest recordings in
Earth’s History of definitive climatic shifts in a terrestrial
The upper Makgabeng Formation is broken into a lower and upper paleo-dune field/erg by a playa or saline pan deposit. The lower dune field consists of meter-scale dune sets with interbedded lenses of wet interdune strata, up to 60 cm in thickness and traceable to a maximum of 55 m. The overlying inferred playa reflects considerable variation in precipitation. The basal playa deposit consists of alternating mud and sandstone beds with both deep and shallow penetrating mud cracks. Above this lower mud-phase, the playa is fully sand dominated, featuring wave- and current-ripples, low-angle eolian wind-ripple stratification, scour marks, potential evaporitic crust features and evaporite dissolution structures. Overlying the playa is the upper dune field that consists of laterally continuous thick eolian sets with sparse, thin lenses of dry interdune deposits. Characterizing the upper dune field is a vertical transition from medium- to coarse-grained sandstone. In addition to the grain size change, fluvial, sheet-flood deposits, eolian cross-beds sculpted by mass flows, and a geographically restricted playa sequence is recognizable.
These facies demonstrate shifts in precipitation that are reflected in changing water table levels. Fluvial and playa facies record high water tables. Low water tables are reflected in the erg deposits. The transition from low to higher water tables is recorded in the appearance of wet interdunes and massive flow interspersed within the dune strata. These climatic alterations, in precipitation levels, radically changed the Makgabeng landscape through time.
(photo: Liz measuring stratigraphy in South Africa)
I am a senior undergraduate
student at Kutztown University dual majoring in Geology and
Environmental Science/Geology. I find the complex
interactions or the environment and the rock record
fascinating. Taking a particular interest in how
sedimentary rocks form under interesting circumstances,
their deposition and preservation. I hope to make my
way to graduate school one day and study clastic
sedimentology and then travel the world studying different
formations to unravel the Earth’s environmental history.
working with Dr. Matthew
Junker and Dr. Carsten Sanders) - Functional
Expression of Human Holocytochrome c Synthase (HCCS) Enzyme in E.
The human HCCS protein is a protein that plays important roles in both catabolism (the process by which cells convert nutrients into energy) and apoptosis (a process in which cells will “deconstruct” themselves to prevent uncontrolled cell growth, such as cancer). Despite the importance of the HCCS protein, not much is known about the chemical basis for its cellular functions or even the structure of the protein. One of the major obstacles in studying this protein is that a method to synthesize and purify large amounts of protein has not yet been developed. This project aims to develop a method that can provide large amounts of pure HCCS protein and then develop an assay to investigate the interactions of the protein.
I am currently a senior
biochemistry major and expect to graduate in the Fall 2012
semester. After graduation I plan on furthering my education
in graduate school. From this research project I have
already learned many new techniques related to protein
expression and purification, and also fortified my
understanding of techniques that I learned in the basic
curriculum for biochemistry majors. This grant will allow me
to continue the research that I have already started and
learn even more about protein assays, synthesis, and
purification and how to apply it in real-world applications.
BO Monocerotis , RW Geminorum, and TT Delphini
are celestial systems which contain pairs of stars that orbit each
other in close proximity and experience mass transfer from
one to the other. The study of such systems is absolutely
essential in testing the currently accepted models of stellar
evolution, and in the development of better cosmological models of
the Universe on the grandest of scales. The Kutztown University
Observatory will be used for the first time in the 21st century to
conduct a sophisticated, modern study that these neglected star
systems so desperately need.
No biographical sketch provided.
Gubler (Biology working
with Dr. Matthew
Stone) - Development of a Quantitative Technique to Assess
Corticosterone Levels in Amphibians
Amphibians continually react to changes in their environment. When environmental conditions become unfavorable or threatening, vertebrates respond by the physiological reaction known as the "fight or flight" response. The glucocorticoid corticosterone is the primary hormone that mediates this stress response in amphibians. Corticosteroids have numerous effects on an organism's physiology including mediation of the immune system, blood sugar, and metabolism. The objective of this research is to develop a quantitative, simple, and cost effective technique to assess corticosterone levels in amphibians. A number of terrestrial red back salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were collected; half of the collected salamanders were handled to induce the stress response, while the other half were kept unstressed (control). Corticosterone will be extracted from the tissue of the salamanders, and the extracted cortiosterone will be evaluated using ELISA. There is currently no consistent and standardized method to extract and quantify the amounts of corticosterone in amphibians. Having the ability to measure corticosterone levels in amphibians would be an invaluable tool for directly assessing the effect of environmental stressors on amphibians..
I am a junior biology major with
a concentration in micro & molecular biology. After
college I aim to go to graduate school and study physiology,
or to become a physician’s assistant. This research is an
exceptional opportunity for me to learn about how
environmental stressors affect physiology.
working with Dr. Matthew Heinly) - The Relationship Between
Impulsivity and Risk-Taking Behaviors in College Students
College students were assessed using a behavioral impulsivity measure, the Immediate Memory Task (IMT: Dougherty & Marsh, 2003; Dougherty, Marsh, Mathias, & Steinberg, 2002) and a self-report measure, the Risky-Behavior Scale (RBS: Fischer & Smith, 2004). The behavioral measure of impulsivity was significantly correlated with a summated total score on the RBS (r = .25, p < . 01), and the subscale of the RBS that was most strongly correlated with behavioral impulsivity was the scale related to engagement in dangerous athletic activities (r =.28, p<.01).
