More than 130 at UNK will show student research, creative activity at April 4 event

John Falconer, director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, 308-865-8497,

Kearney, Neb., March 27, 2013 — More than 130 University of Nebraska at Kearney students will demonstrate their accomplishments in student research during the annual Student Research Day April 4 in UNK’s Nebraskan Union. The event showcases UNK’s signature program of excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

Student Research Day is an annual event each spring for students to present their scholarly work. All disciplines participate. There is a poster session with more than 100 entries, oral presentations, musical performances, and art exhibitions.
Independent research and creative activity allows students in all disciplines to take knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and apply them to unique challenges. Working closely with faculty experts, students can engage in the academic enterprise in a way that develops critical thinking, project management, and presentation skills that will be valuable in a lifetime of learning.

The event, which will be held in the Nebraskan Student Union, will begin with poster judging at 9 a.m. From 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., the public is welcome to the oral presentations and open poster viewing, followed by an awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Prizes are awarded for both oral and poster presentations. Some of this year’s topics include an analysis of the Freeh Report’s effects on colleges and universities, concussion awareness among administrators in rural Nebraska schools, ticket sales for Tri-City Storm hockey, recycling, deforestation in the Amazon, and constitutionality of school prayer at high school graduation.

Emily Balcetis, asssistant professor of psychology at New York University, is guest lecturer during the lunch. Balcetis’ research is in the conscious and nonconscious ways people orient to the world, focusing on how their emotions, motivations, needs and goal affect how people perceive, interpret and react to information around them. Her work explores motivational biases in visual and social perception and those effects on behavior in the social world. She operates a social perception, action and motivation lab at New York University. Her Ph.D. is in social psychology from Cornell University. She earned two bachelor’s degrees from UNK, both in 2001, in psychology and music performance. She previously was an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University before joining New York University in 2009.

UNK’s award-winning program in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity brings students into faculty’s laboratories, studios, fields and clinics, where the students work alongside scholars, and independently, mentored by faculty to explore and build on their knowledge – managing projects, solving problems, and communicating ideas.

“Independent research allows students to take control of their learning and develop expertise in their area of interest,” said John Falconer, director, Office of Udnergraduate Research and Creative Activity. “UNK is known national for its student research programs, and we’re very proud of the quality work our students do.”

Following is a list of students participating, sorted by hometown. Their research or creative activity project is titled, and their faculty mentor is also listed. Students names are in bold, followed by the faculty mentor and discipline. (Some students have more than one project):


Albion – Kevin Carder, “From Here to Timbuktu: How Traveling Shapes One’s Views of the Wider World.” – Satoshi Machida, political science.

Alma – Blake Weeder, “Immigrant Origins in South Central Nebraska.” – John T. Bauer, geography.

Arapahoe – Catherine Paulsen, “Concussion Awareness of School Professionals in Rural Nebraska,” – Erin Bush, communication disorders.

Arnold – Jamie Jacobson, “Ethnicity and the Nebraska State Accountability Test in Reading.” – Max McFarland, counseling and school psychology.

Aurora – Jessica Shepard, “Maps and Demographic Factors for Prediction of NeSA Test Performance.” – Max McFarland, counseling and school psychology.

Battle Creek – Landon J. Ziemba, “Drought Impacts and Predicting White-tailed Deer Age Using Antler Metrics in South-central Nebraska.” – Brian C. Peterson and Casey W. Schoenbeck, biology.

Beatrice – Taylor Warren, “Freeh Report Quantifying the Impact of the Freeh Report on Policies and Procedures at Select Colleges and Universities.” – Scott Unruh, health, physical education and recreational leisure studies. Shelby Zimmerman, “Nutritional Choices of UNK students.” – Kate Heelan, health, physical education and recreation and leisure studies.

Beaver Crossing – KayCee Upton, “Elevator versus Stair Use by UNK Students in Centennial Towers East.”  – Greg Brown, HPERLS.

Bennington – Victoria Klaus, “Native American Flute and Music: Past and Present.” – Franziska Nabb, music and performing arts.

Blue Hill – Barry J. Jeffs, “Impact of climate change on water resources – is our future safe?”  – Vijendra K. Boken, geography. Corey Willicott, “Development of Methods to Detect Atrazine in Water and Soil Samples.” – Annette Moser, chemistry.

Cambridge – Lindsey Eubanks, “The Relationship between Distal Forearm Bone Mineral Density and Self-Reported Periodontal Disease.” – Todd Bartee, HPERLS.

Central City – Noah Broekemier, “Kinetics of biodiesel synthesis catalyzed by an N-heterocyclic carbine.”  – Hector Palencia, chemistry; and “Synthesis of esters from carboxylic acids and alcohols catalyzed by Bronsted acids.”  – Hector Palencia, chemistry.

