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UWFox Students to Present Research Projects in Madison

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Erik KraemerUniversity of Wisconsin-Fox Valley student Erik Kraemer decided to get involved "largely because I was encouraged by Dr. Greg Peter, who gave me the confidence to do this…and he's helping me prepare to be able to explain my research project to the audience we're going to meet." And so it is with the 10 UWFox students who will be presenting their research projects at the special "Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research," being held from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 in the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda, in conjunction with the April meeting of the UW System Board of Regents.

Governor Doyle has proclaimed April 7, 2005, "Undergraduate Research Day," throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Undergraduate students from all 26 UW System campuses were invited to participate, with approximately 77 students from 15 campuses selected to showcase their research efforts to the Regents, government representatives, and the public. "By working closely with faculty on undergraduate research, UW students make their love of learning tangible and design innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the state and the nation," according to UW System Kevin Reilly.

Dr. Greg PeterUWFox faculty mentors include Peter (Assistant Professor of Sociology), Dr. Dubear Kroening (Assistant Professor of Biology), and Dr. Martin Rudd (Assistant Professor of Chemistry).

UWFox Campus Executive Officer and Dean, Dr. Jim Perry (Professor of Biological Sciences), served on the 19 member UW System "Posters In the Rotunda Committee."

The students and their research projects in sociology are Kraemer (Kaukauna): "Social-Psychological Terrorism;" Katrina Nelson (Neenah): "Why W2 Doesn't Work;" and Brittany Hilbert (New London): "No One Cares-The Sociology of Teen Suicide."

Biology students and their research projects are Shanna Kacynski (Appleton) and Dominick Piekarczyk (New London): "Inhibition of Mold Growth by Probiotics and Fatty Acids;" Jerry Wolff (Neenah), Yuun Murphy (Appleton), and Nathan Weyenberg (Kimberly): "Examination of the Inhibitory Effects of Probiotics on Growth of the Yeast Candida albicans.”

Chemistry students are Deanna Pahl (Kaukauna) and Cindy Hofkens (Menasha), doing research on the “Reactions of Dinaphthyl Ditelluride with Varius Thioureas under Oxidizing Conditions with Bromine."

Dr. Dubear KroeningKroening shared his perspectives on the students he mentored during their respective research projects. " The students worked on their biology projects in addition to handling their regular classroom studies. After initial guidance from me, they personally developed and conducted the experiments. I’m impressed that they were able to run the experiments themselves without me ‘holding their hands’ continually," he said. “The results they got from these experiments are all that more remarkable considering their limited laboratory experiences."

Dr. Martin RuddRudd said, "Both of the students that I mentored have done an exceptional job on their chemistry research, considering they’re college sophomores. This research is at a position already that we’re writing a research article together that will be submitted to a refereed chemistry journal – probably the ‘Journal of Organometallic Chemistry’ - sometime this summer.”

As a faculty mentor, Peter said, “I want my students to know and understand what sociologists do as scientists, especially working with people in research projects. This is a great chance for our students to get engaged in sociological research. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to be able to showcase their research to such an important and impressive audience in the Capitol Rotunda.”

"I'm especially looking forward to meeting our area legislators in Madison," Kraemer said. “This whole research experience helped me further develop my critical thinking skills and to be able to develop research methods that are objective and quantifiable. It’s been a semester-long project in my sociology class. I’ve already put in at least 10 hours, and I expect to put in at least another 10 to 20 hours to getting the materials ready for my presentation in the Rotunda.”

Speaking about his research efforts and the development of his presentation, Kraemer said, “I have a sense of achievement of having done a job well.”

Posted on 4/6/2005