I am currently a senior here at Kutztown University and will be graduating with bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology. I plan on continuing my education after graduating. This opportunity will allow me to further my academic development and help me to better understand the field I wish to enter.
We present new light curves of BO Monocerotis. BO Mon is an
interacting Algol-type binary system with a 2.22 day orbital
period that undergoes interesting variations. Kutztown
University's 0.46-meter Cassegrain telescope was employed for this
photometric study of BO Mon. The data were collected over 13
nights between 3 January 2012 and 18 February 2012 with B,V, and I
filters. Using the Wilson-Devinney code, we modeled the system and
found a unique orbital solution. In addition, our period study
suggests a possible mechanism to explain the oscillations in its
I am junior at Kutztown University, majoring in Physics while conducting research in the astrophysics discipline. Since the beginning of the fall 2011 semester I have been studying binary star systems under the guide of Dr. Phillip Reed. After Kutztown I plan on attending a graduate school to study astrophysics or a related physics field. This grant will help fund my trip to the AAS conference in Anchorage, Alaska; this opportunity will allow me to interact with some of the leading astronomers in the country.
Snoddy and Greg Dreibelbis (Psychology
working with Dr. Robert
Ryan) - The Effects of Self Generation on the Value of
Feature Matching in Algebra Problems
Feature matching is a method of mathematical instruction. The aim of the current study was to examine if the feature matching method could be enhanced by an added self-explanation component, which is known to be an effective teaching/learning strategy. Feature matching plus self-explanation was compared to the feature matching with repetition condition. We found no significant main effect, because the self-explanation condition performed roughly the same as the matching feature condition.
(photo: Sean [right] with Dr. Robert Ryan at the national APS meeting)
I am currently an undergraduate general psychology major, planning to graduate in May 2013. After graduating I will be pursing graduate programs in cognitive psychology. Research with the Ryan lab has provided me with valuable experience in research methodology, as well as learning a few of the intricacies about how individuals learn and cognitively process stimuli.
I am currently an undergraduate clinical psychology major, planning to graduate in May 2013. After graduating I will be pursing graduate programs in clinical psychology. Research with Dr. Ryan has given me valuable experience in psychology research methodology. I plan on pursuing a research degree in clinical psychology. The research experience I gained from working with Dr. Ryan will be valuable helping me achieve my career goals.
working with Dr. Michele Baranczyk) - Goal
setting in the classroom
Goals-setting is an established method of improving performance in various settings, including the workplace. The study sought to examine goal setting in introductory classes at the university level. Two sections of the same course taught by the same professor during the same semester were assessed. One class received performance targets; the other did not. At the end of the term scores and course perseverance was measured and compared.
I am a senior Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. I intend to graduate in May of 2012. My future goals include a career in mental health counseling or industrial organizational psychology. I will further explore these options after graduation and then move on to graduate school to further my education. This grant will allow me to be exposed to numerous universities presenting research. Therefore, I will be able to learn more about my interests and potentially my future graduate school of choice.
Abandoned mine drainage (AMD) is a significant problem in areas
with a history of coal mining. Clean surface water infiltrates
into abandoned underground mine systems and is contaminated via
interaction with pyrite, yielding sulfuric acid. The acidified
water subsequently discharges into rivers downstream. The
Schuylkill River Watershed of central Pennsylvania contains
economically important anthracite deposits which have been mined
since the 1800s in the headwaters of the Schuylkill River. The
subsurface is rife with abandoned coal mine tunnels, few of which
are marked or mapped. AMD is a major concern for both people and
wildlife in the Schuylkill River Watershed. Streams throughout
this watershed lose water through highly permeable areas of the
stream beds. That water seeps into coal mine tunnels and becomes
contaminated. Resistivity surveys along stream channels can be
used to identify such seepage points. These seeps are recognizable
as low resistivity anomalies where significant volumes of water
infiltrate to become contaminated in the subsurface mine pools.
This study includes 44 resistivity profiles that measure a total
of ~1800m (6000ft) of stream channel near Heckscherville, PA from
July 2009 and 30 resistivity profiles that measure ~2300m (7600ft)
of stream channel west of Heckschersville, PA from May and June of
2011. All profiles were performed using a dipole-dipole array with
an electrode spacing of 5m or less. Flow measurements were
analyzed and compared to resistivity anomalies to confirm possible
locations of high permeability in the stream channel. The results
of these surveys are used to focus remediation efforts in the
headwaters of the Schuylkill Watershed. Stream channel
reconstruction or chemical grouting was conducted in 3 locations
from the results of the 2009. Remediation of target locations
discovered through the 2011 geophysical surveys is yet to ensue.
Doing applied geophysical
research with Dr. Laura Sherrod
has been a great opportunity for me because my future plan
is to become an environmental geophysical consultant. The
reason why I want to become a geophysical consultant is very
simple: it will allow me to work on project from start to
finish with the satisfaction of seeing the difference I
could make with my hard work and dedication. In this state
alone, I will be busy contributing to the cleanup of my
hometown and others by the understanding of the subsurface
in a non-intrusive way using geophysical methods, creating a
less contaminated area to live and prosper.
