Program for the Spring 2009 Multidisciplinary Research Day


DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY

Analytical Papers and Analyses

Cooper, Kristen; Shipman, Anna . ANNOTATION OF CONTIG 52 IN D. MOJAVENSIS.
Bioinformatics is the use of technology and computers to process and annotate biological information. It is used to analyze information that can then be used in various ways. This project was to annotate a DNA sequence of Drosophila mojavensis using databases like BLAST, FlyBase and ExPasy. In contig 52 of D. mojavensis, Genscan predicted there would be three genes. By comparing our gene sequence and protein sequence to the sequences of the actual genes present in D. melanogaster, it was concluded that only two exons from the first gene are actually present in this contig.
Faculty Sponsor: ECKDAHL

Empirical Projects

Ashley, David and Stehly, Matt. BRISTLY CAVE CRAYFISH.
Cambarus setosus (commonly called bristly cave crayfish) is currently seen as a vulnerable species by the Missouri department of conservation. This study was done in order to understand more of the species morphology to get a better idea of its behavior in hopes to better protect C. setosus as well as its natural habitat. The study began in November of 2006 in Smallin Cave of Ozark Missouri. Over the course of eight trips, sixty three cave crayfish were studied by keeping track of the total number found each trip and by noting any deformities. Various measurements were also taken on every individuals body, head, carapace, right and left pincer, and width. The crayfish were also weighed, gendered, and noted on reproductive state. The last two trips looked at location as well; noting how far into the cave each crayfish were found, the substrate on which it is was found, the stream flow, and its depth in water. After each crayfish was studied they were placed back in the same spot they were found. The data gathered has thus far shown several findings. It has shown the females to have a significantly greater mass then the males,we found more cave crayfish to be found towards the entrance of the cave within the first two hundred meters and to be more commonly found in still waters.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ASHLEY
Ashley, David and Shaffer, Jennifer. BIO 355 MINIPROJECT: TUMBLING CREEK CAVE CRUSTACEANS.
Tumbling creek cave is home to two genre of isopods (Lirceus and Caecidotea) and two genre of amphipods (Gammarus and Stygobromus). Over the past twelve years, data has been collected by participants from Missouri Western State University. Stream sampling is being used to look at the habitat and abundance of these organisms. Habitats are characterized by the size of rocks, silt cover, depth, and flow. There are optimal and minimal habitats based on these characteristics. However, only the terrestrial isopod, Lirceus shows significant (p<.05) correlation to the optimal habitat. Annual rainfall could also be impacting the prevalence of these organisms.
Faculty Sponsor: DAVID ASHLEY
Ausberger, Teresa. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: CAVE CRICKET ZONATION IN INDIAN CAVE II.
On January 17, 2009 an Indian Cave Biota Count was performed as part of an ongoing census to determine cave cricket zonation. This biota count was performed at Indian Cave II which is located in Crawford County, Missouri in the Huzzah Conservation Area. Quantitative counts on the organisms inhabiting cave space within Indian Cave II has been occurring since 1992. This project has taken place during all four seasons with data showing location and cricket size. From the quantitative data collected, tables and graphs have been generated which demonstrate that cricket numbers have shown a steady decline since the year 2001. In 2001, a drought occurred within this area which may be the cause of low cricket numbers within the cave system. From these tables and graphs other information is provided which shows that a significant difference exists between size and cricket gender; that crickets are more prominent in the fall and winter, and that crickets are primarily located on the ceiling. From the data that has been collected thus far, orientation and season preference have been noted within the cave system.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID C. ASHLEY
Barnett, Jason; Dovel, Brian. ANNOTATION OF A 40,000BP DNA SEGMENT FROM THE DROSPOHILA MOJAVENSIS DOT CHROMOSOME.
The researcher was analyzing a 40000bp sequence of DNA from the Drosophila mojavensis dot chromosome designated contig49. Using a genome browser with multiple prediciton softwares displayed, a gene model checker, a basic local alignment search tool, and a gene database it was determined that there were three full genes coded for by the sequence and one partial which may be a homolog. They are defined as GI14123, polycystin-related Y protein, GI22958, and GI16944.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL AND DR. JEFF POET
