St. Norbert College Announces Student-Faculty Collaboration Awards

From St. Norbert College, December 6, 2012
by Stefanie Trinkl, stefanie.trinkl@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

The St. Norbert College Office of Faculty Development has announced fifteen student-faculty learning partnership teams that will receive Student-Faculty Development Endowment Fund awards in the amount of $1,000 each for the 2012-2013 academic year. The recipients are:

Ravi Agarwal, assistant professor of computer science, and Bradley Blank, sophomore computer science and physics major from Cedarburg, Wis., for a project to develop a Kinect application that transforms a touch-incapable monitor into a virtual touchscreen. A formal research paper will be submitted for publication and results will be presented at St. Norbert College in the spring of 2013.

Agarwal, senior computer science and business administration major Eric Sallman of Colgate, Wis., and De Pere West High School junior Jordan Henkel, De Pere, Wis., for a project to develop a three-dimensional game to simulate a software-development process. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and submitted for publication in the spring of 2013.

Anindo Choudhury, professor of biology, and Marc Popp, junior biology major from New Holstein, Wis., for a project to utilize molecular methods to sequence DNA obtained from parasite species to properly identify each species. Sequences generated by the study will be compared with related sequences on GenBand. This is the first study to utilize PCR-based molecular techniques across a wide range of parasites from a single survey study. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and submitted for publication.

Russ Feirer, associate professor of biology, and Mark Schemmel, junior biology major from Dubuque, Iowa, for a project to study the effects of organic extracts on cell viability and cell-cycle mechanisms on human breast cancer cell lines. Extracts will be made from two invasive plant species to treat the cell lines and induce apoptosis, a process of programmed cell death. Results of this study will be presented at St. Norbert College in the spring of 2013.

David Hunnicut, associate professor of biology, and Rachel Conrad, junior biology major from Mount Prospect, Ill., for a project to create knockout mutants of flavobacterium columnare to test the virulence of this bacteria in zebra fish with the hope of producing a vaccine to prevent Columnaris disease in the aquaculture industry. Results will be presented at St. Norbert College and the national American Society for Microbiology meeting in May 2013.

Carrie Kissman, assistant professor of biology and environmental science, and Maria Dzurik, senior biology and environmental science major from Hamel, Minn., for a project to analyze the effects of the dredging activities to clean up the Fox River Superfund Site on aquatic macroinvertebrate and zooplankton species diversity. River samples will be examined and compared to historical data collected prior to dredging by the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and the national Ecological Society of America meeting this summer.

Kissman and Kristin Kniech, sophomore biology major from Marshfield, Wis., for a project to reduce the algal blooms in Dream Lake, Hobart, Wis. Top-down and bottom-up techniques of adding largemouth bass to induce a trophic cascade, and reducing fertilizer inputs, will be utilized to decrease blooms. Results will be presented at St. Norbert College and the national Ecological Society of American meeting in the summer of 2013.

Terry Jo Leiterman, assistant professor of mathematics, and Matt Larson, sophomore environmental science major from Berlin, Wis., for a project to produce a self-sustainable electric model car. The goal is to create a more energy-efficient car that has minimal external energy input. The results will yield a working prototype of a model car that can be presented at a conference.

Jamie L. Lynch, assistant professor of sociology, and Olivia Poepping, senior sociology major from Burlington, Wis., for a project to collect and analyze data of rural and urban cities to examine the relationship between food deserts, ethnicity and fundamental cause. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and the Midwest Sociological Conference in March 2013.

Bonita McVey, associate professor of computer science, and Quang Bui, junior computer science and business administration major from Dat Do, Vietnam, for a project to develop a library of functions that allow basic behavior and movements of the KT-X humanoid robot. The wirelessly controlled KT-X will be used as outreach to promote the St. Norbert College computer science major in local schools. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and plan to be published on the KumoTek Robotics website.

Michael Olson, assistant professor of physics, Emily Herman, freshman physics and chemistry major from Black Creek, Wis., and Zach Werginz, freshman physics major from Mukwonago, Wis., for a project to systematically determine the performance of inline skating wheels and bearings as well as evaluate industry claims of performance. The results of this project will be used to produce a research paper to be published and a poster to be presented at St. Norbert College.

John Pennington, professor of English, and Jaena Manson, sophomore English major from Escanaba, Mich., for a project to create a digital archive of Orts: The Newsletter of the George MacDonald Society, which will complement the North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies scholarly database, housed at St. Norbert College. The results of this project will be used to produce a critical paper on the history of the George MacDonald Society for the North Wind journal and to create a presentation for the Celebrating Student and Faculty/Staff Collaborations event at St. Norbert College in the spring.

Edward Risden, professor of English, and Joel van Fossen, senior philosophy major from De Pere, Wis., for a project to produce a collaborative Classical dialogue. The dialogue will explore and compare the interpretive approaches of a philosopher and a literary critic as they respond intellectually and aesthetically to Classical epic poems. The results will be submitted for publication and presented at St. Norbert College.

Amy Vandenberg, assistant professor of business administration, Katie Conlon, sophomore accounting major from Marshfield, Wis., and Lauren Janes, sophomore accounting major from Evansville, Wis., for a project to conduct an analysis of how completion of 150 semester hours affects the CPA exam pass rate. The results of this study will benefit accounting students, as it focuses on how best to prepare for the CPA exam. The results of this study will be presented at St. Norbert College, and at the International Academy of Business and Economics Conference in March of 2013.

Marc von der Ruhr, professor of economics, and Viktoriya Zotova, senior economics major from Velingrad, Bulgaria, for a project to investigate the factors that influence attitudes in the United States toward international trade. An ordered probit estimation technique will be utilized to test hypotheses related to the economic theory. The results will be presented at St. Norbert College and will also be used to produce a paper for publication in an academic journal.

For more information about the Student-Faculty Development Endowment Fund, visit the website http://www.snc.edu/facultydevelopment/funding/faculty/endowment.html.