Program for the Spring 2004 Multidisciplinary Research Day


DEPARTMENT OF Biology

Empirical Projects

Bunker, Aaron and Melissa A. F. Daggett. Characterization of Two Microtubule-Associated Proteins in Zebrafish.
The cytoskeleton consists of three major types of cytoskeletal filaments; microtubules, intermediate filaments and microfilaments. The focus of this project is on the function of microtubules and even more specifically on characterization of two previously characterized microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) in the model organism Danio rerio or zebrafish. The two MAPs include tau, a MAP found predominantly in the axons of neurons that normally functions in microtubule stability and transport in a neuronal cell and the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein (EMAP), a MAP found localized to microtubules in the mitotic spindle of developing sea urchin embryos( reviewed in Suprenant and Daggett, 1995, Brisch et al. 1996 and Daggett et al. 1998). Current studies have implicated hyperphosphorylated tau in a number of medically significant tauopathies including Alzheimer’s disease (reviewed in Lucas et al, 2004, and Temussi et al., 2003). A definitive function has not been directly attributed to EMAP, but a number of EMAP homologs have been identified including homologs identified in the human genome that map to chromosomal regions important in genetic deafness (Suprenant et al. 2000). The initial characterization of these MAPs in zebrafish will lead to a laboratory model in which to further study the role of the cytoskeleton in both normal and pathological conditions. Initial characterization includes the preparation of tissue specific whole cell extracts from adult zebrafish, the determination of protein concentration in these extracts and the identification of tubulin, tau and EMAP in these extracts following SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis.
Faculty Sponsor:
DeWitte, Sarah and Melissa A. F. Daggett. Molecular cloning of a zebrafish metallothionein reporter construct for biological monitoring of environmental toxins..
Environmental toxins including heavy metals such as cadmium represent a significant environmental threat to the availability of a safe water supply. We have initiated a project to clone the metallothionein promoter from zebrafish into the reporter plasmid pEGFP. pEGFP contains the coding sequence for expressing an enhanced version of the green fluorescent protein first isolated from jellyfish. Metallothioneins are highly conserved metal binding proteins that play a physiological role in both metal homeostasis and detoxification. The expression of metallothioneins is greatly enhanced through the binding of transcription factors to metal response elements in the metallothionein promoter. Previous studies have shown that the zebrafish metallothionein promoter can increase expression of a reporter in response to both cadmium and zinc. The construction of a zebrafish metallothionein promoter pEGFP construct will be used to investigate the role of these as well as other metals in the regulation of metallothionein expression and potentially in providing a tool for the biological monitoring of these metals in environmental samples.
Faculty Sponsor:
Freel, Sara. Effects of Minor Groove Binding Drugs on Gene Expression in Yeast Cells.
DNA minor groove binding drugs, or MGBDs, are antitumor agents that have been the subject of intense study because their ability to interact with DNA in a sequence-specific fashion suggests they may be developed as targets of specific gene regulation. Studies aimed at understanding the sequence-and structure-dependent ways that MGBDs interact with DNA are needed to understand their biological effects and to guide the development of agents that can target the expression of specific genes. Review of the literature and consideration of the results of preliminary investigations have led to the following hypotheses. The expression of genes in yeast with upstream promoter elements that contain optimal MGBD binding sites will be affected at the level of transcription by MGBDs, resulting in changes in global patterns of gene expression. Genes whose expression is affected by MGBDs will contain control sequences that have optimal MGBD binding sites. By employing genome-wide evaluations of the effects of MGBDs on gene expression in yeast cells the results will likely reveal new genes whose regulation is affected by minor groove interactions and new networks of gene regulation in yeast.
Faculty Sponsor:
Fry, Jennifer. .
Research indicates that ethanol has one of the most dramatic effects on human motor skills and behavior. Motor skills and reaction time are just some of key changes that occur when exposed to alcohol. Ethanol can even cause defects that could result in death. Guppies can be used to test the level at which ethanol has the most effect on behavior. The levels tested will be percent concentrations of ethanol in water at concentrations of .25%, .5%, 1%, 2% and control water. I hypothesize that the higher the concentration of ethanol that the guppy is exposed to, the more behavioral changes and slower reaction time will occur. I believe that even with the smallest amount of ethanol exposure guppy behavior will be distorted and the reaction time will be decreased.
Faculty Sponsor:
Judy Knadler. Comparison of two treatments to process oil-adjuvanted bacterins for antigen assays..
