Program for the Spring 2011 Multidisciplinary Research Day


DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY

Empirical Projects

Allen, Andrea. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY PROTEIN PREDICTION.
This is a project in which the secondary and tertiary structures of proteins were predicted using a protein database and prediction software, SWISS MODEL from www.ExPASy.org . The proteins used were those exons, in a peptide sequence, found when annotating the left arm position of the third chromosome of Drosophila erecta.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL AND DR. JEFF POET
Allen, Alicia. IDENTIFY LIVING RELATIVES OF EXTINCT SPECIES USING BLAST OF THE MAMMUTHUS PRIMIGENIUS.
The mammoth is an extinct mammal from thousands of years ago. Recently the mitochondrial DNA was sequenced. The newly found sequence allowed for the mammoth to be compared to existing animals to prove its closest living relative. In order to prove that relatives exist, BLAST was used to compare the living species to the extinct one. A phylogenetic tree was used to compare the species clearly, using Clustalw software. Through comparing each species it was concluded that the Loxodonta africana elephant is the closest living relative.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL
Anderson, Eric. INVESTIGATING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES IN THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS.
The goal of this project was to take an in depth look at the genomic differences found in different strains of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. Influenza resource databases were used to find complete genomic sets for varying strains of the 2009 H1N1 virus. A specialized influenza BLAST database was then used to analyze differences within the genomic sequences. Finally, A phylogenetic tree was made in order to show how closely related the different strains were.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Anderson, Eric. INVESTIGATING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES IN THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS.
The goal of this project was to take an in depth look at the genomic differences found in different strains of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. Influenza resource databases were used to find complete genomic sets for varying strains of the 2009 H1N1 virus. A specialized influenza BLAST database was then used to analyze differences within the genomic sequences. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was made in order to show how closely related the different strains were.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Anderson, Eric. INVESTIGATING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES IN THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS.
The goal of this project was to take an in depth look at the genomic differences found in different strains of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. Influenza resource databases were used to find complete genomic sets for varying strains of the 2009 H1N1 virus. A specialized influenza BLAST database was then used to analyze differences within the genomic sequences. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was made in order to show how closely related the different strains were.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Anderson, Eric. INVESTIGATING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES IN THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS.
The goal of this project was to take an in depth look at the genomic differences found in different strains of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. Influenza resource databases were used to find complete genomic sets for varying strains of the 2009 H1N1 virus. A specialized influenza BLAST database was then used to analyze differences within the genomic sequences. Finally, A phylogenetic tree was used in order to show how closely related the different strains were.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Anderson, Eric. INVESTIGATING GENOMIC DIFFERENCES IN THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS.
The goal of this project was to take an in depth look at the genomic differences found in different strains of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. Influenza resource databases were used to find complete genomic sets for varying strains of the 2009 H1N1 virus. A specialized influenza BLAST database was then used to analyze differences within the genomic sequences. Finally, a phylogenetic tree was used in order to show how closely related the different strains were.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Carney, Jordan. ANALYZING SYNTENIC RELATIONSHIPS OF L. MAJOR AND L. INFANTUM ANTIGENS.
Leishmanias is a disease caused by a parasitic protozoan, existing in the form of several different species. L. majorI and L. infantum are two species commonly found in humans, with L. infantum also being the strain infecting dogs. By using BLAST software, the synteny of these two species can be determined, and the protein sequences can be compared to find common epitopes. After comparing the two sequences, a similar motif of tandemly repeated threonine and proline amino acids was discovered. Further research indicated that these repetitive sequences are common in antigenic proteins and may themselves elicit an immune response.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL & DR. JEFF POET
