Roanoke College

2008-2009 URAP Projects


2008-2009 URAP Projects

"Astronomical Parenting: Monitoring Teenage Stars"
Matthew C. Fleenor, Physics

How do stable, adult-like stars similar to our Sun form? While stars are in their adolescence, astronomers observe disruptive events that cause variations in stellar brightness. Through long-term engagement with this project, the student-researcher will become familiar with astrophysical principles and observational skills.

Matthew C. Fleenor is an assistant professor in the physics group at Roanoke College. After teaching high school chemistry and physics for four years as a recovering engineer, he was privileged to study observational extragalactic astrophysics at the University of North Carolina. He maintains that education is a continual process of deepening relationship between knower and known. Matt is also an aspiring husband, father, and adult.

"Developing the New Calculus"
Roland B. Minton, Mathematics

In this project, the student will participate in the revision of a calculus textbook. Activities will be chosen to reflect the student's background and interests. The student will compare aspects of the textbook under revision and some of its competitors, focusing on effective examples and exercises. As the project progresses, the student will identify application problems in areas of interest to the student and construct an individual research project.

Dr. Roland Minton has a BS degree in Mathematics (Virginia Commonwealth University) and MS and PhD degrees in the Mathematical Sciences (Clemson University). He has co-authored a series of calculus textbooks for McGraw-Hill. His research interests include sports science and chaos theory, and he is active in mathematical problem-solving contests at the middle school, high school and college levels. His teaching experience covers the undergraduate mathematics catalog, and he has supervised numerous independent studies. He is the recipient of a 2005 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award.

"What do Music, Love and Humor have in Common?"
Christopher Buchholz, Psychology

In this project the research assistant will participate in an experiment collecting data on how individuals react emotionally to different songs. Analysis of the data will contribute to our understanding of how emotions are related to our psychological health and happiness.

Dr. Buchholz joined the psychology department in 2004. He received a B.S. in psychology from Virginia Tech ('93), a M.A. from Appalachian State ('98), and a Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic ('02). His research interests include self-concept, music & emotions, social interaction, and the application of dynamical systems theory to social psychology. His teaching interests include social psychology, cross-cultural psychology, personality, and evolutionary psychology. His hobbies include hiking, music, and canoeing.

"Technology: Friend or Foe?"
Denise R. Adkins, Psychology

As technology has become an integral part of our society, it is imperative that we examine how technology impacts human thoughts and behavior. This project will examine how the use of technology is related to cognitive (e.g., attention, memory) and social (e.g., emotion recognition) skills. Data analysis will contribute to the literature detailing the positive and negative influences of technology. The URAP student will benefit from participating in all facets of research from initial project design to professional presentation of the data.

Dr. Adkins joined the Psychology Department in 2007. She received her B.S. in psychology from Averett University ('01) and her M.S. in Psychological Sciences ('04) and her Ph.D. in Developmental and Biological Psychology ('06) from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include biological, cognitive and social development across the lifespan. Her teaching interests include child development, research methods, developmental psychopathology, and human cognitive development.

"A Marketing Perspective on Workforce Diversity using Targeted Recruitment Techniques"
Julie S. Lyon, Business Administration and Economics

This project utilizes a marketing perspective to develop innovative targeted recruitment techniques to attract minority candidates to organizations. We will integrate research from the fields of advertising and promotions, persuasion and influence, and social and industrial/organizational psychology to develop several lab and field studies. The URAP scholar will develop advanced research skills, including designing studies, analyzing data, writing for academic and non-academic audiences, and presenting at conferences.

Dr. Julie Lyon received her B.A. in psychology from NC State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from the University of Maryland. She joined the Business Administration and Economics Department at Roanoke College in 2007 and teaches organizational behavior and promotion management. Dr. Lyon's research interests include diversity and selection, climate and culture, and technology-mediated work.

"Synthesis and Characterization of Nanophase Iron Oxides Using Spectroscopic Techniques"
Dr. Richard Grant and Dr. Rama Balasubramanian, Physics

The proposed research will be carried out in two stages. First we must understand the corrosion properties of both synthetically produced and naturally weathered oxides and second, develop adherent protective coatings using chemical and surface processing techniques. The experimental techniques used to perform the research will include using the facilities on campus as well as at larger research institutions.

Dr. Richard Grant is Associate Professor of Physics. He came to Roanoke College in 1996, having received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University. He teaches physics courses at all levels. His research interests include x-ray diffraction, Mossbauer spectroscopy and nanomaterials. Dr. Rama Balasubramanian, Assistant Professor of Physics, is in her first year at Roanoke College. She has degrees from the University of Madras and from Old Dominion University. Her research interests include nanophase iron oxides and applications of carbon nanotubes.