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Local students participate in research at University of Montevallo

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MONTEVALLO—Almost 40 students participated in the University of Montevallo’s 16th annual Undergraduate Research Day, held recently in Harman Hall on the UM campus. Students from all four colleges at UM were invited to engage in research, scholarship and creative activity with faculty mentors, demonstrating their research via posters, oral and PowerPoint presentations.

The goal of Undergraduate Research is to involve students in their own learning; to develop teamwork and pride; to enhance interdisciplinary learning; and to share in the exhilaration of discovery.

This showcase of research projects featured topics ranging from “Bullying: The Experiences of College Students” to “Protein Kinase G Expression in Human Breast Cancer;” from “The Effects of Dividends and Free Cash Flow on Market Returns” to “Visibility of a Rectangle: Analyzing Card Design in Deck-Building Games;” and more.

Faculty mentors assisted students as needed. At Montevallo, where more than 95 percent of the faculty hold the Ph.D. or other terminal degree in their field, almost all the advisers on these research projects have doctoral degrees.

Students participating in UM’s Undergraduate Research Day from Shelby County included Montevallo residents Megan Lejeune, whose topic was “Bullying: The Experiences of College Students”; Michael Messina, whose project was titled “Time Changes Everything: A History of Coeducational Integration at Alabama College”; Anna Toews, whose topic was “The Effects of Personality Variables in Relation to Environmental Interest, Concerns and Attitudes”; Caroline Karanja, whose topic was “Synthesis of Acetals”; Amanda Evans, whose project was titled “The Effects of Dividends and Free Cash Flow on Market Returns”; Kathleen Kryger, whose topic was “‘Invitation to Creativity:’ Creative Writing in Composition Studies”; Charles Smith, whose presentation was titled “Visibility of a Rectangle: Analyzing Card Design in Deck-Building Games”; and Raven Pfaff, who researched two topics: “The Effects of Colonizer Ideology on the Relationship between Men, Women and Colonized Society in Wide Sargasso Sea” and “BonË se pi bon doktË nan lemonn: A Study of How Vodou Affects the HIV/AIDS Infected Population of Haiti.”

Helena residents represented at Undergraduate Research Day included Kara Anderson with “Minimalizing the Banking Method in Secondary English Classes: Bridging the Gap between Schoolwork and Problem-Solving in Our World”; and Carrie Busby with “The Memoirist and Her Reader: Dialogic Disclosure and Camaraderie.”

Samantha Hyde of Wilsonville presented “When I Was Puerto Rican—Bicultural Identity and The Pride of Diaspora,” and Jody McKinley, also of Wilsonville, presented “Information Literacy: A Collaboration of Values, Traditions and Communities.”

Alabaster residents participating in Undergraduate Research Day included Krista Wood, whose topic was “Increased expression of Eph receptors and their ligands, ephrins, in anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia”; and Corey Duke, who presented “The Hunt for Polycyclopropanated Fatty Acid Production Genes in Soil Bacteria.”