Columbus – Jonathan Danforth, “Modern Film Scoring Techniques.”  – Darleen Mitchell, music. Cassie Prothman, “A Comparison of the Ethical Guidelines, NASP, ISPA and LPA.”  – Max McFarland, education, school psychology. Rebecca Svatora, “Effects of aminopropyltrimethoxysilane on gold nanoparticle aggregation and binding to crystalline and glass substrates.” – Christopher Exstrom, chemistry.

Cozad – Kyle Gibbens, “Smoking and Pregnancy: Is the Damage Already Done?” – Janet Steele, biology.

Dawson – Hannah Harmon, “The Effect of Competitive Entertainment on Tri-City Storm Hockey Ticket Sales.” – Nita Unruh, HPERLS.

Dickens – Brooke Harris, “Nebraska MTNA Young Artist Woodwinds Competition.” – Franziska Nabb, music and performing arts.

Edgar – Jeff A. Shaw, “Fungal Diversity of a Cottonwood Root System.” – Dawn M. Simon, biology.

Genoa – Brandon Drozd, “Collegiate Greek Leadership Influence on Professional Success.”  – Amber Messersmith, communication.

Gering – Kayla J. Singleton, “A Comparison of Accreditation Standards for NASP, ISPA and Lithuania.”  – Max McFarland, counseling and school psychology.

Grand Island – Amy Encinger, “NAK – Nursing at Keyboard: Exploring Online Social Media Breastfeeding Support Groups.”  – Jennifer Crosswhite, family studies. Jayne McGovern, “Testing Thermal Stability of Engineered Ascorbate Peroxidase.” – Frank Kovacs, chemistry. Amanda Swenson, “Health Care Reform: The Impact on Businesses and Managers.” Michelle Fleig-Palmer, management. Ben Versaw, “Efficient Rendering of Terrain.” – John D. Hastings, computer science.

Greenwood – Hayley Rudder, “The environmental effects of the Keystone XL Pipeline on the threatened and endangered species of Nebraska.” – Paul Twigg, biology.

Gretna – Kelsie Musil, “Effect of Zinc and Nitrogen Deprivation on Lipid Accumulation in Chlamydomonas.”  – Paul Twigg, biology.

Hastings – Kyle Woodworth, “Site-Directed Mutagenesis of the Aromatic Binding Site of Ascorbate Peroxidase in Switchgrass.”  – Frank Kovacs, chemistry.

Hazard – Candace Long, “Comparison of Inhibitory Control in Bilingual Young Adults.” – Linda K. Crowe, communication disorders.

Imperial – Breanna Carman, “The Influence of Parenthood on Moral Decision Making.”   – Richard Miller, psychology.

Indianola – April A. Guthrie, “The Effects of Stress on Personal Moral Decision Making.”   – Richard Miller, psychology.

Juniata – Addison Heeren, “Next to Normal: A Lecture Recital.”   Sharon Campbell, music and performing arts.