Antigens developed for vaccination of animals are often packaged with oil adjuvants to allow slow release of antigen after injected. Laboratory assays of antigen concentration in vaccine products involves separation of oil and antigen. I compared two techniques for separation of adjuvant and antigen. Sodium Desoxycholate is the common treatment used in most antigen assays. I hypothesized that Triton X100 (a detergent commonly used in microbiological testing) would be a more effective treatment to separate the oil adjuvant and the antigens to which it is bound. I conducted three separate trials (each with three replicates) comparing Triton X100 and Sodium desoxycholate effectiveness. Relative potency measures were significantly higher (Independent Samples T-test, p=0.05) in the trials using Triton X100. This difference was because the Triton X100 was more effective at releasing the antigen from the oil adjuvant.
Faculty Sponsor:
Phillips, Bart. Nucleosome Selection of DNA Minor Groove Binding Sites.
Minor groove binding drugs are a class of anti-tumor drugs that bind preferentially to bent sequences of DNA. These drugs are important because they have the possible ability to alter cellular gene expression due to binding. While it is known that these drugs have a higher affinity for bent sequences of DNA (rich in A and T), exact sequences that are bound most preferentially by each of these drugs is unknown. A series of selection experiments were therefore set up to determine these sequences. To do this, three components were mixed in solution: nucleosomes, a library of varied DNA molecules, and a limited amount of drug. DNA with the highest affinity was able to bind to the drug, while all other sequences were then left to bind to the nucleosomes. Filtering then separated drug/DNA complexes from nucleosome/DNA complexes, and the DNA with greatest affinity for drug binding was selected for. These sequences were then amplified and put through the selection procedure multiple times, with the final result being the isolation of sequences that bind drug the very best. Fluorescence enhancement was used through the entire process to measure the increased binding of the drugs as generations passed through the selection process.
Faculty Sponsor:
Ruegge, Kristine. How Different Colored Light Effects the Rate of Photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process by which light energy derived from the sun is made available to the living world. The Hill reaction is the photodissociation of water. Light energy striking pigments in the chloroplast is transformed first to electrical energy and then to chemical energy. The Hill reaction can be monitored by the addition of an electron accepter to the system. If the electron acceptor is a pigment which alters its color when reduced, you can simply test the absorbance to monitor the rate at which this reaction occurs. 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol (DPIP) changes color from blue to colorless as photosynthesis takes place. Not all wavelengths are equally efficient at powering the light reactions of photosynthesis, so I tested which lights were better/worse. Spinach leaves were used to extract chloroplasts into solution. Seven solutions were used in different lighting situations/activity levels. The absorbance for each tube (with the exception of tube 7) was measured every 10 minutes for 1 hour and recorded. The inactive chloroplasts as well as the chloroplasts placed in green light, blue light, and no light either did not photosynthesize or photosynthesized at a low rate. The chloroplasts placed in the white light and red light quickly reduced the DPIP.
Faculty Sponsor:
Stobaugh, J. J. and Ashley, D. C.. Prevalence of heartwom infections in stray dogs from St. Joseph, Missouri..
Little is known about Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) infections in the stray animal community around St. Joseph, Missouri. We have been monitoring (since 1989) heartworm infections in animals euthanized at the St. Joseph Animal Shelter. We obtained permission to remove hearts and lungs after animals had been euthanized as part of the community health and animal control activities of the city of St. Joseph. Data were collected on host species, gender and approximate age and then tissues were placed in individual bags for transport to the laboratory. Hearts and lungs were grossly sectioned with surgical knives and heartworms noticed were removed, counted, measured and gender determined. Specimens were then preserved in 70% ethanol. One hundred thirty-six animals (128 dogs, 7 cats, 1 fox) were examined. Twenty-six animals (19.1%) were infected. All infected animals were dogs. Infection levels ranged from a single worm to 57 worms found in an animal. Five infections involved single worms. Six infections involved only female heartworms, two infections involved only male heartworms. The mean sex ratio of double-gender infections was 1.1 (Range .25-2.0, sd =.558. Although the mean number of heartwoms in male dogs (Mean =3.04, sd =9.366) was three times the mean number of heartworms in female dogs (Mean =1.00, sd =2.97), this difference was not significant at the 0.05 level (Independent Samples T-test). We examined infections over three different time periods (1989, 1996, 2003). There was no significant difference in the mean number of worms seen in dogs during the three different time periods (ANOVA, p=0.05).
Faculty Sponsor:

