2013 Summer Scholars

2013 Summer Scholars Projects

Kaitlyn Amanda Bell, working with Dr. Dolores Flores-Silva on "Code Switching: The Impact of Vocabulary Acquisition in the Bilingual Text and Development of Spanish in Young Learners"

Sociolinguistic development in young learners has shown that learning a second language from an earlier age improves their language speaking skills for the future. Implicit Learning and Linguistic Priming Theories describe how teaching vocabulary to young learners empowers them to develop language skills with greater ease. With this project, I will be writing short children's stories in English and Spanish and applying them in a bilingual classroom setting. In order to apply the educational and psychological research, there will be extensive study using works of literature and film on the vocabulary acquisition and use of code switching from an instructional perspective.

Kaitlyn Bell is a rising Senior at Roanoke College. She is a Spanish major and Education minor as well as an Honors Program student. She currently serves as the Honors Program President and had the opportunity to be chair for the Honors Conference Week 2013's "Eight Days Around the World". Kaitlyn's passion for becoming a teacher is to motivate and inspire young learners to develop enthusiasm for the Spanish language. Kaitlyn has traveled to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Spain, completing service projects and teaching English classes in underdeveloped Latin American communities. She is thankful for the personal growth, knowledge and strong educational support which have continually motivated her to follow her dreams of serving others through education.

After completing her graduate studies in Latin American Studies and Latin American Literature, Dr. Dolores Flores-Silva joined the Roanoke College Faculty in 2001. Upon her arrival, she began working on the implementation of courses that could support students' knowledge on Latin America and she also created, along with the History Department, the Latin American and Caribbean Concentration. She has worked, along with Dr. Bañuelos Montes, on the presentation of bilingual plays and poetry recitals on RC campus. Although the majority of her research focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of Literature and History and how they influence the development of the cultural identity and structure of a society, she has published and presented essays on pedagogical approaches in the teaching of Spanish. In addition, she has also published her own creative writing that includes poetry, plays and short stories. She is currently researching problem solving teaching techniques to improve students' reading, writing, and speaking skills. She is also working on the importance of code switching impact in Chicano Literature.

Alexandra G. DeLaricheliere, working with Dr. Chad Morris on "Assessing the Influence of School Nutrition Policies and Programs on Academic and Nutritional Behavior in the Republic of Palau"

Obesity is on the rise in the Republic of Palau with childhood obesity rates of 33% (Kuartei 2011). Children who suffer from obesity and poor nutrition experience poor academic performance and are at risk for developing chronic diseases. This project examines attitudes toward nutrition education among parents and teachers at two Palauan schools. Survey methodology, combined with key informant interviews, will be used to assess implications of school nutrition activities and policies on academic performance and nutritional behavior change. This data will be presented to the Palauan Ministries of Education and Health, and used to offer recommendations to school principals and local officials who are responsible for choosing to adopt policies that improve nutrition and academic performance.

Alexandra DeLaricheliere is a junior from Burlington, Vermont. She is a Sociology major with a concentration in Anthropology. Her research experiences include qualitative research on college student attitudes toward HIV/AIDS (with Dr. Anderson in the Sociology department), as well as May Term 2012 ethnographic household interview research on noncommunicable disease in Palau (with Dr. Morris). Alexandra hopes to continue on to graduate school to study public health related to sociology or anthropology and child nutrition. Alexandra is also an active member in the Chi Omega Women's Fraternity, where she served as Treasurer for the 2011-2012 term, and is the current President of the Panhellenic Council at Roanoke College.

Chad Morris (Ph.D.; University of Kentucky) is assistant professor of anthropology at Roanoke College. An applied medical anthropologist, he focuses on means of improving community participation and dissemination of ideas in public health promotion. His current research agenda includes investigating community-driven means of increasing food security and reducing rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in the Republic of Palau. In addition to his research on communicative action and diversity of participation in U.S. grant-inspired public health coalitions, Dr. Morris has carried out evidence-based research and program planning/implementation with a Community-Based Prevention Marketing-based coalition addressing youth nutrition in Lexington, Kentucky (sponsored by the Florida Prevention Research Center). Prior to that, he served on the staff of an asthma coalition in New York City. He has additional research expertise in indoor environmental health, organ and tissue donation, immigrant access to health care, and the comparative study of global perceptions of charity/service. He currently sits on the Governing Council of the national Association for the Practice of Anthropology, and is Chair of the same group's Ethics Committee. He holds an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Memphis, and a BS in Anthropology/Sociology and Biology from Centre College.

