Program for the Spring 2007 Multidisciplinary Research Day
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY
Brittain,Jared Sticken, Jennifer. LEAD TOXICITY OF MARISA CORNUARIETIS SNAIL IN RELATION TO SHELL VOLUME.
It has been found that the Marisa Cornuarietis snail has been affected by certain toxic metals such as lead acetate due to pollution of living environments. With respect to chronic lead exposure, the Lymnaea Stagnalis is the most sensitive aquatic organism tested to date (Grosell, 2005). The snail class Gastropoda includes the Lymnaea and Marisa snails among other pond, garden, apple and freshwater snails. Lead toxicity tests were performed on the Marisa Cornuarietis species of the apple snail family. The Marisa Cornuarietis were introduced to lead levels of 680 ug/L, 3024 ug/L, 7087 ug/L, 14175 ug/L respectively. The tests provided no significant evidence to the correlation between the thickness of the shell and that of lead concentration. However; considerable evidence has been shown that the body tissues were more affected due to the premature death of the experimental snails. Faculty Sponsor:
Brown, Adam and Thomsen, Kristin. BIOINFORMATICS ANNOTATION OF CONTIG-4 IN DROSOPHILA ERECTA.
DNA annotation is taking an unknown DNA sequence and comparing it to known sequence to determine locations of genes and functions. In this project, through Washington University, a 4,000 base section of Drosophila erecta was selected and its genes were compared to the closely related Drosophila melanogaster. With the use of various bioinformatics tools found on the internet, three possible gene matches were found and their exon boundaries were determined. Faculty Sponsor:
Bugbee, Steve. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: WATER CHEMISTRY OF KARST HABITATS..
Our study of water chemistry in karst environments was conducted in order to give us a better understanding of the chemicals and materials that are found in cave water systems. We examined chemical properties such as the amount of dissolved oxygen, calcium levels, ammonium levels, and turbidity in karst streams and drip pools. However, the primary focus of our research was the development of an apparatus that could be taken into a cave environment to conduct accurate field research. We designed a self-contained system of Vernier probes that fit snuggly into a water tight canister. The base of each probe was then fitted into a Styrofoam platform that gave rugged structural stability as well as acting as a floatation devise to keep the probes at a standardized depth of one inch below the surface of the water. The devise was placed into a variety of aquatic habitats, such as undisturbed drip pools, disturbed drip pools (those with human interaction), and the stream systems running through the cave. Five readings were recorded at each designated site using a DataMate system connected to a TI-83 calculator. All of the data was then uploaded into an SPSS database and analyzed using an ANOVA test. We found a significant difference (p<0.05) between the turbidity readings throughout the water systems. There was no evidence of a significant difference (p<0.05) between the readings of dissolved oxygen Faculty Sponsor:
Cox, Amber. THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG LIVING THINGS: DEVELOPING A LAB ACTIVITY.
The learning cycle approach was used to develop an activity for BIO101 nonmajors general biology laboratory. The approach was tested on a single lab section in order to refine the method for broader use in the future. The learning cycle was implemented with the following components. Engage - Introduce the concept of grouping living things as a means of understanding their relationships. Describe how phylogenetic tree building helps us understand how species have developed over time. Compile a class list of the kinds of information that the students used to group organisms. Suggest that molecular information can also be used to discover relationships between organisms. Explore - Spark the students interest in using molecular sequences to study relationships between living things by handing out a “quiz.” They cannot solve the problem alone. They construct a tree, after which they can solve the problem. Explain - Explain how the molecular data can be used along with other observations to solve problems and support hypotheses about the relationships between living things. Elaborate - Using internet resources at NCBI, show the students how we have access to DNA and protein sequences for many organisms. Demonstrate resources such as the Tree of Life website that provides information about relationships. Evaluate - Each student team will present their tree. An evaluation was given in which the students were asked about their understanding of the activity. Faculty Sponsor:
Elder, Darcie Woyski, Dustin. GENE ANNOTATION OF DROSOPHILA ERECTA.
The process of gene annotation (determination of exon boundries) of a fosmid, contig 19, within the Drosophila erecta gene sequence. Contig 19 contained three genes, two of which are annotated. The exon boundries are determined using genetic internet databases. Faculty Sponsor:
Evans, Ryan. CHARACTERIZING PRAIRIE FAUNA: MOUND-BUILDING ANTS (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) AT PAWNEE PRAIRIE..
Mound-building ants(Hymenoptera:Formicidae) are recognized as an important component of the biodiversity of native tallgrass prairies. Two mound-building species (Formica fossaceps and Formica montana) were reported from Pawnee Prairie (Harrison Co., MO) in 1998. During the summer of 2006 we began collecting data on soil moisture, mound morphometrics and mound spatial distribution over a small section of Pawnee Prairie. We measured mound height and mound width in centimeters. We measured soil moisture approximately 20 cm below the soil surface. Moisture readings were obtained at the center of the ant mound and approximately .5 meter directly north of the mound. Mound density in this area was estimated at 588 mounds per hectare. We were able to distinguish between F. fossaceps and F. montana-like mounds based on the higher accumulation of organic debris on F. fossaceps mounds. F. fossaceps mounds were also more likely found at the top of the drainage system. Faculty Sponsor:
Fay, Laura. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: DECOMPOSITION STATION SURVEY AT TUMBLING CREEK CAVE..
This project was designed to initiate a survey of the different organisms found associated with bait stations of decomposing material in different areas (zones) of Tumbling Creek Cave (Taney Co., MO). At various locations throughout the cave several pieces of wood had been laid on the cave floor and allowed to begin naturally decomposing. For this initial survey each group of wooden pieces was labeled “Station 1 thru 5“, with 1 being closest to the artificial entrance. At each station the following information was recorded: a) the number of pieces of wood; b) the length, width and thickness or diameter of each individual piece of wood (from right to left); c) the stage of decomposition with 1 being new and 5 being more than 50% decomposed; and d) any living organism found on the wood was measured and recorded. No specimens were collected or handled, merely observed and measured. We observed 41 different individuals of at least 12 different species associated with the Decomp Stations. Three species of millipede, one (perhaps Pseudopolydesmus pinetorum) a troglophile and two troglobites (Causeyella dendropus and Chaetaspis aleyorum) were noted. Webworms (Macrocera nobilis), guano pseudoscorpions (Hesperochernes occidentalis), a troglobitic isopod (Brackenridgia ashleyi), and a harvestman (possibly Erebomaster flavescens) were observed as well. Several unidentifiable invertebrates were also noted. Faculty Sponsor:
Hellstrom, Steve. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON BAT ROOST TEMPERATURES IN FOUR MISSOURI CAVES..