Geist and Heather Hvasta (Psychology
working with Dr. Ronald Stoffey) - The Effect of
Interactional Justice on Casual Attributions
Procedural justice has received considerable attention by organizational scholars and practitioners. Procedural justice refers to the perceived fairness by employees of procedures used to allocate outcomes. One determinate of procedural justice is interpersonal justice (IPJ). Research has shown that employees are more likely to accepted negative outcomes if they are treated with respect, and are provided with sufficient information regarding procedures affecting them.
There is a substantial body of research demonstrating that individuals typically take personal responsibility for success on a wide range of tasks, while viewing external factors such as task difficulty or luck as the cause for failure. This pattern of causal attributions is called the self-serving bias.
This study examined the effects of interpersonal justice and
feedback on causal attributions. Research has shown that employees
are more likely to accept negative outcomes if they are treated
with respect, and are provided with sufficient information
regarding procedures affecting them. Participants receiving high
IPJ on the Culture Fair Intelligence Test made more dispositional
attributions for their performance and reported more positive
attitudes than participants receiving low IPJ. Interpersonal
justice had no effect in mitigating the self-serving bias for low
I am a senior psychology major (in the industrial organizational track) and plan to attend graduate school for industrial organizational psychology. I have a strong interest in social psychology and the method by which interpersonal justice contributes to perceptions of procedural justice within the workplace. I hope to utilize the skills acquired from this research experience to contribute to future studies and positively impact a broad array of organizational dimensions.
I am a senior majoring in psychology with plans to go to graduate school for counseling. I currently work at a psychiatric hospital for children, and to see how interpersonal justice is perceived based on the self-serving bias is my main interest. This research would help gain hands-on experience an understanding of how perceptions are perceived and how to utilize them elsewhere.
This research experiment seeks to determine the antibiotic
resistance of bacteria isolated from both organic and conventional
bagged lettuce samples. Bacteria from each type of lettuce will be
isolated using a stomacher and vacuum filtration, and the filtrate
exposed to various types of antibiotics to test its resistance.
Plating the treated bacteria on selective media will determine
whether or not the bacteria were resistant to the antibiotic by
observing the presence or absence of bacterial colonies after
incubation. The data analyzed in this research will help determine
whether or not farming practices have an impact on the antibiotic
resistance seen in the bacteria associated with lettuce.
(photo: Nicholas working in the lab)
I am a senior biology major
(molecular/cell/micro), and minor in biochemistry and
physical geography with an anticipated graduation in the
Fall of 2012. Food microbiology is something particular that
interests me very much, and this research is an opportunity
to better understand how bacteria play a role in the
spoilage and pathogenic potential of food that is produced
for mass human consumption. Having the ability to gain
experience in conducting meaningful research alongside a
knowledgeable staff member from the Kutztown Biology
Department would be invaluable for my desire to learn new
techniques and in future employment opportunities.
Travis Tran (Biology working
with Dr. Dan Aruscavage) - Persistence of Bacteria within the
Resulting Knife Grooves of used Cutting Boards
The research will involve the examination of the transfer and persistence of Salmonella to a cutting board from an infected chicken sample, as the sample is being cut on the board. The focus will be on the transmission of Salmonella onto the cutting board and the persistence of the Salmonella within the resulting knife groove from the process of cutting the chicken sample after the board has been routinely washed with water, bleach, or a commercial detergent. The relationship between the damage/condition of the cutting bored (i.e. the number of resulting blade grooves made from prolonged use of the board) and the persistence of Salmonella after a routine washing will also be examined.
(photo: Travis working in the lab)
The completion of this research
will provide me with numerous skills that I was unable to
gain within a classroom experience during the completion of
my Biology (pre-professional) and my Chemistry
(biochemistry) degrees. The laboratory techniques I
will gain through this experience will aid me throughout my
career as a research scientist. Not only will I learn
how to culture, plate, and quantify bacterial colonies, but
I will also learn many procedural concepts. These
concepts include, designing a research experiment, writing a
research proposal, and presenting my research to a public
audience. The skills acquired by completing this
research will aid me throughout my career as a research
Fody (Computer Science
working with Dr. Oskars
J. Rieksts) - Low-Cost Solution for Navigation in a
Localized Area for the Visually Impaired. (Project iDog)
he main objective of this project is to research the level of accuracy that can be achieved with a low-grade GPS receiver and the data corrections provided by a local low-grade differential base station. A differential base station is an accurately surveyed point with a GPS receiver. The GPS receiver gathers coordinates that can be compared to the surveyed coordinates; the coordinates of the GPS receiver are ‘corrected’ to match the coordinates of the surveyed point. Those corrections can then be applied to other local GPS devices. An iPhone app will be written to collect GPS coordinates, a differential base station will be created on campus to gather GPS coordinates to calculate corrections and a website will be created to transfer the corrections to the iPhone app. The result that we are looking to achieve is an accuracy of +/- one foot. The implications of achieving such results are the development of low cost solutions for navigation in a localized area for the visually impaired.
