2013 Cohort


Amanda Clark
Research has shown several diseases are caused by oxidative stress and free radicals in the human body. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to protect a cell against the negative effect of free radicals. In addition to free radicals, the presence of transition metals in the body is shown to produce damage to DNA through pro-oxidant activities. The purpose of this research project is to synthesize a second generation antioxidant dendrimer with a total of 36 phenolic units and a large internal cavity. The D-mannitol core based dendrimer is proposed to have higher antioxidant activities due to its larger quantity of phenolic units and should reduce the pro-oxidant effect of transition metals by the chelating effect of the internal cavity of the dendrimer.
Andrew Derry

Apatite, the mineral found in bone, was studied under hypergravity to determine whether hypergravity increases or decreases the apatite crystallinity, the incorporation of carbonate ions in apatite, and whether it changes the kinetics of the amorphous to crystalline transition. Apatite-forming reactions were performed at room temperature of 24 °C and a pH of 7.4. Aqueous solutions of calcium chloride, sodium phosphate, and sodium phosphate/sodium carbonate were prepared in Tris buffered solution. Solutions were mixed and exposed to g-forces of 1G (control), 90G, and 185G. Variants of reaction times included 5 minutes, 50 minutes, 5 hours, and 10 hours. Hypergravity conditions were created using centrifugal force with a laboratory centrifuge. Collected samples were analyzed by ATR-IR and Raman spectroscopy. Bandwidths for phosphate and carbonate peaks decreased and peaks were resolved as g-force increased, indicating an increase in crystal domain length.

James Dunn
Mn oxides impact the fate of many soil nutrients and heavy metal contaminants. Bacterial facilitation of Mn(II) oxidation is the driving force behind the formation of nearly all Mn oxides in the environment. Despite this fact, how and why bacteria facilitate Mn(II) oxidation remains unknown. One common Mn-oxidizing bacterium is the marine alphaproteobacterium Roseobacter sp. AzwK-3b. Preliminary studies have shown a possible link between three enigmatic animal heme peroxidases (AHPs) and Mn(II) oxidation in R. AzwK-3b. For the purposes of this study, Western blotting was used to determine if and to what extent AHPs are involved in microbially facilitated Mn(II) oxidation.
Matt Forbes
This research is taking a bottom-up approach to analyzing globalization instead of the more top-down approaches that are prevalent in the political science field today. It will use empirical methods to look at the economic effects on the working class. Methods will examine the per capita income and the average wages of certain professions in comparison to the measures of globalization over the past thirty years. Focusing on the last thirty years makes the research apposite to present situations and gives a longitudinal study to show the effects over an extended period of time. This will show how globalization has had an economic effect on the working class in Michigan throughout the modern era of globalization.
Rhianna French
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Acevedo
This study is part of an ongoing project that examines the effectiveness of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, a stage based model of intervention, on youth prejudice reduction.  This study will consist of a 12-month follow-up on the effectiveness of the Model in reducing youth prejudice in a community-based application.  Community Tampa Bay's AnytownTM project's staff will use the Transtheoretical Model of Change to assist participants in reducing prejudice.  This study compares the 12-month effects of the Model versus standard follup-up on prejudice reduction.

Shantell Johnson
Fathers and CHARGE Syndrome: Work and Friendships
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tim Hartshorne
Familial research is traditionally centered on the maternal viewpoint; paternal research is extremely underrepresented across subject fields. Commonly, their viewpoints are synonymously linked to thoughts and stresses of the mother. Fathers differ significantly in prioritizing work over family; women are more likely to put their family above work-related events. The work more, play less language of the father often translates into fewer friendships. Male-male friendships are often weaker and less intimate. This has been found for fathers of developmentally on-track children, but does this hold true for fathers of children with CHARGE Syndrome? CHARGE is a rare, genetic disorder characterized by pronounced birth and developmental deficits. This study aims to examine work and friendship perceptions of fathers of children with CHARGE Syndrome.
Nicole Lynn-Bell
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) is an invasive nitrogen fixing plant commonly found throughout the U.S. Midwest region. We therefore predicted that autumn olive will have a significant legacy effect on soils after its removal. In 2012, we set up two permanent plots across two autumn olive populations in central Michigan. In the fall of 2012, autumn olive plants were removed from half of the sample grid. Soils samples were taken from a regular grid. Soil parameters (pH, organic matter, available ammonium and nitrate and P), bacterial communities (overall, and ammonia oxidizer), microbial function (five enzyme activities), as well as net rates of ammonia and nitrate production in soils were determined. Soil variables were related to proximity to, and density of, autumn olive plants.
Leah Mays
The Zero Forcing Number of Bipartite Graphs
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sivaram Narayan
A graph consists of points, called vertices, which are connected by line segments called edges. We color the vertices of a graph either black or white. We use the following basic color change rule: if a white vertex is the only white vertex adjacent to a black vertex then we change the color of that white vertex to black. The zero forcing number of a graph G, Z(G), is the minimum number of vertices to be colored black so that all vertices become black by repeated use of the basic color change rule. There is a related notion called the semidefinite zero forcing number where the semidefinite color change rule is slightly different from the basic color change rule. In the is project we find the zero forcing number and semidefinite zero forcing number of an important class of graphs called bipartite graphs.
Amanda Slezsak
This study is an analysis and overview of prevention and intervention programs designed to increase the quality of health amongst American Indians; primarily pertaining to cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. The study compares and contrasts the education presented and the outcomes of the programs, all in hopes of drawing conclusions to better develop future programs to increase awareness and promote healthy lifestyles amongst American Indians.

Jayson Smith
Recent studies have shown that furfural, a harmful furanic compound and fermantation inhibitor, induces ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) in yeast, namely, P-bodies and stress granules. Overexpression of ZWF1, a gene important in the pentose phosphate pathway, has been shown to increase cell resistance to furfural. This study investigates whether overexpression of ZWF1 also has an effect on RNP formation in S. cerevisiae.



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