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[IMAGE: Tim Gentry]

[IMAGE: Caleb Butler]

[IMAGE: Kyle McClary]

2013-2014 URCA Associates
(from left to right)
Timothy Gentry, Caleb Butler, Kyle McClary 


URCA News Archive
 February 2015   January 2015

October 2014     November 2014   December 2014

September 2014 August 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014    March 2014   February 2014

November 2013   October 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013  

April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013

December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012

August 2012  June 2012  April 2012

URCA Assistants and Associates often present their research, publish articles, or participate in exhibitions. Each of these 'outcomes' is recorded to note each URCA Assistant's and Associate's accomplishment.

Click here for a full list of Assistant outcomes

Click here for a full list of Associate outcomes

Current URCA News

February 2015

February 1, 2015

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Joshua Wooten and his URCA Assistants, Kaylee Poole and Andrew Seija. Kaylee and Andrew are both recipients of the FASEB MARC Travel Award which provides them with the opportunity to attend and present their research posters at the annual American College of Sports Medicne (Texas Chapter) Meeting in Austin, Texas. Dr. Wooten stated that "both Kaylee and Andrew have worked extremely hard in the lab this year under the URCA program and they are excited to share their research with the scientific community". Kaylee will be presented her poster entitled: The Effects of Physical Activity on Hepatic Lipid Metabolism during Weight-Loss. Andrew will also be presenting his poster entitled: The Effects of Physical Activity on Markers of Hepatic Inflammation during Weight-Loss. Congratualtions again to Dr. Wooten, Kaylee, Andrew, and the entire Department of Kinesiology and Health Education! Keep up the great work! 

January 2015

January 21, 2015

Curious about what you can do as an URCA Associate? The possibilities are endless! Check out these interviews featured on KSDK and FOX2 to hear from Dr. Bryan Smith about the work he and his URCA Associate, Kristin Dierker have been doing on fitness activity bands. Congratulations to Dr. Bryan Smith, URCA Associate Kristin Dierker, and the entire Department of Kinesiology and Health Education! Keep up the great work! 

January 1, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our URCA assistants and mentors for the Spring 2015 semester!! You can see a complete list of all the URCA mentors and assistants for Spring 2015 here. We wish you all the best of luck with your projects! 

December 2014

December 1, 2014
Check out the great work that Dr. Caroline Pryor and her URCA Assistant Jessie Pavlak have been doing!!

Jessie Pavlak is an SIUE senior who, as an URCA Assistant, has worked with Dr. Pryor on the project "STEM within the Social Studies (STEM-Social Studies)". The project focuses on understanding and describing the pedagogical strategies that K-12 teachers can use to integrate the content teaching standards of STEM within the broad range of the social studies. Jessie has been assisting Dr. Pryor in investigating preservice and inservice teacher beliefs about the efficacy of STEM-Social Studies at both the lesson planning level and the classroom application level.
Dr. Pryor had this to say about Jessie's contribution to the project:

"Jessie has been invaluable to this study. She has done a wonderful job with our questionnaire date and lesson plan artifacts. She was tasked with organizing over 60 lesson plans, writing directions for the faculty who are administering the questionnaires, and organizing 3 semesters worth of questionnaire data."

When asked about her research experience as an URCA Assistant Jessie reported:

"Through my URCA research I have learned the importance of integration, especially into Social Studies, and that STEM integration specifically can be accomplished with correct instruction. STEM within Social Studies can help students to create authentic connections between content area knowledge that they could not have achieved if the subjects were always taught separately."  

The project is currently in it's mid-to-last stages, with the end of 2014 marking 2 years of data collection. Dr. Pryor reports that the initial analysis of the data will begin in the spring of 2015. 
Congratulations to Dr. Pryor, Jessie Pavlak, and the entire Department of Curriculum and Instruction! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

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November 2014

November 14, 2014
The Fall 2014 URCA Newsletter is now available!!
This semester URCA Associate Nasir Almasri, Dr. Carolina Rocha, URCA Assistant Brian Massie, Dr. Ken Moffett, Dr. Julie Holt, and URCA Assistants Joseph Gackstetter and Maudie Knicley were featured!!