James Fody is a senior at Kutztown University majoring in computer science with the goal of achieving a masters’ degree. With a background in construction and computer science, James hopes to develop software applications to help the industry, as well as pursue an interest in website development. This proposed project covers topics that are related to future goals and will give him insight into these disciplines.
working with Dr. Matthew
Junker) - Cloning of Human Caspase-3 Gene
Apoptosis is a natural occurring process in animal cells. When a cell is aged, damaged, or unhealthy, the cell commits suicide or programs itself to die for the benefit of the organism. This cell suicide is known as apoptosis. When dealing with cancer cells, however, apoptosis is over-ridden; it never occurs. This is what makes the cancer cells survive and multiply so rapidly without ever dying off.
Caspases are intracellular proteases or enzymes that break down
other proteins and are involved in various roles within the cell
such as apoptosis. The cell utilizes a cascading effect to
regulate the activity of caspases (Pop and Salvesen, 2009).
In a cascade, one caspase cleaves another in order to activate
it. Apoptosis, in particular, utilizes this effect to
release the caspases from inhibitory apoptosis proteins or IAPs,
therefore, allowing apoptosis to proceed as seen in Figure
1. If caspase stays bound to an IAP, apoptosis never
occurs. The overall intention is to study the binding
effects between human cytochrome c heme lyase, caspase, and
inhibitory apoptosis proteins (IAPs).
My name is Stephanie Hoppes and I am senior Biochemistry major. I am planning on attending Lehigh University to obtain a Ph. D. in Biochemistry. By receiving this grant, it would help further along this research project which will help prepare me for graduate schooling. I hope to learn as many techniques through doing research to assist in preparation for research at Lehigh University and for a job in the future.
Gonzalez and Aaron Schultheis (Computer Science working with
Dr. Oskars J.
Rieksts) - Gesture-Controlled Navigation Interface Using
This project uses the Microsoft Kinect to create a new method of operating a computer. This method will attempt to use motion and gesture-based controls that are more intuitive and easier to use than a standard mouse and keyboard, as well as allowing the use of a computer away from the confines of a desk. The application will replace the normal desktop and folder interface with a categorized menu system designed to make finding and opening documents and programs simpler.
Jessy is an IT Computer Science major at Kutztown University. He shows a strong interest in web and mobile app development, UI, and how people interact with what it shown in front of them.
Aaron Schultheis is a senior IT Computer Science major, planning to graduate in December 2012. He wishes to professionally manage data storage and security, as well as design independent video games in his spare time.
working with Dr. Tom
Betts) - Optimization of the Allylic Oxidation of
1-phenyl-1-cyclohexene and valencene Using the Simplex Method
Complex molecules are very useful in creating products that help us in our everyday lives, such as the drugs made by pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, it is very important to study reactions that are capable of creating complex molecules. In this project the Kharasch-Sosnovsky reaction was studied. This reaction has a unique selectivity allowing the formation of complex molecules. However, in the literature this reaction has taken anywhere from 48 hours up to a few weeks to obtain a substantial amount of product. The main goal of this project was to take two substances that were slightly more complex than those previously studied and to optimize their reactions in terms of amount (yield) and time. The two substances, phenylcyclohexene and valencene, were optimized in a yield of 45% and 55% respectively with both reactions taking place in a short time of 24 hours. In both cases the Kharasch-Sosnovsky reaction was used to produce the products..
Lindsey is currently in her
senior year at Kutztown University. She is graduating in May
2012 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics.
After graduation Lindsey is attending Massachusetts
Institute of Technology for graduate school in organic
chemistry in order to reach her goal to work for a
pharmaceutical company. This travel grant has allowed her to
present the research she accomplished while studying in
Cádiz, Spain this past summer as part of an international
Research Experience for Undergraduates through Bucknell
University. This was her first presentation at a national
meeting, which has helped her to further prepare for her
Science working with Dr. Steve Lem) - Truth
Commissions, International Aid, and Democratic Stability in
The longevity of democratic success in transitional democracies largely depends on the amount of trust citizens are willing to place in leaders of the transitional regime. These regimes attempt to gain trust by promoting transparency, accountability, and responsibility of the new government. For this reason, truth and reconciliation commissions are often created to uncover wrongdoing that took place under the previous government with the purpose of dispelling controversies or doubt surrounding the past and subsequently providing a collective history for the country. Despite these noble intentions, truth commissions' contribution to democratic stability depends on factors such as how well they fulfilled their mandate and the degree to which they were supported by the new government. In this paper, we argue that the success of these commissions depends on their ability to openly fulfill their mandate. In particular, we argue that truth commission success depends on external funding (i.e., international aid) and the production of a final, public report. We test our claims using data on truth commissions and international aid for transitional democracies from 1974-2005.
I became interested in politics, most specifically international politics and human rights, at an early age. This interest caused me to pursue a dual major here at Kutztown in political science and philosophy. Both these degrees will aid me if I choose to go to graduate school in either international relations or law. This project and specifically this grant will assist me in the future in applying and being accepted to graduate school. Additionally, receiving this grant will make me more marketable in the job market and hopefully help me to secure a job upon graduating college.
Bowen (Computer Science
working with Dr. Oskars
J. Rieksts) - Autonomous Mini Aerial Vehicle
The primary goal of this research project is to create an autonomous mini aerial vehicle capable of searching for and identifying specified objects of interest. This requires the vehicle to navigate, map and understand its environment, and track or distinguish objects with minimal human interaction. This has to be done in a way so that the actions of the robot can be recognized as patterns of behavior with predictable outcomes.