During the winter of 2007, we initiated a project to characterize roost temperature as a microhabitat factor that may influence distribution and abundance of Missouri cave bats. Our preliminary dataset includes data from 187 bats observed in four Missouri caves: Tumbling Creek Cave, Hercules Glade Tower Cave, Skaggs Cave, and Cathedral Cave. We used a Raytek MX Series Infrared Thermometer to collect surface temperature of bats and roost substrate surface temperatures. We used a Taylor Digital thermometer to determine air temperature within one meter distance from the bat (if possible).
We also noted if the bat was covered in condensation. The location of each bat was marked on a map of each cave and the data were recorded in a field journal. Bats were identified to species whenever possible. We recorded data on 116 eastern pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus subflavus), 1 gray bat (Myotis grisescens), 4 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), 33 little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), and 33 individuals for which the species was unknown. The mean temperature of bat body surface, roost site and air temperature showed significant differences (ANOVA; P=0.05)
muscik, adam sandusky, mike. ANNOTATION OF D. ERECTA FOSMID.
Annotation of new fly species aids in the building if databases of DNA and exon information. The fly species being annotated was Drosophila erecta. The nucleotide information is known but the numbers and location of genes and exons, on specific fosmids are not known. Using the online databases at Genscan, UCSC, NCBI, Flybase, and Ensembl the annotation of fosmid 5 was completed. Through alignments of the nucleotide sequences and protein sequences, 3 complete genes were discovered and a partial one running into another fosmid was found. The exon locations were also discovered through these same alignments and through comparisons between the databases. The entire fosmid information was then submitted to Genome Education Partnership at Washington University. Faculty Sponsor:
Ogden, Brad and Edwards, Curt. GENE ANNOTATION OF D. ERECTA CONTIG 18.
Annotation has become an important tool in making sense of large masses of raw DNA data by using biological sequence databases and programs. In conjunction with Washington University in St. Louis, undergraduate students have been given the opportunity to annotate the Drosophila erecta species, particularly chromosome 4. Each group was assigned a 40,000 base pair fosmid. Using various computational tools, our group annotated contig 18, which yielded two genes: Slip1 and CG11360. This project was a great opportunity for students to get involved and understand the meticulous work annotation requires. Faculty Sponsor:
Ogden, Brad. IHOP MEETS IGEM: SOLVING THE PANCAKE PROBLEM WITH A BACTERIAL COMPUTER.
This research used resources available through the 2006 International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition to design a rudimentary bacterial computer that solves a classic mathematical problem. The burnt pancake problem involves determination of the number of flips required to arrange a stack of pancakes from largest to smallest burned sides down. Biological representation of a pancake is a functional unit of DNA such as a promoter or coding region. We reconstituted the Hin/hix invertase system from Salmonella typhimurium as a compatible system in E. coli. Each DNA segment flanked by a pair of hixC sites is a \"pancake\" capable of being inverted. Selectable phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance and RFP expression depend upon proper arrangement of a series of hixC-flanked DNA segments in a plasmid, allowing us to select for cells that successfully solved the puzzle. Results demonstrate flipping of individual promoter and coding sequence pancakes. It should be possible to flip multiple pancakes and solve the pancake problem. Faculty Sponsor:
Porter, Heather. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: AMPHIBIAN MORPHOMETRICS IN MISSOURI CAVES..
From January 2007 to February 2007 amphibian data were recorded throughout five Missouri Caves. The data that were collected included amphibian species, developmental stage, total length (in mm), the body length (tip of nose to hind legs) on salamanders, and often the zone in the cave where the animal was located. During the study 6 different species of salamanders and one species of frog were recorded. The caves of interest in this study include Tumbling Creek Cave, Skaggs Cave, Onondaga Cave, Mullen Cave #1, and Lone Hill Onyx. The most commonly found salamanders in theses caves were the western slimy salamander (Plethodon albagula), cave salamander (Eurycea lucifuga), and grotto salamander (Eurycea spelaea). The frog species that was recorded throughout the caves was the Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris). Faculty Sponsor:
Smith, Anna; Butner, Trevor. ANNOTATION OF CONTIG 6 IN CHROMOSOME 4 OF DROSOPHILIA ERECTA.
Students enrolled in BIO331 at Missouri Western State University were given a fosmid sequence from the fourth chromosome of Drosophilia erecta. Students partnered with Washington University of St. Louis and other undergraduate institutions to annotate the Drosophilia erecta genome. Many computational tools, such as emsembl and flybase, were used to aid in annotation. Contig 6 contains four known genes: Activin-Beta, RfaBP, Zyx102EF and CaMKII. Faculty Sponsor:
Valencia, Amanda Matt Unzicker. ANNOTATION OF CHROMOSOME FOUR FOUND IN DROSPHILLA ERECTA.