Congratulations to Dr. Song Chew, Dr. Lindsay Ross-Stewart, and URCA Assistants Joseph Gackstetter and Lynsey Gore!! They are this semesters URCA award winners! 
Be sure to check out the full story here

November 1, 2014
Congratulations to URCA assistant Sarah Badman who recently received a position with the Roxana school district through Americorps! Sarah is a Marketing major and Mass Communications minor who has been working through URCA with Dr. Mark Poepsel. For the Americorps position, Sarah is tutoring 5th graders in math, reading, English, and other topics discussed in class. Sarah also assists the home-room teacher with classroom activities. Sarah had this to say about being an URCA assistant: "I think that my position in URCA has really helped me achieve my goals because it has given me more confidence. I have been able to get to know more about this field, and I feel like I have made the right choice." 
[IMAGE: Sarah Badman]
Sarah Badman

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October 2014

October 15, 2014

Congratulations to URCA Mentor and Psychology Professor, Dr. Eva Ferguson and her lab assistants, Gregory Rectenwal (URCA Assistant), Alexandra Hammond, Kelsey Bernard, Aaron Morris and Jared Deerhake whose poster entitled: “Does Gender Affect Leadership Values of College Students and Their Parents?” was recently accepted for presentation at the 10th Annual Missouri Undergraduate Psychology Conference (MUPC) 2014. This is the abstract:

The current study compares values of college students and their parents. To measure leadership values described by Lewin (Lewin, Lippit, &White, 1939) and Dreikurs (Dreikurs, Grunwald, & Pepper, 1999), university students described their own values (PVa, Ferguson Adult Values Inventory) and values their mother and father held when raising the student (PVi, Ferguson Parental Values inventory). Both the gender of the parent and the gender of the student had significant effects on reported values.

[IMAGE: Eva_Ferguson]

Dr. Eva Ferguson

Congratulations to URCA Mentor and Psychology Professor, Dr. Jeremy Jewell and his lab assistants, Haley Pemberton (URCA Assistant) and Madison Schoen on the development of a new stress and aggression management program which is being implemented in the Madison County Juvenile Detention Home. The new program, named Compassionate Approach to Learning Meditation (CALM) incorporates mindfulness, compassion, and meditation while teaching the juveniles skills to self-regulate their stress and internal aggression. Dr. Jewell has been a consistent and active URCA mentor since URCA’s conception. His assistants had this to say regarding his mentorship: “Having the opportunity to participate in Dr. Jewell’s research lab has been one of the biggest highlights of our undergraduate careers. Dr. Jewell is constantly finding ways to help us boost our resumes and gain new experiences!” For more information about Dr. Jewell and his research you can visit his website here.

[IMAGE: Jewell]

Dr. Jeremy Jewell


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  September 2014

September 23, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Moffet, an Associate Professor of Political Science who, with the help of URCA Assistants, has recently had two papers accepted for publication! According to Dr. Moffet, past URCA Assistants, Daniel Mead, Eric Lupardus, and Mark Rosenkoetter were influential in the development of these projects. The contributions that Mark Rosenkoetter and Eric Lupardus made were part of a paper that was presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Recently, a revised version of that paper was accepted for publication in Party Politics. In addition, the contributions that Daniel Mead made were part of a paper that was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Recently, a revised version of this paper was also accepted for publication in Congress and the Presidency. Congratulations to Dr. Moffet, Daniel Mead, Eric Lupardus, Mark Rosenkoetter, and the Depatrment of Political Science in these awesome accomplishments!      

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August 2014

August 11, 2014

Congratulations to URCA Assistant Mitchel Kramer, the first author of the paper entitled "Comparative Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Hepatitis C Virus NS3/4A Protease (genotypes 1b, 3a and 4b) Predicts Conformational Instability of the Catalytic Triad in Drug Resistant Strains", which was accepted for publication and appeared in the August edition of PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE is an international, peer-revied, open-access, online publication that features reports from all disciplines within science and medicine. Congratulations to Mitchel Kramer, Dr. Mohammad Yousef, and the Department of Physics!    