Cassity, Andie. INVESTIGATING THE CULLIN3 GENE.
The purpose of this experiment was to find and compare the protein sequences for the CULLIN3 gene, which is heavily involved in cell division. The CUL3 gene in humans (Homo sapiens), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Rice (Oryza sativa), the African Malaria Mosquito (Anopheles gambiae), and the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana were compared by blastp. The sequences were blastp against Arabidopsis as a control, and were then compared by blastp to each other. After the data was collected, a phylogenetic tree of the CULLIN3 gene was constructed showing that rice and Arabidopsis were closely related.
Faculty Sponsor: ECKDAHL
Chavez,Ramiro. ANNOTATION OF FOSMID 42.
Annotation of Drosophila Melanogaster has been extensively done and is used as the base model for other Drosophila fly species. Using Drosophila Melanogaster as the base for Drosophila Erecta annotation, fosmid 42 of D.Erecta can be annotated with the use of BLAST and D.Melanogaster gene reference databases.
Faculty Sponsor: ECKDAHL
Christgen, Shelbi. MEDICINAL PLANT TREE.
Throughout history, plants from all over the world have been used to treat medical conditions. In theory, plants with identical medicinal purposes could be compared each other and other plants in order to determine a specific protein sequence that treats a certain ailment. This experiment was designed to determine if plants with similar medicinal purposes shared a similar make up of proteins. The protein sequences of four “starter” plants were blasted with BlastP to find other plants with similar protein sequences. These protein sequences were then compared and a tree of plants generated using an algorithm in ClustalW2.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Christie, Jordan. DETERMING PBP STRUCTURES OF ENTEROCOCCUS FAECALIS.
Increased ampicillin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis is attributable to either the production of beta-lactamase or alterations in the expression or structure of PBP(penicillin binding protein). The ability to determine the structure of these PBPs presents opportunity for the production of antibiotics or other drugs that can be utilized to isolate weakness in the structure of the PBP. Three possible PBP structures were found for Enterococcus faecalis. The support for the proposed structures was on the basis of homology between protein sequence of the Enterococci faecalis PBP and the protein sequence of the hit with an already known protein structure.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Conn, Michel. DETERMINING THE FUNCTION OF THE GG13307 GENE FROM DROSOPHILA ERECTA .
The goal of this project was to determine the likely function of the GG13307 gene in Drosophila erecta by using comparative genomics. Earlier in the semester the GG13307 gene was annotated using an ortholog from the Drosophila melanogaster genome. Protein blasts of the GG13307 gene were run against the NCBI database and the top hits were gathered. The top hits were compared against the GG13307 gene for similarities using clustalw. Features such as exon number and size were also compared. The GG13307 gene was found to most likely be a transmembrane protein.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Cozad, Kristin. CELIAC-TOXIC EPITOPES IN OATS.
Celiac disease is a growing autoimmune disorder in which gluten cannot be processed and the lining of the small intestine is damaged. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye and it is debated if gluten is found in oats. The BIOPEP database was used to obtain the protein sequences for celiac-toxic epitopes that were compared to various oat strains using BLASTp. The results identified gluten allergens in oats, but further research is needed to study the properties of these allergens.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL
Janssen, Bridget. FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE OF EF HANDS.
EF hands are a helix-loop-helix structural domain that is associated with calcium binding. The purpose of this research was to locate a protein that exhibits the EF hand structure and then compare the protein sequence against databases and determine if proteins with similar sequences function similarly. The structure of the sequences was also compared. It was found that the sequences with the highest similarity to the original protein 1S6I_A were also members of the EF hand superfamily.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL
Lane, Curtiss. GENE EXPRESSION PROFILING IN BREAST CANCER CELLS.
Breast cancer, like all cancer, is a disease that is the result of uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation. Through a technique known as gene expression profiling, I have queried the expression of thousands of genes in both normal and cancerous breast cells to determine which genes are upregulated and/or downregulated in cancerous breast cells as compared to normal breast cells using Gene Expression Omnibus DataSets. Over one hundred genes were found to have significant differences in gene expression. These genes were then grouped into broad classes to illustrate what type of genes are differentially expressed in breast cancer cells.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL
