Awardees and Their Projects

Previous Years

Rupkatha Bardhan (Occupational Safety and Health)

Title: Physiological monitoring of heat stress in employees using real-time monitor

Abstract: This study will investigate the prevalence of heat strain among employees exposed to extreme temperatures in a workplace. The research findings will provide a better understanding about personal heat stress assessment and prevention of heat related injuries, illness and fatalities benefiting both employees and their employer.


Julie Cyzewski (English and Philosophy)

Title: Producing the postcolonial: African writing on the air

Abstract: This project shows the significance of the radio magazines West African Voices and African Writers Club in understanding the BBC’s role in fostering an international readership of African literature. Examining the featured literary works, many of which remain unpublished, will result in a greater understanding of twentieth-century Anglophone African literature.


Andrea Darracq (Biological Sciences)

Title: Effects of turtle racing on box turtle movement and survival

Abstract: To our knowledge there are no studies in the literature on the effects of turtle races on eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina). Thus, we aim to evaluate the effects of turtle races on eastern box turtle survival and to assess how turtle races influence long-term box turtle movement behaviors.


Bassil El Masri (Earth and Environmental Sciences) & Jessica B. Moon (Biological Sciences)

Title: Contribution of methane from bottomland hardwood forests to the atmosphere

Abstract: We are currently uncertain whether forested wetland ecosystems, such as bottomland hardwood forests, act as net sinks or sources of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. Our goal is to describe methane uptake and emissions in these forests to improve regional predictions of methane emission and understand how these may change with shifting climate and hydrology.


James Hereford (School of Engineering)

Title: Development of reinforcement learning algorithm for autonomous vehicle training

Abstract: We plan to develop specific algorithms, based on the technique of Reinforcement Learning, to train an autonomous vehicle (such as a forklift) to navigate through a cluttered environment. We will develop the algorithms by training AI agents to do well in complex games such as Space Invaders and Doom.


Matthew Hermes (Exercise Science)

Title: Change of direction deficit performance and strength/power characteristics

Abstract: Change of direction (COD) ability is often assessed in athletic settings and is viewed as highly related to sport performance. Our aim is to assess the relationship between COD performance and strength and power measures to understand mechanisms contributing to COD performance, which coaches can apply to improve athlete performance.


Jeff McLaughlin (University Libraries)

Title: Jackie Robinson’s 1946 season with the AAA Montréal Royals

Abstract: Jim Crow considerations sent baseball legend Jackie Robinson north to Canada before he could integrate America’s pastime. This project explores his 1946 season with the AAA Montréal Royals, why a mostly Québécois fan base embraced him, and how this brief sojourn helped him become a sporting and Civil Rights icon.


Joshua Ridley (School of Engineering)

Title: A Search for Pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds

Abstract: This project will search through data obtained from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia in an attempt to detect new pulsars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.  A discovery in the Small Magellanic Cloud could possibly be the most distant pulsar ever detected. 


Timothy Spier (Biological Sciences)

Title: Can eDNA be used to locate spring cavefish?

Abstract: Spring Cavefish are an interesting and uncommon fish found in clear, undisturbed spring-fed streams like the ones in Land Between the Lakes (LBL). I wish to use eDNA and traditional stream sampling to collect data on the Spring Cavefish populations that are found in LBL.


Dena Weinberger (Biological Sciences)

Title: How does drug-contaminated water effect gene expression?

Abstract: Wide ranges of drugs with overlapping neural targets contaminate our drinking water sources. By raising zebrafish in dosed water as a proxy for prenatal human exposure through contaminated drinking water, this project will identify sensitive genes that are expressed in developing neural tissues.


Gary ZeRuth (Biological Sciences)

Title: Generation of a transgenic zebrafish line to characterize gene expression

Abstract: The transcription factor, glis3, has been implicated in numerous human pathologies including diabetes mellitus, polycystic kidney disease, and cancer.  In this study, a transgenic zebrafish line will be produced that will enable the characterization of glis3 gene expression and facilitate the identification of novel target genes it regulates.  


Oliver Beckers (Biological Sciences)

Title: Can the environment cause speciation in a katydid?

Abstract: The katydids for the project need to be maintained daily, which includes feeding, spraying cages, looking for eggs through the grass, setting up and changing cages for adults, planting and maintaining grass for food etc.. We will have animals for breeding, developing juveniles, and adults to be taken care of from the point when the parents are collected from the field through rearing of the offspring to adulthood, which will take ca. 5 months. I anticipate one undergraduate (full time) student to take care of the animals for 3h/week for 5 months in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The undergraduate help is necessary to allow me to focus on my teaching duties and having time to conduct the actual experiment. 