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June 2014

June 19, 2014

Congratulations to URCA Assistant, Brian Massie, who's paper entitled "Ethnic Divide and Armed Conflict: Struggle and Development through the Eyes of a Child"  has been accepted for publication and is scheduled to be appear in Visions & Revisions VII. According to his mentor, Dr. Carolina Rocha, associate professor in Spanish, "Brian was in a unique position to undertake the analysis of two films. His first-hand knowledge of Peruvian culture was a springboard to understand issues of ethnicity and class division that are prevalent in these films."  It is also a special time for the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, because Brian has the distinction of being the first undergraduate student in the department who's work has been accepted for publication.  Congratulations to Brian Massie, Dr. Carolina Rocha, and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature!

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May 2014

May 23, 2014          

[IMAGE: Brad Denby]

       Brad Denby

[IMAGE: Morgan Sturgeon]

    Morgan Sturgeon

Former URCA Associates, Brad Denby and Morgan Sturgeon, were recently featured in the Edwardsville Intellligencer for their interview with Segue conducted by Dr. Aldemaro Romero, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  The two recent SIUE graduates talked about how they became interested in the research process, and their individual research within the URCA Associate program. The full article can be found here.  A link to the webcast will be available soon.  

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April 2014

April 24, 2014

The URCA program would like to welcome the newest Associate members! Listed below are the 2014-2015 cohort members, and their contact information.  Congratulations, and happy researching! 

[IMAGE: Nasir Almasri]

Nasir Almasri 

Major: Political Science


[IMAGE: Jeffrey Borwey]

Jeffrey Borwey

Major: Computer Science


[IMAGE: Mollee Pezold ]

Mollee Pezold

Major: SECD


[IMAGE: Jennifer Roberts ]

Jennifer Roberts

Major: English


[IMAGE: Savanna Stabenow]

Savanna Stabenow

Major: Biological Sciences


[IMAGE: Alexandra Taitt]

Alexandra Taitt

Major: Anthropology &
Computer Science


[IMAGE: Joshua Tonnies]

Joshua Tonnies

Major: Mechanical Engineering


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April 22, 2014

URCA Associate, Caleb Butler, recently exhibited his research about how African American men experience college life at a public, predominantly white institution . Caleb interviewed twenty-one African American male SIUE students. In the interviews he discussed several themes, including feelings of support, feelings of belonging and connectedness to peers, faculty, and staff, definitions of success, and personal understandings and definitions of the students’ identity as African American men.  Check it out: URCA student, Caleb Butler, presents research in mixed media exhibit.

Caleb's research has sparked additional research to be conducted into how American American females experience college life at a public, predominately white institution by Dr. Connie Frey-Spurlock's upcoming URCA assistant, Andrea Williams.  See the full story here.

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April 18, 2014

URCA Assistant, Emma Kuester has been working with Dr. Betsy Esselman doing research on a magnificent part of SIUE history -- an historic Elm tree that is hundreds of years old.  Emma details her research below: 

"This project doesn't contain any laboratory research but involved going through the historic archives on campus and the Madison County Museum to uncover information about a slab of Elm which was cut down September 17,1963 and stored in the 4th floor of the old science building. The tree was acknowledged as the largest Elm tree in Illinois already in 1936; however it succumbed to Dutch Elm disease, which is a phloem necrosis caused by fungus. Using the information I found about the Elm, we are devising a method of displaying the thousand pound slab for everyone to see."

The Elm Tree slab, pictured below, has a 6-7 foot diameter. 

[IMAGE: Elm Tree Slab]

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March 2014

March 18, 2014
Assistants Tyler Urish, Charmaine Burris, and Robert Wann spent a week and half in Palestine over winter break to research with Jerusalem Applied Research Institute.  Their mentor is Dr. Denise Degarmo, chair of the Department of Political Science.  Congratulations on this opportunity! 

March 6, 2014
For the first time every, 3 students applied to present their research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) conference -- out of 4,000+ submissions, all 3 of our students were accepted!! 
[IMAGE: Caleb Butler]
Caleb Butler, URCA Associate
Mentor: Drs. Erin Murphy and Howard Rambsy
Department: Sociology
Caleb Butler researching how African American men experience college life at a public, predominantly white institution . Caleb interviewed twenty-one African American male SIUE students. In the interviews he discussed several themes, including feelings of support, feelings of belonging and connectedness to peers, faculty, and staff, definitions of success, and personal understandings and definitions of the students’ identity as African American men.

