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2006-07 Academy

2006-07 URA Scholars

Members of the 2006-07 Undergraduate Research Academy: Front row, from left: Kim Taylor, Jenna Toennies, Elise Berger, Erin Marks, Natasha Coats, Leia Zumbro, Brittany Marron and Marquetta Brown. Back row: Andrew Givens, David Wiatrolik, Ross Mead, Jesse Gernigin, Brad Duthie and James Stice. Not pictured: Brandy Olroyd.

Members of the 2006-2007 Academy, their projects and mentors are as follows:

Elise Berger, Biological Sciences (Genetic Engineering)
Project: "A Study of the Isonymy Structure of Historical Madison County"
Mentor: Luci Kohn

Special Notes: Elise presented her research at the Illinois State Academy of Science 2007 Annual Meeting and at SIUE's Graduate Student Research Symposium, both in April 2007


Marquetta Brown, Psychology
Project: "Behavioral Consequences of Self-Oppression for African-Americans: Relationship among African Self-Consciousness, Self-Responsibility, and Life Satisfaction"
Mentor: Michael Dudley

Special Notes: Marquetta presented her research at the 15th Annual Imhotep Student Research Conference at Florida A&M University in March 2007 and at SIUE's Graduate Student Research Symposium in April 2007


Natasha Coats, Theater and Dance (Dance)
Project: "Making a Ballet into a Contemporary Work"
Mentor: Michael Thomas

Special Note: Natasha's work was performed at SIUE's Opus '07, the SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium, and at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, all in April 2007


A. Brad Duthie, Biological Sciences (Ecology, Evolution, and Environment)
Project: "The Effects of Seed Dormancy and Mass on Germination and Viability in the Federally Threatened Floodplain Species, Boltania decurrens"
Mentor: Marian Smith

Special Note: Brad presented his research at the Plant/Biology & Botany 2007 Joint Congress (sponsored by the American Fern Society, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America) in Chicago in July 2007. Additionally, he presented his work at the Illinois State Academy of Science 2007 Annual Meeting, the SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium and the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, all in April 2007. He received the Sigma Xi Award at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase. Brad is pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Evaluation at Iowa State.


Jesse Gernigin, English Language and Literature (Literature)
Project: "A Sociocultural Categorization of Humor in Salman Rushdie's Three Major Novels"
Mentor: Jeffrey Skoblow


Andrew "AJ" Givens, Political Science
Project: "Combating Terrorism and Maintaining the Nonproliferation Regime: A Focus on the Islamic Republic of Iran"
Mentor: Denise DeGarmo

Special Notes: Andrew presented his research at NCUR 2007 (National Conferences of Undergraduate Research) at Dominican University of California, the SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium, and at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, all in April 2007. AJ is pursuing a master's degree in Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University's Washington, DC campus.


Erin Marks, Anthropology
Project: "Who Fed Cahokia? An Analysis of the D. Hitchens Site"
Mentor: Julie Holt

Special Notes: Erin presented her research at the 2007 SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Colloquium: "Thinking about the Environment" and at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, both in April 2007


Brittany Marron, Civil Engineering
Project: "A Comparison of Sentencing in Vehicular Homicides Resulting from Impaired and Non-impaired Driving"
Mentor: Greg Luttrell

Special Notes: Brittany presented her research at the 2007 Joint Annual Midwestern ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) and Spring MOVITE (Missouri Valley Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers) Meeting in St. Louis in June 2007. Additionally, she presented her work at the 2007 SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Colloquium: "Thinking about the Environment" and the SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium, both in April 2007


Ross Mead, Computer Science
Project: "Impromptu Teams of Heterogeneous Mobile Robots"
Mentor: Jerry Weinberg

Special Notes: Ross presented his research at AAAI-08 (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) in Chicago, IL in July 2008 and at AAAI-07 in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2007. Additionally, he won best poster presentation at the 2007 SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium and best Engineering presentation at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, both in April 2007. He is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Southern California.


Brandy Olroyd, Special Education and Communication Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology)
Project: "Recording and Analyzing the Speech of Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to Create Customized Speech Recognition Technology"
Mentor: Melanie Brimer

Special Notes: Brandy presented her research at the 2007 Annual Convention of the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rosemont, IL, in February, 2007. Additionally, she presented her work at the 2007 SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium and won best Education poster at the SIUE Senior Project Showcase, both in April 2007. Brandy is pursuing a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Saint Louis University.


James Stice, Art and Design (Metalsmithing)
Project: "The Plasticity of Metal and Its Use in Creating Organic Form"
Mentor: Paulette Myers

Special Note: James presented his work at SIUE's Graduate Student Research Symposium in April 2007

Kim Taylor, Speech Communication
Project: "Facebook: Applications for Faculty"
Mentor: Lesa Stern

Special Note: Kim co-authored the article Social Networking on Facebook, Journal of the Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota, 20, 9-20 (2007) with Dr. Lesa Stern. She also completed her master's degree in Learning, Culture and Society from SIUE in the summer of 2008.


Jenna Toennies, Biological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering
Project: "Comparison of Feeding and Jumping in the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens"
Mentors: Rick Essner and Majid Molki

Special Notes: Jenna presented her research at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2008 Meeting in San Antonio, TX, in January 2008. She also presented her research at the Illinois State Academy of Science 2007 Annual Meeting and at SIUE's Graduate Student Research Symposium, both in April 2007. She is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University.


David Wiatrolik, Civil Engineering
Project: "Determining the Relationship Between Bicycle Tire Friction Factors and Surface Debris"
Mentor: Greg Luttrell

Special Notes: David presented his work at the 2007 Joint Annual Midwestern ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) and Spring MOVITE (Missouri Valley Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers) Meeting in St. Louis and at Transport Chicago 2007, both in June 2007. He also presented his work at the SIUE Graduate Student Research Symposium in April 2007


Leia Zumbro, Art and Design (Metalsmithing)
Project: "Steel as a Small Scale Jewelry Element"
Mentor: Paulette Myers


Key line

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Academy, contact Dr. Victoria G. Scott at (618) 650-2640 or viscott@siue.edu.