Dr. John Falconer
director of Sponsored Programs, 308.865.8496

Thirty-two students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will present the research they conducted this summer at the Independent Research Seminar and Platte Studies Seminar Fall Symposium from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 13-14 in the Nebraskan Student Union Great Room.

“Summer research provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to develop, conduct, and present their own research projects,” said John Falconer, director of Sponsored Programs. “This allows students to experience research and scholarship at a high level, similar to what they might encounter in graduate school.

“The projects provide a mechanism for students to draw on their classroom knowledge and apply it in real world settings. It develops critical thinking skills, exposes them to the academic enterprise, and it gives them a forum for developing their writing and presentation skills.”

Students have two program options in which to pursue their summer research. Each student researcher receives $2,500 for the summer and has an operating budget of $250. The first is through the Platte Studies Seminar. Project topics are related to the Platte Valley, and research can be done for any discipline. Each project is done independently, but together the projects create a better understanding of the Platte Valley region.

The second is the Independent Research Seminar. Projects in this program can be on any topic appropriate to the discipline. Participants in each group took field trips, and attended research methods seminars and weekly meetings throughout the summer. Students will now have the opportunity to present their findings at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Lexington, Va., March 15-17, 2005, and at UNK Student Research Day in April 2005.

The students participating (listed alphabetically by hometown) and their faculty mentors are:

Ainsworth Kandra Johnson, Mechanism of Nucleophilic Aromatic Photo Substitution. Dr. Gene Wubbels,

Alma   Season Hoppe, Research Sentencing for Criminal Homicides in the State of 
  Nebraska. Dr. James Gilbert, criminal justice

Bertrand  Nathan Harms, Analysis of Gene Expression in Switchgrass Tissues. Dr. Paul
Twigg, biology

Brainard  Karynn Kucera, Effects of Exercise on the Repair Enzymes Proceeding a Heart 
  Attack. Dr. Janet Steele, biology

Brownville  John Westbrook, Business Ethics within Nebraska. Drs. Leslie Korb and Thomas
Martin, management and philosophy, respectively

Elba   Jessica Jurzenski, A Novel Investigation of Nebraska Ant Species and 
  Distribution. Dr. Wyatt Hoback, biology

Fairbury  Mark Rhine, Impact of a Wal-Mart Opening on Business Climate of Platte Valley 
  Communities. Dr. Steve Hall, accounting/finance

Gibbon  Monty Shultz, How Does the Serving of Alcohol at Sporting Events Effect the 
  Underage Athletes Participating in the Events? Dr. Sandra Cook-Fong, social work

Grand Island Adam Clemans, Analysis of the Gateway Drugs Theory Dr. Scott Sasse, criminal justice

Justin Sevenker, Reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Dr. Michael Benzel, English

Phillip Ernstmeyer, On the Margin: New Jewish Writing. Dr. Kate Benzel,

Harvard  Brett Chloupek, The Influence of Drains and Tributaries on the Groundwater 
  Aquifer along the Central Platte River (Part 2). Dr. Steele Becker, geography

Hastings Zach Nelson, Comparative Water Policy Lessons. Dr. Peter Longo, political

Holdrege  Rick Sherman, Optimization and Application of Expression/Purification Protocol 
  for Sensory Rhodopsin II. Dr. Frank Kovacs, chemistry

Humphrey  Sheila Preister, Utilization of Modern Costing Methods by Businesses. Dr. Steve
Hall, accounting/finance

Kearney  Sara Manning, Nebraska’s Unmarked Human Burial Sites and Skeletal Remains 
  Protection Act: Implications for Native American Sovereignty and Self-determination.
Dr. John Anderson, political science

Chris McClemens, Platte Valley Crime & Criminals. Dr. Mark Ellis, history

Jay Powell, Utilizing Case-based Reasoning and Automatic Case Elicitation to Develop a Self-taught    Knowledgeable Agent: Enhancing Knowledge Acquisition. Dr. John Hastings, computer science and
information systems

Ashley Scantling, Association Between Physical Activity and Adiposity in Preschool Aged Children. 
Dr. Kate Heelan, health, physical education and recreation

Lexington  Joel Martin, Farm Subsidies: Comparison and Analysis of Methodology and Impact of Freedom to 
  Farm and Farm Bill. Dr. Diane Duffin, political science

Lincoln  Christie Coleman, Amphibian, Reptile, and Small Mammal Species Composition 
  in Woodland Versus Non-Woodland Habitat along the Central Platte River. Dr. Bruce Eichhorst, biology

Ravenna  Cynthia Waskowiak, The Impact of the Drought on Voting Behavior: The Case of 
  the Platte River Valley Corridor. Dr. Peter Longo, political science

Sutherland  Rebecca Bay, Testing for the Chivalry Hypothesis Within the Central Nebraska Drug Court System,
   Dr. Scott Sasse, criminal justice

Omaha  Jim Chezem, The Influence of Drains and Tributaries on the Groundwater 
  Aquifer along the Central Platte River (Part 1). Dr. Steele Becker, geography

O’Neill  Tim Friedel, Jr., Small Mammal Population Diversity in a Wooded and Cleared 
  Platte River Habitat. Dr. Joseph Springer, biology

Wilcox  Cyndy Scott, Reality Television in Rural Nebraska: The Effects on College-Age 
  Students. Dr. Nanette Hogg, communication

Wayne  Heather Stauffer, From Boom to Bust. Dr. Mark Ellis, history

Littleton  Justin Weller, Economic Analysis of the Dynamic Air Travel. Dr. Thomas
Eshleman, economics

    Atwood  Cole Spresser, Characterization of OTK18 in Transgenic Drosophila Melanogaster.
Dr. Kimberly Carlson, biology

Goodland  Bryce Abbey, Effects of Liquid Glycogen Replacement on Performance During Repeated Maximal 
  Effort Exercises. Dr. Kate Heelan, health, physical education and recreation

 Norton  Andrea Martinez-Skinner, Modifying Carbon Electrodes using Electrochemistry. 
Dr. James Kariuki, chemistry

   Hyderabad Siva Kommuri, Drought Monitoring using Decision Trees (AI). Dr. Sherri Harms,