Historical Papers

Phillippe, Laura. Technical aspects of handling raptors for educational programs that I learned from my internship at The World Bird Sanctuary.
One of the most crucial elements of raptor management is education of the public on the subject of the valuable role they perform in the balanced food chain of an ecosystem. Education birds are extremely effective in gaining the attention of the public. They are not only acting as ambassadors for their species; the birds assist dispelling myths that have led to their persecution. Nonreleasable raptors are utilized throughout the United States. A permit from the USFWS is required for the retention of endangered or threatened species that are suitable for use in captive-breeding programs or educational or research programs. Standards used for the care and handling of captive raptors center around the safety of the bird first and foremost, and secondly for the safety of the handler. This paper was designed to give general information on the handling and care of raptors and should by no means be used as an instruction manual.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Chemistry

Empirical Projects

David Silvey and Benjmain D. Caldwell. Sequence Specificity Studies of DNA-Antitumor Drug Interaction using Molecular Fluorescence.
The chemical compounds DAPI and Hoechst 33258 are DNA minor groove binding drugs (or MGBD’s) that act as anti-tumor agents that have the ability to interact with DNA in a sequence-specific fashion. This suggests that they could be developed as targeted gene specific regulators. This study focused on examining the sequence- and structure-dependent manner in which MGBD’s interact with DNA. This information is needed to understand their biological effects and to guide the development of agents that can target the expression of specific genes. MGBD binding of two specific MGBD’s, DAPI and Hoescht 33258 was assessed using a variety of DNA sequences. These MGBD’s tend to bind to adenine rich (polyA) DNA sequences. These Adenine rich sequences also tend to promote DNA bending, which may also be important to gene regulation and gene regulating proteins. This study used the intrinsic fluorescent properties of the drugs DAPI and Hoechdt 33258 to measuring MGBD binding to a variety of DNA sequences. Upon binding to DNA the fluorescence of these MGBD’s increases. Relative increases in fluorescence allowed for a ranking and comparison of drug preferences for each of DNA sequences examined. DAPI and Hoescht 33258 were shown to have different DNA sequence preferences. DAPI exhibited a preference for shorter polyA sequences (TTTAAA) while Hoechst 33258 showed a preference for larger polyA sequences (AAAAAA), both of which are in agreement with previous studies. Future work will examine and compare additional DNA sequence variations and attempt to identify genes that may be targeted for therapy.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Communication

Empirical Projects

Bunten, Kimberly. Dressed in personality: How what we wear communicates our personality.
This research is a study of the relationship between a person’s style of clothing and how it shapes their perceived personality. The study provides examples of three different types of clothing and how the person’s personality was viewed based on what they were wearing. The study also shows the differences between men and women in this area. The idea of our clothing representing our personality is a relatively new area to be studied. Researchers believe that clothing does influence people’s perception of our personality, other’s do not. This study set out to prove one way or the other. The information used in this study was obtained from the Missouri Western State College library, the Pickler Memorial Library, the Miller Nichols library, and the University of Missouri-Columbia Ellis Library. The results of this study showed that there was a significant difference in how a person’s personality was perceived if the person was wearing more formal clothing. There was no significant difference in how a person’s personality was perceived between the casual and middle styles. There was also no significant difference between the perceptions of men and women.
Faculty Sponsor:
Franz, Maggie. Attitudes Towards Corporate Philanthropy, Influence on Consumers.
The research conducted will help guide in the fundraising efforts for Highland Community College Athletics and other programs alike. The theory that positive consumer attitudes towards corporate philanthropy lead to new and continued businesses has been tested on a National level and been confirmed. The researcher, in this case, will provide the results to the college to assist in receiving additional funding from corporate sponsors. Variables, studied include gender and age in relationship to corporate philanthropy.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Empirical Projects

