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Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund supports student research and creative activity


Fifty-three students received funding for their research and creative activity from the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund (PURF). A faculty selection committee distributed $50,000 worth of awards.

This year the committee received 115 applications, which included $136,868 in funding requests.

“Every year we see an increase in the quality of applications from undergraduates who are involved in remarkable research and creative projects,” said Jan Hodson, assistant dean of the Honors Tutorial College who has managed the PURF selection and conferment process since the award’s inception in 2001.

“We are grateful to the provost for making this fund available each year,” she added.

The 2011-2012 PURF recipients are listed below by college.

College of Arts and Sciences

Jenna Culp, Biological Sciences, “The Effects of Alcohol on Neuron Growth and Synapse Formation Using Cultured Fetal Rat Neurons”

Carolyn Davidson, Psychology, “Predictors of College Women's Prosocial Bystander Intervention: Personal Characteristics, Sexual Assault History, and Situational Barriers”

Marcus Fakler, Political Science, “Tea Party Mentality”

Emily Hawley, History, “A Plan, a Bank, and a Community: Foreign Aid, Post-war Reconstruction, and the Italian Approach to European Cooperation”

Sarah Minkin, Sociology and Anthropology, “Food Sovereignty in India: A Qualitative Analysis”

Kathleen Plona, Biological Sciences, “Study of Sterocilia in a Deaf Mouse Model to Better Understand Clic5 Protein Function”

J.J. Reagh, Chemistry and Biochemistry, “Synthesis and Study of Photomechanical Ruthenium Sulfoxide Polymers”

Cheyenne Romick, Biological Sciences, “Studying the Growth of the Brain and Inner Ear of the Ostrich Using CT Scanning and 3D Analysis”

Alexander Smith, Biological Sciences, “Exploring Ubiquitin D Up-regulation in STAT5a/b Knockout Mice and Cross-talk between the STAT5 and NF-kappa-B Pathways”

Katherine Vause, Psychology, “Screening for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in Kindergarten: A Profile of Parent Perceptions”

Jonathan Young, Biological Sciences, “Generation and Characterization of CIDE-A Expressing Cells”

College of Fine Arts

Brittni Barranco, Art, “The Ethnography of Art”

Amanda Boyd, Art, “A Sense of Memory”

Ali Forbes, Art, “Unfamiliarity within 13”

Rachael Griffin, Art, “Water Some Things We Can Do?”

Hannah Morgan, Art, “Oral Fixation”

Maddie Piano, Art, “After Life in the Face of Death”

Elizabeth Plyler, Art, “Structural Perspectives”

Nathaniel Russell, Art, “American Names”

College of Health Sciences and Professions

Lauren Cohen, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, “Monitoring the Antioxidants of Pawpaw Pulp During Frozen Storage”

Ariana Fiorita, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, “Impact of a Produce Intervention Program on the Produce Access, Produce Intake, and Health of Low-Income, Appalachian Women during the Winter Months: A Pilot Study”

Allison Lekich, Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, “Exploring the Music-Language Relationship: Identification of Musical and Linguistic Tones by English-speaking Musicians and Non-musicians”

Jennifer McGill, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, “Comparison of a Full Field Skills Assessment Versus a Player's Physiological Profile for Predictability of on Field Performance of Division 1 Field Hockey Players”

Kelly Ticknor, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, “Step Rate of Children's Free-Play Physical Activity”

Katie Troike, Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, “Quantification of Collagen VI and Effect on Adipocyte Size in Adipose Tissue of bGH and GHR -/- Mice”

Marissa Ure, Social and Public Health, “Particulate Exposures to Hookah Environmental Tobacco Smoke”

Honors Tutorial College

Patricia Arnold, Biological Sciences, “Validation of Mechanical Response Tissue Analysis of Ulna Vibrations”

Rachel Collins, Theater, “Happy Days: A Modern Woman's Approach to Absurdism”

Ethan Cottrill, Chemistry and Biochemistry, “Synthesis and Study of Novel Photochromic Liquid Crystalline Materials for Holographic Information Storage”

Ellie Hamrick, Sociology and Anthropology, “Vying for Victimhood: How the Colonial Past is (Re)Imagined in the Debate over Genocide Reparations in Namibia”

Allison Hight, English, “Independence National Historical Park's ‘The President's House’”

Andrea Huist, Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, “Teaching Graphic Symbols for AAC Through Video and Practical Application”

Barbara Jewell, Art History, “Spring Quarter Study Abroad in Salzburg, Austria: A Cultural Immersion”

Jason Malizia, Chemistry and Biochemistry, “Synthesis and Study of a Photoactive Multinuclear Ruthenium Metal-Organic Framework”

Anna Nkrumah, Chemistry and Biochemistry, “Enantiorecognition inside a Macrocycle: A New Concept for Chiral Drug Design”

Regan Price, Biological Sciences, “Studying the Role of Clic in Cellular Motility Using Drosophila Hemocytes”

Brianna Rea, Business, “Consumer Reactions to Product-Harm Crises: The Moderating Role of Brand Equity”

Sarah Shanks, Art, “INTERSUM: The Image Irrefutably Present and Yet Already Deferred”

Alexandra Spaw, Biological Sciences, “Measuring Gene Expression Levels of Important Aging Related Genes in Two Mouse Models with Altered Growth Hormone (GH) Physiologies”

Bryan Tysl, Chemistry and Biochemistry, “The Effects of Repeated Weight Loss and Weight Gain on Long Term Health and Longevity”

Cody Vandenberg, Film, “Minute-Man”

Scott Varga, Biological Sciences, “A New Tool for Uncovering Connections Between Circuits and Behavior”

Clare Vesel, Biological Sciences, “Quantification of Brown Adipocyte Marker UCP1 in White Adipose Depots of Transgenic Mice”

Adam Wagner, Journalism, “Locked Out: Case Studies of Daily Newspapers Business Models and an Economic Evaluation of Their Effectiveness”

BreeAnn Williams, Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, “Effects of Age and Gender on the Oral and Pharyngeal Transition Times of Normal Swallowing Physiological Process”

David Young, Media Arts and Studies, “Compositional Approaches and Considerations for Adaptive and Interactive Music within Video Games”

Russ College of Engineering and Technology


Samantha Craig, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, “Second Annual Institute of Navigation Autonomous Snowplow Competition Participation”

Ben Phillippi, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, “Detection of laminin Variants Produced by Mouse Normal Ovarian Cells and Ovaries, and Mouse Ovarian Cancer Cells and Tumors”

Scripps College of Communication

Sarah Clark, Communication Studies, “An Exploration of the Effects of Perception, Demographics, and Psychographics on the Reasons for the Frequency and Likelihood of Intentional Tanning by College Students”

Annette Drapac, Visual Communication, “Project C: Clicking Creates Change”

Zachary Miller, Information and Telecommunication Systems, “Next Generation Wireless Networking: Using Latent Spectrum to Increase Internet Access in Athens County”

Matt Toledo, Media Arts and Studies, “The Black Eagle: Stop Animation Project”

Chu Yang, Journalism, “GlobalTown”

PURF faculty selection committee members included Mark McMills, Ellengene Peterson, Jay Ryu, and Myra Waterbury from the College of Arts and Sciences; Travis Gatling, Annie Howell, Jennie Klein, Kjersten Lester-Moratzka, and Robert Peppers from the College of Fine Arts; Robert Brannan from the College of Health Sciences and Professions; John Hitchcock from the Patton College of Education; Deborah McAvoy from the Russ College of Engineering; Marilyn Greenwald and Casey Hayworth from the Scripps College of Communication.