Baumgardner, Jordan and Dow, Brian. GENE ANNOTATION OF CONTIG 45 IN DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS USING TECHNIQUES IN BIOINFORMATICS.
Using current techniques in Bioinformatics, we successfully annotated three genes from a chunk of DNA from the Drosophila mojavensis genome. Using techniques such as Blast, Flybase, and UCSC genome browser, we abstracted three genes from the predicted six and showed that the other three were in fact, not genes. This was possible by making comparisons to the highly annotated D. melanogaster genome.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Bibb, Kristen. TUMBLING CREEK CAVESNAIL ALTERNATIVE HABITAT.
The increased water and sediment input into Tumbling Creek Cave in Taney County, Missouri has had an impact on the populations of the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail (Antrobia culveri) that can be found on rocks in the caves stream beds where they used to be prevalently seen. The change in the caves streams is a result of cattle overgrazing and forest clearing of a nearby farm which has loaded the groundwater with sediments. The sediments worked down into the cave through losing streams, and a cave stream that was once floored with cobblestone is now covered with silt, this has made any rocks in the stream stuck to the bottom and inaccessible to the Tumbling Creek Cave snail making them nearly extinct. Due to the decline of the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail efforts are being made to culture the hydrobiid Antobria culveri, so that an attempt to recover the populations can be made. Ceramic tiles were also added to the caves stream beds to act as a substitute reproductive habitat in hopes that the tiles will acclimate and produce a layer of biofilm and provide the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail with food (Biofilm) and a habitat that is accessible and that is not stuck in the sediment. After three visits to the cave to do a census on Antrobia, a small population of snails and a few other species of invertebrates has been observed using the ceramic tiles as an alternative habitat.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY
Crowley, Matthew and Newhart, William. GENETIC ANNOTATION OF D. MOJAVENSIS DOT CHROMOSOME VIA BIOINFORMATIC TECHNIQUES .
Bioinformatics is the use of computer software to help describe and identify and compare interspecies homology in molecular biology. The purpose of this bioinformatics project was to annotate a sequence of genes in Drosophila mojavensis in order to provide a more accurate gene model prediction. Beginning analysis results with the Genscan gene model for contig 50 gave inconsistent results and poor comparisons. Further analysis of the contig with the SGP2 model revealed 4 possible genes. Annotation of the model found evidence for three genes, two of which had gene models for the D. melanogaster genes CG5262 and Or13a. The D. virilis gene for the polycystin related Y protein was also modeled with high prediction, while SGP2 gave a faulty evidence for a fourth gene.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL AND DR. JEFF POET
Doty, Jennifer, Crowley, Tom. ANNOTATION OF DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS CONTIG 47.
As part of the Genomics Education Partnership, contig 47 of the Drosophila mojavensis genome was annotated to determine what genes were present. Evidence for 8 genes were found, along with 2 pseudogenes and a transposon. The genes include Nola1, Rho5, Or13a, and others.
Faculty Sponsor: TODD ECKDAHL
Evans, Misty. CAVE ISOPODS AT SKAGGS CAVE.
We explored the Skaggs Cave creek beds to count and measure cave isopods.The data was submitted into SPSS and compared to data of recent trips.We compared the lengths of the isopods with the months.
Faculty Sponsor: CAVE ECOLOGY
Fanning, John Noynaert, Joseph. ANNOTATION OF DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS CONTIG53.
The overall goal for BIO 331 is to use tools available to undertake a bioinformatics study of the dot chromosome in Drosophila mojavensis. In the analysis of our 40,000 base pair sequence called contig53, we found one functional partial gene that spans through our entire contig and begins and ends in contigs that are currently being annotated by other students in our class and across the nation. The gene was found to be an ortholog to the CG31999 gene found in Drosophila melanogaster. Our contig contains approximately 32.20% repeatable elements composing mostly of transposons and retroelements.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL
Lee, Jacqueline and Ashley, Dr. David. DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE OF ORGANISMS INVOLVED IN DECOMPOSITION IN TUMBLING CREEK CAVE.
