Roanoke College

2007-2008 URAP Projects


History - South American Moderns in the Twentieth Century
Professor - Ivonna Wallace Fuentes
Student - Kate Kurtessis | Delmar, New York | International Relations

What do we mean when we describe something as "modern"? By analyzing how South American intellectuals at the start of the twentieth century began to think of themselves and their ideas as modern, and modernizing, the student research assistant will help construct our historical understanding of how South American literature and politics understood the changes created by new technologies and social relations. The scholar will be reading and analyzing archival materials from Peru, Venezuela and Argentina, as well as several libraries in the United States. Since these materials are written in Spanish it is necessary that the applicant have a good working facility in the written Spanish language.

Physics - Synthesis and Characterization of Nanophase Iron Oxides Using Spectroscopy
Professors - Richard Grant and Rama Balasubramanian

 The proposed research will be carried out in two stages. First we must understand the corrosion properties of both synthetically produced iron oxides and naturally weathered iron oxides. Secondly, the URAP 

scholar will develop protective coatings which will adhere to the surface of the metal, using chemical techniques and surface processing techniques. The scholar will use such experimental techniques to perform the research using facilities here at Roanoke College as well as specialized equipment made available at larger research institutions.

Chemistry - Synthesis of Multi-Fluorinated Monomers for Use in Novel Polymers 
Professor - W. Gary Hollis, Jr.

This project was designed as a four-year project for a student who is interested in and expects to major in chemistry. The URAP scholar will join a research group working at Roanoke College and Virginia Tech developing new polymers with interesting and potentially useful properties. The scholar will develop cutting-edge skills in organic synthesis, purification, identification and characterization. This work will be done at Roanoke College. The monomers developed by the scholar will polymerized here and at Virginia Tech, with characterization of the polymers being performed at Virginia Tech. The scholar is expected to contribute to the literature in the field, including one or more scientific presentations and/or publications in scientific journals.

Computer Science - Developing Visual Displays for Virtual Historical Sites
Professor - Stephen Hughes

What was it like to stroll through the marketplace at Pompeii? What would you have seen during a procession to worship at the Parthenon? These are questions that can really only be answered by our educated imagination. However, by developing and studying interactive 3D models of these and other sites of historical Importance, we will be able to better understand and share the experiences of history. In this project the URAP scholar will join a group of students working with Dr. Hughes using computer graphics to construct the historical environment, develop interactive exploration of the site, and immerse the user in the virtual system.

History - Archiving the History of Roanoke College Presidents and Faculty
Professor - Linda Angle Miller, Department of History and Archivist, Fintel Library
Student - Megan Chapman | Stafford, Virginia | Psychology, Criminal Justice, Theatre

Roanoke College has collected paper information dating back to its creation in 1842. Many of these documents need proper attention - preservation, arrangement and description. In this project the URAP scholar would learn how perform accurate archival work, including organizing taking notes on archived materials. Detective work would include tracking down missing documents and identifying dating records. Initial projects will include records of the Roanoke College Faculty and Presidents.

Biology - Characterization of DNA Elements in the Coprinus cinerus Genome Project
Professor - Marilee Ramesh
Student - Sydney Webb | Hillsville, Virginia | Biochemistry

This project will integrate traditional molecular biology techniques with modern computational approaches to address questions pertaining to genome organization in the mushroom Coprinus cinerus. Repetitive elements within the genome will be characterized in terms of their DNA sequence, location and frequency. The URAP scholar will have the opportunity to culture the organism, perform common molecular biology techniques, and use computational tools for the analysis and manipulation of DNA sequences.

Political Science and Public Affairs - Gun Control and Special Interest Groups
Professors - Harry Wilson and Heath Brown, Political Science and Public Affairs
Students - Sophie Huemer | Newport News, Virginia | Political Science
Emma Wilson | Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire | International Relations

In this project the URAP scholar will help identify and monitor Web sites of interest groups on the issue of gun control. We will create a Web site describing the groups and linking to the groups' sites. The scholar will also monitor major news organizations for stories dealing with gun control. After collecting the data we will perform a content analysis on the rhetoric used by the various groups.