[IMAGE: Brandy McAdams-Hart] Brandy McAdams-Hart, URCA Assistant
Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Jewell
Department: Psychology
The research project that Brandy McAdams-Hart will be presenting at NCUR is also her senior honors thesis. She investigated the relationship between sexual assault history and current substance abuse in women. She believe that sexual assault and substance abuse in women are two growing epidemics, that are deserving of more attention from clinicians, activists and researchers.
Miles Foltynowicz, URCA Assistant
Mentor: Dr. Suranjan Weeraratne
Department: Political Science

March 5, 2014
[IMAGE: Levi & Victoria]
“True Grit”
Assistants Levi Molenhour and Victoria Mizel were recently awarded a grant from the Student United Way to continue their research at the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School with
mentors Dr. Howard Rambsy and Dr. Victoria Scott. The assistants’ research focuses on “grit,” which is defined as passion and perseverance to achieve long-term goals. The research is built around a once-a-week after school program where Levi and Victoria spend time with students to conduct experiments, write poetry, and learn all about what it means to be resilient, hard-working grity people academically, and in all other areas of life. This semester, with the help of the grant, Levi and Victoria, along with the students at the charter school, will explore digital story telling that will allow the students to tell their own personal grit story.

March 3, 2014
Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Wooten from the Kinesiology and Health Education and his assistants, Tayler Nick, and Kelsey Stout who just returned from the regional Texas chapter meeting for the American College of Sports Medicine! At the meeting, Tayler was awarded the Undergraduate Major of the Year Award for SIUE. These students were nominated by their faculty mentor and one award is give to each undergraduate per university in attendance.
Additionally, at the meeting Tayler presented her research poster entitled Independent and combined effects of Menhaden oil and high fructose on hepatic lipid metabolism and was awarded first place in the undergraduate research poster category. Also, Kelsey presented her research poster entitled The lipogenic effect of high-fructose consumption on NAFLD during weight loss and was awarded second place in the undergraduate research poster category. There were 24 posters in this category and the top three are awarded plaques for their achievements. The plaques are currently being displayed at the entrance of the KHE offices in the Vadalabene Center.

Both Tayler and Kelsey will be presenting their posters again at the national meeting for the American College of Sports Medicine in Orlando, FL in late May.


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February 2014

February 13, 2014

Congratulations to Austin LaMay (pictured below), URCA Assistant to Dr. Paul Wanda of the SIUE School of Dental Medicine,  and his team, who won 2nd place at the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Conference-- Funded by National Science Foundation. Nine universities and 5 community colleges and 1 government lab participated. 

[IMAGE: Dr. Paul Wanda's Lab]
The following is their abstract: 

"Apoptosis and Membrane Fluidity in Human Leukemia (HL60) Cells
Austin LaMay, Brock Cameron, Jamie Gniadak, Jazmine Sanders, Paul E. Wanda, and Dan Welch
Apoptois was induced in human myeloid leukemia cells (HL60) with UVB irradiation as part of our ongoing investigation in the role played by the membrane. We previously found that phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation was reduced when temperature was increased. Analysis using a nitroxide spin label conferred that there was a corresponding increase in membrane fluidity during apoptosis. In addition, new data has indicated that a decrease in membrane fluidity reduced apoptosis perhaps by impeding death-receptor formation required for the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Preliminary results using BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a known membrane perturber, also increased membrane fluidity."

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November 2013

Congratulations to URCA Assistant Ryan Wiechmann, and his faculty mentor, Dr. Marc Schapman.  The team was recently featured in the Alestle.  A full link to the article can be found here.  

October 2013

October 14, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Nadler, and his URCA Assistant, Tiffany Maglasang! Papers co-authored by the team have been submitted for presentation at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago later next semester.  
Maglasang, T., Wetherall, R., Johnson, J., & Nadler, J. T. (2014, May). Gender and Agency in Employee Performance Appraisals: Memory bias. Paper submitted for presented at the Midwestern Psychology Association (MPA) annual conference. Chicago, IL.

Meyer, C., Johnson, J., Maglasang, T., & Nadler, J. T. (2014, May). Think, Think Male: Implicit Gender Associations with Career Prestige. Paper submitted for presented at the Midwestern Psychology Association (MPA) annual conference. Chicago, IL.