This experiment was conducted in Tumbling Creek Cave in Taney County, Missouri. Decomposition stations are a way of determining the types of organisms that are involved in this process in cave ecosystems. Hypotheses included the idea that higher the stage of decomposition lead to higher the abundance of invertebrates on that stick, there would be a significant difference in the abundance and diversity of organisms for each station per season, and variation in abiotic factors would affect the abundance and diversity of organisms found at the station. Each station was carefully observed for organisms were found on each stick. The number, size, and type of organism for each stick was recorded. Data included the season, organism type and size, temperature and other kestrel readings, and station number. It was determined that there was a significant difference in the species diversity at station 4 compared to all other stations. There was no significant difference in the diversity, abundance, or Shannon index in relation to the relative humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure. It was concluded that overall there was little difference in abundance, diversity, or Shannon diversity overall. A few species were more predominantly found and at station four, the presence of the pseudoscorpion had a significant impact on the diversity and abundance of the other organisms found.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY
Levy, Sandra. BIO 355 MINI-PROJECT: CAVE ABIOTICS.
It is well known that large caves come to a “zone of constant temperature” when the distance inside a cave reaches a consistent temperature. To better understand the abiotic structures of caves, all comparisons need to be determined. Small sized caves show that temperatures fluctuate contrary to popular beliefs, that all caves reach the “zone of constant temperature”. One study of interest concerns the size of caves and determines the role of temperature. This study also determines whether cave size reaches a temperature of consistency. Another study of interest is whether north and south facing entrances have any bearing on the large and small cave temperatures. In the larger caves tested, Bear Cave with a north facing entrance and Indian Cave 2 with a south facing entrance show that the entrances start out cooler or warmer depending on the entrance direction. Protocol in methodology was followed for these tests, meter tape measurements from cave entrances to the inner most part of the cave were collected and Kestrel data was recorded and downloaded to SPSS for analysis. Results show that temperatures do reach a relatively constant rate in the larger tested caves which contains north and south facing entrances. The small cave with north and south facing entrance are yet to be determined.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHELY
Levy,Sandy. CHANGES IN SPECIES COMMONNESS .
Quadrant plot surveys of native loess hill prairie and successional plants were completed along random transects on the southwest facing slope of a loess hill at the Jamerson McCormack’s Conservation Area near Forest City, MO, before and after a spring burn. Seventy-four plant species were identified from the plots. Several of the plants found in this study area are listed on the Missouri Species of Conservation Concern because they are mostly limited to the loess hill mixed-grass prairies along the Missouri River in Northwest Missouri.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. JOHN RUSHIN
Limle, Austin and Zhu, Xiao. ANNOTATION OF CONTIG44 IN DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS.
The study conducted was a research based study that allowed us as students to become involved in a nation wide research project. The project was to annotate a specific contig in a breed of fruitfly named Drosophila mojavensis. The particular contig that we annotated was contig44. Results were found by doing tests that compared results in similar species, and from these results, inferences were made about the contig that we were assigned. The species that our contig was most closely related to was Drosophila virillis. We discovered that our 50,000 base pair contig contained three different features. With the help of our instructors and the many websites that are dedicated to the annotation of genes, we were able to successfully complete our assigned contig.
Faculty Sponsor: TODD ECKDAHL AND JEFF POET
McDonough, Alexa - Vernon, Will. THE ANNOTATION OF CONTIG 48.
Our project was to annotate Contig 48 on the Drosophila mojavensis dot chromosome. Our investigation revealed two genes, an unknown open reading frame, and repetitive elements. The first gene is the ordant receptor 13a that codes for a protein that is involved in odor-evoked signaling. The second gene is the polycystin-related y protein. Both genes were annotated using alignments from a tblastn of a related protein and the coding sequence of our contig. The unknown open reading frame was identified by Genscan and no related proteins were found. The repetitive elements were identified as the reverse transcriptase from drosophila melanogaster.