Katherine B. Frisch, working with Dr. Jesse Bucher on "A New South African History: Constitutional Revolution from 1910-1994"

Beginning in 1910 when the British unified South Africa under one legal doctrine based on the promotion of white rule, the country underwent a series of radical political changes that culminated with the creation of a non-racial democracy in 1994. In between, the South African government implemented four distinct constitutions, which represented the changing political movements and legal trends of the 20th century. Past scholars have examined each individual constitution to draw conclusions about the distinct time period in which South Africans wrote these documents. In contrast to these studies, this summer scholars research project will argue that each separate South African constitution does not just provide an illustration of specific time periods, but instead demonstrates the entire period of 1910 to 1994 as an era of continuous revolution.

Kate Frisch is a rising senior from Weston, Connecticut who has majored in history and international relations at Roanoke College. She is involved in many campus organizations such as the Historical Society, Pi Alpha Theta, the Public Affairs Society, the Equestrian Club and team, and Delta Gamma Fraternity in which she has held three leadership positions. Upon graduation in May 2014, Kate plans to attend law school and has an interest in international law.

Jesse Bucher has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from The College of New Jersey, and a PhD in African history from the University of Minnesota. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of the Western Cape in South African before taking an assistant professor position at Roanoke College. His research focuses on the history of political violence in modern South Africa.

Samantha A. Garst, working with Dr. Andreea Mihalache-O'Keef on "The war is over, but will they come? A panel study of FDI in countries recovering from civil conflict"

This study explores the effect of reconstruction efforts on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to post-conflict countries (PCCs). FDI has been shown to be important for economic development; however investors likely perceive PCCs as high-risk environments and avoid them as hosts for their foreign affiliates. Consequently, it is imperative to identify the types of policies that attract FDI by signaling the host government's commitment to creating an investor friendly environment. This study will combine insights from international business and international relations literature to develop an explanation of the relationship between post-conflict policy and investor behavior. It will then explore it empirically with a combination of statistical analysis, in-depth case studies, and open ended interviews with stakeholders. The study contributes to a small but growing body of literature and can also provide good lessons for policy makers.

Samantha is a rising junior from Charlotte, NC studying International Relations and Global Business. She is considering attending Officer Candidate School after graduation or working for the public sector. Since high school she has been interested in travelling the world, learning languages, and developing business skills. She is interested in whether or not "money really makes the world go ‘round". Samantha currently holds executive positions in the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Honors Program. She enjoys spending time with her family and believes all classes should be taught outside in 70 degree weather.

Dr. Mihalache-O'Keef is a native of Romania. She grew up at a time when her country was growing up as well, a post-communist fledgling democracy struggling to compete in the global market. She became curious about the ties between the international economy, domestic politics, and human welfare, and pursued this interest through her B.A. in International Studies and Art History at Randolph-Macon Woman's College ('03), her Ph.D. in International Relations at Penn State University ('11), and her research fellowship at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School ('09-'10). She continues her research on multinational corporations, food security, and environmental policy at Roanoke College, where she teaches courses on international politics, global political economy, human security, research methods, and a May term travel course on food politics and globalization in Romania.

Jessica A. Gladfelter, working with Dr. Denise Friedman on "Because It Makes Me Feel Good: Examining the Role of Oxytocin in the Failure to Address Techno-Interruptions"

Techno-interruptions have been linked to psychological and physiological stress. Texting is a primary form of techno-interruption among college students (Zickuhr, 2011). Despite admission that phone interruptions cause stress by interfering with work, students allow their persistence for fear of missing out socially (Schwabe, Boudrye, Friedman & Galluch, 2011). The social imperative overrides the detriments of techno-interruptions. Why is the social imperative seemingly stronger than the resulting stress? We propose a hormonal explanation. The proposed study would test whether oxytocin is released when texts are received and whether its release may offset the impact of the stress hormone alpha-amalyse.

Jessica Gladfelter is a rising junior at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio where she attended high school at Columbus School for Girls. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Jessica has been a member of the cyberpsychology research lab at Roanoke College since her first semester freshman year. She has co-authored three poster presentations since that time, one at an international level conference, and is currently assisting with a manuscript for which she will be second author. Jessica is also president of the Psychology Association, a member of Psi Chi, and a member of the college-wide honors program. After graduation, Jessica plans to pursue her PhD in psychology.

Dr. Denise Friedman is an Associate Professor in the Psychology department. She received her PhD from Virginia Tech in developmental cognitive neuroscience in 2006, her MS from Virginia Tech in psychological sciences in 2004, and her BS from Averett University in 2001. She teaches developmental courses, research seminar, and general education courses exploring the role of technology in today's world. Her research includes the scholarship of teaching and learning and the impact of technology on cognitive and social skills.

