Collaborative Vitality Projects Faculty Excellence Project
Faculty Vitality Projects New Faculty Projects

Collaborative Vitality Projects

Development of a Global Scholars Initiative: Linking Environments, Communities and Cultures
Spring 2008
John Cavitt, Zoology
Professor John Cavitt requested funding to establish the Global Scholars Initiative (GSI) at Weber State University. GSI will allow Weber State faculty-student teams an opportunity to conduct research and scholarly activity in collaboration with faculty-student teams from Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit (UAN) in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. This unique opportunity will provide international research experience for both faculty and students and prepare a globally engaged workforce by providing students with international collaborative research training and a personal network on which to build future collaborations.

Metagenomic Analysis of Microbes Associated with Great Salt Lake Brine Flies
Spring 2008
Jonathan Clark, Zoology and Mohammad Sondossi, Microbiology
Professors Jonathan Clark and Mohammad Sondossi requested funding for metagenomic analysis of microbes associated with Great Salt Lake brine flies. Metagenomics is the field of biology that attempts to examine the unculturable microbial world by characterizing organisms genetically (Handlesmann 2004). This area of research is one of the most important in modern biology and one that has the potential to yield insights into any number of biological phenomena. Their research proposal is focused on a metagenomic analysis of bacterial diversity associated with Great Salt Lake brine flies. Since bacteria may be involved in the ability of these flies to thrive in this extreme environment, this analysis will provide knowledge that has a direct impact on our understanding of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.

Service-Learning Supplemental Instructors--A Pilot Study
Spring 2008
Brenda Marsteller Kowalewski, Community Involvement Center and Carl Porter, English
The Community Involvement Center, in collaboration with the Supplemental Instruction Program at WSU, requested funding to pilot a program that would provide supplemental instructors for service-learning faculty. The pilot program would involve 4 experienced service-learning students who would act as supplemental instructors to 4 service-learning faculty members. The objectives of the program are two fold: 1) to deepen the learning experience of students in service-learning courses and 2) to encourage faculty to utilize the pedagogy, especially for those who are reluctant but interested. Funding is needed to pay service-learning supplemental instructors and help cover administrative costs. Data will be collected to assess the impact of the program on student learning and faculty attitudes regarding the use of service-learning as pedagogy.

Spectroscopic Resource Center in Science
Spring 2008
John Sohl, Physics
Professor John Sohl requested funding to create a facility to analyze light for use by both the physical and life sciences. He already has limited ability in this area that has proven useful but it is based on older computers, has limited wavelength range, marginal portability and no microscopic capabilities. The new system will allow him to measure the spectra (the wavelength or “color content” of light) in a very flexible and portable way including use for field work and through microscopes. The system can be used for student projects and faculty research. This equipment will complement equipment the Physics department already has (UV camera, high resolution scanning spectrometer) and equipment they plan to obtain in the future (IR cameras, photonics measuring accessories).

Acquisition of X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectometry (EDS) System for Collaborative Research, Teaching and Outreach
Spring 2008
Adolph Yonkee, Geosciences
Professor Adolph Yonkee requested matching funds to acquire an x-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) system, which will be used for conducting a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, expanding the scope of laboratories for multiple classes, and increasing outreach for K-12 education. An EDS system provides the ability to determine chemical compositions of various materials down to the micron scale, and will be attached to an environmental scanning electron microscope (SEM). The SEM with EDS system will provide faculty and students with new opportunities for using modern nanotechnology equipment and techniques. 

Faculty Excellence Project

Planning Visit to Develop International Research Experience for Students
Spring 2008
John Mull, Zoology
Professor John Mull requested funding for a planning visit to support the preparation of a proposal to the NSF's International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program. The proposal would request funding for a collaborative research program with researchers at Namibia's Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, which is located in northwestern Namibia. The broader community impacted by this project would be undergraduate students selected for the program. This would be a three-year program offering 4-5 students per year the chance to conduct original field research on the ecology of desert organisms in the Namib Desert. As is typical for such Research Experience for Undergraduate programs, students would receive training in research methods, analysis, and presentation. All of their travel expenses to Namibia would be covered and they would receive a research stipend for this eight-week program. The week-long planning visit would be during the summer of 2008 and would allow Professor Mull to complete the proposal by the NSF's 15 September 2008 deadline.