I am a computer science major in my senior year here at Kutztown University. This project is my second in the field of robotics. In the spring semester of 2011, with the help of another student, I designed and built a robot in Dr. Rieksts Senior Seminar class. After graduation I plan to pursue a career in the field of computer science. Much of the research and development done throughout these projects have helped broaden my understanding of advanced topics in computer science. I will be able to take this learning and knowledge with me as I pursue a career as a computer scientist.
Surface processes (e.g. stream incision, erosion, etc.) are
affected by changes in moisture balance in drainage basins.
However, proxies for paleo-hydrology, especially in singular
locations, are rare in the geologic record. Additionally, a strong
correlation between orbital eccentricity and high rates of
landscape evolution in the Powder River basin of Montana and
Wyoming is difficult to explain with only empirical data. High
orbital eccentricity, particularly if enhanced by precession,
could lead to a highly seasonal climate with strong
mind-continental warming and increased precipitation that would
drive an increase in local incision rates, the exhumation of coal,
and thus the creation of clinker (‘baked’ rock formed by
subterranean fire). We test this hypothesis with the National
Center for Atmospheric Research, Community Atmosphere Model v.3
with maxima and minima changes in eccentricity, obliquity, and
precession while maintaining all other boundary conditions static
at modern values over a simulated period of 30 years with the
final 10 years averaged for analyses. Comparisons across
simulations suggest that, under eccentricity maxima, seasonality
substantially increases during summer (June, July, and August
average) precipitation totals in much of Wyoming, western
Nebraska, and Northeastern Colorado (>14 cm precipitation than
eccentricity minima). However, under eccentricity minima, summer
precipitation is ~33% lower than maximum eccentricity and
precession’s impact appears negligible (~4cm change in
precipitation). By linking high values of planetary eccentricity
and precession to enhanced mid-continental precipitation, these
results provide a possible mechanism to explain the observed
association between increased erosion, clinker formation, and
orbital eccentricity sediments in the Powder River basin and,
thus, a direct link between orbital parameters and landscape
evolution in this region. We predict similar relationships between
surface processes and insolation across much of the central Rocky
Mountains and High Plains.
(photo: Jeff presenting research at the national Geological Society of America meeting)
I have a background in
researching and presenting research regarding glutamate
receptors under Dr. William Thornhill at Fordham University
and have since transferred to Kutztown University’s Geology
program as it more directly represents my desire(s) to
eventually consult and assist in ensuring and designing
methods to provide people and populations with access to
clean, safe, reliable groundwater sources and
solutions/preventative measures for groundwater
contamination. My current research projects more accurately
align with this goal as it elucidates the links between
climatological changes, geomorphological processes, and
methods of measuring and obtaining desired data. This grant
will allow me to not only further my skills as a presenter
of my work in a professional setting, but it will also allow
me to expand my knowledge and skill set regarding my future
in addition to meeting and making contacts other
professionals in similar fields.
Wallops Island is a chronically eroding barrier island on the
eastern shore of Virginia. Barrier islands around the world are
essential to the conservation of the mainland coast. By absorbing
the high energy impact of waves, storm surges, and long shore
currents, barrier islands greatly diminish erosional forces on the
mainland. Barrier Islands also provide essential habitat to
ecologically and economically important coastal species such as
migratory birds, turtles, oysters, coquina clams, blue crabs, and
many others. Barrier islands are increasingly threatened by the
effects of sea level rise. My research focuses on sediment
transport along the Wallops Island shoreline. By establishing mean
grain size and sediment distribution trends along the shoreline we
can begin to understand and quantify sediment transport on Wallops
Island and hopefully apply this to other barrier island systems.
Preliminary results show a north-south trend in grain size, with
coarser sand accumulating to the south and finer grained sand to
the north. This is in part due to an eddy which forms
between Wallops Island and adjacent Assateague Island that forces
local sediment transport to the north, inducing coastal erosion.
This poses a problem for NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) since
the shoreline is eroding back toward the multi-million dollar
infrastructure located on the island. To mitigate this hazard,
NASA will begin a beach replenishment project in November, 2011
placing thousands of cubic yards of sand on the beach. My data
will help determine baseline conditions along the shoreline prior
to beach replenishment and will reflect current conditions that
provide habitat for endangered species such as Piping Plovers and
Loggerhead turtles. These data, and data collected following beach
replenishment will be compiled into a report for NASA. Over
the next seven months, I will monitor the changes in mean sediment
grain size throughout the seasons to characterize the natural
changes in beach sand. I will also be working with NASA and
Fish and Wildlife biologists to make sure that the newly placed
sand on the WFF beach does not negatively impact the species that
inhabit the island. I plan to present my results at the national
conference of the Geological Society of America in October, 2012.
(photo: Eric doing field work on a cold, cold day at the beach)
I have not always been a Geology
major. I came to Kutztown as a Marine Science major.