Faculty Sponsor: DRS. ECKDAHL AND POET
McIntosh, Mary; Ashley, David. ONONDAGA'S "SALAMANDER HEAVEN" RESEARCH STUDY.
We studied the use of Onondaga caves by plethodontid salamanders from 2007 to 2009. Six species were observed, descending in order, Plethodon albagula, Eurycea luifuga, E. spelaeus, Eurycea-type larva, E. l. longicauda, E. l. melanopleura, and P. serratus. Salamanders are known to seek out caves to avoid both hot dry weather and freezing cold weather. During the trips to the cave we expected to see high numbers of salamander in the “Salamander Heaven” part of the cave. We found that within the specimens collected a significant difference between the body size of the salamanders and each time sample. There was also a significant difference of body size and total body of all the species.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHELY
McNemee, Jeff. CAVE SNAIL POPULATIONS OF CATHEDRAL CAVE.
Cave snails were counted in 8 transects of the stream located around the bridge in Cathedral Cave. Cathedral Cave is located in Onandaga Cave State Park which is in Crawford County Missouri. The snail specimens were located by hand picking rocks out of the stream and counting the snails attached to the rocks. There were 19 snails counted this trip (1-17-09).
Faculty Sponsor: DAVID ASHLEY
Rose, Padyn. BAT SPECIES DISTRIBUTION IN LONE HILL ONXY CAVE SYSTEM BASED ON TEMPERATURE AND MICROCLIMATE DATA.
Bat distribution within the Lone Hill Onyx cave system was determined through observation, population counts, and microclimate data. Little is known about distribution patterns of bat species within caves in Missouri. However, there have been studies on hibernation and roost site selection based on microclimate factors. Data collected during a weekend trip to Sullivan, MO was used to correlate relationships between particular species of bats and temperature at which they roost. No significant difference was found, however differences were seen in distribution within the cave and species roost sites. Pipistrelle bats were found throughout the cave while gray and Big brown bats were located only near the entrance of the cave at much cooler temperatures.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY
Tucker, Kayla; Lambright, Anthony. ANNOTATION OF DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS: CONTIG 54.
The purpose of this project was to use computer software to annotate genes from a series of nucleotides, known as a fosmid, from Drosophila mojavensis. This use of computer software to annotate genes is known as Bioinformatics. The project began by using the inaccurate gene prediction given by Genscan to compare to a nucleotide database based on Drosophila melanogaster. Once a gene was found to closely match the amino acid or nucleotide sequence of individual parts of the fosmid, that section was more closely examined for issues such as splicing and codon location.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Voltz, Mike. AN EXAMINATION OF BAT SURFACE TEMPERATURES WHEN ROOSTING .
Protection of bat roosts is a major and successful management strategy in the effort to conserve bat populations. Information is needed on selection criteria of bat roosts prior to implicating this management strategy. Much is known about bat/roost selection interactions for endangered species of bats, but little is known about this interaction for more common species of bats. From January 2007 to April 2009, in five different caves located in southern Missouri a team observed bat roost surface temperatures and also bat surface temperatures. IRR thermometer was used to collect roost surface temperatures and also bat surface temperatures. A total of 601 roost surface temperatures where recorded and a total of 101bat surface temperatures where recorded. In this study I will examine the ranges of roost temperatures for the Eastern Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavous), and Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) within these five caves. Also the interaction between bat surface temperature and roost surface temperature will be examined for these two species of bats.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY
Zook, Tammy and Embrey, Dustin. ANNOTATION OF A 40,000 BP SEQUENCE IN DROSOPHILA MOJAVENSIS.
Our project was to annotate a 40,000 base pair sequence of DNA in D. mojavensis, otherwise known as contig51. The process of annotation involves using computers to compare the DNA sequence given to orthologs of the sequence which have been annotated previously. This analysis was carried out by using computer programs which included: alignment tools, gene predictor programs, gene checker, and genome databases. The predictor programs showed evidence for one gene in the contig. Using the bioinformatic annotation tools, we found two exons that match DNA found in D. virilis (gene GJ19591) and D. willistoni (gene GK10129).
Faculty Sponsor: TODD ECKDAHL AND JEFF POET