Faculty Vitality Projects

The Ways Rivers are Supposed to Be
Spring 2008
Hal Crimmel, English
Professor Hal Crimmel has started researching and writing a new book manuscript tentatively entitled The Way Rivers Should Be, which is a combination of memoir, natural & cultural history, and travel writing. In general, he will be following the process he successfully followed for RSPG-sponsored projects in the past, which led to the publication of two books: Dinosaur: A Place of Rivers (Arizona, 2007) and Teaching in Place: Learning from the Land (Nevada, 2008). This process entails combining secondary research with primary research conducted while on location. For this new project he will canoe and kayak the Grasse River, which originates in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State and flows north to the St. Lawrence Seaway. He will draw on his own extensive experience in this region and on this river to explore such issues as industrial pollution at Massena, NY, forest and water conservation, the history of logging and hydropower in the Adirondacks, ice hockey in the small towns along the river (this sparsely populated region produces a disproportionate share of state champion hockey teams in all age groups), the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, and more. The book is intended to reach an educated audience but be written in an engaging narrative style that will appeal to as wide a demographic as possible.

Bacteriocin Production by Flavobacterium Strains Isolated from Fresh Water
Spring 2008
Matthew Domek, Microbiology
Professor Matthew Domek requested funding to present research findings at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting to be held June 1st - 5th 2008 in Boston, MA. Professor Domek will present a poster entitled "Bacteriocin Production by Flavobacterium Strains Isolated from Fresh Water." His coauthors for this presentation are three students who assisted him on the project. He is also seeking funds to present an abstract entitled "Supplementing lecture within classroom assignments to stimulate greater classroom interaction." He will present this at the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators in Beverly, MA.  

Attend Workshop on Microvertebrate Studies, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada
Spring 2008
Jeffrey Eaton, Geosciences
Professor Jeffrey Eaton requested funding to be both a presenter and participant in a workshop to share information between the leading experts in Cretaceous microvertebrates (small animals such as frogs, lizards, and mammals). This workshop is to be held at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, June 13-18, 2008 (sponsored by the Royal Tyrrell Museum). This will involve visiting paleontological sites in the field, and discussing methods in a laboratory setting. He will be accompanied by a Ph.D. student from Charles University (Tomas Prikryl) who is part of a cooperative Czech-American scientific grant that Professor Eaton has for the joint study of Cretaceous frogs, which he has collected and is describing with Dr. Zbynek Rocek (Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University). Mr. Prikryl is Dr. Rocek’s student. This workshop was developed after the Czech-American grant was written, so no funds were included in that grant for Tomas to attend these meetings, although he will be in the United States at that time to sort frog material and study methods from Professor Eaton.      

Women as Global Leaders: Learning Leadership
Fall 2007
Kathleen Herndon, English
Professor Kathleen Herndon requested funding to participate in the Women as Global Leaders: Learning Leadership Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 10-12, 2008. Because Dubai is one of the most unique cities in the Muslim world, its cosmopolitan work force and native population enjoy the benefits of commerce, education and a strong economy. It breaks the stereotypes of much of the Muslim world by supporting education for women and opening doors for women in the work place. By attending this international conference Professor Herndon will be able to enrich her research on Middle Eastern Women and infuse new information into her Middle Eastern Women Writers course. She submitted a proposal for a presentation entitled “Women’s Leadership Subverted and Inverted: Examination of the Leadership in the Women’s Novels of Mernissi, Daneshvar and Faqir.”  

Desert Fishes Council 2007 Annual Symposium
Fall 2007
Christopher Hoagstrom, Zoology
Professor Christopher Hoagstrom requested partial funding for travel to the Desert Fishes Council annual symposium in November, 2007. The airline ticket and meeting registration have already been paid by the Department of Zoology and Professor Hoagstrom is conserving funds by rooming with a colleague from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. He will be making an oral presentation at the meeting and participating in council business. The Desert Fishes Council meeting also provides a means to keep up to date with progress in studies of desert fish ecology and conservation.

Naming the Unnamed
Fall 2007
Suzanne Kanatsiz, Visual Arts
Professor Suzanne Kanatsiz requested funding to undertake a three-year project, “Naming the Unnamed”, which will build upon a visual vocabulary she has been developing for more than a decade. The project is titled as such because the focus is to articulate a new visual language in the field of contemporary art. Through giving new creative work a voice, Professor Kanatsiz hopes to influence and change cultural viewpoints, make a substantive contribution to my field, and expand and build new interpretations of the world. The project will encompass large wall-reliefs, a large installation of three-dimensional works that intersect with space and command the environment in a spare and direct dialogue, and an extensive series of small works. The goal is to exhibit the project nationally and internationally. The tier would be to exhibit components of the project in galleries and alternative spaces and the project in its entirety in museums.   