Needless to say I was not enjoying myself; it was not all
just about studying sharks. Consequentially I did not go to
class or try very hard in any of my classes and was on a one
way road to failure. During my first geology course I was
intrigued by the fact that all rocks tell a story of Earth’s
history, and caused me to change my major to Geology. Since
then I have completely absorbed myself in my studies,
earning a 4.0 last semester, and have been blessed with the
opportunity to work on an undergraduate research project
with Dr. Oakley. Should I be awarded this grant it will help
me to continue my research, and continue to reach toward my
goal of publishing a paper in a notable scientific
journal. All of this will aid in my newly desired goal
of attending a graduate school.
Aaron Le (Chemistry working
with Dr. Lauren
Levine) - Artificial Peptides: Binding Stoichiometry of
Mono- and Di- Platinated Peptides and DNA
The goal of this research is to synthesize artificial peptides containing ligands capable of binding metals, specifically platinum. These artificial peptides are analogs to DNA, where metal-ligand coordination replaces hydrogen bonding between nucelobases. Artificial peptides have previously been used as drugs that intercalate into DNA.1 However, the toxicity of platinum needs further consideration. By synthesizing artificial peptides with reduced amounts of platinum and retaining the same or better binding affinity to DNA, a safer and cheaper drug can be produced.
(photo: Aaron working in the lab)
I am a junior chemistry major
with a minor in mathematics. Post graduation I plan on
attending graduate school to further my education. The
undergraduate research I am conducting will help solidify my
background with laboratory techniques for graduate school.
This grant will provide funds to cover the cost of using
research equipment that is not available.
working with Dr. Padraig
McLoughlin) - Artificial Peptides: Binding Stoichiometry of
Mono- and Di- Platinated Peptides and DNA
This presentation centers on aspects of the Cardinal Theory of Sets. I begin with some background definitions, lemmas, theorems, corollaries, and examples and then proceed to present my results.
I have proven several theorems on the cardinality of sets, which led to some interesting results on cardinality and the arithmetic of transfinite numbers. The presentation of the proofs I constructed starts with the concept of finite sets, leads to denumerable sets, and focuses on my original proof of the claim that || = || = || = N0. These lead to investigate the question of the existence of a cardinal number bigger than N0.
The talk is organized as follows: I provide basic definitions, lemmas, theorems, and corollaries; I outline several of my arguments; and, that leads to my discovery that there exists a cardinal number β such that β > N0.
I am a mathematics and physics major and I hope to finish my undergraduate degrees in 2013 and begin to pursue my Ph.D. in engineering. I have a strong desire to use my knowledge in the engineering and mathematics fields to help better the lives of people on a large scale. I tutor mathematics here at the University and am a Student Instructor (SI) for the Calculus sequence, this has been a huge part of my academic life recently because it helps me not only motivate myself but others as well. This grant will help me achieve these goals by continuing to spark my own curiosity in research and the curiosity of my peers and colleges attending the conference.
working with Dr. Matthew
Junker) - A Method for using DNA to Control Protein
The goal of this project is to develop a new method to control protein self-association, which is the binding of two or more proteins together. DNA is made up of a backbone with four different bases branching off of the backbone. Those bases are cytosine (C), guanine (G), Adenine (A), and Thymine (T). Hap1 (heme activating protein 1) is a protein that is able to bind to a location on DNA where there is a certain base sequence, CGG. The Hap1 will then bind to the other Hap1, forming a complex of two proteins called a dimer. In order for many proteins to be active, they must dimerize and form a complex. This includes many proteins in the human body. If protein activation in the body can be controlled by self-association, then many processes in the human body would be able to be controlled.
I am in my senior year as a biochemistry / chemistry dual major with a minor in math and I am also in the honors program. I have been interested in chemistry since middle school and knew that I wanted to go to graduate school for some biochemical field since high school. After graduate school I want to work in a lab developing drugs or discovering new pathways for drugs. This project will help me by using the fluorescence technique to determine binding affinity as that is important in drug discovery. This grant would also help get this paper published, which would help me get into a graduate school of my choosing.
Psculkowski (Biology working
with Dr. Angelika
Antoni) - Effects of Polymerase ? Mutation on Boxer
Many canines are known to have inherited diseases specific to each breed. The boxer breed is commonly diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the cells of the lymphatic system. In comparison to all other canine breeds whose average rate of developing lymphoma is about 1/15, every 1/4 boxers will develop lymphoma. Because of the increased rate of lymphoma in boxers, this research project has been designed to identify the genetic cause for lymphoma within the boxer genome. By examining the DNA sequences from the boxer genome and comparing them to DNA sequences from non-boxer canines, a genetic mutation could be discovered. If the lymphoma causing genetic mutation is identified within the boxer genome, the implication of strict breeding programs would allow breeders to select against this inherited genetic mutation. After several generations of using strict breeding programs, the lymphoma causing genetic mutation could potentially be wiped from the entire boxer breed.
This research topic is very important to me because I have owned Boxers for several years. In addition, I am seeking a career in Veterinary Medicine. Research in this field is very significant to the science of Biology and receiving this grant would give us the chance to make a ground breaking discovery in the growing field of canine oncology. This grant would provide an opportunity to potentially identify the cause of Lymphoblastic lymphoma in Boxers if a genetic mutation is found in the polymerase Ɛ gene. The genetic mutation could potentially be bred out of the boxer breed using selective sweeps to identify individuals without regions of homozygosity on chromosome 26 and allowing them to reproduce. These results could prove to be valuable in human medicine as well since humans share many of the same inherited genetic diseases which are common in canines.