October 14, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Leah O'Brien, and her URCA Assistant, Taylor Dahms! Their research was recently published in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.  Taylor will also be presenting this research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the American Chemical Society National meeting in Dallas, Texas later next semester.  Here is the full article.  
August 2013

August 1, 2013

SIUE is home to many great faculty mentors, and Dr. Kathryn Brady, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, is no exception. Over the past year, Dr. Brady mentored Jaime Henderson, an URCA Associate. Jaime ended the school year with a successfully completed Associate project and has continued to apply to present her research at professional conferences. After submitting to the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association's Student Initiated Clinical Research and Application (SIRCA), Jaime noticed that Dr. Brady also needed to submit a few things. This is where things become truly heroic:
"Earlier this summer I was up against a rapidly approaching deadline to submit my project to [SIRCA] call for presentations [and] posters for the state convention in [February] 2014. I suddenly realized that Dr. Brady, as my mentor, also needed to submit a digital disclosure form in order for the proposal submission to be complete. I sent a text m essage to her while she was in Guatemala letting her know of the deadline but that I also did not expect her to be able to do it, since she was so far away and likely didn't have Internet access. Let me say that I think she has set the bar quite high for URCA mentors. She walked to a nearby town (in a monsoon, no less) to a small Internet cafe to get the form in on time. Her effort was not in vain. My proposal was accepted for an oral presentation at the ISHA conference..." -Jaime Henderson

[IMAGE: Brady_Monsoon]

Dr. Brady in front of the internet cafeDr. Kathryn Brady in front of the Internet cafe
she walked to during a monsoon to submit the
digital disclosure form to help the professional development
of her student, Jaime Henderson.

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July 2013

July 19, 2013
Teryl Thurman, an URCA Assistant in 2013, is still making connections with the work she did with Dr. Elizabeth Lyman (Theater & Dance).  While an URCA Assistant, Thurman read many plays by Terence Rattigan.  In this photo, she is in the Actor's Church in Convent Garden, London, England.  Congratulations, Teryl Thurman! 
[IMAGE: Teryl Thurman]

June 2013

June 17, 2013 
Congratulations to Brad Rimmert, URCA Assistant to Dr. Mohammad Yousef.  Brad (listed as first author) and Dr. Yousef (along with their colleagues) recently published an article in the Journal of  Bimolecular Structure and Dynamics! 
This is the abstract:

Egypt has the highest prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection worldwide with a frequency of 15%. More than 90% of these infections are due to genotype 4, and the subtype 4a (HCV-4a) predominates. Moreover, due to the increased mobility of people, HCV-4a has recently spread to several European countries. The protease domain of the HCV nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) has been targeted for inhibition by several drugs. This approach has had marked success in inhibiting genotype 1 (HCV-1), the predominant genotype in the USA, Europe, and Japan. However, HCV-4a was found to resist inhibition by a number of these drugs, and little progress has been made to understand the structural basis of its drug resistivity. As a step forward, we sequenced the NS3 HCV-4a protease gene (strain ED43) and subsequently built a 3D structural model threaded through a template crystal structure of HCV-1b NS3 protease. The model protease, HCV-4a, shares 83% sequence identity with the template protease, HCV-1b, and has nearly identical rigid structural features. Molecular dynamics simulations predict similar overall dynamics of the two proteases. However, local dynamics and 4D analysis of the interactions between the catalytic triad residues (His57, Asp81, and Ser139) indicate conformational instability of the catalytic site in HCV-4a NS3 protease. These results suggest that the divergent dynamics behavior, more than the rigid structure, could be related to the altered catalytic activity and drug resistivity seen in
HCV-4a. Keywords: HCV; catalysis; structure; dynamics; genotype 4

You can find the full article here

June 2, 2013 

Brittany Buckles, an URCA Associate from the 2012-2013 cohort, who researched bee ecosystems was recently interviewed by the St. Louis Post Dispatch (see the full article here). She, along with several other students, are planning a trip Nairobi, Kenya in hopes to "increase public awareness about the importance of hazards facing bees and the need for human intervention to help" (Gillerman, 2013).  Congratulations, Brittany (pictured below)! 

