UW Oshkosh student researchers present at national conference - UW Oshkosh Today
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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student researchers are preparing to showcase their work at a national convention.

NCUR_Logo_FINALA total of 17 undergraduate student researchers will make the trip to Memphis, Tennessee, for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), taking place April 5-7.  History professor Stephen Kercher and Cordelia Bowlus, McNair Scholars Program director, will be traveling with the group to the event that will be attended by UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

Madeline Hass, who recently turned 18 and is in her first year at UW Oshkosh, will be among the student presenters with her Perspectives through Oral History. Students chosen to present their work at NCUR submitted research abstracts, which were judged and ranked by a selection committee.

Double-majoring in history and philosophy with a minor in German, Hass earned a number of credits during her high school career at St. Mary Catholic High School in Neenah and technically has junior academic status at UW Oshkosh.

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Madeline Hass

“I’ve never presented at a conference,” Hass said. “I did theatre in high school so I’m not worried about being in front of a crowd, but this is a little different.”

As part of a multiyear farming oral history project undertaken by students at campuses across the state, Hass will present research on farmers’ relationships with individuals outside the farming community, their isolation and perspectives on public opinion of their profession.

“I was reading through original transcripts and looking at which ones to focus on,” she said, when the idea of her own research paper struck. Hass works as a research assistant with the history department in her student job, and one of her tasks was to comb through the transcripts.

Hass has no farming background. Her parents both are information technology (IT) professionals who told her to pursue what she desired. She said she never felt any pressure in her career path but would “not have believed it myself” if she had been told a few years ago that she would be doing research and on a farming topic.

“The professors here have been supportive and encouraging to me in pursuing the (research) path,” she said, adding that she’s become skilled at time management while working independently on a project outside of a class.

Hass’ NCUR presentation is limited to 15 minutes.

“I think I have a better understanding of farmers,” she said. “It’s interesting to see what misconceptions I have and what I don’t. It’s interesting to see all the types of farms. ‘What’s the difference between a small farm versus a huge corporation?’”

Kercher, interim director of the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity, believes there are multiple benefits to the presentation of research.

“NCUR affords UW Oshkosh undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to share the results of their research with students and faculty from across the country,” he said. “As with our very own Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity, it provides students with a way to appreciate what it means to conduct research in a great variety of different disciplines.”

He said in a competitive job market it helps to be able to say in an interview that one’s educational experience went above and beyond the ordinary and that you are the type of individual eager to pursue new challenges.

Students selected to present their work at NCUR submitted research abstracts, which were judged and ranked by a selection committee. “We are very proud of the fact that so many UW Oshkosh students are doing such great research and were chosen to participate in NCUR,” Kercher said.

Additional UW Oshkosh students presenting at NCUR in April:

  • Jeff Berger, Oshkosh, senior, psychology, “Assessing the Integrity of Cortical Layering: An Application to Autism Spectrum Disorder” (Aaron Karst, faculty mentor).
  • Jordan Black, Oshkosh, senior, biology, “Bacteriophage Interactions in the University of Wisconsin Biodigester,” (Eric Matson, faculty mentor).
  • Cassandra Duncan, Kenosh, senior, biology, “Can Thermal Imaging Noninvasively Detect the Copulation Date in Captive Female 13-Lined Ground Squirrels,” (Dana Merriman, faculty mentor biology).
  • Monika Greco, Milwaukee, senior, political science and philosophy, “A Critique of Convergent Realism and a Pragmatic Approach to Scientific Inquiry, ” (Evan Williams, faculty mentor, philosophy).
  • Jeramiah Gruendemann, Appleton, senior, psychology, “Examining the Mental Health Concerns of Region-Specific U.S. International Students Utilizing University Counseling Center Services,” (Ashley Thompson, faculty mentor).
  • Jocelyn Hart, Franklin, senior, psychology and anthropology, “He Can But She Can’t: Examining the Sexual Double Standard Toward Initiators of Consensually Nonmonogamous Relationships,” (Ashley Thompson, faculty mentor).
  • Amanda Leichtfuss, Van Dyne, senior, chemistry, “Struvite Formation from Simulated Anthropogenic Wastewater and Naturally Occurring Inorganic Magnesium Materials,” (Jennifer Schuttlefield Christus, faculty mentor).
  • Wesley Morioka, Chicago, senior, chemistry, “Elucidating the Role of the 4-Courmarate: Coa Ligase Enzyme in Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis,” (Christopher Bianchetti, faculty mentor).
  • David Morser, Kaukauna, senior, Japanese studies and physics, “Homogeneous Estimates of Physical Parameters of Galactic Open Clusters Based on Stromgren and Vilnius Photometries,” (Nadejda Kaltcheva, faculty mentor).
  • Marissa Munoz, Sheboygan, senior, chemistry biomolecular, “Synthesis of Non-Natural Amino Acids,” (Brant Kedrowski, faculty mentor).
  • Katrina Schiedemeyer, Oshkosh, senior, supply chain management, “Leaning Out the Education System,” (Mike Godfrey, faculty mentor).
  • Paige Schreifels, Rochester, Minn., senior, psychology, and Sarah Stefaniak, Green Bay, senior, psychology, “Predicting Variations in Young Adults’ Implicit Attitudes Toward Consensual Nonmonogamy Using the Five Factor Model of Personality,” (Ashley Thompson, faculty mentor).
  • Adam Shelvik, Omro, senior, physics,”RR Lyrae Stars in the Globular CLuster NGC 1261,” (Barton Pritzl, faculty mentor).
  • Rebecca Tolfa, Jackson, junior, psychology, “The Dark Side of Infidelity: Examining the Predictive Utility of the Dark Triad When Examining Variations in Judgments of Hypothetical Infidelity,” (Ashley Thompson, faculty mentor).
  • Megan Winchell, Lake Geneva, senior, environmental health, “Elkhorn Wisconsin Area Nitrate Study,” (Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, faculty biology).

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