Mount Fairplay, located 70 km NE of Tok, Alaska, is a claim
prospect thought to potentially be a porphyry ore deposit. A
porphyry deposit is a large, generally cylindrical, low-grade ore
deposit that has been intensely and extensively hydrothermally
altered. Using precision GPS equipment, rock units were mapped and
samples were collected delineating a core of basement rocks
overlain by two groups of volcanic rocks, a felsic suite and an
intermediate suite. Samples representative of major units were
sliced down to 30µm-thick microscope mounts to characterize fine
mineral growths. Petrographic microscopy revealed evidence of
hydrothermal alteration. Hydrothermal alteration is a metamorphic
process by which hot, acidic waters chemically interact with
minerals within rock. Petrography of representative units brought
to light the minerals that were generated as a result of varying
grades of hydrothermal alteration. Felsic volcanic rocks were
found to be strongly sericitically altered, in which feldspars
were altered to sericite. The intermediate volcanic rocks were
only weakly propylitically altered, in which chlorite, epidote,
and actinolite minerals assemblages have formed. Propylitic
alterations can be indicative of porphyry copper deposits. Copper
porphyries contain an outer-most zone of propylitic alteration
according to the Lowell-Guilbert porphyry model for hydrothermal
alteration zoning patterns. Additionally, sericitic alterations
are found within the inner-most zones of hydrothermal alterations
within porphyries; the phyllic, and if present, the potassic
zones. The intermediate suite was altered to mineral assemblages
indicative of much less intense hydrothermal activity. The greater
degree in which the felsic suite has been altered compared to that
of the intermediate suite, suggests that the felsic suite is
(photo: Dan [on left] with colleagues Melania Tkach and Ken Schlosser on a heavily frost-shattered slope of Mount Fairplay in Alaska)
After spending a few years in
the military, I have come to Kutztown with the intention of
earning my degree in Geology. Upon graduation, I plan on
going right into the mining or mineral exploration industry
to get a good idea of what I want to focus on in graduate
school. Receiving this grant will allow me to present what I
have found in Alaska, and aid me in making industry
connections at BC Roundup in Vancouver.
working with Dr. Cristen Rosch) - The Effects of Acetaminophen on
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient found in Tylenol and many other over-the-counter medications. Acetaminophen can easily be taken unintentionally beyond the recommended daily dose. When acetaminophen is taken in doses that are above those recommended, it could lead to serious developmental problems for the fetus as well as complications for the mother (Ameres et al., 2005). This project will focus around the effects of various doses of acetaminophen on body size, head size, and external morphology in a developing chick. Chick embryos have traditionally served as a model system for studying human development. Since the majority of previous studies have focused on overdose levels of acetaminophen during human development, the effects of recommended levels of acetaminophen as well as overdose levels will be observed. The hypothesis predicts that those chicks exposed to overdose levels of acetaminophen will have lower mean birth weights as compared to those chicks treated with the recommended levels of acetaminophen and controls..
In the very near future I plan
to attend medical school and would like a firm knowledge of
research to take into my post-graduate career. The
ability to do independent research and troubleshoot on my
own is a valuable skill that I would like to obtain as I
leave Kutztown University.
The Salton Sea, California is a unique environment, specifically
the shoreline. These shorelines are composed largely of
coarsely grained fish bones and barnacle fragments. This is
not a common feature of modern shorelines which are generally
composed of sand washed in by rivers and streams.
Characterization of this unique beach was done by comparing eight
different sections along the north-eastern portion of the Salton
Sea, and collecting morphological data. The beach morphology
includes beach sediment grain size, coastline orientation,
particle movement, beach slope, and elevation analysis. This
combined data will be used to determine a morphological
classification of the shorelines.
(photo: Jewels surveying beach elevations, surrounded by dead fish and barnacles)
I am student at Kutztown
University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in geology and
graduating May, 2011. Our research at the Salton Sea has
been positive and with the help of the Kutztown
Undergraduate Research Committee, I will travel to the
national annual Geological Society of America meeting in
October, 2011 to present our data.
Bressler (Biology working
with Dr. Todd Underwood) - An Examination of Microbial Growth on
Bird Feeders to Determine Proper Cleaning Methods
Bird feeders are a site where diseases can be transmitted in birds. A debris pile on and below the feeder contains seed hulls and bird droppings which can be harbor unsafe fungi and bacteria that affects birds. Twenty bird feeders will be placed at various locations in Southeastern Pennsylvania where bacteria accumulation will be allowed to occur. Every ten days the feeders and the debris pile below the feeder will be sampled to determine how quickly bacteria and fungi builds on the bird feeders. After two and a half months the feeders will be collected and cleaned using soap and water, and a ten percent bleach solution then sampled to determine the optimal cleaning method.
(photo: Chelsea checking one of her bird feeders)
I am a biology pre-professional
major, and I hope to get a Master’s Degree in
microbiology. I have taken ornithology, medical
microbiology, and applied environmental microbiology which
will all help in the study. The grant will help me
gain experience in using microbiology techniques, in
collecting data, in analyzing data, and in writing formal
(photo: Elizabeth working with Dr. Edward Simpson on the shore of the Salton Sea)
I am an undergraduate at
Kutztown University studying Environmental
Science/Geology. I hope to gain a better understanding
of changing climates, how humans have impacted our
environment and how sediment is preserved in the rock record
using the Salton Sea as an analog for paleoenvironments.