The following is the abstract of the work Brittany Buckles performed during the 2012-2013 academic year: 
"Green roofs can contribute to healthy ecosystems by providing essential ecosystem services like stormwater retention, thermal benefits, and biodiversity. Green roofs may be especially suited for highly mobile species, such as birds, bees, and wasps. Without bees, humans could not enjoy fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, or other foods dependent upon bees for pollination. Most research on bees has been done specifically on honeybees (Apis mellifera); however the wild bees are extremely important as well. Cavity nesting bees and wasps will house their larva in small cavities and may be especially suited for green roof locations. Green roofs can increase foraging and nesting habitats for pollinating insects, such as bees and wasps. Colonization and abandonment rates are more greatly affected by roof height than roof area. Green roofs that are shorter than 6 stories tall are better suited for cavity nesters compared to taller green infrastructure based off the statistical analysis of nest tube colonization and abandonment rates in North America."
[IMAGE: 2012-2013 URCA Associate, Brittany Buckles]

April 2013

April 26, 2013

URCA is pleased to welcome the new 2013-2014 Associate Cohort! 

[IMAGE: Caleb Butler] [IMAGE: Bradley Denby] [IMAGE: Kristin Dierker] [IMAGE: Timothy Gentry]
Name: Caleb Butler
Major: Sociology
Project Title: The First-Hand Experiences
of African American Men at a
Predominately White Institution:
Exploring How the Intersection of Race
and Gener Affects Academic Performance
Mentors: Dr. Erin Murphy & Dr. Howard Rambsy 

Name: Bradley Denby
Major: Physics
Project Title: Massively Parallel Pathfinder
Algorithm: Constrained Multi-weighted
Pathfinding in Matricies
Mentor: Dr. Mark McKenney

Name: Kristin Dierker
Major: Exercise Science
Project Title: Accuracy of Personal Activity
Monitors to Estimate Daily Energy Expenditure
Mentor: Dr. Bryan Smith  

Name: Timothy Gentry 
Major: Mechanical Engineering 
Project Title: Mitigating Negative Effects of Liquid
Rope Coiling Through Dynamic Vibration of
Target Container 
Mentor: Dr. Majid Molki 
[IMAGE: Kyle McClary] [IMAGE: Rocky Pardo] [IMAGE: Morgan Sturgeon ] [IMAGE: Taylor Weissman]
Name: Kyle McClary
Major: ACS Biochemistry
Project Title: A Study of Conjugated Heterocyclic ldehydes in the Passerini-Smiles Reaction 
Mentor: Dr. Sarah Luesse 
Name: Rocky Pardo
Major: Studio Art (Metals)
Project Title: Artistic Exploration and Application of Metal Alloys
Mentor: Dr. Thad Duhigg
Name: Morgan Sturgeon 
Major: Biological Sciences
Project Title: Investigating the Role of Mib1 in Glutamate Receptor Localization 
Mentor: Dr. Faith Liebl
Name: Taylor Weissman
Major: Biological Sciences 
Project Title: Analysis of Circumnuation in Arabidopsis Gravitropic Mutants
Mentor: Dr. Darron Luesse  

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April 12, 2013

Josh Prince, URCA Assistant to Dr. Ferguson, along with Taylor Smith, and Courtney Miller presented "The Relationship between Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership Style Values and Cultural Values" at the Graduate Research Symposium April 2nd at MUC.

From Dr. Ferguson: "The research is part of an ongoing set of projects that began in the year 2000 when I was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. I have been Visiting Scholar there for a number of years since then, including when [she] was on sabbatical leave in 2007 and [she is] still a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley. My colleague there is Kaiping Peng, a cultural social psychologist. We published some of our research together in 2006 in the journal GROUP DYNAMICS and another article is coming out this month in the journal JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. We are showing that leadership styles, as developed by Kurt Lewin and as applied by Rudolf Dreikurs and contemporary Adlerian Psychology, work in the family the same way as they do in any other group (school, work, nations). We are showing that these leadership styles in the family of origin (in which you were raised) have profound influences on young adults (college students). These leadership styles teach children (and later the young adults into which the children develop) a set of values that have wide ramifications. My lab has found that national differences exist in parental leadership styles. Moreover, in modern Asian countries the style is moving toward a Laissez Faire style that is accompanied by increased individualism and competitiveness. Within the United States, regional differences exist in parental leadership styles. This "group dynamic" approach towards parenting differs sharply from the Freudian-based model of Baumrind, whose work does not address the kind of social issues that Lewin and Dreikurs addressed and that work in my lab addresses."