DNA annotation is the back bone that allows molecular biology and bioinformatics to continue to add a variety of different organisms who’s DNA has been sequenced, to the publics’ genetic databases for storage. This project focuses on using biological and sequence databases to locate the position of intron-exon boundaries, repeats, gene names and protein products. The specific species this project focuses on is D. Erecta. This is the first time that much of this sequence has ever been annotated, and the goal is to come to the most reasonable interpretation of the raw data and be able to articulate the reasoning behind the hypothesizes. This project also focuses on only a small segment of the D. Erecta genome; the section annotated in this project is a portion of the fourth chromosome. Some of the most common and useful biological and sequence databases found on the internet and used predominately during the annotation for this project include Flybase, Genome UCSC, NCBI, and Ensemb. The use of modern technology has allowed for even undergraduate students to participate in annotating massive amounts of raw data. For example in carrying out the annotation of chromosome four of D. Erecta one gene was located, named and the protein product was also identified. Undergraduate annotation for this chromosome will continue until the entire fourth chromosome is sequenced and added to a genetic database for storage. Faculty Sponsor:
Ward, Vickie. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: CONTINUED MONITORING OF THE CAVE SNAIL POPULATION IN CATHEDRAL CAVE..
We report on our continued efforts to monitor populations of Fontigens aldrichi (Gastrodpoda: Hydrobiidae), a troglobitic snail found in the stream of Cathedral Cave (Crawford Co., MO). Our study site within the cave consisted of an easily-accessed portion of the stream that flows under a bridge on the tourist trail. The study area started at the bridge and continued nine meters upstream and downstream. A PVC frame (measuring .5m X .5 m) was used to limit an area of stream bed that we examined. Three frames were equally positioned across the stream bed starting nine meters downstream of the bridge. Ten black rocks and ten white rocks were individually removed from within the frame and examined for snails. After the requisite number of rocks were examined, we moved two meters upstream and repeated the procedure. We continued this process, ending nine meters upstream of the bridge. During our visit on February 18 (2007) we counted 71 snails. During the May 16 count, 98 snails were observed. Faculty Sponsor:
Wiegman, Allyson. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: CONTINUED MONITERING OF CRICKET POPULATION IN SKAGGS CAVE..
The purpose of this experiment was to monitor populations of crickets in Skaggs cave during a visit to the cave in January, 2007. We used a tape measure to establish 13 five-meter zone starting at the cave entrance drip line, and following the contour of the wall as it curved to the right. Within each zone the numbers, sizes, location, and presence of crickets with an ovipositor were noted. Additional miscellaneous organisms seen were also counted. We counted 79 crickets in the transect area and 15 additional cave organisms. The body length of the crickets was between 6mm and 25mm. We used a Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker to determine climatic features at the start of every new zone. This project was initiated in 1996 in but visits to the cave have been conducted on a sporadic basis. We will present estimates of population trends and size class measurements. This project is one of a series of long-term projects that we hope will allow us to determine patterns of distribution and abundance of cave organisms in Missouri. Faculty Sponsor:
Winfrey, Jason. BIO355 MINIPROJECTS: TUMBLING CREEK CAVE CRAYFISH MORPHOMETRICS..
This report documents our activities measuring morphological features of Orconectus neglectus neglectus, an epigean crayfish species occurring in Tumbling Creek Cave (Taney Co., MO). We collected specimens during visit to the cave on January 27, 2007. Ten traps (baited with chicken wings) were left in the cave stream overnight and then checked for captured crayfish. Individual crayfish recovered were measured, tagged and then released. Several morphologic features were measured including body length, body width, head width, and left and right chela (pincer) lengths. We also recorded gender and determined mass using a Pesola spring scale. We have accumulated data using this protocol over four seasons. Females showed a strong positive correlation between body length and mass, as well as between head length and mass. Although males also show a positive correlation between body length and mass, the relationship is not as strongly correlated. This may be due to differences in sizes of chela between genders. Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
Thomsen, Kristen; Elder, Darcie; Wheale, Jason; Caldwell, Benjamin and Ducey, Michael. EXAMING THE INTERACTIONS OF GST-FUSION PROTEINS.
In order to determine the interactions between glutathione S-Transferase (GST) fusion proteins it was important to purify the protein of interest. To create the GST fusion proteins, GST was incorporated into an expression vector (E. coli) along with the DNA sequence that codes for the protein of interest and the cells were induced to produce the protein of interest. The proteins of interest include peptidylglycine-a-amidating monooxygenase (PAM), which resides within the secretory vesicles of immature hormones and contains a cytosolic domain (CD) that resides on the outside of the vesicle. PAM requires phosphorylation from the protein kinase PAM-CD Interactor protein (PCIP2). These proteins were examined through fluorescence anisotropy to determine their interactions with one another and their functional roles. Further investigation of the cell line and vector system through PCR and increasing the expression of PCIP2 for analysis needs to be conducted in order to understand the role that these proteins have.
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE MATH AND PHYSICS
Briscoe, Jason. SUCCESS AND SALARIES: A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS ON NBA TEAMS.
Can we accurately predict a team's success based on certain statistical categories and/or its payroll? Also, can we determine if a team was overpaid or underpaid based on its success during the season? A statistical analysis involving multiple regression looks to provide insight to these questions. Faculty Sponsor:
Lewis, Aaron. MARCH OF THE TI-83: HAPPY ARCTIC BIRDS AND OTHER SIMULATIONS.
Suppose penguins spend 10% of their lives in water. How many penguins do you need in a zoo display to be reasonably sure that at least 5 penguins will be in the water at all times? This and are similar problems are modeled with a user-created TI-83 graphing calculator program. Faculty Sponsor:
Liebersbach, Tammy. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SCRUFFALIS.
Suppose people with a certain homozygous recessive disease have less chance of surviving to adulthood and reproducing. This appears to be the case for the recessive gene associated with sickle cell anemia. Here, we investigate the occurrence of a fictional recessive disease called scruffalis in successive generations. Faculty Sponsor:
Ritter, Michelle. AIRLINE OVERBOOKING.
Airlines routinely overbook flights to allow for "no-shows." Airlines have to balance the risk of a "no-show" (a loss in revenue) with the compensation they must pay to bumped passengers. This model attempts to find a method to calculate a balance that generates the greatest revenue for airlines. Faculty Sponsor:
Rockhold, John. LOOKING AT A FOOD CHAIN THROUGH MATHEMATICS.
A model of a food chain using differential equations to demonstrate what happens when the natural habitat is tampered with. Faculty Sponsor:
Schell, Whitney. THE K-S TEST IN TWO DIMENSIONS: A MATHEMATICA EXPLORATION.