Katrina A. King, working with Dr. Jane Long on "The Influenced: An Analysis of the Interests of Artists and Influences of Patrons on Paintings of the Annunciation in the Italian Renaissance"

This project will strive to explain different ways artists in mid-fifteenth-century Florence could interpret common religious narratives by exploring influences affecting those interpretations. Research will be conducted on a single theme-the Annunciation-as it was represented by Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi. A wide range of other interpretations of the Annunciation will be drawn upon to gain a deeper sense of the art-historical context and provide evidence. It will be my goal to lay out how the personal expression of the artists, societal views of the period, and ideas of the patrons influenced how such scenes were depicted.

Katrina King is a senior Art History major with a concentration of Business Leadership at Roanoke College. Katrina is a member of the Roanoke College Honors Program and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi, and Phi Beta Kappa. She is also a Resident Advisor on campus. In the future, Katrina hopes to gain a doctorate degree in Art History and work with art museums as a curator or director.

Jane C. Long, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professor of Art History, received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She has taught at Roanoke College for seventeen years. Although she teaches courses on the history of art from prehistory through the seventeenth century, her research centers on Italian Renaissance art, with a more narrow specialization in fourteenth-century Florentine painting. She has a number of publications that focus on analyzing the relationship between audience expectations and artistic choices in shaping messages Renaissance works of art could convey.

Rose M. Kohinke, working with Dr. Skip Brenzovich on "Palladium-Catalyzed Synthesis of New Chemical Reactions"

An important area of organic synthetic research is the production of molecules that can be used as the starting materials for pharmaceutical drugs and other biologically active compounds. It has been discovered that small amounts of inexpensive transition metals, such as palladium, can catalyze these organic transformations. The goal of this project is to investigate the reactivity of palladium metal, specifically exploring new chemical reactions that can help build these molecules in a faster and cleaner manner, in the hopes of decreasing the prices of important medicines.

Rose Kohinke is a rising senior Biochemistry major from Salem, VA. After earning her degree from Roanoke College, she plans to attend pharmacy school and specialize in Oncology Pharmacy. Rose joined Dr. Brenzovich's research team during her junior year. Outside of her major, she is a member of the Honors program, and spends her free time reading and hiking.

Dr. Skip Brenzovich joined the faculty at Roanoke College in 2011. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the College of William and Mary and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Brenzovich then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, designing new reactions involving gold. Dr. Brenzovich's research interests focus on the interplay of the metals and organic and biological molecules, both inside and out of the reaction flask.

Emily K. Leimbach, working with Dr. Gordon Marsh on "Teaching Others about the Union of Poetry and Music in Art Song: Combining Analysis and Interpretation in Interactive Performances"

This project will create an interactive performance based on the art song "Chant d'automne" by Gabriel Fauré. The interactive performance, a method of music education, will be developed through the creation of a musical analysis and a personal performance of the piece. These two components will be combined in a multimedia presentation that will clarify the connection between musical analysis and performance in art song, and will be used to actively engage others in listening and better understanding the genre.

Emily Leimbach is a rising senior majoring in music, pursuing teacher licensure in both music education and elementary education. Emily works as a Writing Center tutor, sings in the a cappella group Mainstreet, and sings in the Roanoke College Choir. After graduating, Emily plans to apply for Teach for America and eventually continue her education in music at the graduate level. She hopes to devote her life to educating others about music, so that musicians and non-musicians feel better equipped to participate in their musical experiences.

Gordon Marsh, Professor of Music and Fine Arts department chairperson, joined the faculty of Roanoke College in 1996. Dr. Marsh teaches courses in the theory, composition, and history of music, in addition to various courses in the general education program. Over the years, Dr. Marsh has performed as recitalist, chamber musician, concerto soloist, and conductor, and has collaborated with other artists on sound installations using Max/MSP. Awarded a sabbatical for 2003-2004, Dr. Marsh spent eleven months at the Cité Internationale des Arts, an artist residency in Paris, during which time he completed professional training in computer music at IRCAM, France's national research center for the coordination of music and acoustic research. His scholarly work has focused on twentieth- century music and aesthetics. He is currently finishing an article on the music of Alfred Schnittke for a book on the late composer's music to be published by Indiana University Press.