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March 2013

MARCH 28, 2013

Human Security in the Occupied Palestinian State: Israeli Military Orders and Their Impact on the Needs of the People of Palestine



Dr. Denise DeGarmo's URCA Assistants recently facilitated a panel and presented their own work this past weekend at the Indiana Political Science Association Conference at the University of Southern Indiana. In addition to facilitating the panel entitled, "Human Security in the Occupied Palestinian State: Israeli Military Orders and Their Impact on the Needs of the People of Palestine," each student presented his or her own original research. Matthew Boyer, presented his research entitled, "The Link Between Post Traumatic Stress and Human Security in Palestine," Erin Gross', research was entitled, "Tertiary Education in the Occupied Palestinian State," and Bryan Skorczewski's research was entitled, "How Differing Accounts of Economic Activity Damage the Ability of Occupied States to Liberate Themselves."

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Three URCA Assistants Present at Indiana Political Science Association Conference

Rob Wann, Samuel Border, and T.J. Pearson, all URCA Assistants to Dr. Laurie Rice, presented at the Indiana Political Science Association Conference which was held on March 22, 2013 at the University of Southern Indiana. The presentation was entitled, "The Effects of Campaign Visits During the Presidential Primaries." Congratulations!

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MARCH 22, 2013

URCA Assistants named Ward O. Winer Scholarship Recipients


Morgan Hemker,
URCA Assistant & recipient of the
Ward O. Winer Scholarship


Micahael Largent,
URCA Assistant & recipient of the
Ward O. Winer Scholarship

URCA Mentor, Dr. Majid Molki, is proud to announce that his URCA Assistants, Michael Largent (URCA Assistant in Spring 2012), and Morgan Hemker (current URCA Assistant), received the Ward O. Winer Scholarship from Pi Tau Sigma National Honorary Mechanical Engineering Society. Both Assistants received $250! Congratulations!

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MARCH 11, 2013

URCA Assistant wins 2nd place in Undergraduate Research Poster Category

URCA Assistant, Alissa Yoder, was awarded 2nd place in the undergraduate research poster category at the annual Texas chapter meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Austin, TX (February 28-March 1). He presentation was entitled, "Effects of Human apolipoprotein E3 and E4 genotypes on cardiometabolic disease risk." There were 31 posters in the undergraduate research category. The award is presently being displayed in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. In addition, Alissa will be presenting her work at the SIUE's 2013 Graduate Student Research Symposium in April. Congratulations, Alissa!

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February 2013

February 8, 2013


Dr. Nikolay Slavkov

"I had two URCA assistants work with me in Fall 2012 when I was designing experimental stimuli for a pilot project titled The L2 Acquisition of Wh- Dependencies: Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives which has won STEP funding for fiscal year 2014. The students' contribution was greatly appreciated, and I'm currently still working with one of them preparing to implement that project."

Thank you to URCA Assistants, Samantha Seale and Jessica Fritsch , for their dedication and help on Dr. Slavkov's research project!

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January 2013

January 20, 2013

URCA would like to welcome 157 new URCA Assistants to the program. Good luck on your projects this semester! Click here for a full list of URCA Assistants for the Spring 2013 semester.

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December 2012

December 10, 2012

A big Thank You goes to Samantha Winkler, an URCA Assistant, who helped in the design and launch of Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt's website: www.mananglanguages.org. Dr. Hildebrandt studies tribal languages in the Manang District of Nepal.

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November 2012

November 14, 2012

The URCA Fall Newsletter is now available!

This semester, Dr. Brady's lab team -- Jaime Henderson, Mollee Pezold and Megan Smith-- and URCA Associate, Erik Zimmerman, were featured!

November 9, 2012

Congratulations to Dr. Jeremy Jewell, Yonatan Gebre and Matthew Vallejo! They are this semester's URCA Award Winners! Be sure to check out the full story here.