We investigated the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test statistic used for testing whether a random sample is approximately normally distributed. Using simulation we verified the K-S test. In addition, we explored extending this idea to a two-variable joint distribution. Faculty Sponsor:
Sampson, Rylan. MODELING THE MAMMALIAN NERVOUS SYSTEM.
A mammal’s response to external stimuli depends on the strength and duration of the stimulus. Here we use calculus to model the human nervous system to quantify the correlation between the body’s reaction time and the strength and duration of a stimulus. Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Bosch, Crystal. SEXUAL OFFENDER PERSPECTIVES ON CHEMICAL CASTRATION.
The purpose of this study was to determine if convicted sexual offenders would be supportive of chemical castration as a condition of probation, if it allowed them a reduced sentence. The importance of this study could determine whether or not the passage of chemical castration legislation would serve as a productive treatment for sexual offenders and as a protective measure for the community.
Darnell,Michael. HOW ARE SEX OFFENDERS VIEWED ON CAMPUS?.
This researcher chose to research the topic of sex offenders. The purpose of this research was to obtain information concerning sex crime offenders and attitudes towards them by students and faculty on campus at Missouri Western State University. Faculty Sponsor:
Drechsel, Nicholas. AN EXAMINATION OF THE 2005 MEDICAID CUTS ON NORTHWESTERN MISSOURI.
The purpose of this research project is to determine what effect the 2005 Medicaid budget cuts and rule changes have on the most impoverished in Western Missouri.
In 2005, Missouri governor Matt Blunt and his administration began a series of state program cuts and reconfigurations. The most drastic changes were those made to the state’s Medicaid program. The intended purpose of these funding cuts was to decrease government spending and begin the first stages of program reform to prevent abuse and fraud. The raw statistical data shown in this presentation comes from the Saint Joseph office of Legal Aid of Western Missouri. Legal Aid was chosen because it is the only entity in Missouri for the poor to obtain free legal assistance, including appellate proceedings for Medicaid recipients who have had their benefits revoked.
Gabler, Krystal. KNOW THE FACTS: CHANGING OPINIONS CONCERNING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
This study is about opinions regarding capital punishment in the United States and what effect, if any, being educated of the facts has on one’s opinion. Capital punishment evokes reactive opinions in many people. Many people’s views on it are based more on emotion than on fact. This research attempted to measure any change in opinion about the use and implementation of capital punishment when given the facts surrounding this issue. Faculty Sponsor:
Goodson, Taylor Danel. SCHOOL POLICIES - ALTERNATIVE V. PUBLIC.
This research project was conducted by comparing the Saint Joseph Public School Districts policies and the Saint Joseph School District alternative schools policies. The main focus was on behavioral issues and the policies and procedures the two schools have to deal with them. Faculty Sponsor:
Lacox, Karrisa. EXAMINING EMPATHY LEVELS: EDUCATIONAL DIFFERENCES AMONG SOCIAL WORK AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJORS.
The research focused on whether empathy courses should be offered to college students, especially among majors in criminal justice and social work that largely deal with the public. Also to determine which of these two majors is the most empathic.
Martinez,Jasmine. EFFECTIVENESS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN MISSOURI.
The purpose of this research project was to determine if Restorative Justice programs are effective in Missouri, compared to national data. The focus of this research is on juvenile offenders that participated in the Restorative Justice programs. The two programs that will be looked at are Victim Offender Mediation and Neighborhood Accountability Board. Faculty Sponsor:
McConnell, Tocarra. A RURAL JUVENILE CURFEW: AN EVALUATION OF GENDER BIAS, EFFECTIVENESS, AND FAIRNESS.
Students of the Trenton, Missouri R-IX School District from grades seven through twelve were surveyed on the issue of the town’s juvenile curfew ordinance which begins at 11 pm on weeknights and 12 pm on weekends. Studying a rural juvenile curfew is important because the rural areas are unique from their urban counterparts and the characteristics of rural communities can make it difficult to complete research in those places. Furthermore, researching possible enforcement disparity is important because laws must be enforced equitably for them to be effective. Also important is how the public, juveniles in this research, perceive laws and ordinances. The results from studying a rural juvenile curfew can help improve its implementation in the community.
McDonald, David. THE USAGE OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN MISSOURI’S JUVENILE COURTS.
In this paper the researcher explores:
What restorative justice is.
The pros and cons of restorative justice involving juveniles.
How restorative justice has grown in the United States.
Why the usage of restorative justice has almost tripled in Missouri’s juvenile courts over the past six years.
Different forms of restorative justice used in Missouri’s juvenile courts.
Why new restorative justice programs began despite there being no legislative mandates.
The author also looks at what factors could farther increase the usage of restorative justice in Missouri’s Juvenile Court System.
How many programs use volunteers in their restorative justice programs.
White, Ian. ENTRAPMENT AND THE INTERNET.
This study looked at how police officers’ use of the internet in online sting operations are looked at from the public’s perspective. In today’s society, one in five children will be solicited online for sex by a stranger and one in thirty-three will arrange some type of meeting with a stranger. To combat these statistics, many law enforcement organizations have begun to conduct online stings in an attempt to catch these individuals. For years the police have used undercover officers to pose as drug dealers and prostitutes with the public not being upset. But, since these stings have begun, do many people feel the police are “entrapping” people to do things they normally would not? \\r\\n Faculty Sponsor:
Williams, Kelly. DO STUDENTS HAVE AN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF SALARY POST DEGREE?.
The purpose of this research experiment was to determine if students within the criminal justice program at Missouri Western State University have an approximate estimation of entry level salary after graduation. The foundation of this study derived from my uncertainty as a college student who was very indecisive about occupations based on a salary figure. Curious to see if students were realistic about entry level salary, research was conducted throughout the Criminal Justice Department at Missouri Western State University. \\r\\n Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND JOURNALISM
Fowler, Matthew. THE EFFECTS OF MULTIMEDIA ON TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION.