Kearney – Sangeeta Boken, “Arranged versus Love Marriages: A Comparison between the United States and India.” – Toni Hill, family studies. Josh Brummer, “Study of Time Scale Calculus.” – Jacob Weiss, mathematics. Aspen Clements, “y-Cyclodextrin Mediated Cross-Photocycloaddition of Alkenes.” – Mahesh Pattabiraman, chemistry. Brian Ellis, “Natural Disaster Impacts in the United States.” Jason Combs, geography. Daniel Gibbs, “Flute and Oboe-Like Instruments in Non-Western Cultures.” – Darleen Mitchell, music and performing arts. Amanda Hagstrom, “Stressed or chill? Response of Nestling Red-winged Blackbirds to a Perceived Stressful Event.” – Letitia Reichart, biology. Lane Hoskins, “Geographical Perspective of the Anaconda Plan.” – Jason Combs, geography. Jonathan Hunzeker, “Comprehensive Study of Trombone F Triggers.”   – Seth Fletcher, music and performing arts. Taylor Hyatt, “The Search for an Octopamine Receptor in the Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus orbicollis, using Primers Generated from Cross Species Comparisons.” – Carmen Panaitof, biology. Brandon Karlin, “Study of Lipid Deposition of Chlamydomonas reingardtii When Stressed With Copper Deprivation.” – Paul Twigg, biology. Lisa Klingelhoefer, “Keeping Downtown Businesses Involved and Vital in Development Organizations.” – Greg Broekemier, marketing. Kirsty Kulhanek, “Perception of Safety in Urban Environments.” William Wozniak, psychology. Bjorn Lund, “Laser-Induced and Thermal Decomposition Studies of Nanocrystalline Pyrite FeS2.” – Chris Exstrom, chemistry. Ryusuke Machida, “Globalization and Gender Issues.” – Jason Combs, geography. Sally McVey, “Franklin Fox and the 15th Michigan Infantry.” – Jason Combs, geography. Danielle Nguyen, “Predicting the NeSA-R.” – Max McFarland, school psychology. Charla Peeks, “Boys Will Be Boys: The Possibility of Misdiagnosing Appropriate Biological Behavior.”   – Jeanne Stolzer, family studies. Jana Reier, “Anxiety Levels in Multiple Choice Testing When Consecutive Answers Correspond to the Same Letter Answer.”  – Krista Fritson, psychology. Dayana Rodriguez, “Examining recycling rates in different states of the USA.”   – Jason Combs, geography; and “Burying Beetles, Nicrophorus Sp., Can Survive a Fortnight without Food.”  – William Hoback, biology. Krista Scheer, “Undergraduate Research Fellowship: From Plan to Publication.” – Gregory Brown, HPERLS. Sarah Siebrandt, “That’s a super-sized monster-mug, but how much soda are you really drinking?”  – Gregory Brown, HPERLS. Jonathan Sliva, “Examining Deforestation in the Amazon Basin Utilizing Satellite Data: 1986 – 2009.”  – Jason Combs, geography. Mary Stuart, “A Comparative Analysis of Effective Teaching Strategies in American and Peruvian Schools.” – Chris Jochum, modern languages. Kaitlyn Taylor, “Generational Political Patterns: The Case Study of Presidential Election Results in Kearney, Nebraska.” – Jason Combs, geography. Darcie Tramp, “A Comparison and Analysis of Three International Codes of Ethics for School Psychologists.” – Max McFarland, counseling and school psychology. Junqi Wang, “Understanding the ICT effect in N-aryl-1, 8-naphthalimides.” – Haishi Cao, chemistry. Thomas Webber, “Studies of Iron depletion in the solvothermal preparation of nanocrystalline pyrite FeS2 in oleylamine.”  – Chris Exstrom, chemistry. Christine Younes, “Simultaneous Languages Acquisition in Bilingual Toddlers.”  – Jan Moore, communication disorders.

Kimball – Danielle Perry, “Association Changes in Physical Activity Levels and Serum HDL-C with Weight Loss Among Obese Children and Adults.”  – Kate Heelan, HPERLS.

Lexington – Angelo Verdugo, “Obama and Russia: 2008-2012.”  – Christine L. Maloyed, political science.

Lincoln – Jeremy Grauf, “Fish community improved from groundwater input into Dry Creek, Nebraska.”  – Wyatt Hoback, biology. Erik Prenosil, “Maximum Swimming Ability of Three Nebraska Fishes.”  – Wyatt Hoback, biology. Nolan Pribnow, “Musicians’ Health and Wellness.” – Valerie Cisler, music and performing arts. Erin Sexton, “Factors for Prediction of NeSA Test Results Among Fourth Grade Students.”   – Max McFarland, school psychology. Philip T. White, “Nationalism, Youth and Gender in Postwar Bosnia.”  – Carol Lilly, history.

Lindsay – Jennifer Frisch, “What’s Staining the Coyote’s Coat?” – Joseph Springer and Letitia Reichart, biology. Lacey McPhillips, “Bridging the age gap in young adult literature.” Susan Honeyman, English.

Madison – Heather S. Smutny, “Comparison of 1974, 2000, and 2010 NASP Ethical Standards.”  – Max McFarland, counseling and school psychology.

McCook – Tiffanie Bailey, “Predictive Capacity of Multiple Variables on Standardized State Reading Assessments.” – Max McFarland and Teara Archwamety, school psychology.

Norfolk – Margaret Fennessy, “Selection of Creative Individuals Through Interviews to Facilitate Innovative Organizational Cultures.” – Fleig-Palmer, business management.

Ogallala – Kevin Kalkowski, “The Effect of Nanoparticle Administration on the Vascular Tree.”  – Wayne Briner, psychology.

Omaha – Kayla Brown, “A Comparison of the Ethical Standards of NASP and ISPA.” – Max McFarland, school psychology. Mark Gardner, “Internet Access and the Digital Divide.”  – Jason Combs, geography.

O’Neill – Erin Gotschall, “The Effects of Dress on Self-Confidence.” – Richard Miller, psychology.

Ord – Blanca Vera Chavez, “The News Consciousness.” – Anita Hart, modern languages. Bethany Lueck, “Effects of pH in the synthesis of branched gold nanoparticles in water/methanol solutions.” – Chris Exstrom, chemistry.

Osmond – Ryan J. Peschel, “The Case of the Cracked Tennis Court: Poor Service, or Geology’s Fault?” – Jeremy Dillon, geography.

Overton – C. L. Veal, “Factors that Predict State Reading Rest Results among Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Students.” – Max McFarland and Teara Archwamety, counseling and school psychology.