Roberts, Lisa. An Analysis of the Child Abuse Prevention Programs in Saint Joseph, Missouri.
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of the child abuse prevention programs in Saint Joseph, Missouri. To do this, child abuse data was gathered from the Division of Family Services` year-end-reports. This data was analyzed to determine whether the incidents of child abuse have risen, lowered, or stayed the same. Also, thirteen child abuse prevention programs were surveyed to determine what type of program they are running and what types of abuse are being focused on. The goal is to make sure Saint Joseph`s child abuse programs are providing adequate services to children in need.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF CSMP

Empirical Projects

Blevins, James. Circular and Elliptic Spirographs.
The Spirograph is a popular drawing toy that produces spiral graphs by rotating small circles around the inside of larger circles, ellipses, and so forth. My independent study research project consisted of two parts. First, I derived the formulas for the circle and elliptical spirographs. Second, using a spirograph template as a model, I wrote a program in php (an internet scripting language) that will allow anyone to replicate any circular or elliptical spirograph produced by the template. After extensive searching on Google, it appears that this project may have resulted in a couple of firsts. As far as I can ascertain, not only is my program the only one written in php that generates spirographs of any kind, but it appears to be the first and only program in existence that is able to model the elliptical spirograph. It also appears to be the only program that attempts to model the spirograph template I used.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Nursing

Empirical Projects

Adkins, D., Bailey, Dodds, J. , Kent, J., George, M., Montanero, P., Schulte, R.. Does Accuracy Count? Effect of counting time on pulse rate measurement accuracy..
There has been little research done on the accuracy of counting a pulse in relation to 15 second or 60 second pulse counts. According to Miller (1956), attention span has a limit to the aount or "chunks" of information that it can store in the short-term memory. Additionally, in her 1984 book entitiled, , Paticia Benner explains how the acquisition of nursing comptence travels along a continuum. The intent of this study is to provide evidence that 15 second pulse counts are more accurate than 60 second pulse counts, that beginning nursing students will be less accurate than more advanced students and that students with prior healthcare experience will be more accurate than those who do not. A convenience sample (N=92) nursing students participated in this study. A data collection tool was designed by the researchers. All students were asked to listen to a prerecorded tape of heart tones and time intervals varying between 15 seconds and 60 seconds. All students were instructed to start their count of the tones at zero. Data analysis revealed that the beginning students were actually more accurate than the advanced students, however the data did confirm the fact that students with prior healthcare experience were more accurate than those who had none. Although, the 15 second counts were more accurate overall than the 60 second counts for this study, the lack of control makes it difficult to make recommendations for practice. A discouraging discovery was the high rate of variability between the pulse counts for all groups. Due to the fact that this is a critical nursing assessment of cardiac function, it is recommended that nurse researchers continue to investigate this problem. Future studies might simulate the practice environment and utilize an EKG as a control/comparison.
Faculty Sponsor:
J. Ayers, J. Bram, S. Dinsmore, B. Eiman, C. Howard, T. Howery, B. Matthews, S. Steinbecker, A. Woodbury. Soothing Melodies.