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October 2012

October 23, 2012

Congratulations to Morgan Hemker who presented her research this weekend at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences(WoPhyS) at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln! Morgan had this to say about URCA and her mentor, Dr. Majid Molki:"I am very grateful that the URCA program enables me to participate in these research opportunities. I also owe many thanks to Dr. Molki, who has mentored me throughout my research project."


Morgan Hemker at WoPhys

View Morgan's full poster here.

October 22, 2012

Katie Mosby and Brittany Buckles presenting their research posters at the Green Roof for Healthy Cities Conference today in Chicago! Congratulations ladies!


URCA Assistant, Katie Mosby URCA Associate, Brittany Buckles

October 18, 2012

Congratulations to the URCA Assistants of Dr. Yun Lu -- Scott Alvarado, Blake Ferando, Christopher Hall, and Jared Swanberg!

Their research assistance was recently acknowledged on Dr. Lu's new journal articles, Imbalanced tunneling ready states in alcohol dehydrogenase model reactions: rehybridization lags behind H-tunneling , and A Model Reaction Assesses Contribution of H-Tunneling and Coupled Motions to Enzyme Catalysis.

October 16, 2012
This year's group photo of the 2012-2013 Associates:


Left to right: Stephanie Bargiel, Kathryn Chapman, Stephanie Link, Drake Jensen,
Robert Watson, Rosemary Morr, Erik Zimmerman, Jaime Henderson, Erica Bohmer

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September 2012

September 21, 2012

URCA Associate, Brittany Buckles (green t-shirt), and URCA Assistant, Chico Weber (beige button-up), were featured on FOX2 News this past week for their work at the SIUE Eco House! Congratulations! To view the full story on the FOX2 News webpage, please click here.

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August 2012

August 31, 2012

The URCA Program is happy to welcome 91 faculty mentors and 156 students to the URCA Assistant program for the Fall 2012 semester! We wish you luck on your research this semester!
For a complete list of the Fall semester's Faculty mentor and Assistants, click here.

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June 2012

Daniel Carroll, an URCA Associate from the 2010-2011 cohort, joined Boston Metro Opera's 2012-2013 Artist Roster as Lecturer-in-Residence. Daniel mentioned the URCA program in this article. Check out his profile!

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April 2012

URCA Announces the 2012-2013 Associates! Click here for further information about this year's Associates.

[IMAGE: ] Stephanie Bargiel
Chemistry ACS / Biomedical Science

Project: Characterization of the EF-hand Domain of Dual Oxidase
Mentor: Chin-Chuan Wei
[IMAGE: ] Brittany Buckles
Biological Sciences

Project: Comparison of cavity nesting bees on green roofs and in ground level habitat (Ecology, Evolution and the Environment)
Mentor: Bill Retzlaff
[IMAGE: ] Kathryn Chapman

Project: Identification and Analysis of Faunal Remains from the Lawrenz Gun Club Site
Mentor: Julie Holt

[IMAGE: ] Jamie Henderson
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Project: Training a Speech-Language Pathologist and Interpreter to Work Together: A Case Study Examining Potential Effects of Training on the Administration of a Standardized Parent Questionnaire
Mentor: Kathryn Brady
[IMAGE: ] Erica Bohmer
Biological Sciences: Medical Sciences

Project:The Impact of Arabinogalactan Protein 24 on Gravitropism in Arabidopsis thaliana
Mentor: Darron Luesse
[IMAGE: ] Stephanie Link
Biological Sciences: Medical Sciences

Project: Proline substitutions at different positions in a mating pheromone of Schizophyllum commune to investigate pheromone form and function
Mentor: Thomas Fowler

[IMAGE: ] Drake Jensen
Chemistry / Biological Sciences: Genetic Engineering

Project:Insight on Dual Oxidase Regulation Mediated by Calmodulin
Mentor: Chin-Chuan Wei
[IMAGE: ] Rosemary Morr

Project: Ageism and the Younger Worker: Explicit and Implicit Stereotypes
Mentor: Joel Nadler
[IMAGE: ] Robert Watson
Biological Sciences

Project: Investigation of Branta canadensis for enteric pathogen in the state of Illinois
Mentor: Vance McCracken

[IMAGE: ] Erik Zimmerman

Project: The Problem of Postmodernity: The Existence of God qua Love in Postmodern Ethics
Mentor: Matthew Schunke

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