McCracken, Marly. IDENTIFICATION OF THE K-RAS2 GENE IN VARIOUS MODEL ORGANISMS.
The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the K-Ras2 gene in humans and link it to various model organisms. K-Ras is known as a protoncogene. A protoncogene is a normal gene, but when altered by mutation, becomes an oncogene that can contribute to cancer. The K-Ras2 gene, when mutated, can trigger an array of cancers, including lung cancer. A number of model organisms were examined to search for an ortholog to the K-Ras2 gene in humans. An ortholog was found in Caenorhabditis elegans, which was found using a Blast search.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL & DR. JEFF POET
Melton, Amy. EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENTS OF ADHD USING A MODEL ORGANISM.
There have been many studies pertaining to ADHD. A possible link, that is believed to contribute to this disorder, has been found in the LPHN3 gene. The basis of this research is to utilize bioinformatical data bases such as NCBI to determine an ortholog in a model organism that will enable scientists to test various treatments of ADHD.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL/DR. POET
Minnick,P.J. USE OF BIOINFORMATICS TOOLS AS A MEANS OF DETERMINING THE VIABILITY OF MODEL ORGANISMS .
This project was meant to determine the viability of three different \r\n\\r\\norganisms (Chimpanzees, Mice, Zebrafish) for use in the \r\nresearch \\r\\nof alcoholism in humans based solely on genetic \r\nrelatedness. \\r\\nThirteen different genes were indicated by OMIM \r\nto either be a \\r\\ndirect cause of, or play a role in, alcoholism. The \r\nprotein sequence \\r\\nwas found for each of these genes and a \r\nBlast search was \\r\\nperformed comparing each sequence against \r\neach of the three \\r\\norganisms in question. Based on E-Values it \r\nwas then possible to \\r\\nrank the organisms based on genetic \r\nrelatedness to humans. The \\r\\nresults of this experiment led to \r\nthe following ranking: \\r\\nChimpanzees > Mice > Zebrafish.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Roberts, Lauryn. ENDANGERED SPECIES PROFILE: PEREGRINE FALCON (FALCO PEREGRINUS).
This poster is an example of a poster presentation associated with the Endangered Species Profile assignment in a unique MWSU Honors Program Colloquium titled “Extinction is Forever”. The senior author reported on the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in Missouri as her topic for this applied learning experience. F. peregrinus is federally listed as an apparently secure species; however it is endangered in the State of Missouri, listed as critically imperiled (State Rank S1). Although once considered to be near extinction in the 1960-1970’s, due in large part to the use of DDT, the peregrine falcon has made an amazing recovery in the United States, among coasts and large cities, thanks to large recovery efforts and the ban of such pesticides. However, its status in Missouri should be one of concern and the focus of further recovery efforts, especially in relation to the positive effects that peregrine falcons have on rural farming, killing many crop-destroying vertebrates and insects.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. DAVID ASHLEY
Schmuecker, Samantha. TAU 3R PHOSPHORYLATION: PROTEIN THAT CAUSES BREAST CANCER METASTASIS.
The Tau protein when over expressed is known to cause breast cancer metastasis, more specifically the phosphorylation of Tau-3R. The goal of this research was to determine the ortholog in the mouse and to see if one of the mouse’s isoforms was similar enough for a comparable study. This was done using NCBI, Uniprot and Genecards. The point is to use this information for possible future applications, to help with further determination of possible better treatments or to make the existing treatments more effective.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL
Sisco, James. SNP\\\'S EFFECTS ON THE THIRD EXON IN THE GENE OPN1LW.
The goal of this project was to see the effects of SNP\\\'s on the gene OPN1LW in changes of the amino acids. NCBI Reference Assembly was used and found that there were eight SNP\\\'s located in exon three. Out of the eight SNP\\\'s, five changed the amino acid.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ECKDAHL, DR. POET
Winn, Wes. POTENTIAL CONSERVED GENE TARGETS FOR NOVEL ANTIBIOTIC RESEARCH.
The increasing problem of antibiotic resistance of many common pathogenic species has lead to a great need for new, broad spectrum, effective antibiotic drugs. Predicted genes and their products of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain 5289 plasmid pEP5289 were compared to both human and other pathogenic genomes in a bioinformatics approach. Plasmid pEP5289, known to transmit resistance to tetracycline between Neisseria species, consists of 27 open reading frames (ORFs). Comparisons were made in attempt to identify genes that are, both conserved and essential to the survival of different pathogens. ORFs were classified as, good, intermediate or poor, potential targets.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. TODD ECKDAHL