In today’s modern world, information has become digitized and easily accessible through computer-based technologies. This revolution in the procurement of information has helped lead a rethinking of the design, development, and distribution of the documentation of this information. This has led to a question of identity by some fields, though. It today’s technical communication field, there are two primary forces that are creating a questioning of the identity of technical communication, the growth of content management systems and the growth of multimedia. One of these forces, content management systems, like single-sourcing, has been well documented because of its impact in the corporate thinking of documentation for its own use. The other force, multimedia, has not been yet its impact is felt by the consumers themselves. This project focuses and examines the reason why multimedia is important, what is helping multimedia make such a change in presenting information, and what software is helping to multimedia become more prevalent. The outcome of the research has suggested the use of multimedia in documentation will begin to increase. The evidence lies within the reduction in readership in printed publication and the growth in use of personal computer devices that can run programs that are more complex which allows the integration of media, which will impact documentation.
Jennifer, et al. ENG 210-05: GLOBAL WARMING.
Our time line project shows the culmination of events that has lead us to present day. It is important to understand from the time line where we came from and how we need to make changes to preserve our future. Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIOLOGY
Bailey, Carol. THE ROLE SPIRITUALITY PLAYS IN THE LIVES OF WOMEN IN AN INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE RELATIONSHIP.
ABSTRACT. This phenomenological study explores the insidious psychological, economical, and physical abuse women faced because of intimate partner violence relationships. In this study five women living in a shelter shared their stories and perspectives on what role spirituality, if any, played in their recovery. Most of the women had negative childhood experiences that shaped their beliefs about relationships and increased their vulnerability to involvement with abusive intimate partners. Four out of five of the individuals interviewed believed spirituality played an important part in their survival; however, most wanted to know “Why the violence was allowed to happen to them!” Factors such as denial, health, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, psychosomatic symptoms and/or decreased mental functioning are only a few issues associated with abuse. This study points to possible intervention strategies that social workers, psychologists, therapists, clergy and/or others who feel they are called to inspire hope, empower the abused, and give spiritual encouragement may wish to use forgiveness as their over all theme to promote a more successful recovery for clients within any culture.
KEYWORDS: Abuse, phenomenology, spirituality, change, forgiveness, hope
Benson, Theresa. TO EXAM THE EXPERIENCE OF INDIVIDUALS IN THE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION CENTER..
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the attitudes and experiences of the offenders that are currently staying in the Community Supervision Center through the Probation and Parole services. The Community Supervision Center houses offenders that are in violation status of their probation or parole. In order to explore these experiences, a questionnaire was given to over twenty subjects currently receiving services from the Community Supervision Center. The questionnaire contained many closed ended, multiple choice questions, along with various opportunities for open-ended explanation. Due to the fact that the Community Supervision Center is a new service offered by the Department of Corrections, this study is the first opportunity for research within the program as to its effectiveness and client satisfaction. The researcher found that the satisfaction of the offenders was low in areas such as food quality and telephone arrangements but high when asked about the programs offered by the Community Supervision Center. This researcher recommends that other studies should be conducted once the program has been fully running for a longer period of time. Faculty Sponsor:
Bradbury, Ramona. THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES OF FOSTER PARENTS WITH ADOLESCENTS.
This study gets a glance of the experiences of foster care parents who care for adolescents. Thirty five foster parents were asked in a mailed questionnaire to describe their experiences to the following questions: "How would you describe a typical day?" "How would you describe your most joyful experience with adolescents?" "What is most rewarding about the foster parent/care experience?" "How do other children (if any) benefit from foster care teens in your home?" and "What recommendations can you offer future foster parents and foster care organizations?" The responses of foster parents in this study show that they have similar experiences with one main goal and that is the well being of the adolescent foster child. Faculty Sponsor:
Bradbury, Ramona. THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES OF FOSTER PARENTS WITH ADOLESCENTS.
This study examined the experiences of foster care parents who care for adolescents. A survey design was used to conduct this study. Seventeen out of thirty five foster parents responded to a mailed questionnaire asking them to describe their experiences to the following questions: “How would you describe a typical day?” “How would you describe your most joyful experience with adolescents?” “What is most rewarding about the foster parent/care experience?” “How do other children (if any) benefit from foster care teens in your home?” and “What recommendations can you offer future foster parents and foster care organizations?” The responses of foster parents in this study show that they have similar experiences with one main goal and that is the well being of the adolescent foster child. Out of 17 participants; 15 agreed that the greatest benefit of having other children in the home is the tight bond between the children. All 17 participants agreed that the most joyful experience was seeing a child flourish and grow and the most rewarding is being called "mom" or "dad." A typical day was described as "waking to an alarm; sending them off to school; after school activities (if any); dinner between 6:00p.m. and 7:00p.m; homework after dinner and then off to bed to do it all over again." The researcher recommends that future studies be conducted on a larger sample size to represent more foster parents with Adolescents. Faculty Sponsor:
Clark, Lauren. PUBLIC ACHIEVEMENT AND THE PROGRAMS EFFECTIVENESS BASED ON THE PERSPECTIVES OF MWSU COACHES..