Research supports the utlization of music as an intervention that can improve the quality of life for terminally ill individuals in the physical, social psychological and spiritual realms. The intent of this study was to evaluate the relationship between a music intervention and its impact on the overall quality of life in terminally ill hospice patients. Utilizing a mixed-method approach, this descriptive study incorporated qualitative and quantitative measures to examine the impact music has on hospice patients receiving visits from local musicians. Physiologic data in the form of blood pressure, pulse were collected before and after the music was played. Additionally, hand temperature was measured as an indicator of stress levels. Several open-ended questions were asked of the participants to elicit the participants viewpoint on how music impacts the quality of their life. Dependent t-tests revealed a signicant difference (p=.007) in all measures. As anticipated, blood pressure, pulse and respirations lowered. Hand temperature increased and is a reflection of the music`s relaxing effects. This study supports the use of music in the practice setting. Nurses should be encouraged to utlize music as a holistic intervention with hospice patients. Although this study had promising results, further studies should be conducted with a larger sample size.
Faculty Sponsor:
K. Boyer, T. Dickmeyer, D. Kerns, M. Marrs, K. Paul, K. Powell, A. Reeter, B. Wheeler. Successful Diabetes Management for Low-Income Diabetics: The Insider`s View.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that is becoming increasingly more prevalent in the United States. The prevalence of diabetes is commonly seen in specific ethnic groups and is linked to environmental, cultural, genetic and economic factors. In congruence with Leininger`s (1988) definition of culture, this study aimed to explore the experiences of a low-income population enrolled in a diabetes self-management program (n=8). This ethnographic study utilized interviews and participatnt observaton as method triangulation to increase the credibility of the data obtained. Leininger`s Sunrise model served as the foundation for a template analysis of narrative data. The interviews were tape-recorded with participant consent and later transcribed. Of the seven factors identified in Leininger`s Sunrise Model that influence health and in turn impact provider actions, five emerged from the data. The five factors identified in the study were; educational factors, social/kinship factors, economic factors, technological factors and cultural factors. A common theme was the appreciation the participants had for the support the program provided. If the study continued and further interviews were conducted, it is expected that all seven of the factors identified in the Sunrise Model would emerge. This study reminds nurses that it is important to keep cultural considerations at the forefront of care and that the best way to examine the effectiveness of a program is to solicit feedback directly from the persons involved.
Faculty Sponsor:
B. Dudik, K. Riley, K. Roberts, H. Hall, E. Palmer, K. Vickery, C. Mills, W. Hughes, D. Moran. A Pain Scale Challenge: Through the Eyes of a Child.
It has always been an ongoing concern among nurses regrading the validity of pediatric pain scales that are being used in the practice environment. The aim of this study was to determine how children perceive pain and which pain scale is the most valid measure of pediatric pain from the child`s viewpoint. Three pediatric pain scales; Wong-Baker, Faces-Revised, and Oucher were used for this study. The sample consisted of 53 kindergarten students. The faces of the pain scales were pasted onto blocks, and the children were asked to take each of the faces and place them in a line from least pain to most pain. Descriptive statistics were calculated for accuracy and an ANOVA was run to investigate differences between the three scales. Additionally, the children were asked to recount an "experience when they were hurt" and to also to talk about what pain means. The results confirmed the hypothesis that the Wong-Baker scale would emerge as the most valid as perceived by the participants. Mean differences revealed the Wong-Baker scale to be more accurate overall, however post hoc analysis demontrated only significant differences between the Wong-Baker and the Oucher (p=.047) in regard to accuracy. Due to the subjective concept of pain, all of the pain scales run the risk of not being sensitive to the multiple variables that can influence the pediatric population and their ability to self-report pain.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Psychology