Ghost Ranch Leadership Institute
Fall 2007
JaNae Kinikin, Library
Professor JaNae Kinikin requested funding to help defray the cost of travel to and from the ranch where the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) Ghost Ranch Leadership Institute is held.  This leadership institute has been in existence since 2002 and past attendees have given it high praise.  Attendance at this institute will provide Professor Kinikin with new skills and ideas that will help her become a better leader. Upon her return, she will be able to apply these newly acquired leadership skills in the multiple roles that she serves in the library, across campus, and within the regional and national library organizations of which she is a member.

World Dance and Music Project
Fall 2007
Joanne Lawrence, Performing Arts
WSU's World Dance & Music Project (WDMP) is a cross-cultural, dance and music outreach program designed to interact with high school dance, music and humanities classes. The purpose is to empower our local youth to understand themselves in relation to others in the world through music and dance. Through the experience of dance, participants can realize hidden talents, healthy forms of self-expression, and a sense of community. Hip-hop dance, music and culture have their roots in African dance. WSU students will research select dances, music, and cultures from Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, and northern Africa. Then, based on their research, Professor Lawrence and the students will create an interactive program that will conclude with American Hip-hop, demonstrating its cultural roots. The interactive program will be taken to area high schools; segments will be performed in Choir, Percussion Ensemble, and Orchesis Dance Theatre concerts  

Presenting Paper at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference
Spring 2008
Daniel Magda, MMET
Professor Daniel Magda requested funding to present a paper at the annual American Society for Engineering Education conference (ASEE) this June 2008. At this week long conference Professor Magda will be presenting his paper at two different sessions. These sessions are the Mechanics division and the Mechanical Engineering division. The title of the paper is “Understanding the Effect of Residual Stresses on Surface Integrity and how to Measure them by a Nondestructive Method.” While attending the conference he will also participate in a teaching and learning workshop sponsored by ASEE. These ASEE workshops are developed from the research and current trends of master teachers in the area of engineering education. He will be exposed to new innovative teaching techniques and learning styles in his field of engineering technology.     

Factors Affecting Enterococcus-like Organisms in the Great Salt Lake: Influence Water Depth, Season and Additional Parameters
Spring 2008
Karen Nakaoka, Microbiology
Professor Karen Nakaoka requested funding to attend and present research at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting (ASM) which will be from June 1-5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. The research has been accepted by the ASM for poster presentation on June 3, 2008. The project was the result of the collaboration of Dr. Nakaoka, Dr. Lorowitz, and two WSU undergraduate students, Scott Kagie and Alan Noland.

Ecological Study on Brine Shrimp Populations from China
Spring 2008
Robert Okazaki, Zoology
Professor Robert Okazaki requested funding to investigate the impact of the introduced population of dioecious brine shrimp found in the salterns of northern coastal China. With Dr. Sun from the Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China, Professor Okazaki will collect adult female and male shrimps for genetic analyses and culture them in the lab to observe either the production of cysted eggs or live larvae in various environmental conditions.

38th Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society
Spring 2008
Leigh Shaw, Psychology
Professor Leigh Shaw requested funding to support her travel to the 38th Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society (JPS) in Quebec City, Quebec (June 6-8, 2008). At this meeting, she will present a research poster entitled, "Younger and Older Adolescents' Thinking about Personal and Moral Concerns in Opposite-Sex Interactions." The meeting theme, "Adolescent Development: Challenges and Opportunities" is directly relevant to her research and teaching (i.e. Adolescent Psychology) in the Psychology Department.

Artist in Residence at University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil
Spring 2008
Viktor Uzur, Performing Arts
Professor Viktor Uzur requested funding to be a guest artist, teacher and lecturer in residence at the University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil August 1 – 17, 2008. The residence will involve: - Guest soloist performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto in B-minor with conductor Manfredo Schmiedt and University of Caxias do Sul Symphony Orchestra, August 14th, 2008 (this concerto is one of the most complex and technically demanding classical compositions written for cello and orchestra). - Solo recital performance at the "Concertos ao Entardecer” Concert Series, Saxias do Sul. - Principal Guest Cello Teacher at the “Cello Encounter” Series, Saxias do Sul.

Workshop on Evolutionary Bioinformatics
Fall 2007
Michele Zwolinski, Microbiology
Professor Michele Zwolinski requested funding to attend an intensive four-day workshop sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology. Following this workshop Professor Zwolinski plans to include bioinformatics in my Microbial Ecology (MICRO 3154) and Geomicrobiology (MICRO 4810-experimental) courses as laboratory sessions. In addition, there is an increasing demand for students trained in biotechnology and bioinformatics. This will provide her with the background needed to train her undergraduate research students in bioinformatics and to develop a new course for which could be a cross disciplinary course taught with collaborators in the Mathematics department.