McGeehan, Meghan Gladu, and Kayla Montgomery (Psychology
working with Dr. Gregory Shelley) - Nonverbal Communication
of Social Orientation
Participants with different Social Value Orientations (Cooperative, Individualistic, or Competitive) were videotaped while they described why they chose the way they did in a series of social decisions problems. These same participants (targets) were also videotaped while they attempted to lie about their views on controversial social issues. Naïve observers were asked to rate the trustworthiness of these targets after viewing randomly selected video-only portions of the pre-recorded interviews. Cooperators and Competitors were rated as significantly more trustworthy than Individualists. Future research (funded in part by the Kutztown University Undergraduate Research Committee) will attempt to identify any differences in the nonverbal (facial) behaviors exhibited by these targets that could account for the differences in these trustworthiness ratings. In order to code these nonverbal behaviors, special training will be required. We are requesting funds from the Undergraduate Student Research Committee to pay for travel and lodging expenses for a weeklong training seminar in Pittsburgh, PA.
I am a junior psychology major (in the clinical counseling track) and hope to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family counseling. I am interested in understanding more about how personality can be expressed via nonverbal behavior. I would also like to learn more about how others interpret these cues. After completing the FACS seminar offered by Dr. Rosenberg and taking the FACS certification test, I believe that I will have more skill in identifying nonverbal behaviors in others (a potentially invaluable skill for a clinician). I also believe that this skill will make me a more attractive candidate for both research-based and clinical graduate programs.
I am a junior psychology major (in the clinical counseling track). I recently began doing research in Dr. Shelley’s lab. I have always been interested in how personality can be expressed through facial expressions and am excited about the prospect of learning the Facial Action Coding System from a world-renowned expert. I also look forward to incorporating these new skills in to research projects here at Kutztown University.
I am a senior majoring in both psychology and criminal justice. I am interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. I am currently most interested in a career as a drug enforcement agency (DEA) agent. In addition to using FACS as part of a research program with Dr. Shelley here at KU, I hope to be able to incorporate the skills I will acquire at the seminar in Pittsburgh in to my career as a drug enforcement agent.
working with Dr. Angelika
Antoni) - Dietary influence of live cultures on composition
of enteric microbiota
This research is being performed to validate the hypothesis that over a time period of one month, with daily ingestion of yogurt containing different strains of live cultures, the cultures will become established in the gut microbiota and will be detected for at least one month following cessation of yogurt ingestion. This will be done by collecting stool samples over a time period of several months and using PCR with strain specific primers to detect presence of bacteria. After 1 month, the strain ingested will be switched and the new strain will be eaten for one month. During the second month, the presence for the first strain as well as the second strain will be tested. We want to see how long the original strain will stay established in the gut with introduction of a new strain.
This research is important to me because I suffer from stomach problems and have found that eating yogurt everyday helps me a lot. I wanted to perform this research to acquire a better understanding of enteric microbiota and how live cultures influence it. After undergraduate, I want to continue on to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D in virology and infectious diseases. My goal is to work at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This grant will help me achieve my goals by providing me with necessary research experience for graduate school and because it is an area that truly interests me.
Cryptosporidium parvum is the causative agent of a
gastrointestinal disease that involves inflamed epithelial cells
in the intestinal lining, serious immune reactions which cause
further damage to the intestinal tissues, and results in severe
symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, and
dehydration through diarrhea and vomiting. The disease is usually
noticed and taken care of by the immune system in healthy
individuals but in immunocompromised victims, this disease can be
severe or fatal (McDonald et al. 1992). The scope of this research
is to study the location of production of Interferon-γ (IFN-γ),
particularly if macrophages present this cytokine during Cryptosporidium
infection. IFN-γ plays a major role in the immune reaction
that is caused by Cryptosporidium parvum (Lacroix-Lamandé
et al. 2002). An over production of the IFN-γ causes a reaction
that leads to an increase in diarrhea symptoms, fever, swelling in
the gut, and abdominal pain. These are all symptoms of Cryptosporidium
infection and are the reason the infection gets so bad. In
immunocomprimised victims, the disease spreads rapidly and causes
all of these same symptoms with higher severity. The infection and
symptoms strike quickly since no immune system is present to fight
the organism. The origin of the mass production of IFN-γ in
the gut is still misunderstood and unknown (McDonald et al 1992).
If the location of the origin of the IFN-γ could be established
and controlled, then the immunocomprimised victims may be able to
still fight off the infection with a small injection of the
cytokine and people that are immune-healthy could be saved by
limiting the production to a bearable amount. This research is
pertinent in both aspects.
All my life I have had a
fascination with the biological sciences. Most of my high
school and college direction has been focused in the
sciences and particularly medical sciences. My long-term
academic goal is to graduate with a Masters Degree in
Microbiology and Immunology and receive my Ph. D. in
Neurology. I hope to work in the medical research field
studying diseases such as ALS, MS, and Huntington’s.