Literature Reviews

Riley, Jamie. TOWER CAVE ZONEATION STUDY.
A count was taken of the \\\"critters\\\" during a field trip to Hercules Glade Tower Cave. We conducted the study to keep record of the populations that lived in the cave to determine if there were any extreme changes over time. We had a very productive study and were able to collect data on many different species.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

Empirical Projects

Zook,Tammy and Ducey, Michael . SOLVENT INDUCED ORGANIZATION IN ROOM TEMPERATURE IONIC LIQUIDS.
Room temperature ionic liquids (RTIL) are a category of compounds that have low melting temperatures (<100°C) and near zero vapor pressures. These compounds are unique in that the substituents, cations, and anions can be easily modified to change the physical properties of the liquid. In this study 6-propionyl-2-dimethylaminonaphthalene (PRODAN) was used as a solvatochromic probe in solutions with 1-hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium bromide or 1-hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amide. Titrations of these compounds with common organic solvents were carried out to examine the effect of polarity on the solvatochromic shifts. Solvents used in this study include: methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, n-butanol, water, THF, and toluene. PRODAN emission maxima ranged from 416 nm in toluene to 523 nm in water. Results indicate that RTIL aggregation occurs as a function of solvent, ionic liquid concentration, and counter-anion.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. MICHAEL W. DUCEY

DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE MATH AND PHYSICS

Analytical Papers and Analyses

Riley, Jeremy. WOOD OR ALUMINUM?: THE WEAPONS OF BASEBALL.
College baseball players use aluminum bats whereas professional baseball players use only wooden bats. This project will consider the difference in the velocity of the ball coming off each type of bat.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. JEFF POET
Schnoor, Ashley. TRAFFIC CONTROL: TIMING THE LIGHTS.
This project will consider a simulation of traffic signals to determine how to effectively manage traffic through a series of intersections.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. JEFF POET
Sun, Siya. BRAVEHEART: THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR SEAT.
This project will use calculus to analyze movie theater configurations to find the best seat in the house.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. JEFF POET

DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Literature Reviews

Duncan, Ivory . JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES AND RECIDIVISM.
This study examined the effects that Society and Juvenile Justice Correction Programs have on African American (non white)and White girls. I predicted there was a significance difference among African American and white females pertaining to societal affects. However the study conducted disproved my prediction. There were a total of 165 females documented in this study. The following were reviewed among the females institutionalized in the Indiana Department of Corrections: risk assessment (ra)-age at first true finding, (ra) substance abuse, and (ra) prior offense; all of these assessments were correlates with race as a dichotomous variable in order to find a difference between white and nonwhite females as it pertains to risk and needs assessments. Only 135 of the cases were shown as valid, those 135 will be shown in the following results. All of the Risk and Need assessments showed no significant difference among both race of girls expect in peer relationships. This study suggests that there is no necessity for different need based programming pertaining to race among juvenile delinquent females. \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n
Faculty Sponsor: GREG LINDSTEADT
Owens, Kaari. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY BASED ON SINGLE PARENT HOUSEHOLDS AND DIVORCE RATES.
This study discussed the issues of delinquency as a result of single parent and divorced house holds. The research addresses households that are Mother only and Father only. It is being conducted to display what are some contributers to childhood delinquency and if there is a need for support in single parent and divorce households. It examines adolescents and their relationship to single parent and Divorce households The research looks at the basic knowledge and foundation of a marriage and how a divorce can potentially ruin the adolescent\'s perception that which in return may cause delinquent behavior. Statistics were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau. The information was collected nation wide and was calculated by using SPSS. The samples were calculated by using a T-Test. The t-test compared and calculated values for the Single parent households and the Divorced parent households and compared them to incarceration rates of Juveniles as well as the charge rates of Juveniles. According to the calculated values of the T-test the study showed that there was no significant correlation between the samples tested. However, according the literature review research has shown that there is a positive influence from the household that the adolescent grows up in. Nevertheless it is not the main contribution to the behavior of the adolescent.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND JOURNALISM

