May 04, 2007

Students win funding for research projects

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale research officials selected 20 undergraduate research projects to fund during the next academic year.

The students are part of the 2007 REACH Awards Competition. REACH, which stands for Research Enriched Academic Challenge, supports original research and creative activities by undergraduate students working with a faculty mentor. Winners receive up to $1,500 each in support for their projects, which run July 1-June 30. A panel of 12 faculty members award the money based on a competitive application process.

The award also can include, at the student's request, an undergraduate assistantship with the student's faculty mentor. Applicants must be full-time students with a minimum 2.25 grade point average.

This year's students, listed by hometown with award amount, parents, project title and faculty mentor, are:



• Ashley R. Baker, senior in interior design. Parents are Terry D. Baker and Robbie L Baker, both of Benton. Baker's faculty mentor is Melinda LaGarce, associate professor in the School of Architecture. Baker received $1,500 for her project, "Study of Design Interventions in the Built Environment that may Enhance Early Childhood Learning."


• Nicholas D. Birky, junior in zoology and son of Randal D. and Ellen L. Birky. His faculty mentor is Michael R. Hoane, assistant professor of psychology. Birky received $1,500 for his project, "A New Kind of Hangover: NutraSweet, Formaldehyde and Alcohol."


• See Prospect Heights


• Jared T. Burde, junior in physics and electrical engineering and son of John H. and Beverly J. Burde. His faculty mentor is M. Mercedes Calbi, assistant professor of physics. Burde received $955 for his project, "Films of Complex Molecules Adsorbed on Carbon Nanotube Bundles."

• Naketa M. Ross, junior in psychology. Ross' faculty mentor is Kathleen Chwalisz Rigney, associate professor of psychology. Ross received $1,500 for the project, "Contributions of Resiliency on the Effects of Campus Involvement on Retention."


• Russell O. McKeith, junior in animal science and son of Floyd K. and Sandra E. McKeith. His faculty mentor is Karen L. Jones, associate professor of animal science and food nutrition. McKeith received $1,500 for his project, "Can We Use 'Arm and Hammer' Better Pork Products?: Using Sodium Bicarbonate to Alter pH in Hot Dogs."

Cottage Hills

• Jamie M. Douglas, senior in animal science. Parents are Bentley K. and Susan E. Douglas. Douglas' faculty mentor is Anita M. Kelly, assistant professor of zoology. Douglas received $1,500 for the project, "The Effects of Dietary Phytoestrogens on Gut Microflora and Disease Resistance in Two Teleost Species."


• Kathleen M. Lask, junior in physics and mathematics and daughter of Richard R. and Patricia B. Lask. Lask's faculty mentor is Aldo D. Migone, chairperson of the Department of Physics. Lask received $1,500 for her project, "Gas Storage and Separation Using Novel Materials: Adsorption of Hydrogen, Deuterium and Methane on Metal-Organic Framworks."


• Benjamin J. Vandermyde, senior in forestry resource management and administration of justice and son of David J. and Patricia M. Vandermyde. His faculty mentor is John W. Groninger, associate professor of forestry. Vandermyde received $1,400 for his project, "Biological Alternative to Herbicide for the Control of Invasive Shrubs."


• Joan A. Weber, senior in early childhood education and daughter of Wayne E. and Ellen L. Weber. Her faculty mentor is Deborah A. Bruns, assistant professor, educational psychology and special education. Weber received $1,040 for her project, "Findings Across Screening Tools (FAST)."


• Kara A. McConville, junior in rehabilitation services and daughter of Gary D. McConville and Joyce A. McConville, both of Ottawa. Her faculty mentor is D. Shane Koch, associate professor in the Rehabilitation Institute. McConville received $1,500 for her project, "Contingency Management: A Treatment Plan for Methamphetamine Abuse in Southern Illinois."


• Andrew J. Somor, senior in forestry and son of Andrew T. and Kathleen D. Somor. Somor's faculty mentor is Karl W. J. Williard, associate professor of forestry. He received $1,500 for his project, "Effect of Autumn Olive Removal on Nitrogen Leaching at Plot and Watershed Scales."


• Amanda C. Robideau, sophomore in physiology and philosophy and daughter of Thomas E. and Ruth Ann Robideau. Her faculty mentor is Prema Narayan, assistant professor of physiology. Robideau received $1,500 for her project, "Mice Expressing a Genetically Engineered Constitutively Active Luteinzing Hormone Receptor as a Potential Model for Determining the Molecular Basis of Premature Ovarian Failure."

Prospect Heights

• Christopher M. Leffelman, junior in plant biology and son of Douglas E. Leffelman of Prospect Heights and Mary E. Strutzenberg of Byron. Leffelman's faculty mentor is Aldwin M. Anterola, assistant professor of plant biology. He received $1,500 for his project, "Effects of Oil and Fatty Acid supplementation on Volatile Flavors of Oyster Mushroom."

Red Bud

• Tina M. Steibel, senior in social work and mother of Danielle, Cassie and Lacie Steibel. Steibel's faculty mentor is Wayne D. Paris, assistant professor in the School of Social Work. She received $1,270 for her project, "The Relationship of Physical Impairment and Monitored Exercise with Depressive Symptoms Among Cardiac Patients in Southern Illinois."


• Jared S. Boulds, junior in chemistry and son of James and Sherry Lynn Boulds. His faculty mentors are Gary R. Kinsel, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Mary E. Kinsel, associate scientist in the Office of Research Development and Administration. Boulds received $1,500 for his project, "Determination and Optimization of the Efficiency of Current Methods of Protein Identification."


•Katie A. Butera, junior in physiology and psychology and daughter of Richard M. Butera of Roscoe and Kathryn J. Perry of Rockton. Butera's faculty mentor is Lisabeth A. DiLalla, associate professor of behavioral social science. She received $1,500 for her project, "Cooperation Development in Young Twins."


• See Rockton

• Michael D. Burns, junior in zoology and son of Kevin M. and Kathleen A. Burns. His faculty mentor is Brooks M. Burr, professor of zoology. Burns received $1,500 for his project, "Shape Analysis and the Systematic Status of the Blenny Darter, Etheostma Blennius, a Percid Fish from the Tennessee River Drainage."


• Bryan C. McConomy, junior in physiology and son of Stephen M. and Lois N. McConomy. His faculty mentor is Douglas C. Smith, professor of psychology. McConomy received $1,500 for his project, "Vagus Nerve Stimulation in the Treatment of Endothelin 1 Stroke Induced in Rats."

West Frankfort

Christopher S. Williams, junior in civil engineering and son of T. Scott and Kathy D. Williams. Williams' faculty mentor is Shing-Chung "Max" Yen, director of the Materials Technology Center and professor of civil engineering. He received $1,500 for his project, "Development of a Prototype of an Intelligent System."



• Julius A. Frazier, junior in zoology and son of John and Deborah Frazier. Frazier's faculty mentor is Karen R. Lips, associate professor of zoology. He received $1,485 for his project, "Spatial and Temporal Thermal Habitat Distribution for the Cayos Cochinos Boa Constrictor."