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McNair Scholars present research

mcnair_researchThis Monday, July 13, current McNair Scholars will be presenting their research projects on campus.

McNair Scholars are not finished with their final research papers as their projects span over a 10-week period. This event is in preparation for their presentations next weekend at the McNair Scholars Conference held at the University of New York-Buffalo.

The presentations will be held in OGC 114 from 10 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Feel free to drop in for any session. Evaluation forms will be available to help provide the scholars feedback.

Schedule of Events

10-10:20 a.m.

Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Survey Study

Scholar: David Praska

Mentor: Stacy Freiheit

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an evidence-based intervention for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, it is unclear to what extent child psychologists use cognitive-behavioral interventions for pediatric OCD in their practice. A total of 250 randomly selected licensed psychologists were sent a 30-item survey that assessed utilization, training, and attitudes about cognitive-behavioral interventions for pediatric OCD. To increase the response rate, two separate mailings were generated. Understanding whether evidence-based interventions are implemented into practice is important because children and adolescents with OCD need the most effective interventions that child psychologists can offer.


10:20-10:40 a.m.

“No place like home”: Determining the Effects of Parental Marital Status During Childhood on the Occurrence of Adult Criminality

Scholar: Kaela Worall

Mentor: Deborah Eckberg

Researchers have suggested that criminality can develop as early as childhood and is strongly linked to home and family environments. The purpose of this study is to determine whether parental marital status during one’s childhood influences the propensity to commit crimes in adulthood. Specifically examined were people from Ramsey County who were on probation for various crimes. The quantitative survey was conducted at the Ramsey County Community Corrections Department in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I expect that those who come from homes broken by divorce will reflect a higher incidence of adult criminality.


10:40-11 a.m.

Children’s Humor Style and its Relation to Social Interaction, Self-Esteem, and Mood

Scholar: Caitlin Massop

Mentor: Stacy Freiheit

Utilizing humor may enhance critical development of self and peer relationships during middle childhood. The present study examined how humor related to psychological well-being in 4th to 7th grade children. Sixty-six students completed self-report measures about humor style, social interaction, self-esteem, and mood. Results indicate that affiliative humor is related to positive affect. All other hypothesized correlations between humor styles and psychological well-being are not significant. However, girls are more likely to use self-enhancing humor than boys. Significant gender differences point out that humor may play a larger role in the development of girls than in boys.


11-11:20 a.m.

I think I can! A closer examination of definitions of success and the factors these definitions play in barriers, according to African-American and white men, ages 18-30

Scholar: Julia Sewell

Mentor: Nancy Rodenborg

Every 26 seconds, a child drops out of high school. This devastating fact resonates even more with the African-American community. Using a convenience sample of 75 African American and 75 white men, this study explored their perceptions of success and barriers. Preliminary analysis of the data compared the two groups’ views of success. The definition for African-American men was being able to provide for their family and to be happy while their white counterparts tended to define success in terms of career and money. Also when compared to the white men, African-American men experienced greater barriers to success.


11:20-11:40 a.m.

Turn on, Tune in, Drop out: The “Howl” that Changed the Face of America

Scholar: Mychal Batson

Mentor: John Harkness

No poem in American history has affected society the way Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” has. It served as the voice for a generation that felt like outsiders in their own society and restricted as artists and individuals. It empowered artists like the “Diggers,” a guerilla theatre troupe from San Francisco, to express themselves freely through their art form. A careful dissection of “Howl” and its criticisms, and the reading of various books/articles on this subculture, reveals that not only did “Howl” sculpt this generation by pushing for a break from convention, but it also greatly impacted the generations to follow.

11:40 a.m.-12


12-12:20 p.m.

Construction of Surface Potential Sensor, Calibration and Measurement

Scholar: Nick Ward

Mentor: Ben Strottrup

Surfactant monolayers are important building blocks to nanotechnology because they have the ability to self assemble. This project consists of refurbishing a Langmuir Trough to characterize the physical properties of these surfactant films at an air-liquid interface. We have obtained a used Langmuir Trough and are rebuilding the electronics to control the motors and sensors for data acquisition. LabVIEW, a graphical programming language, will be used to interface our electronics for the Langmuir Trough to a computer through a DAQ card. The ultimate goal is construct a working trough to be used in the Biophysics lab.


12:20-12:40 p.m.

Adventures in Green Chemistry: A Green Pathway to Benzoic Acids

Scholar: Adam Horkey

Mentor: Sandra Olmsted

Carboxylic acids are synthetically useful as a stepping stone in many industrial processes, such as textiles, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Improving the efficiency of this process is especially important from the perspective of Green Chemistry. Current methods used are time consuming, produce low yield, and result in many environmentally unfriendly side products. We propose a method which utilizes a recyclable copper sulfate catalyst and potassium persulfate, a free radical initiator for the subsequent reactions between copper(III) and the aryl methyl starting compound. Through our studies, we hope to establish the repeatability of this process with activated substrates and gain insight into the mechanism.


12:40-1 p.m.

Study of Acetaminophen Toxicity in Over-the-Counter Children’s Medicines

Scholar: Heidi Le

Mentor: Arlin Gyberg

Over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen (APAP) cause significant pediatric poisonings, despite APAP’s reputation as an extremely safe drug. The major cause of APAP toxicity is still unknown. The initial study tests various children’s medicines to confirm APAP levels, and created a toxicity scale correlating the LD50 of APAP with alcohol. A literature review was done to determine other levels of toxicity, however; it was unsuccessful due to a number of variables affecting APAP toxicity. No patterns were found regarding age, dosage, or serum level during the review. Future studies will seek individual variables and their affects on APAP toxicity.


1-1:20 p.m.

The Formation of Solid Oxalate Particles

Scholar: Van Hong

Mentor: David Hanson

Kidney stones are costly and painful. It is known that kidney stones are products of complex reaction between calcium and oxalic acid. The exact reason stones form is uncertain. Two studies were conducted to investigate the formation of kidney stones; one focused on observing the formation of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals, and the other on the volatility of oxalic acid using mass spectrometer device (Oxalic in the atmosphere can influence climate). Findings in both studies will augment the understanding of stone formation. So that prevention strategies can help reduce cost and pain.


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