New Faculty Projects

Presentation: Using the Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to Develop and Deliver Effective Online Instruction
Spring 2008
Melina Alexander, Teacher Education
Professor Melina Alexander requested funding to illustrate how using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis promotes the development and delivery of highly effective online instruction and how course content designed on these principles maximizes student performance in the online setting. Panelists from four special education teacher training programs will describe successful online courses that have been developed in this manner.  

Uncovering Images of Women: Spanish Film during the Transition
Spring 2008
Isabel Asensio, Foreign Language and Literatures
Professor Isabel Asensio requested funding for a Film Studies project, in particular, one on Spanish film (Spanish as of the Iberian Peninsula). The intended outcome of this project is twofold: first, to study the cinema produced and filmed in Spain during a specific time period, the decade from 1976 to 1986, and of a particular film director, Mariano Ozores; and second, to rediscover and bring to light the socio-cultural value of Ozores’s films through a feminist approach. Professor Asensio intends to analyze the representation of women who are depicted in his movies as objects of sexual desire, a depiction that corresponds more to an erotic one than a realistic one. Despite the degrading portrayal of women, the erotic content is used as a tool for contradiction and subversion of the Catholic morality and patriarchal norms imposed by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco for almost four decades. As part of her research agenda, she plans to travel to the National Library of Spain, in Madrid. At the National Library, she can watch all the movies under analysis; find their original scripts (the library does hold these); and have access to some of the literature on the topic that she won’t be able to get through interlibrary loan inside the US.    

The Embodied Representation of Spatial Language
Spring 2008
Aaron Ashley, Psychology
Professor Aaron Ashley requested funding to complete a research project designed to assess whether the representation of spatial terms involves an internal motor simulation. Additionally, this project will assess whether the representation of literal and figurative uses of spatial terms entail the same type of representation.    

Parental Self-Disclosure: Assessment and Adolescent Outcomes
Spring 2008
Todd Baird, Psychology
Professor Todd Baird requested funding to examine the direct and indirect effects of parent-child connection and parental self-disclosure on child self-esteem and social initiative. Parent-child relationship satisfaction will be considered as a mediating variable. Although parent-child connection has received considerable research attention, parental self-disclosure and it's effects on younger children has remained unknown. This study will test a model which proposes that both parental connection and parental self-disclosure have positive outcomes on parent-child relationship satisfaction, child self-esteem, and social initiative and that the parental self-disclosure is closely associated with connection.

The Potential Role of Dietary Fiber and/or Prebiotics in Post-Resection Recovery in the Neonate
Spring 2008
Brian Chung, Zoology
Professor Brian Chung requested funding to study the potential role of dietary fiber and/or prebiotics in post-resection recovery in the neonate. Severe developmental challenges are posed to premature infants. Being introduced to the outside world prior to the final maturation of various organ systems can quickly lead to multiple organ failures and patient death. Consequently, any efforts to improve the clinical outcomes of premature infants, particularly those with very low birth weight or ultra low birth weight are warranted. Despite the requirement for nutrients, feeding premature infants is difficult because their immature digestive system is not up to the task of absorbing these nutrients. Indeed, the introduction of oral nutrients can lead to the rapid death of the immature intestinal tract; further challenging these patients by hindering the oral delivery of nutrients. Massive intestinal loss is usually coupled to the requirement for nutrients to be delivered intravenously. This further complicates the growth and development of premature infants by hindering the maturation of other organs such as the liver and kidneys. It is Professor Chung's goal to assess the use of infant formula augmented with fiber and/or prebiotic bacteria on post-surgical adaptation of the remaining small intestine on liver and kidney development and damage.

"Entrada" Mixed-Media Paintings
Spring 2008
Larry Clarkson, Visual Art
Professor Larry Clarkson requested funding for travel, research, and materials to create a series of nine mixed-media constructions combining the written word, and digital, drawn and painted images. Using prefabricated industrial materials (architectural doorframes and windows) as painting surfaces and frames, Professor Clarkson will explore how society views, perceives, experiences and interprets the wild landscape.  

Travel to Support Research on Lie Algebras and Related Algebras
Spring 2008
Matthew Ondrus, Mathematics
Professor Matthew Ondrus requested funding to travel to Ithaca, NY and Madison, WI, where he will collaborate with E. Wiesner and G. Benkart respectively. While there, Professor Ondrus plans to study the Whittaker representations of the Virasoro algebra and of generalized Weyl algebras. Although this constitutes, a priori, two collaborative projects, these problems share many remarkable connections, and his ultimate goal is to find a unifying explanation for the phenomena studied in these projects.