Jonathan Marino, working with Dr. Karin Saoub on "Graph Theoretical Analysis of Directed Social Networks"

Social media outlets allow us to post our thoughts as status updates and tweets in real time and "follow" our friends, family and even celebrities. But they do not always have to follow back. This is what separates directed social networks like Twitter from other networks like Facebook. In this context, we can use graph theory to visualize and measure the differences between directed and undirected social networks. By developing a metric for information dispersion, we can examine how information is viewed and spread throughout a network.

Jon is a third year mathematics major with a concentration in statistics. His academic interests include modeling, mathematics of design, and geometry. Jon is a subject tutor, Maroon Corps leader, and the vice president of Math Club. Outside of academics, he enjoys running and listening to public radio.

Dr. Karin Saoub is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Roanoke College. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from Wellesley College, and M.A. and PhD from Arizona State University. Her research focuses on graph theory, with projects on online coloring, tolerance graphs, and dynamic storage allocation. Recently, Dr. Saoub has been working with students on the mathematics behind social networks.

Andrew B. Miles, working with Dr. Ned Wisnefske on "Can the Prisoner's Dilemma Solve the Problem of Enforcement in Social Contract Theory?"

The social contract is a philosophical theory designed to ground morality and legitimate government. Even people who do not believe in altruistic morality can agree it because it benefits not only to society as a whole, but also each person individually. However, this contract must be enforced in order to encourage people to continually cooperate. However, what happens when a situation is not enforceable? This project will look at Social Contract Theory through the lens of a Prisoner's Dilemma, a game where each person has can cooperate or defect, in order to study Social Contract Theory's responses to non-enforceable situations.

Andrew Miles is a sophomore from Richmond Virginia. He is majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Creative Writing. On campus he is the captain of the Ethics Bowl team and participates in the Fight Club Poetry readings. He works as a tutor for the Writing Center and as a Research Assistant. After college Andrew plans to attend graduate and hopes to become a Philosophy Professor after getting a PHD. His main interest is in Ethics and Political philosophy. He also has a pet named Walter who may, in fact, be the cutest dog in the world.

Ned Wisnefske is the Schumann Professor of Lutheran Theology in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Roanoke College. His most recent book, God Hides, argues that common morality is the best avenue into Christian thought. His most recent project, "The Fate of the Universe and the Faith of Christians," examines the effect contemporary understandings of cosmology should have on Christian understanding. He has taught at Roanoke College since 1985.

Caroline I. Mueller, working with Dr. Elizabeth Holbrook on "Efficacy of a Cross-Country Running Program for Youth with Sensory Impairment"

As a result of the poor health status of America's sensory impaired population, this study seeks to examine the impact of a school running program on the health status and self-efficacy of youth with visual impairment.

Caroline Mueller is a current sophomore here at Roanoke College. She is majoring in Exercise Science and will graduate in the Fall of 2014. Caroline has hopes of attending Northwestern University for prosthetic rehabilitation and eventually seeks a career which serves injured war veterans. Since her freshman year, Caroline has served as the exercise physiology laboratory coordinator and has been involved in numerous departmental studies. As a result of this work, Caroline is proficient in a number of physiological tests, such as blood glucose/lipid analyzing, hydrostatic weighing research, metabolic testing, and basic body composition analyses. In addition to her education and research, Caroline is a member of Roanoke College's National Society of Leadership and Success.

Dr. Elizabeth Holbrook joined the Roanoke College faculty in 2010 and teaches in the Department of Health and Human Performance. A recent Faculty Scholar award recipient, Dr. Holbrook specializes in community-level intervention design and is especially interested in examining the dose-response relationship between physical activity and comorbidity in persons with sensory impairment. In addition to her own scholarly work, Dr. Holbrook enjoys serving as an undergraduate research mentor. Recent accolades for mentored students include a 2013 publication in the International Journal of Exercise Science and 2013 Undergraduate Research Award nomination from the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine. As a mentor in the Summer Scholars program, Dr. Holbrook will be working with sophomore Caroline Mueller to develop a manuscript supporting their work on a recent intervention conducted at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.

Michelle L. Pasier, working with Dr. Cathy Sarisky on "Characterization of potential IMPDHs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis"

The disease tuberculosis is caused by the aerobic bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Due to a rise in resistance to current treatments, new treatments must be developed. The gene guaB3 is thought to encode an inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). This enzyme catalyzes the oxidation of inosine-5'-monophosphate (IMP) to xanthosine monophosphate (XMP), the rate limiting step of guanine biosynthesis. When the synthesis of guanine, a precursor unit of DNA, is inhibited, the biosynthesis of DNA is likewise impaired, stunting bacterial growth. Characterizing the IMPDH of M. tuberculosis would allow for a search for its specific inhibitors as a potential new treatment option for tuberculosis.

