St. Norbert College
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    Connections Newsletter
    Issue 3                                                                                                                                         Spring Semester 2012


    A Note from the Collaborative Director

    Undergraduate Research: Adjusting to Life at a Liberal Arts College

    2012-2013 McNair Scholars

    Fall-Summer Collaborative Grants

    Convention Spotlight



    • Kaela Gedda
    • Jens Paasen
    • Gretchen Panzer
    • Hannah Schmitt
    • Luanne Spence
    • Sarah Titus

    Collaborative Research Stories


    Important Dates

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

    Fall-Summer Collaborative Research Grants

    The Collaborative: Center for Undergraduate Research is excited to award six collaborative research grants for the summer session and fall 2012 semester.  The abstract for each project is listed below:

    “Disabled or Labeled: Disability, Inclusion, and Educational Attainment” 

    Anna Miller, English                  

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Jamie Lynch, Sociology

    We are requesting financial support for an extension of an ongoing research project examining disability and the college experience. Over the past six months, we have been continuously working on the development of a qualitative research project that will result in a variety of scholarly outputs including a detailed in-depth written and oral record of the experiences of disabled students at St. Norbert College, the production of student-authored and faculty/student co-authored scholarly manuscripts, and the presentation of new and original research at local, regional, and national conferences.


    “Does it Pay to Attend Medical School? When is Enough Enough?”

    Jennah Landwehr, Biology

     Robert Schadrie, Accounting  

    Faculty Collaborators: Jason Haen, Accounting, Amy Vandenberg, Business

    The third fastest growing career in the health care today is that of the physician assistant. By the year 2016, the demand for this job is expected to increase by 40%. Much of the demand will be driven by the predicted serious shortage of physicians in the year 2016.  As the cost of attaining a MD continues to grow more and more graduates may be less likely to pursue family practice and primary care specialties. College students today face the difficult decision of whether to enter the health care industry as a physician assistant or walk the extra mile...or marathon to that of a physician. Though the perceived benefits of earning a MD are substantial and real, the cost of attaining it is increasing now more than ever.   The medical student class of 2010 will graduate with an estimated debt of $157,944.  Of these graduates, 78% will have debt of at least $100,000, 42% of them will have debt of at least $150,000, with 85% of total graduating medical students carrying outstanding loans. (Source: Association of American Medical Colleges)  Further, students are now entering medical school with more education debt from undergraduate education. Medical education debt is driven by rising tuition. AAMC data show that median private medical school tuition and fees increased by 50 percent (in real dollars) in the 20 years between 1984 and 2004. Median public medical school tuition and fees increased by 133 percent over the same time period. Other recent 20-year periods show similar trends. Should increased student debts, interest rates, and rising tuition costs influence the decisions made by medical students on whether to pursue a physician assistant career versus that of a physician?  We intend to conduct a comparative cost-benefit analysis comparing a physician assistant versus a physician, specifically a family practitioner, assuming historical market trends in both educational costs and future earnings power.


    “The Garden Project”

    Kaylee Beck, French and International Studies, Peace and Justice Minor

    Meredith Hansen, Psychology, Human Services and Spanish Minors

    Jon Mallek,  Political Science and French

    Monica Platten, English and Spanish

    Alyssa Wolan, Elementary Education and Spanish    

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Marcie Paul, Spanish and Director of the Honors Program

    We are active students and citizens particularly interested in healthy living initiatives. To explore our common area of passion, we plan to initiate and sustain a garden on campus in collaboration with the Children's Center. Since we will all be either living on campus this summer or in the Green Bay area, we will work closely with the students at the Children's Center, ensuring that these students have ample opportunities to help with the physical planting and sustaining of the garden.  We will also include educational opportunities in the classroom that connect the joy of gardening with the importance of eating healthy. We are members of the St. Norbert College Honors Program, and we have submitted our proposal in order to present our garden project at the upcoming National Honors fall conference in Boston. At the conference, we will show our research that analyzes the project from the perspectives of our four unique majors (i.e. education = school lunch programs, psychology = optimal development, communications = ability for local growers/organic to promote healthy benefits, French = international standards for healthy eating, political science/business = economic benefits of green movement).


    “Reducing Algal Blooms in the Airport Pond”

    Kristin Kniech, Biology (Pre-Med) 

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Carrie Kissman, Biology and Environmental Science

    Many freshwater ecosystems are experiencing increased algal bloom formation due to cultural eutrophication, or increased nutrient inputs from the surrounding watershed. Don McDonald, director of the Airport Pond Lake Association, contacted the St. Norbert Biology discipline to request assistance in reducing the frequency of algal blooms and to help restore the recreational and aesthetic value of the Airport Pond. We propose implementing a combined top-down trophic cascade (adding piscivores; i.e. largemouth bass) and bottom-up reduction of fertilizer inputs approach to reduce algal blooms. We hypothesize that by combining both top-down and bottom-up remediation techniques, algal bloom frequency will decline, recreational and aesthetic value will increase and sport fishing will be enhanced. Baseline pre-manipulation data will be collected from May-late June, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) will be added and fertilizer use restricted in late June, and post-manipulation data collection will continue until late fall. This research represents a collaborative effort between Dr. Carrie Kissman, freshman Biology major Kristin Kniech, Don McDonald and the Airport Pond Lake Association members and other interested community members.  This project will enhance active student learning and foster excitement about scientific research, build connections with the local community and improve local environmental quality.      


    “Rethinking Empedocles D23” 

    Joel Van Fossen, Philosophy  

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Joel Mann, Philosophy

    We will be looking at the ancient texts of pre-Socratic philosopher Empedocles. Specifically we will analyze fragment D23, which is often referred to as “the painter’s passage.” The passage describes Empedocles’ cosmogony through the metaphor of a painter creating images. We will conduct research through observing the linguistic and philosophical content of the fragment. Moreover, we will look at ancient Greek art to understand the fragment in a way, that up to this point, has been overlooked. This will provide new insight for Empedoclean scholarship while using skills unique to both the faculty member and student.


    “Structural Coherence within the Leibeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes by Brahms”

    Samantha Finnigan, Music Performance    

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Blake Henson, Music

    Johannes Brahms composed two sets of Liebeslieder Waltzes, the original in 1870 with a  second set, “Neue Liebeslieder Waltzer” in 1875.  While the score layout, intent, and voicing of each set of waltzes is similar; the music in the second (Neue) set is markedly more chromatic and highlights a later, more evolved idiom for Brahms. Still, their similarities are immediately aurally perceptible, thereby suggesting a structural relationship with the original set. We intend to analyze the structure of each set following a Schenkerian analytical approach, then perform in-depth analyses of selected movements from each collection so as to identify structural similarities of each movement as they relate to one another, to the structure of the larger set, and to similar movements in the second set of waltzes. Our ultimate goal is to discern a larger “Liebeslieder Structure” that governs the composition and cohesion of movements within and across both sets.




    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