Historical Papers

Voltmer, Leah. HON395 "EXTINCTION IS FOREVER" ENDANGERED SPECIES PROFILE: THE OZARK HELLBENDER .
This poster is an example of a poster presentation associated with the Endangered Species Profile assignment in a unique MWSU Honors Program Colloquium titled “Extinction is Forever”. The senior author chose to focus on the Ozark Hellbender (Cryptobrancus alleganiensis bishopi) for this applied learning experience. C. a. bishopi is distributed within the Ozarks Plateau area of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. The Ozark Hellbender is a key species in Ozark stream biodiversity. Wild populations have appeared to be struggling for the past several decades and this subspecies is now ranked S1 (critically imperiled) within Missouri. A global ranking of G3 emphasizes its vulnerable status throughout its range. This poster examines the life history and role of the Ozark hellbender, as well as proposed reasons for decline, current research and initiatives for conservation.
Faculty Sponsor: DAVID ASHLEY

Literature Reviews

Stoppelman, Paige. IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER.
This poster is an example of a poster presentation associated with the Endangered Species Profile assignment in a unique MWSU Honors Program Colloquium titled “Extinction is Forever.” The author chose to review literature on the ivory-billed woodpecker () for her project on a Missouri species of conservation concern. The bird’s habitat is in the southern swamps of the United States and has also been found in Cuba. For the past sixty years, the ivory-billed woodpecker was thought to be extinct, but after a sighting in 2004, the bird is now federally listed as critically imperiled and extirpated from Missouri.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ASHLEY

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

Empirical Projects

Schmuecker, Samantha; Hiley, Shauna; Hartman, Kurt; Geiger, Tyeson; Nelson, Peter; Sullivan, Amanda. RELIABLE QUANTIFICATION OF ELEMENTS USING STANDARD ADDITION WITH PORTABLE XRF.
Inconsistent background matrices of solid samples such as soil present a sampling challenge when trying to quantify elements using handheld X-ray fluorometers. The Bruker Tracer III-SD allows analysis of Rh and Pd source spectra, which can be used to determine if matrices of multiple soil samples are similar enough to compare relative peak areas for analyte elements. Standard addition was used to reliably quantify Pb and other elements of environmental interest in 100+ soil samples from the loess hills of Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, allowing an elemental profile of the area to be constructed.
Faculty Sponsor: SHAUNA L. HILEY, PHD

DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE MATH AND PHYSICS

Analytical Papers and Analyses

Burgess, Logan. STIFF DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS.
We define "stiff" differential equations and use the Runge-Kutte and Trapezoidal Methods to approximate solutions. We also explore the conditions under which these methods are accurate.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Daffron, Dustin. COMPARING SPEED VS. PRECISION IN NUMERICAL METHODS.
When working with a limited number of digits such as in a computer system there will always be error in both measurement and calculation. Certain steps can be taken to reduce the error introduced in calculation but this often increases computational time and resource usage. The presentation considers this trade-off in a few particular examples.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Eaton, Samantha and Wallace, Jeremy. JACOBI AND GAUSS-SEIDEL ITERATIVE METHODS.
The Jacobi and Gauss-Seidel methods are used to find successively better approximations for large systems of linear equations having a unique solution. Here, we demonstrate both methods on a system to reach an accuracy of .001.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Ferguson, Janelle. APPROXIMATIONS OF DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS SOLUTIONS USING TAYLOR METHODS.
Euler's Method and Taylor's Method are used to find approximations of solutions to differential equations when equal-sized subintervals are used. These estimates can be improved by increasing the number of subintervals. Methods to estimate values between step-sizes include linear interpolation and the more accurate cubic Hermite interpolation.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
McDaniel, Lucinda. AN INTRODUCTION TO APPROXIMATING EIGENVALUES.
Eigenvalues play an important role in matrix theory. Here, we show how eigenvalues can be isolated into an upper triangular matrix. Further, we present the Gerschgorin Circle Theorem which provides a bound for complex eigenvalues.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Quaney, Adelaide. LINEAR FINITE DIFFERENCE METHODS.
Although numerical differentiation methods do not seem as interesting as other methods of numerical approximation, they do play a large role in approximating solutions to linear boundary value problems. Differential equations of a particular form can be solved using Linear Finite Difference Methods. Here, we derive and explain these methods and test the accuracy of the approximations.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Smith, Darrin. DISCRETE LEAST SQUARES APPROXIMATION.
Discrete Least Squares is a method for fitting functions to given data to find a best-fit function. The function is then used to approximate discrete nontabulated data points. Values of "x" are assumed to be exact. Error terms are included for the resulting estimating functions for "y".
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET
Stevens, Jeff. CONTINUOUS LEAST SQUARES APPROXIMATION.
This method creates polynomial approximations of continuous curves using the least squares method. Here, we employ the method to approximate y=sin(pi*x) with a cubic polynomial.
Faculty Sponsor: JEFF POET

DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIOLOGY

Empirical Projects

Bethel, Ashley. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GROUP WORK AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL.
I am conducting a group on making good choices that will benefit teenage girls throughout high school and beyond. It is seventh and eighth school girls who were referred to me because of problems caused by unhealthy family life, poor grades or simply because their teacher thinks the group will benefit them. This study is important because I would like to see the outcome of small group effectiveness on this age group. I conducted a group for seven middle school girls twice a week to help build their social interaction skills. Overall, the structure of the group helped the girls come together and build bonds between each other and it built up their social interaction among one another.
Faculty Sponsor: ALI KAMALI
BUIS, SCOTT. CORRELATION BETWEEN LENGTH OF STAY AND REPORTED SYMPTOMOLOGY.
The study was conducted at Heartland Regional Medical Center in the department of the Mental Health Unit. The purpose of this study is to address the following research question: What, if any, is the correlation between the patient’s length of stay at an inpatient facility and the patient reported survey of symptoms? The sample for this study included 100 patients that completed an admission and a discharge BASIS-32. Further study needs to done with a larger sample size to provide conclusive evidence that patient’s with mental health illnesses report less concerns regarding their symptoms on the BASIS-32.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Cobb, Chris. SOCIAL WORK IMPERATIVE STUDY.
The purpose of this research is to find out how members of the National Association of Social Workers in Missouri (NASW-MO) feel NASW should approach the ten “Social Work Imperatives for the Next Decade: Business of Social Work, Common Objectives, Education, Influence (regarding expertise), Influence (regarding unification), Leadership Development, Recruitment, Retention (regarding to the sustainability of the program), Retention (regarding to grants and funding), and Technology. These goals were accepted by the national Social Work Congress in 2010, however, the states were allowed to address them as they and their members see fit. In order to get this data, a survey asking social workers to rank the imperatives was distributed to social workers at the 2011 Show-Me Symposium. The results showed how social workers in Missouri believe NASW should go about enacting them.
Faculty Sponsor: KAMALI, ALI
Cockrell, Carmen. BENEFITS OF THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY COUNSELING.
The topic of research is determining if children who receive counseling from the Northwest Missouri Children’s Advocacy Center receive any benefit from their counseling sessions. During the first or second session of counseling, the counselor at the Center administered pre-test questionnaires titled Trauma Sensory Checklist for Children (TSCC')s. This survey measures feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of the child after enduring trauma, specifically sexual abuse trauma. Then, after six months to a year of counseling sessions with the counselor, she administers post-test TSCC questionnaires to see if counseling has helped and their symptoms have reduced. The children’s ages in this study were from eight to seventeen years old. The sample size for this study was eighteen children's pre-tests and post-tests from the years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. There were sixteen female children in the sample and two males. There were eighteen children during these four years that took both the pre-tests and post-tests from the TSCC. The overall findings for this study confirmed the hypothesis that there are benefits to children being counseled at the Children's Advocacy Center. Frequency distributions show that symptoms were reduced from the pre-tests to post-tests.
Faculty Sponsor: DR, KAMALI
Endsley, Lisa. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO REPEAT SERVICES FOR CHILDREN LIVING IN RESIDENTIAL GROUP HOMES.
When youth from residential group homes (RGHs) transition back into their family units, orderly synchronized planning through family involvement of discharge planning, family engagement in provided services throughout the youth’s stay and aftercare, and youth strength and skills building using the resources provided are critical for youth. Seventeen individuals (5 staff members and 12 youth) from a RGH were surveyed regarding these practices. Results will indicate if the RGH involved residents and their families in discharge planning, provided activities, and taught youth skills for success. Other areas that may need improvement are: more frequent and longer home visits, and aftercare services.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Evans, Rachel. EFFECTIVENESS OF ACT MODEL IN PREVENTING HOSPITALIZATIONS AND HOMELESSNESS.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Assertive Community Treatment program in the rehabilitation of persons with a severe mental illness. Current and previous research suggested that assertive community treatment offers significant advantages over standard case management models in reducing homelessness, severity of symptoms, and hospitalizations for psychiatric reasons in persons with a severe and persistent mental illness. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an evidenced-based practice which has established research showing it is cost effective and clinically successful. This study increased the knowledge base of Family Guidance’s ACT team and helped evaluate the effectiveness of its work. My sample size consisted of clients who are presently receiving services from the ACT Team of St. Joseph, Missouri. The clients had been receiving services for at least one year in order to qualify for the sampling. The results indicated the homelessness rate increased during the year of 2009 and a decreased during the year of 2010. The majority of the clients remained not homeless and not psychiatrically hospitalized. The psychiatric hospitalization rate fluctuated with each quarter. The majority of psychiatric hospitalizations lasted 1-7 days.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Hughes, Heather. RELIABILITY OF LOCAL COMMUNITY SERVICES IN BUCHANAN COUNTY.
I am researching the benefits of having a referral service for low income individuals in need of help with paying bills when they are not financially able to pay bills due to certain circumstance. My topic: to identify what services are actually being utilized by clients, when they are referred to these services by AFL-CIO Community Services. This project is important because the referral service would like to know how many people are actually being helped and the reliability of the local agencies. I took a three month sample of phone logs from the agency and did followup calls to clients asking survey questions. unfortunately I found that most of the numbers are no longer valid, due to clients not being able to pay bills, most only had prepaid phones or where staying at shelters. However, without this type of referral service, I found that 36 people would not have been helped with rental allocations, more than likely the clients would be homeless, and all of them had eviction notices. Each client that calls into AFL-CIO Community Services are in a very desperate situation, all of them asking for assistance have some type of shut-off notice whether it is utility such as gas, lights, water or eviction notice for rental. This reliable service gives reliable and accurate information.