The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of Public Achievement based on the perspectives of Missouri Western State University coaches (senior level social work students) at St. James and Noyes elementary of St. Joseph. I conducted secondary data analysis on data collected by senior level social work students in fall 2006. I then conducted qualitative analysis on this data using content analysis technique. A total of 126 themes/subcodes emerged and I chose to only discuss five themes in greater depth because current literature references them most. The following five themes were: citizenship, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, guidance and encouragement, and accountability and responsibility. Patterns that emerged were: citizenship and leadership skills, encouraging students to use leadership skills and coaching styles, empowering environment and students’ attitudes, school principle and barriers. Limitations of the study included the size and sampling technique. The sample size was small and made up of 40 students and 13 coaches. The sample was based on convenience and not representative of the whole population. Faculty Sponsor:
Coy, Hannah. YWCA VICTIMS SERVICES PROGRAM EVALUATION.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the YWCA of Saint Joseph Victim Services Department. The goals of this study were as follow: (1) to evaluate resources currently provided by the shelter, and (2) to assess unmet needs of clients. This researcher conducted percentage analysis of the data received from questionnaires distributed to women evaluating 3 different aspects of services. These three aspects are: shelter stay, counseling sessions, and group sessions. This multifaceted study included 53 individuals that participated in the 3 different areas of services provided. Results of this study indicated that the majority of clients were satisfied with the services provided in all 3 different areas. 46.15% of women found their shelter stay to be “very helpful” to them. The majority of shelter residents indicated that their needs were met at a satisfactory level. 72.73% of group participants, and 93.34% of the people that sought counseling services found the sessions to be “very helpful”. Of these individuals over half said that they would recommend the sessions to a friend. Though there were areas that indicated some need for improvement, all in all, the evaluation of the services areas provided by the YWCA of Saint Joseph was positive. Faculty Sponsor:
Delaney, Michelle. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JUMP PROGRAM IN ASSISTING PREGNANT AND PARENTING TEENAGERS..
The objective of this research was to determine if the JUMP program for pregnant and parenting teenagers in the Saint Joseph area was effective, as perceived by the participants themselves. In their own words 24 teenagers were able to express how the JUMP program helps them as they enter the world of parenthood. A focus group was conducted with the teenagers that were presently part of the JUMP program. The following common patterns emerged: a lack of birth control measures, a need for the JUMP program in their lives and their children’s lives, most of the teenage parents were 17 years old, and lastly the teens reported that along with JUMP being supportive more than half of the teens felt that they received support from family and their school for their pregnancy. The results show the knowledge that was learned from the participants and hearing their stories about pregnancy and parenting. The JUMP program should continue the great work that they do in the community by continuing the parenting classes, points system for receiving baby items, and the care and support of the adult mentors Faculty Sponsor:
Ewing, Rhonda. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND PARENT EDUCATION: DO THEY AFFECT PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIPS?.
ABSTRACT. Numerous research studies have shown that “parent involvement” and “parent-education” are the two areas where parents demonstrate deficiency in their children’s’ school activities or childcare. This study examined the perception of parents on the subjects of “parental involvement” and “parent education” and if they think the variables affect their relationships with their children. Participants in the study have children who participate in the Early Head Start Program which is designed to meet the needs of low income pregnant women and families of infants and toddlers through providing high quality child development services. It is essential to learn what is meant by parent involvement from a parents’ perception, just as it is imperative to understand parents’ preferences for educational programs and if parents feel that that these variables contribute to the relationships they have with their children. The majority of the participants interviewed reported that the Early Head Start program and its’ interventions were resourceful in enhancing their relationships with their children through parental involvement and mainly parent education. However, their definitions of the concepts clearly varied from socially constructed definitions of the concepts provided by policy makers, staff, and other professionals. Faculty Sponsor:
Falter, Alicia. TEEN AND YOUTH COMMUNITY AWARENESS PROGRAM QUALITATIVE EVALUATION.
The purpose of this study was to explore the changes in knowledge, attitudes, and values that were experienced by youth who attended the Teen and Youth Community Awareness Program. The Teen and Youth Community Awareness Program targets high-risk youth in St. Joseph, Missouri and provides youth with substance abuse education, life skills training, confidence and self-esteem building, and professional counseling. Intervening with younger children is especially crucial because it has been shown that the longer youth delay engaging in risk behaviors the less likely they are to ever begin participating in these behaviors or the more likely they are to quit if they do begin (Arnowitz, 2005). The researcher used a qualitative method to collect data from eight youth who no longer attend the Teen and Youth Community Awareness Program. The following themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: health and well-being, increase in knowledge, relationship building, and disturbances from small children. The youth recommended to the Teen and Youth Community Awareness Program coordinators to have kid friendly counselors, hands on projects, more respect from the younger children, and interesting speakers. \\r\\n \\r\\n Faculty Sponsor:
Henley, Jamie. EVALUATION OF AN INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS GROUP ON TEENS LIVING IN A GROUP HOME.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an Independent Living Skills group conducted for adolescents living in a group home.\r\nMethods: This study was a quasi-experimental design because the researcher was able to pick certain individuals living in a group home to participate in this study. In order to find out the effects of an Independent Living Skills group in this setting, there was a pre- and post-questionnaire given to five individuals present for that particular meeting. The questionnaires were numbered in order to keep the pre- and post-questionnaires together and after the meeting the questionnaires were compared. \r\nFindings: On average, the group members were consistently correct in their answers on the questionnaire. One of the group members was able to correctly answer all of the questions asked on both the pre- and post-questionnaires. The other group members, overall, showed an improvement in their scores on the post-questionnaire only by one or two questions. Two group members answered a couple questions correctly on the pre-questionnaire and then incorrectly on the post-questionnaire. Faculty Sponsor:
Johnston, Megan. JOB SATISFACTION AND WORK MOTIVATION AMONG HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEES.
High turnover in assisted and skilled nursing facilities is a major national issue. According to the literature, turnover is related to job satisfaction and work motivation. The purpose of this research was to examine the perspectives of health care workers with regard to job satisfaction and work motivation between the nursing staff and other disciplines of a skilled nursing unit versus an assisted living facility. It was hypothesized that the nursing department was less satisfied and motivated to work among those in non-nursing departments. Skilled level nursing units and assisted living facilities are coming to the conclusion that high turnover rates are affecting health care due to the quality of care patients need. Medical attention was necessary in today’s fast paced and growing society. A total of 120 questionnaires were distributed throughout the facility and 51 responses were received. A correlation analysis was run between the current positions within the facility and the five facets of the Job Descriptive Index. There was no statistically significant difference. Although there is a statistically significant correlation between the job in general and the amount of pay a participant receives. Faculty Sponsor:
Pontius, Abigail J.. EXPERIENCES OF SIBLINGS IN KINSHIP AND NON-KINSHIP FOSTER CARE FROM THE KEY INFORMANT'S PERSPECTIVE.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the experiences of sibling groups in kinship and non-kinship foster care from the perspective of the key informants that work with them. Nine case managers and family support workers were interviewed individually in a foster care agency. The Interview contained many open ended questions including: 1) What are some difficulties experienced when placing siblings together/separate in foster care? 2) What are some interactions and behavior patterns reported by the foster parents when children are placed separately / together? 3) How would you define and “effective placement” for siblings? 4) What recommendations do you have concerning foster care placement of siblings? The following themes resulted from these in-depth interviews: The difficulties in locating suitable kin, self-destructive behavior of siblings, emotional and mental status, and efficiency in placements. The workers recommended flexibility in licensure laws for families willing to take in sibling groups, better communication between the state and its contracted agencies, and better recruitment efforts for suitable foster parents. The researcher recommends that a follow up study be done to gain understanding of the experiences of siblings in foster care from the perspective of the children, themselves. [Empirical] \\r\\n Faculty Sponsor:
Travis, Brenda. RESOURCES AND TRAINING PROGRAMS THAT APS WORKERS NEE.