Empirical Projects

Cothern, Julie. Prejudice and Racism: Where Does It Come From?.
Although prejudice and racism isn’t openly discussed as it was decades ago, it is still a fairly large problem in the United States today. Several factors can come into play when discussing this issue. Some of these factors are discussed in this study. The purpose of this study was to try to determine where prejudice and racism comes from focusing on the following factors: the subjects’ ages, size of community in which the subjects were raised, size of community in which they currently resided in, their highest level of education and their ethnic backgrounds. A total of 60 subjects were given a 16 question survey which also included four demographics. These 60 surveys were distributed in small, mid-sized and large communities. The results of this study showed a significant difference with the age of the subjects and their highest level of education. It was found that the older the person is, the more they were open to other cultures. It was also found that those with only a high school degree were found to be more prejudiced than those who have a higher level of education. To the contrary, the size of the community in which they were raised, and currently live in had nothing to do with how prejudiced one is.
Faculty Sponsor:
Larson, Tabitha. The Influence of Racial Diversity on Group Efficacy and Effectiveness.
The purpose of the following study was to see if racial diversity had an influence on group efficacy or group performance. Participants were split into one of two dyads, racially diverse, or racially homogenous. They were each given a Likert-type group efficacy scale and were given five minutes to brainstorm with their partner. Group effectiveness was measured by the number of items each group brainstormed. It was hypothesized that the racially diverse groups would perform better on the brainstorming task, but the homogenous groups would have a higher group efficacy score. Independent t-tests were done, but no significant results were found to support either hypothesis. The diverse groups did do better on the brainstorming task, suggesting that with a larger sample size a significant result may be found. There was no difference in efficacy scores, suggesting that race has no effect on group efficacy.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Empirical Projects