Empirical Projects

Gilbertson, Aryn. TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION AND GENDERED LANGUAGE.
Female technical writers have not been recognized in the workforce until recently. Since women are now a valuable part of the workforce, the way we typically use words must be recognized. Not only creative or technical writers but also writers from every background portray an unconscious writing bias. It is important for all professionals to establish credibility and without the correct knowledge of biases their credibility will be lost. This research will bring attention to gender biased writing and help writers in all areas become more educated on the way they write.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. MICHAEL CHARLTON

DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIOLOGY

Analytical Papers and Analyses

McClellan, Harold. EFFECTIVENESS OF JOB SKILLS TRAINING.
Abstract In this paper, the researcher examined the pretest and posttest given to students in a job readiness class. The classes are to prepare high school students for job interviews as well as filling out applications, making cover letters, and résumés. The classes are part of the St. Joseph Youth Alliance’ Northwest Missouri Mentoring Program, a program that provides training and helps to place the students with employers who have agreed to allow a mentor to work with the student in the place of employment. The information gathered will be used to assess the classes and determine possible improvements needed.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. KAMALI

Empirical Projects

Allsup, Megan. DO PARENTING PROGRAMS HELP TEEN MOTHERS STAY IN SCHOOL?.
My hypothesis is that teen mothers who are involved in teen parent programs are more likely to stay in school than those who are not in these programs. The concept is teen mother’s dropout rate. The dependant variable is the dropout rate and the independent variable is the teens involvement in teen parent programs. In this study I compare the teen's school status to the whether they use parenting programs or not. I go further in to compare financial support and family support to the teen's school status rate and being involved on teen parenting. This research can help the public and Heartland to see whether or not these programs are benifical.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Bottom, Erica. INFLUENCE OF CHRONIC HUNGER ON SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL.
Hunger among students is an issue that is acknowledged by educators and school personnel. Programs have been established at national, community, and school district levels to combat this issue. Research has shown that many negative consequences are a result from childhood hunger. This study was designed to enforce this concern by addressing school performance among chronically hungry elementary aged students. Students in the grades kindergarten through third that had been identified as chronically hungry had their grades assessed. Specific objectives concerning school behavior on their grade cards were analyzed for the overall sample as well as each individual grade level. While this study did show trends and patterns in the school performance of hungry students, there is not enough data to support that these trends are due to hunger alone. There could be many other explanations for these trends. More current research is needed to support this idea because this study alone was unable to fully support the notion.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Gammill, Patricia. EXAMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE THROUGH LEGAL AID RECORDS.
This study compares the effects of separation on homelessness for women who are victims of domestic violence, through the client records of Legal Aid of Western Missouri from the year 2008. The study involved women who filed for divorce and had followed through at least to the point of completing a divorce case information survey for Legal Aid. The purpose of this study was to determine if the issue of homelessness is in important factor in the lives of these women and is something that Legal Aid needs to be aware of.
Faculty Sponsor: DR.KAMALI
Hurkman, Jaclyn. BARRIERS TO KEEPING APPOINTMENTS WITH CASE MANAGERS.
The Missouri Career Center, a one-stop shop for clients seeking employment, has many agencies and programs within the building. The Career Assistance Program, under the Community Action Partnership agency subcontractor, requires that clients receiving cash assistance to meet with case managers each week or every other week to return the job search or activity logs the clients must complete. The clients in the Career Assistance Program are not all complying, and because the agency lacks any evaluative tools to determine what barriers are preventing their compliance, this study researches the barriers to keeping appointments. Through telephone interviews and on-site survey completion, the TANF Recipient Survey was used to collect information pertaining to external barriers, internal barriers, and awareness of benefits. The study results indicated that only the external barrier transportation significantly affected whether clients keep their appointments while internal barriers and being aware of the benefits, for the majority, did not affect whether clients kept their appointments.
Faculty Sponsor: ALI KAMALI
Laipple, Karen. EARLY HEAD START/HEAD START.
The purpose of this research paper is to gain knowledge that can make it possible to assess the progress of Head Start and to determine the level of client satisfaction. This survey will explore program quality and effectiveness, identify ways in which services may be improved, and contribute to the understanding of the characteristics and needs of population groups eligible for services. In collaboration with the director of the Early Head Start/Head Start program, her multidisciplinary team of experts, former Head Start Survey researchers, and me, Karen Laipple, MWSU practicum student will conduct this survey and gather the research. A twenty-three question survey will be distributed to each of the families enrolled in the Head Start Branch which includes four counties; Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, and DeKalb.\\r\\n\\r\\n
Faculty Sponsor: DR. KAMALI
Plummer, Jennifer. FAMILY AND INCARCERATION: IS THERE A CONNECTION?.
This study seeks to study the relationship between family and the incarcerated population to address the question in regard to whether family has an impact upon the number of times a person is incarcerated. Specifically the study examines inmate reports of family closeness, the structure of the family one was raised in, and relationships with those one was raised by. The study further aids in developing a general profile of inmates in a Midwestern Institutional Treatment Center.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. KAMALI