Michelle Pasier is a rising junior Biochemistry major, coming to Roanoke College from her most recent home of Blacksburg, Virginia. Due to the collapse of her high school, Michelle never experienced science properly until she came to Roanoke College. Since then she has wasted no time in taking part of as much of the scientific process as possible. She has been working in Dr. Sarisky's lab through the URAP and summer research programs since she was a freshman, first characterizing purine biosynthetic genes in halophilic Archaea, then potential IMPDH genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Michelle looks forward to remaining engaged in research in her pursuit of knowledge.

Dr. Catherine Sarisky earned a B. A. in Chemistry from New College of Florida and a M. S. and Ph. D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where she worked on protein structure and design with Dr. Stephen Mayo. Her current research interests focus on the biosynthesis of purine molecules, with a focus on archaea and pathogenic bacteria.

Lauren E. Strong, working with Dr. Rachel Collins on "How Human Activities along the Roanoke River Effect Bird Populations"

Suburbanization reduces and alters bird habitat to such a degree that the bird diversity in towns is much lower than in rural areas. Riparian areas (habitats along rivers) may be important refuge habitats for birds along the Roanoke Valley Greenway. I am interested in exploring how the levels of development in riparian habitats affect the number of bird species and reproductive success. I expect to find "city birds," such as starlings, in highly disturbed areas. I hope to find more habitat-sensitive species, such as warblers, in lowly disturbed areas in this region. Such research is important for city planners to maintain original forest when developing landscapes.

Lauren Strong has always known she wanted to have a career involving wildlife. Her immense passion for the wildlife is reflected in her dedicated time spent volunteering at a local wildlife rescue. When Lauren was only 13, she received a Presidential Award for volunteering at the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue for over 1000 hours. Her captivation with birds began when she started working at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Rescue, and she immediately fell in love with the personalities of the young birds. Her interest expanded to bird watching in the wild and has led to her binoculars and bird guide becoming a part of her daily attire. It's rare that you would ever see here without one or the other. Lauren's passion for birds has steered her into a career of becoming an Ornithologist.

Dr. Rachel Collins has been studying forests and the wildlife in them since she was old enough to climb trees. As an adult, she has studied red-cockaded woodpeckers in pine forests in North Carolina, spotted owls in old-growth conifer forests in Oregon, white-tailed deer in oak forests in West Virginia (Ph.D. research at the University of Pittsburgh), and white-tailed deer and earthworms in beech forests in Wisconsin (Post-Doctorate Research Associate U-W Madison). She came to Roanoke College in 2007 and is an assistant professor of Biology where she teaches courses in ecology, biodiversity, animal behavior, and the forests and animals in the southern Appalachians. Her research students also embrace her passion for exploring the connections between plants and animals through a variety of projects including: bird diversity in suburban habitats, seasonal changes in black bear habitat use, interactions between exotic earthworms and invasive plant species on native species dynamics, and behavior of captive Asian small-clawed otters.

Emma V. Webb, working with Dr. Alice Kassens on "Undergraduate Wellness Index: Construction and Implementation"

Wellness is an overarching theme encompassing the presence of positive life events, feelings, and outlooks (CDC). In college, increased student wellbeing is correlated to a safe and positive learning environment, and a measure of wellness is vital to understanding student needs. This project will create an index of wellness for college students. Then, the level of wellness will be measured and critiqued for Roanoke College using data from HHP classes. A formal proposal will be made to the administration about student wellness on campus, and how it can be improved through an incentive-based wellness program.

Emma is a rising junior from Franklin County, VA. She is double majoring in Economics and Political Science. Outside of school work she is the President of College Democrats, the founder and president of the Roanoke College Book Club, the treasurer for the Honors Program, and the secretary for the Economics Club.

Dr. Alice Louise Kassens is an economist specializing in applied health and labor economics. She earned her B.A. in history and economics from the College of William and Mary and a PhD in economics from North Carolina State University. Dr. Kassens is an Associate Professor of Economics and a Senior Analyst for the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. In addition to teaching a variety of courses for the College and producing quarterly reports for the IPOR, Kassens is working on a variety of research projects including an analysis of the impact of clinical depression on the labor market outcomes of young adults (with Dr. William M. Rodgers III, Rutgers University) and the effect of financial crisis and mental health amongst women in Indonesia (with Dr. Yana van der Meulen, Rutgers University). Dr. Kassens has been awarded the VFIC Mednick Fellowship and the American Philosophical Society's Franklin Grant for her work and is the next John S. Shannon Professor of Economics at Roanoke College.


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