Pierce – Chelsea Atkins, “Step by Step: Is there a recipe for murder?” – Krista Forrest, psychology; and “Effects of Undeserved Reward and Personality on Short and Long-term Generosity.”  – Richard Miller, psychology. Kathy Venteicher, “An Analysis of UNK Student Teacher Preparation.” – Chris Jochum, modern languages.

Ralston – Katie Jadlowski, “The Price Tag for Justice – Plea vs Trials.” – Peter Longo, political science.

Ravenna – Luke Zinnell, “The Constitutionality of School Prayer at Graduation Ceremonies.”  – Satoshi Machida, political science.

Red Cloud – Shelby Peters, “The Acute Effect of Nanoparticles on Lung Histology.” – Wayne Briner, psychology.

Roca – Alyx Lingenfelter, “Diet and Prevalence of Chytrid of Non-Native American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska.”  – Keith Geluso, biology.

Schuyler – Bridgette Schneekloth, “Kinect Sports compared to Live Track Performance for Physical Activity.  – Gregory Brown, HPERLS.

Scottsbluff – Kiley Anderson, “Comprehension Improvement in Students Using the FRAME Routine.”  – Linda Crowe, communication disorders. Justin Vogel, “The Funeral Service Industry: Consumer Knowledge and Perceptions.” – Greg Broekemier, marketing.

Shelby – Megan Veburg, “Empress That I Am.” – Douglas Biggs, history.

St. Paul – Justin Buchanan, “No Guts, No Glory.” – Kim Carlson, biology.

Trumbull – Derek Kleier, “Intron Degeneration in the Lichen Fungi Teloschistes.”   – Dawn Simon, biology.

Wallace – Tad Fuchs, “Effect of diet on physiology and lifespan of drosophila melanogaster obesity mutants.” – Kimberly Carlson, biology. Jacqueline Griffiths, “The Effects of Humility and Self-construal on Group Member Acceptance.” – Richard Miller, psychology.

Waterloo – Hanna Jorgensen, “Restoring the Native American Spirit.” – Derrick Burbul, journalism.

Wauneta – Greg Sandman, “Starting a PFLAG Chapter in a Rural Community.”   – David Hof, counseling and school psychology.

Wellfleet – Kellie Hansen, “Evolution of rRNA introns in the lichen Physcia.”   – Dawn Simon, biology.

York – Kate Hannon, “Childrens BMI Percentile Change in One Year.”  – Kate Heelan, human performance.


Otis – Karson Kuntz, “State Standards.” – Christie Maloyed, political science.

Algona – Kirsten Lipps, “Preparation of gold nanoparticles via oxalate reduction of HAuC14 without the presence of polymeric stabilizing agents.” – Christopher Exstrom, chemistry. Grant Person, “Appell Hypergeometric Function F1 its Evaluation and More.” – Barton Willis, mathematics and statistics.

Marysville – Nicolas Stoll, “Just What the Doctor Ordered.” – Paul Burger, geography.

Mahtomedi – Kelly Skunes, “Venetial Glass.” – Chad Fonfara, fine arts.

Gladstone –Travis Stewart, “Author as Illustrator: Storytelling through Different Eyes.” – John Stanko, art and art history.

Round Rock – Colten Hartman, “The Parthenon Frieze: Representation Interpretation.” – Douglas Biggs, history.

Spokane –Drew Comito, “An Investigation of Adolescent Delinquency.” – Jennifer Crosswhite, family studies.

Nekoosa – Zachariah Woiak, “Seasonal Changes in Zooplankton Density within Harlan County Reservoir.”  – Casey Schoenebeck, biology.

Oconto Falls – Adrienne Conley, “Trap and relocate in burying beetles (Nicrophorus americanus, Nicrophorus marginatus) and its implications for conversation.”  – Wyatt Hoback, biology.

Waupaca – Morgan Abert, “Production and Validation of Drosophila melanogaster Nora Virus Monospecific Antisera.” – Kimberly Carlson, biology.

Beijing – Lingyun Yang, Mengnan Wang. “Detecthing CN – in biosamples by using ICT fluorescence chemosensor.”  – Haishi Cao, chemistry. Qiao Song, “Novel Smiles Photorearrangement and Intramolecular Oxidative Photodisplacement of Hydrogen by an Amine.”  – Gene Wubbels, chemistry.

Bogota – Catalina Jaimes, “Foreign Language Vocabulary Instruction: An analysis of short and long-term retention.” – Chris Jochum, modern language.

Abidjan – Jane Sosoo, “A Correlational Study of Extraversion and Self Esteem.”   – Krista Fritson, psychology.

Chinhoyi – Roy Machamire, “Money, Demand and Supply during Zimbabwe’s Hyperinflation and Dollarization: 1998 – 2010.” – Frank Tenkorang, economics.