DEPARTMENT OF NURSING

Analytical Papers and Analyses

Reid, Mary; Claytor, Hannah; Harding, Abigail; Lindberg, Jennifer; Snapp, Debra; Brooks, Evelyn, RN, PhD. ASSESSING THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT COMMUNITY ATTITUDES REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL SMOKING.
Introduction: The current Surgeon General’s Report concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease and death in the United States (Healthy People 2010). Purpose: This study is designed to analyze MWSU students’ views of cigarette smoking on the university campus. Methodology: After receiving approval from the MWSU IRB committee, the research team created a 16 question survey distributed to undergraduate students on campus. Of the 2750 questionnaires sent out, 1715 were returned, a return rate of 62%. Using SPSS, data was analyzed using a descriptive test. Findings: 80.6% of MWSU students never smoke cigarettes. Of the 17.2% of students who smoke cigarettes, 72.67% want to quit. 93.1% students agree secondhand smoke has negative health effects and 87.5% agree smoking is gross. 70.5% do not like to be around smokers and 90.9% would prefer to kiss a non-smoker. Discussion: After learning of the desires of the MWSU students the researchers feel it is time to communicate with the Student Government Association and MWSU administration about the need for a smoke-free campus.
Faculty Sponsor: EVELYN BROOKS

Empirical Projects

Alquist, Megan; Alexander, Rachel; Czarev, Sarah. EVALUATING EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE GUIDELINES IN CURRENT PEDIATRIC CARE PLANS.
According to Smith-Strom, and Nortvedt (2008) practicing nurses use “little scientific evidence to secure good nursing care.” The clinical question is “What evidence is present in the six elected care plans that are currently used in the clinical setting?” This project was designed to assess acute care hospital care plan guides for evidence based practice. This initiative included the team leader of two hospital units, three senior nursing students, and nursing faculty. The team leader identified six frequently used pediatric care plans. Based on Standards Of Professional Performance the project emphasizes the importance of education, collegiality, collaboration, research, and resource utilization (ANA Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice). This project was a joint effort between the clinical team leader and the nursing students and faculty. During the Spring semester each student reviewed standardized care plans for current evidence and included the evidence into the current care plans. Outcomes including barriers, will be shared.
Faculty Sponsor: EVELYN BROOKS, RN PHD
Littlepage, Carrie; Smith, Cecelia; King, Carrie. MWSU STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE, PREJUDICE, PERCEPTION OF PERSONAL RISK, AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT .
The authors conducted a study on undergraduate students at Missouri Western State University to assess their knowledge, perceptions, personal risk and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. The study was guided by the Health Belief Model (HBM) which attempts to explain and predict human health behaviors. Data was collected via survey, the International Aids Questionnaire- English version (IAQ-E). Students completed the 18 question Likert scale questionnaire, to which several demographic variables were added, during regular scheduled lecture times. A total of 662 surveys returned, were eligible to use in data interpretation. Significant differences were found between males and females for the attitudes and personal risk subscales. Between age and the total score on the questionnaire a significant relationship was discovered. The majority of participants hold the misconception that mosquitoes can transmit HIV.
Faculty Sponsor: PI-MING YEH