LINDENBUSCH, BROOKE & RIPPY, JENNIFER & VERTIN, NATALIE. THE EFFECT OF STAFF KNOWLEDGE ON PARENTAL SATISFACTION IN CHILDCARE.
The purpose of this study was to see if the cost of a childcare center was related to the parents’ satisfaction with that center. We looked at various correlations between the staff and parent surveys. Although we looked at some other factors we were interested in, such as the relationship between planned activities and the child’s enjoyment of the program, the main purpose was to find the relationship between the quality and the cost. We gave the parents a survey asking them several questions about the daycare that their child attends. We also gave the staff a different survey asking them questions about their knowledge and satisfaction in daycare. We found that there was not a correlation between the parent’s rating on the quality and the cost of childcare center, which shows that childcare centers that are more expensive are not always perceived by the parents as better. In conclusion, we found that, based on our sample, our hypothesis was supported. The parents perceived quality of the center was not related to the cost of the program.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Psychology

Empirical Projects

Martin, Myrnell L.. Is it Important to get involved in college clubs and organizations and does it reflect academic performance?.
The purpose of this study is to measure whether getting involved in college clubs and organizations helps students in making good grades. The methodology included administering a Likert-type scale to Missouri Western State College students to measure the importance of getting involved and I also asked what their grade point average is. I gave the scale to students who are not involved and students who are involved in clubs and organizations. A high score on this scale indicates a strong importance of getting involved. A low score on this scale indicates a weak importance of getting involved. Getting a high or a low score does not necessarily represent the student’s academic performance. After conducting a Pearson Correlation results showed a score of .067 which is not significant. Being involved in college clubs and organizations had no influence on the students grade point averages, which suggests that grade point average does not matter. I also ran a t-test on gender and results showed that males are more involved than women but women have higher grade point averages. The conclusions are that the results of this study did not support the hypothesis that getting involved reflects grade point averages of college students.
Faculty Sponsor:
Mills, Kristin & McMullan, Heather. A Study of Short-Term Memory in Regards to Pictures, Words, and Pictures and Words Presented Together..
The purpose of this study was to learn if people were be better able to have short-term recall for pictures, words, or pictures and words presented together. For the methods of this project we had three groups of males and females of varying ages. One group saw a list of 18 words, one group saw a set of 18 pictures that corresponded with the words, and the third group saw those pictures and words presented together. Subjects were given one minute to review their items, then there was a thirty second delay period after which they were given one minute to recall the items. The results were statistical findings that showed that subjects were significantly better at remembering the pictures and the words presented together as opposed to the words alone. The conclusions are that the results of this study supported the hypothesis in that pictures and words together were better remembered than words alone, but pictures and words together were not significantly better than pictures alone. These findings may apply to a number of situations, including teaching methods as well as an aid for studying. Further studies may include a closer look at gender and/or age differences for short-term memory recall using the same method.
Faculty Sponsor:
Mobley, Angela D. & Deets, Crystal D.. Moral Reasoning and Technology.
The ever-growing movement of the ownership of personal computers in our homes has created a new model for moral reasoning for property, tangible verses intellectual. The purpose of this study is to explore peoples’ moral views of taking intellectual property verses taking traditional, tangible property. A questionnaire was administered to 164 college students. The questionnaire contained six short multiple-choice scenarios. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was calculated comparing six different scenarios and their average stage of moral reasoning. The results of this study indicated that people think differently about traditional, tangible property verses intellectual property.
Faculty Sponsor:
Neumann, Margaret & Pugh, Kelsey. Effects of Age on Dogmatic Traits.
The purpose of this study is to determine if becoming more dogmatic is really a result of aging, we wanted to see if people’s beliefs and opinions really do become more concrete or set in stone as they grow older. We believe that people do become more dogmatic as they grow older. For the method there were 60 participants who were recruited by convenience sampling to participate in our study. We used an original dogmatism scale that consists of twenty Likert type statements. Our scale is based off of the Short Dogmatism Scale by R. H. Schulze. The scale is a paper and pencil survey that contains some reverse rating statements. The higher the score on the scale, the more dogmatic that participant is. After the data was collected, the responses from the participants who are forty-six and older were compared to the responses of the participants who are forty-five and younger to see if there was a difference in dogmatic traits.The results were statistical findings that showed that subjects were not significantly different on their dogmatism scores no matter their ages. The conclusions of this study show our hypothesis of dogmatism increasing with age was not supported. Further studies may include a closer look at gender differences, political views, along with geographic origins using the same method to find some correlation with dogmatism traits.
Faculty Sponsor:
Peterson, Diana. Father-Daughter Relationships: Does Paternal Involvement Affect Risk-Taking Behavior in Women?.
This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between father-daughter relationships and risk-taking behavior in women. Female students at Missouri Western State College (n=52) completed two questionnaires, one measuring their perception of paternal involvement they had experienced, and the other describing various risk-taking behaviors. It was predicted that a low level of paternal involvement would be positively associated with a higher number of risk-taking behaviors. Although a weak correlation was found, results were not significant (r(50)=-.061,p>.05).
Faculty Sponsor:
Petty, Marion Myers, Alyssa. Is Alcohol A Gateway Drug?.
The purpose of this study was to find if there is a connection between alcohol use and marijuana use. Common knowledge that many people believe is that marijuana is a gateway drug. The authors hypothesized that the more alcohol a person has consumed the more likely they will want to smoke marijuana. There were three groups with 15 to 18 subjects in each group. The groups consisted of a control, moderate, and high alcohol groups. Subjects were told a cover story and given alcohol according to their body weight and gender. The subjects were randomly assigned to each group. We had some people that were not in the study be confderates. The Confederates offered fake marijuana to each of the three groups, and the confederates kept count of those that smoked the marijuana cigarettes. Subjects were debriefed and asked to complete a survey about their past and present drug use. The results that the authors found were statistically significant. Researchers found that the more alcohol consumed the more likely the sujects were to try marijuana. All of the subjects reporting use of marijuana also reported alcohol use.
Faculty Sponsor:
Sleeth, Wendy M.. Using Color to Increase Memorization.
The purpose of this study was to learn if adding color to words would help in memorization of these words. There were 41 participants in this study. The participants were from three different entry level classes at Missouri Western State College. For this study I had three groups which were presented one of the three lists of 12 words that I compiled based on words not used in everyday convesation. The first group was presented a list of 12 black words. The second group was presented the same 12 words, with one word being red. The third group was presented the same 12 words, except six of the words were red and they were alternated with 6 black words. The results from this study were not significant when one color word was present, but were closer to being significant when the participants were presented with six color words alternated with six black words. Further studies may include the use of colors other than red and words which may be used in everyday conversation
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Social Work