Faculty Sponsor: ALI KAMALI
Johnson, Brandon. SATISFACTION, DISSATISFACTION, AND BURNOUT AMONG STAFF IN A LOCAL COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER.
The goal of this research is to gain a better understanding of what actions organizations can take to reduce burnout and dissatisfaction among helping professionals. This project focused on professionals employed at a local Community Mental Health Center (CMHC). A questionnaire was created to determine what factors of work related satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and burnout were present among the population surveyed. 150 employees at the CMHC took the questionnaire which was distributed through a web based survey engine. Results indicate that social workers were most satisfied with their co-workers and immediate supervisors. They were least satisfied with their pay and opportunity for advancement. Findings may indicate that the challenge for managers of CMHC’s is to create a sense that the organization is advancing and that the work individuals are doing within the organization is contributing to the success of the organization.
Faculty Sponsor: ALI KAMALI
Johnson,Erika. EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL OF NINTENDO WII FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.
The adults at United Cerebral Palsy have a wide range of disabilities. Education for these individuals must be broken down into very small steps using demonstrations as well as physical assistance or prompts to learn new skills. Physical activities for individuals are important because it helps maintain their current level of motor skills.Each individual in the adult program have goals and activities to help maintain and improve skills in all areas of life.The purpose of my project would have the individuals play Nintendo Wii. This would give each individual an opportunity to exercise in their own way according to their ability. I would take fifteen consumers and have them play once per day, five days a week, for four weeks. I would start an average score over the first three days and at the end of the trial period, find a final average over the last three days. During this research, I will be measuring the heart rate of each individual before the activity, during, and after the activity, and checking their Body Mass Index before the project and once it has ended. Overall, while doing this study my participants did not show improvement. Body weight stayed the same and none of the participants showed improvement in strength. Participants were not putting in the work to get the overall results we were looking for.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. KAMALI
McDonald, Sarah. DOES POVERTY AFFECT CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
Atchison Social and Rehabilitation Services, in the Child and Family Service unit, are to help protect and to ensure safety of children. This unit must determine if children are being abused or not through a series of interviews and offering services to help protect the children if needed. If children are in immediate danger, children are removed from their homes, and parents are court ordered to complete a series of classes, trainings, and counseling to have their children returned to the homes. If children can still not be returned, than adoption is the next option. The purpose of my research is to determine if poverty affects whether parents abuse their children or if there are other factors that lead to abuse. 25 participants and several other professionals participated in this study to see whether poverty is a factor of child abuse and neglect. The results showed that most parents did not abuse or neglect their children, but did not have a full understanding of proper parenting skills. Also the research showed that parents have learned behaviors from their parents, and they thought that they were parenting properly. Finally, the study showed that a lack of education effects poverty, and thus parents are unaware of the classes and training the state of Kansas will provide, at no cost, to help parents become better parents and not abuse their children.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Nichols, Ciara. THE SATISFACTION OF SERVICES GIVEN BY HOSPICE.
This study was conducted at Three Rivers Hospice. Hospice aims at addressing all issues relevant to the terminally ill. Hospice also aims to treat the family as well as the patient. The target participants that were involved were the hospice patient’s family. The patient’s families were given survey’s four weeks after the death of the patient. Questions about medication, equipment, care, services, managing pain and overall satisfaction of the agency were asked. Data was collected through surveys that were sent out. From 2007 to 2010 there were a total of seventy-seven completed surveys. Overall the surveys were good. The results showed that 87.0 % strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the care provided by the hospice staff.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. ALI KAMALI
Ward, Phallin . ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS PLAYING A ROLE ON STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES .
The topic of this research project is to take MAP scores of twenty 7th grade students who scored below basic and advanced score, and look to see if there is/are any correlating factor(s) between: 1) Lack of attendance, 2) Single Parent Families, 3) One or both Parents incarcerated, 4) Free and Reduced Lunch, and 5) Office referrals and their scores on the MAP test. Stratified sampling method was used. The findings conclude that the students who scored below basic show more correlation to the five environmental factors than those students who scored advanced on the MAP Test.
Faculty Sponsor: ALI KAMALI
Young, Chelsea. SOCIAL WORKER\'S INVOLVEMENT DURING PREGNANCY .
The Heartland Regional Medical Center has recently started a new program using Social Workers in the OB and Women’s Health Clinic in order to reduce triggers that are most frequently seen in pregnant women and teens through providing support during pregnancy.The purpose of this research is to provide the best of care to patients by examining whether having a social worker during pregnancy and post partum helps to alleviate the triggers. The hypothesis is that by providing community resources and having a social worker involved during pregnancy, the top trigger will show decreased symptoms/use during post partum. The sample consisted of 42 females who used the HRMC Women\\\\\\\'s Health clinic in 2010 and who were assessed as having a drug/alcohol trigger. The study found that social workers are valuable at providing resources during pregnancy to help alleviate the trigger.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. KAMALI

