Dianne M. Holcomb
assistant director, Office of Sponsored Programs, 308.865.8481

Twenty-three University of Nebraska at Kearney students who recently completed the Summer Student Research Program (SSRP) will present their findings at a fall symposium on Sunday, Oct. 23.

For 10 weeks, from May to June, students worked alongside their professors conducting independent research through SSRP, which for the last 10 years has supported undergraduate research in all disciplines on campus – the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences.

“The SSRP enables students to engage in original research and creative activities under the guidance of a faculty member,” said Dianne Holcomb, Office of Sponsored Programs assistant director. “This opportunity to work closely with an expert gives the students a chance to expand their knowledge of a chosen academic discipline.

“Secondly, because the research is independent of the structured classroom setting, students experience the excitement and challenges of applying their knowledge and skills to solve new problems.

“Finally, students draw on their general studies coursework and learn about research in other disciplines, broadening their understanding of the differences and connections between various fields of study,” Holcomb said.

Upon completion of the project, students must write a scholarly paper before the beginning of the new academic year to be published online, create a poster presenting their results and give an oral presentation at the fall symposium.

To be selected for SSRP, students had to complete applications in November 2010, after working with a faculty mentor to develop a project proposal. After beginning the program in May, students met with their mentors on a regular basis and participated in weekly meetings with other student scholars. The students’ research ended on Aug. 1.

Students participating in SSRP receive a monthly stipend from May through September.

In 2002, UNK received a Lancey/NCUR grant for $40,000, which was used to support 12 students in the Platte Studies Seminar under the leadership of Dr. Ken Nickels and Dr. John Falconer. The UNK program was granted an additional $22,500 over the summer of 2003 after demonstrating progress during the first year.

“The Platte Studies Seminar became a vital element of the learning environment at UNK, and served as a model of summer undergraduate research programs,” Holcomb said. “The program is open to students from all disciplines, and is structured to enrich the educational experience in several ways.”

Students are listed below alphabetically by hometown with college, department, mentor and research topic.

Aurora – John Lawless, NSS, political science, Dr. Peter Longo, The Wisconsin Labor Union Situation: Inter-Branch Conflict and Courtroom Public Policy

Broken Bow – Annette Maynard, COE, communication disorders, Dr. Linda Crowe, Communication and Literacy Abilities of Hearing Children Born to Deaf or Hard of Hearing Adults

Elba – Jed Dush, NSS, criminal justice, Dr. Danielle Neal, Determining the Deterrence Value of License Suspension for Minor in Possession

Grand Island – Alyssa Johnson, FAH, art, Dr. John Stanko, New Technology and the Changing Face of Illustration; Samantha Mitchell, NSS, biology, Dr. Kim Carlson, Production of Antibody against Full Length OTK18 Protein; Maria Rojas, NSS, biology, Dr. Letitia Reichart, Roundup Ready Eggs: Does glyphosate accumulate in eggs of birds nesting near agricultural crops in Nebraska?; Josh Wilson, NSS, physics, Dr. Ken Trantham, A New Type of GaAs Photo Emitter; and Viridiana Zavala, NSS, political science, Dr. Will Aviles, Latin American Indigenous Autonomy: The Implications on Democracy and Development

Hartington – Jordan Rehnstrom, B&T, accounting/finance, Dr. Laura Swinney, IFRS and Creative Accounting

Holdrege – Emily Myers, FAH, English, Dr. Susan Honeyman, Social Criticism in Young Adult Fiction

Inman – Paul Tompkins, NSS, criminal justice, Dr. Beth Wiersma, Sentences of Convicted Labor Traffickers vs. Sex Traffickers

Kearney – Jess Lammers, NSS, biology, Dr. Wyatt Hoback, Following Directions:  A Test in Beetle Navigation;  Brittany Musil, NSS, history, Dr. Carol Lilly, Regional Issues in Holocaust Studies; Charles Sepers, COE, health, physical education, recreation and leisure studies, Dr. Todd Bartee, Efficacy of Two Theory-Based 12-week Internet-Mediated Walking Programs

Lexington – Alejandro (Alex) Pinedo, NSS, chemistry, Dr. Hector Palencia, Functionalized gold nanoparticals as catalysts for glycerol carbonate synthesis

Lincoln – Jordan Heiliger, NSS, political science, Dr. Peter Longo, EPA and Superfund Cleanup: The Case of Omaha, NE and implications beyond

Minden – Grant Carlson, NSS, criminal justice, Dr. Joseph Carlson, Public Perception of Law Enforcement Uniforms

Newman Grove – Jennifer Frisch, NSS, biology, Dr. Joseph Springer, Identification of Molecular Markers Used to Distinguish Eastern and Western Coyotes in Nebraska

Omaha – Jessica Baillie, NSS, chemistry, Dr. Annette Moser, Development of an Immunoassay for Environmental Targets; Kelsi Musil, NSS, biology, Dr. Paul Twigg, Developing Better Algae for Biodiesel Production

Sidney – Abbie Olson, NSS, social work, Dr. Jody Van Langingham, The Impact of the Transition to Parenting on Marital Satisfaction

Wakefield – Staphanie Klein, NSS, social work, Dr. Maha Younes, Experiences of International Adoptees and Their Parents

 – Kirsti Rehler, B&T, accounting/finance, Dr. Larry Carstenson, State of Frauds-Is it time for a change?