Literature Reviews

Gorcyca,David; lock,Rosemary; Louque, Lauren; Gay,Mary Jo. AN EVIDENCE BASED REVIEW; THE RELATIONSHIP OF THIMEROSAL AND THE INCIDENCE OF AUTISM.
ABSTRACT. Background. In the last 25 years the diagnosis of autism in the United States has risen. During the same period, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended childhood vaccinations to be increased from 10 to 36 vaccinations. Thimerosal, a common preservative, has a possible correlation with the increase in autism. Methods. A systematic literature review was preformed. The sample consisted of 20 studies addressing the use of childhood vaccines or other products used during pregnancy that contain Thimerosal. Results. Ten articles stated there was a correlation between childhood vaccines containing Thimerosal, and the other 10 refuted this observation. Conclusion. One cannot rule out the possible connection between vaccination and autism. More research needs to be done.
Faculty Sponsor: MARY JO GAY

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Analytical Papers and Analyses

Bernard, Shay; Huddleston, Scott; Laffey, Kasha; Moran, Chanda; & Shaiffer, Crystal. THE INTERACTION OF MOOD AND PERSONALITY TYPE ON REACTION TIME AND RESPONSES TO MORAL DILEMMAS..
The present study addressed whether there was an interaction between mood manipulation and personality variables. It also assessed responses made and response times to direct and indirect harm moral dilemmas. This team analyzed 53 undergraduate psychology students by personality types, and mood states were elicited using video clips.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TEDDI DEKA

Empirical Projects

Bryan, Whitney and Wellman, Danielle. PHYSIOLOGY, MORALITY, AND POLITICAL ORIENTATION: HOW CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS DIFFER .
The purpose of this research was to study the differences of responses to disgust and fear in political liberals and political conservatives. According to Jonathan Haidt (2007), there are five foundations of morality; fairness, harm, loyalty, authority and purity. Conservatives tend to hold attitudes that protect the social order by focusing on all five foundations, whereas liberals tend to focus only on the fairness and harm foundations. If this is true, conservatives will be more influenced by emotions such as disgust and fear. Phase I of the study focused on the effect of disgust on moral decisions. Participants were asked to complete the Wilson-Patterson Issue Battery (to determine political orientation), view a series of four disgust-inducing photographs, and complete a moral dilemma. The focus of Phase 2 was to measure the physiological reaction to perceived threat or fear.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. PHILLIP WANN
Bryant, Holly, Haney, Kyra, Kuhn, Chris, Longworth, Danielle, Shorter, Aaron, Sloan, Joseph, Thompson, Hope, . STOP THAT MOPING, USE BUDDHIST COPING .
The present study conducted the first known longitudinal exploration into Buddhist coping, a one-year follow-up investigation of a prior study (Phillips, Hietbrink et al. 2009). Forty-six Buddhist participants completed a scale of Buddhist coping along with measures of adjustment. Regressions demonstrated Buddhist coping predicted changes in general outcomes and anxiety over and above demographic and general religious variables.
Faculty Sponsor: RUSSELL PHILLIPS
Hazley, Ashanti, Knox, Deanna. COLLEGE DRINKING HABITS: LOVERS OR FRIENDS? HOW MUCH SHOULD I DRINK?.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the alcohol drinking habits of college students. We examined whether female drinking behavior may be affected by the perceived preferences of the college male students. Male and female college students from three introductory level psychology classes took a questionnaire on drinking habits. Results showed that female college students didn’t overestimate the amount of alcohol college males wanted them to drink. These results suggest that female college students drinking behavior is not connected to the college male preferences.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. WANN
45 submissions listed.
BIOLOGY23
CHEMISTRY1
COMPUTER SCIENCE MATH AND PHYSICS3
CRIMINAL JUSTICE2
ENGLISH FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND JOURNALISM1
GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIOLOGY7
NURSING4
PSYCHOLOGY4
ANALYTICAL PAPER/ANALYSIS7
EMPIRICAL34
LITERATURE REVIEW4