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    Connections Newsletter
    Issue 2                                                                                                                                         Spring Semester 2012


    Notes from the Collaborative

    A Note from the Collaborative Director

    Collaborative Opportunities

    Research & Academic Travel Funding Opportunities

    Collaborative Research Showcase

    2011 Summer-Fall Collaborative Grants Awards

    Snapshot of Summer-Fall Collaborative Grants

    Student-Faculty Development Endowment Fund Award Recipients

    McNair Scholars Presentations

    Student Profiles

    United Nations New York Trip

    Sponsor: Dr. Gratzia Villarroel

    VanSchyndel & Hill-Soderlund


    Important Dates

    Mar. 19, 2012 Collaborative Summer-Fall Grant applications due

    Mar. 29-31, 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

    Apr. 20, 2012 Collaborative Continuation Grant applications due

    May 4, 2012 Student Academic Travel Grant and Attendee Grant applications due





    2011 Summer-Fall Collaborative Grants Awards

    Descriptions of 2011 Summer-Fall Research

    Teena Carroll and Haoqi Chen, “Ancient Egypt Meets Ancient Greece: Combining Egyptian Fractions with Pythagorean Triples” 

    Ancient Egyptians used a time consuming and inefficient method to write down fractions. Unlike modern and other historical fractional systems, the same fraction could be written in infinitely many different ways. In the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt the number one had great significance, as evidenced by the fact that the "Eye of Horus" used the same symbol. Possibly because of this religious importance, the only "acceptable" fractions used one as their numerator. In our research, we count some of the ways that Egyptians could add fractions totaling to one. We look at many aspects of this counting problem; limiting the type, the number, or the size of the fractions we use. For instance, we count how many "short" sequences of fractions using only even numbers as denominators there are. In the course of this project we have developed a computer program that lists all of the Egyptian Fractions satisfying certain parameters.

    Additionally, we have found a connection between certain sets of Egyptian fractions and sequences of Pythagorean triples. Pythagorean triples (a,b,c) are any three whole numbers so that a2 +b2 - c2. As originally studied in Ancient Greece, each such triple gives the edge lengths of a right triangle. The particular sequences of triples that we have found can be put together to form spirals of right triangles. Our research introduces infinitely many of these spirals; where as far as we know only one Pythagorean spiral was previously identified.


    Anindo Choudhury and Eric Gale, “Parasites of fishes of Soberania National Park, Chagres River drainage, Panama”

    This is a continuation and extension of a project started in January 2010. We will continue to collect and study the parasites of freshwater fishes of the Chagres River Basin, in Panama. We will examine freshwater fish species for their parasites from the Chagres River proper, and from 4 tributaries, Rio Frijoles, Limbo, La Seda and Mendoza. In August 2011 we will build on and expand the 2010 sampling to document and analyze the diversity of the helminth parasite fauna. We will evaluate the potential that this information has to address biogeographical patterns on a broader scale related to the historical Great American Biotic Interchange. 


    Karlyn Crowley and Gretchen Panzer, “(Un)natural Birth?: Gender Essentialism in Natural Childbirth Debates”

    The documentary, The Business of Being Born (2007,, critiques the American hospital birth system as over-medicalized, unnecessarily expensive, and dangerous.  The goal of the film is for more low-risk pregnant women and their partners to embrace their birth options and opt for natural childbirth rather than be “subjected” to hospital interventions such as a caesarian section.  While we both admire the film and agree that it presents a powerful and necessary alternative to “medicalized” childbirth, we are both troubled by the language of what feminists call “gender essentialism,” especially the privileging of certain forms of the “natural” over the “socially constructed.”  This film is emblematic of the natural childbirth movement in its problematic assumptions that say “natural” is always better.  Our goal is to write an article that, while sympathetic, takes critiques of the “natural” into account and tries to find a middle ground in these contentious debates.


    Jim W. Neuliep and Morgan L. Johnson, “A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Ecuadoran and US Face, Facework, and Communication Conflict Styles: An Extension of Face Negotiation Theory” 

    The specific focus of this study is to cross-culturally compare face, facework, and communication conflict styles between Ecuadoran and US college students. Participants in this study will include Ecuadoran college students from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, (Ecuador) and US native born students from St. Norbert College. Participants will be exposed to hypothetical conflict scenarios and will then respond to a series of documented valid and reliable Likert-type instruments that measure their preferred face, facework, and communication conflict styles. The responses to these instruments will be statistically analyzed for comparisons between the two groups. 


    Matthew Stollak, Kevin Scribner, and Jordan Zeni, “The Impact of Social Media Policies on the Staffing and Socialization Process”

    Over the past five years social networking has continuously grown into what has become a major aspect of everyday life, especially among college students and recent graduates. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are used as a means of communication with others. This online interaction has lead to disciplinary action, lost jobs, and an ever thinning line between work and private life. Many institutions have begun implementing social networking policies in an attempt to protect themselves and their employees. These new policies are extremely controversial as many argue that they infringe on employee rights. We purpose to examine the impact that social networking has on the workforce and the employers. The parties we will be focusing on are employers that have implemented social networking policies, employers that have not, and the employees of both.




    St. Norbert Collaborative

    Phone: (920) 403-3147
    Fax: (920) 403-4086

    St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181