DEPARTMENT OF NURSING

Empirical Projects

Quenstedt-Moe, Gretchen; Elias, Hannah; Shanks, Rebecca; Neill, Amy. PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING OF THE CHRISTIAN WOMEN'S FORGIVENESS MEASURE.
Eighty-Six Christian female nursing students participated in the study. Date for subscales and total measure were found to be normal except for subscale “What Forgiveness is Not.” Reliability of subscales was between .51 and .86. Overall reliability of measure was .85, thus justifying use of measure in future studies. Number of participants was not high enough to conduct factor analysis. Will continue to collect data (N=300+)until further analyses can be conducted. Plans to add another subscale involving feelings and theology will also be added based on principal investigator’s previous research, which found women who belonged to denominations who include feelings in their doctrines had higher mean scores of forgiveness, as compared to women who belong to denominations who avoid feelings in their doctrines.
Faculty Sponsor: GRETCHEN QUENSTEDT-MOE
Yeh, Pi-Ming; Chiao, Cheng-Huei; Wainscott, Courtney; Collins, Jennifer; Casady, Tessa; Starnes, Veronica.. FACTORS INFLUENCING COLLEGE STUDENTS’ PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING .
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of college students’ spiritual well-being, anxiety, depression, and coping strategies on the psychological well-being. There were 88 college students recruited from a state university in USA. A descriptive research design was used. The Stepwise Multiple Regression model variables accounted for 61.2% of the psychological well-being variance. Higher scores of SWB and higher scores of PFD were found to predict significantly greater psychological well-being. Lower scores of Depression and lower scores of EFE were found to predict significantly greater psychological well-being.
Faculty Sponsor: YEH, PI-MING

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Empirical Projects

Griffin, Jennifer, Morgan, Rebecca, & Washington, Deraan. PLZ ADD LOL IF U R JK: THE IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL CUES IN TEXT MESSAGING.
This study was designed to determine whether or not text-messaging abbreviations convey the same emotion as the words/phrases they represent. Participant's skin conductance responses (SCRs) were measured as they rated (1=very unpleasant, 6=very pleasant) phrases containing emotional abbreviations (e.g., LOL) or their representative words/phrases (e.g., laugh out loud). Participants rated phrases containing positive abbreviations or words/phrases higher than neutral stimuli and phrases containing negative abbreviations or words/phrases lower than neutral stimuli. Therefore, participants report feeling some emotion when exposed to positive and negative abbreviations; however, there was no corresponding physiological effect as no differences were found in the SCRs.
Faculty Sponsor: MARY L. STILL
Long, Todd. COLLEGE ANXIETIES: WHAT TYPE OF SEDATIVE MUSIC CAN HELP?.
Slow tempo music in a major key has sedative effects (Landreth & Landreth, 1974; Suda et al. 2008). Recently the theory of entrainment - that two vibrational systems will synchronize – has become popular in music therapy. It is hypothesized to be more effective to start music at a higher beat to match an anxious client’s heart rate, then lower the beat – than to play music at a consistently slow tempo (Hoffman, 1995). The present study tested whether entrainment lowered college students’ anxiety better than a slow, steady tempo in major key. College students who scored higher than the average across all psychology sections in the spring of 2011 at a Midwestern Division II university were invited to participate. One-hundred-ten college students completed the study, with both consistent tempo and entrained music resulting in significant decreases in self-reported anxiety and pulse, although there was a significantly greater decrease in pulse in those who listened to music with a consistent slow tempo. Implications and limitations to this study are discussed.
Faculty Sponsor: DR. RUSSELL PHILLIPS
51 submissions listed.
BIOLOGY25
CHEMISTRY1
COMPUTER SCIENCE MATH AND PHYSICS8
GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIOLOGY13
NURSING2
PSYCHOLOGY2
ANALYTICAL PAPER/ANALYSIS8
EMPIRICAL41
HISTORICAL PAPER1
LITERATURE REVIEW1