Empirical Projects

Beck, Joan. Understanding Non Social Work Students` Perception of Social Work and Social Welfare.
The purpose of this study was to find out what non social work students at Missouri Western State College attitudes, feelings, and knowledge towards the social work profession and social services. This study used a qualitative design. The key findings are as follows. Non social work students, in general, had positive perceptions of the social work profession. However, they had little understanding and knowledge of the profession, they had little knowledge of where social workers work and what social workers do. Students had a great deal of difficulty separating social work from social services. Students showed limited knowledge of who receives services.
Faculty Sponsor:
Grier, Melody. Co-dependency and Drug Addiction.
The purpose of this qualitative design is to find the similarities in life experiences of individuals who suffer from drug addiciton and co-dependency. A case study was conducted on five residential clients within the Family Guidance Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. The participants were given interview question on thier past and present life experiences in a face to face interview. There were significant similarities in their life experiences. Many of the clients had abuse in thier childhood and a significant number of clients are currently unemployed.
Faculty Sponsor:
High, Kristin. Constantly Improving: A Program Evaluation.
The purpose of this qualitative design is a program evaluation done on the Teen/Youth Community Awareness Program in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the program. The study was done by conducting a case study of the program through the use of face-to-face interviews of the clients served. The researcher personally interviewed eight of the children currently being served by the program. All participants in the study were volunteers. Key findings of the research will be discussed at the MultiDisciplinary Research Day.
Faculty Sponsor:
Kerr, Codi. Are Patients and Family Members in need of a support group in a hospital setting?.
The purpose of this quantitative study is to answer the question- Is there a need for a patient and family support group at St. Luke`s Northland Hospital. The design chosen was a Survey Design and a Needs Assessment Research. Three similar questionaire`s were distributed to the staff, family members and patients. The total amount of questionnaires distributed and collected were 21. The respondents consist of seven members from each category. The researcher personally interviewed each respondent face to face. Key findings will consist of frequencies and cross tabulations which will be shared at the Presentation Day.
Faculty Sponsor:
Amy. Northwest Missouri Mental Health Workers` Attitudes Towards and Knowledge of Electroconvulsive Therapy.
The purpose of this quantitative study is to assess the correlation between the understanding of and attitude towards electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) among mental health workers in Northwest Missouri. The researcher used survey design to replicate a similar study conducted in Britian. Statistical findings in regards to Northwest Missouri as well as comparing and contrasting the two studies will be avaliable at the Multidisciplinary Research Day.
Faculty Sponsor:
Neis, Lori. Is Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs effective on severely mentally ill individuals?.
The purpose of this quantitative study was to assess the effectiveness of the program "Psychosocial Rehabilitation" (PSR) at North Central Missouri Mental Health Center. Psychosocial Rehabilitation is a day program for the severely mentally ill. The research question addressed in this study was: Is the Psychosocial Rehabilitation program effective or not effective? The design chosen was a Survey design. The researcher did face-to-face interviews with fifteen client`s who volunteered to participate. The researcher used a closed-ended questionnaire. Key findings will consist of frequencies and some content analysis which will be shared on the presentation day.
Faculty Sponsor:
Oppenlander, Katie. A Closer Look at the Salvation Army Booth Center.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Salvation Army Booth Center program for the homeless. The study was completed by survey design using questionnaires. The questionnaires were distributed to the residents at the shelter and upon returning data; analysis was completed on the data. Convenience sampling was used due to the lack of access to the number of residents that would be required to complete random sampling. The findings will be revealed at the multidisciplinary research day.
Faculty Sponsor:
Seaton, Rachel. Mothers: They Need Support.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to assess the program of "Mom`s Time" at the St. Joseph YWCA and to include other studies that looked into mother support groups. "Mom`s Time" is a support group for mothers who have children ages six weeks through preschool and need a time of stress relief. The research question studied here is whether or not the group is effective and should continue. The researcher personally interviewed six members of the group who volunteered to participate. The researcher used a structured questionniare and also felt the freedom to add questions. The researcher then assessed the transcriptions of the interviews and found that the program facilitator has made a big impact on the members and that all of the members felt like the group was beneficial and needed. Many of the members expressed thier gratitude for a place to come and discuss issues from their families and also just talk with friends. The researcher found that the program, "Mom`s Time" is beneficial and effective and should continue.
Faculty Sponsor:
Seiberling, Lisa. Reduction in Education Spending: The Effects Felt by One Community.
The purpose of this qualitative study is to assess the effects that the reduction in education spending has had on the residents of one Kansas community. A case study was conducted. The researcher interviewed six residents of Leavenworth, Kansas using a structured questionnaire. The researcher then transcribed the interviews and identified common themes. The researcher found that the majority of the residents interviewed were concerned about the reduction in education spending. Safety of children who walk to school and the effects of increased class size were two common themes found in the interviews.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Social Work, Advisor Dr. Monica Nandan

Empirical Projects

Takes, Jill. Breaking the Silence.
The purpose of this qualitative design was to explore the experiences of battered women. Conversational interviews were conducted with six women that were currently or had recently been residents of a battered women`s shelter. Childhood experiences, coping mechanisms, and availability of social support were focal points of the interviews. The results of the study highlight the fact that, for women to be served effectively, their voices must be heard
Faculty Sponsor:
38 submissions listed.
BIOLOGY9
CHEMISTRY1
COMMUNICATION2
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND LEGAL STUDIES1
CSMP1
NURSING4
PSYCHOLOGY10
SOCIAL WORK9
SOCIAL WORK, ADVISOR DR. MONICA NANDAN1
EMPIRICAL37
HISTORICAL PAPER1