Abstract\\r\\nThis research paper analyzes the perspective of Adult Protective Service (APS) workers, in northwest Missouri, on the problems they face in their delivery of APS services. Due to the inductive nature of the three case studies used, a preset hypothesis is not given (Patton, 1990). A qualitative inquiry assures that the participants’ ideologies and opinions are the main source of data when the evaluator researches the scope of the problems that faces APS workers (Patton, 1990).The following themes and patterns emerged: Problems in response time from mental health professional and screeners, elimination of annual state-wide APS training conferences, lack of community awareness and inadequate staffing. The APS workers’ perspective demonstrates the lack of training, insufficient resources and other barriers they face. This data suggests a tremendous need to address these recurrent themes and patterns so that APS workers can be more efficient and effective in protecting the disabled and elderly victims from maltreatment.\\r\\n Faculty Sponsor:
Wood, Kristi. THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL NETWORK SUPPORT SYSTEMS ON SELF-ESTEEM AMONG THE HOMELESS POPULATION.
Social support has been linked to reduced incidence of various diseases, improved coping with chronic illness, longer life, better recovery from illness, and better mental health (Goldsmith, pg. 10). The access to social support could predict problems such as homelessness (Goldsmith, pg. 10). Self-esteem rises and falls in accordance to external events such as achievements and setbacks, and to internal events relevant to one’s self-worth, such as a memory of a kind remark or an imagined insult (Crocker & Park, pg. 293). Self-esteem is the perception one has toward oneself, either positive or negative and is developed through life experiences. This study was conducted to determine the correlation between social support system and one’s self-esteem. Data was collected using two tools: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and a short questionnaire of 16 questions concerning contact with family and friends, counseling, employment, and demographic information. This study found that those who talked to their friends and family an average of seven or more times a week, 21.4% scored 20 or higher on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. There was not a statistically significant correlation between frequency of talking to friends and family and level of self-esteem. The study was limited by time constrictions and the population sample size. Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF NURSING
Caldwell, Kara, Sittner, Callie, Gay, Mary Jo, Brooks, Evelyn. THE LIVED EXPERIENCES OF MENTORING FOR AT-RISK CHILDREN, PARENTS, TEACHERS AND NURSES.
Numerous research studies have shown that mentoring programs have a positive influence on at-risk children’s lives. Little is known about the lived experience from the perspective of the child, parent, teacher, and school nurse. The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy Buddy mentoring project from the perspectives of the child, parents, teachers, and school nurses. The Healthy Buddy mentoring program is based on the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets (2006). The mentoring program was developed to enhance the lives of at-risk elementary students by university students representing seven departments. Each university student is paired with one Title l elementary student and meets with the child weekly throughout the semester for 20 – 30 minutes in order to establish a therapeutic relationship. At the end of the semester, the children, parents, teachers, and school nurses evaluated the experience. Through qualitative analysis themes of the lived experience for each group will be shared.
Pasley, Brooke; Terry, Sarah ; Wiltshire, Xandria. MAKING DIFFERENCES IN FUTURE GENERATIONS THROUGH EDUCATION ON PREVENTABLE BIRTH DEFECTS.
According to Healthy People 2010 the health of mothers, infants, and children is of “critical importance.” The increasing awareness of the effects of folic acid, alcohol, and tobacco use on birth defects has resulted in the need for enhancing the education to high school students on preventable birth defects. The March of Dimes has recognized the need, and in support of Healthy People 2010, has created a curriculum, “An Ounce of Prevention.” This curriculum was designed to educate high school students on the prevention of birth defects. This research study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum developed by the March of Dimes. The convenience sample includes students from 67 high schools located in 17 Northwest Missouri counties with 515 males and 807 females. Each high school was given the opportunity to select the unit from the curriculum to be taught. Senior university students presented the unit selected. The high school students were given a pre-, post-, and follow-up test to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational intervention. The results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the pre- and posttest scores at the time of intervention for all subject areas, folic acid, alcohol and tobacco. The research was supported by a grant from the March of Dimes. Faculty Sponsor:
Boone, Megan, Lindsey, Shepherd, Thomas, Annabell. THE EFFECTS OF SMOKING ON PREGNANCY.
Smoking has been shown to have negative effects on fetal and maternal health during preganancy. Low birth weight and high blood pressure are some of the negative outcomes identified in the literature that are associated with maternal smoking. It is important for nurses and other healthcare providers to understand the adverse effects that smoking has on the health and well-being of mothers and babies. Therefore, the purpose of this project will be to answer the question(s), "What is the effect of smoking on maternal and fetal health? What is the effectiveness of current smoking cessation programs toward reducing maternal smoking?"
This project will utilize the ACE Star Model of Knowledge Transformation to guide the researchers from the "discovery" of primary research studies through to practice applications. Faculty Sponsor:
Bromley, Megan, Kline, Kelli, Stonerock, Natasha. THE IMPACT OF HPV VACCINE ON CERVICAL CANCER.
The American Cancer Society reports that 9,710 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year (ACS, 2006). Furthermore, by the age of fifty, approximately 80% of women will have had a genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection (CDC, 2006). The link between cervical cancer and HPV infection has been established in the literature. Therefore, the emergence of a vaccine to prevent HPV is projected to drastically reduce rates of cervical cancer in women receiving the vaccine. The intent of this project is to explore the potential impact of tis vaccine toward the prevention of cervical cancer. An evidence-based process using the ACE Star Model of Knowledge Transformation will be utilized to transform knowledge related to the HPV vaccine into the nursing practice environment. Faculty Sponsor:
Chick, Lauren, Crouse, Kelsey, Young, Michele. EFFECTS OF EXTENDED WORK SCHEDULE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE.
Nurses are a valuable commodity in the health care industry, but they are facing a problem that plagues the profession; extended work schedules. Extended work schedules, those that vary from the standard 8 hours per day, 35-40 hours per week, are common in nursing and contribute to problems with nursing recruitment and retention (Trinkiff et. al, 2006). Although there are no federal regulations restricting the number of hours a nurse may work in a 24 hour period, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that nurses work no more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period and no more than 60 hours in a 7 day period. In a study conducted by Trinkoff et. al, (2006) 17% of staff nurses exceed this guideline. This paper will utilize a process of evidence-based practice to answer the clinical question, "What is the impact of extended work schedules on nursing practice?" Faculty Sponsor:
Eischens, Kelly, Kelley, Brittney, Rizzuti, Lindsey. POINT OF CARE TECHNOLOGIES IN THE ACUTE CARE ENVIRONMENT.
The purpose of this paper will be to provide evidence-based knowledge toward the incorporation of bedside charting into the nursing practice environment. The patient perspective, staff perspective and administrative perspective will be explored. While emerging point-of-care technologies and bedside charting capabilities promise decreases in cost and increases in patient satisfaction and nursing efficiency, the literature to date remains inconsistent. An evidence-based process will be utilized to answer the question, “What is the impact of bedside charting on patient and staff outcomes in the acute care environment?” Faculty Sponsor:
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Bruce, Brandi. THE EFFECT OF VIDEO GAME PLAYING AND VIDEO GAME PLAYING EXPERIENCE ON ANTICIPATION.
Past research has shown that video game playing experience or playing a video game immediately before being tested can improve both reaction times and anticipation. The purpose of this study was to combine the two conditions of current and past video game playing in order to see which has the largest impact on anticipation, as measured by changes in reaction times over consecutive trials. Thirty-seven participants were randomly placed in one of four conditions depending on the amount of hours they played video games and whether they played Frogger for 15 minutes before being tested. A significant interaction effect was found in which participant who did not play video games regularly had large improvements in reaction times after playing Frogger. Faculty Sponsor:
Contreras, Lara. PERSONALITY VS GENDER IN VIDEO GAME CHOICES.
In this study 36 college students took mini-personality tests and also rated, by survey, four video game trailers. The personality tests and survey ratings of the video game trailers was to see if there was a correlation between extroversion and/or gender, and the types of video games they preferred. The study shows a correlation between gender and what type of video games the subjects chose but there was no significant correlation between personality type and the type of games the subjects chose. Faculty Sponsor:
O'Neal,Debra. UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF VIDEO GAMES.
Understanding the impact that video games have on individual’s behaviors and thoughts is a debatable topic. The debate is over the correlation of playing video games and the behaviors of desensitization that this form of entertainment may cause. Some studies support that playing video games may stimulate positive development, while others support negative implications of video game playing. The relationships between game playing over years and current continuous video game playing have a negative reaction on behaviors, such as violent thoughts and behaviors. In addition, the person’s choice of first person player character is considered another indicator to violent thoughts and behaviors. In this study, it is assumed that more men than women would perform more acts of violence. Faculty Sponsor:
Pierce, Adrienne. COGNITIVE ABILITIES AND THE EFFECTS ON THE PUZZLE SUDOKU.
This study was aimed at determining whether listening to impacted accuracy of
speed while playing the game Sudoku. The participants of the study consisted of twenty college students all enrolled in sophomore level class. The students were divided into two different groups. One that listen to the music while doing the game Sudoku and the other group that didn’t listen to music while doing the game. Both groups were given the rules to play the game and the game itself. There was no significant difference between the two groups
stewart, larry. BODY MOVEMENT AND VIDEO GAMES.
Previous research argues that regulation is needed for violent video games, because there is little doubt that playing them affects behavior even more than watching violence on television does. (Snider, 2003) The effect of media violence on aggression could be used to reduce aggressive behavior and attitudes along with age and gender differences.
Thirty-four research participants were observed watching either an aggressive or a non-aggressive violent video game. Body movements were observed that could indicate whether or not aggressive tendencies were present.
The purpose of this study was to investigate if watching violent video games induces aggression. There was no significant difference in any of the behaviors as a result of video game trailers. This means there is no variation of aggressive versus non-aggressive behavior.
Thiele, Jonathan. THE IMPACT OF URGENCY IN VIDEOGAMES ON REACTION TIME.
In attempting to find if urgency of a videogame has any factor in the improvement of reaction time gained by playing videogames 30 students from the Missouri Western State University Introductory Psychology courses were placed into urgent videogame, non-urgent videogame, and control groups at random and then tested for reaction time. An analysis of variance showed no significant difference between any of the groups. However, there is a chance that the lack of a significant difference was due to other factors not controlled for in this experiment, such as age, prior experience with videogames, and the game used in the experiment. Faculty Sponsor:
Wilkins, Mignon. MUSIC & INTENSITY.
In this experiment I studied the effects of different types of music on intensity of playing video game in thirty-four participants. Intensity being measured by the score received after playing time. The independent variable was music including, the video game music, no-music, and popular rap music. Participants were asked to play a video game “Monkey Ball”, for play station 2 to assess the intensity of play during all three musical conditions. I hypothesized that participants will play at a higher intensity when listening to popular hip-hop music. There was no significant difference.