Jessica Branch (Early Childhood and Elementary), Sean Simons (Education Studies, Leadership, and Counseling)

Title: Increasing Complex Play Skills with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract: Children with autism are at-risk of developing delays in language, cognitive, and social skills if they fail to receive early, intensive intervention. The proposed study seeks to develop a novel curriculum for teaching complex play skills with children with autism in order to maximize opportunities to learn through social interactions.

Karim Farokhina (School of Engineering)

Title: AI-based Earthquake Early Warning System Design for Western Kentucky

Abstract: This research project offers a unique AI-based design and development of an earthquake early warning system that will be utilized in western Kentucky.

Robert Fritz (Global Languages and Theatre Arts)

Title: The Mexía Online Archive (MOA) Project

Abstract: The Mexía Online Archive (MOA) is a digital humanities project that recruits and trains MSU student interns to create a searchable online transcription of the Historia imperial y cesárea, a Spanish-language history of the Roman and Holy Roman Empires by Spanish humanist Pedro Mexía first published in 1545. 

Jie (Selina) Gao (History)

Title: Tobacco Patriotism: Chinese Nationalism Reflected in Cigarette Cards during WWII

Abstract: This study explores how cigarette cards were used to stoke nationalist sentiment in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45). Chinese manufacturers circulated patriotic military-themed images via cigarette cards to boost morale. These images also create a fresh understanding of the Nationalists’ endeavor to defend China during World War II.

Clay Goodman (Civil and Sustainable Engineering)

Title: Effects of Temperature on Carbon Oxidation in Cracking Soils

Abstract: The objective of this work is to study the effects of temperature and desiccation cracking on soil organic carbon oxidation under controlled environmental conditions. As air temperature increases, desiccation cracks become more prevalent in soil which exposes older stores of carbon and may lead to increased CO2 output.

Olga Koulisis (Computer Science and Information Systems)

Title: Improving Student Engagement in Online Learning

Abstract: This study proposes a theoretical framework and measurement model for assessing and improving student engagement in an online course. The measurement model can be used by instructors and educational institutions for assessing student engagement in online classes and improving quality of online education. 

Jonathan Lyon (Chemistry)

Title: Exploring the Structure Reactivity Relationship in Palladium Doped Silicon Clusters

Abstract: Transition metal doped semiconductor clusters are of considerable interest in the electronics industry and have been proposed as efficient catalysts for different chemical reactions.  We propose to explore the structure, properties, and reactivity of mixed Si:Pd clusters for catalysts in the oxidation of alkanes using experimental spectroscopic and theoretical techniques.  

Kevin Miller (Chemistry)

Title: Additive Manufacturing of Conductive Materials for High Performance Applications.

Abstract: Ion-containing polymers are utilized in a number of applications of societal importance, including carbon dioxide capture, drug delivery and batteries. This proposal seeks to create new conductive devices through the 3D printing of polymeric networks using commercial additive manufacturing technology.

Jessica Moon (Biological Sciences), Karen Baumann (Biological Sciences)

Title: Investigating the Capacity of Restored Wetlands to Store Soil Carbon 

Abstract: Our project is the first step towards understanding the capacity of restored bottomland hardwood forested wetlands in Western Kentucky to provide critical ecosystem services. We plan to identify whether or not restored wetlands act as carbon sinks and understand how we can minimize greenhouse gas emissions through soil restoration practices. 

Bikram Subedi (Chemistry)

Title: Correlation of Alcohol Prevalence in Rest Areas and Alcohol-impaired Accidents 

Abstract: Alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly used substances in all age groups. We are collecting wastewater samples from 16 rest areas and truck stops across major highways in Kentucky to correlate drug consumption and vehicular accidents. This proposal aims to correlate alcohol/tobacco use to vehicular accidents along the highways. 

Laura Sullivan-Beckers (Biological Sciences)

Title: Vibrational Communication of a Newly Discovered Insect

Abstract: An insect that was recently discovered in Murray has not been studied yet alive and as such, we know very little about its behavior and ecology. Treehoppers use plant-borne vibrations to communicate in multiple social contexts. I plan to describe their vibrational communication system and investigate their mating system. 

Chris Trzepac (Biological Sciences)

Title: Assessing pam-1 mediated neurodegeneration in a model animal system.

Abstract: Neurodegeneration is a common consequence of aging, affecting up to 40% of the elderly population. This proposal seeks support to identify novel effectors and mechanisms of neurodegeneration using a simple animal model.

Matthew Abraham (Hutson School of Agriculture), Rachel Hudson (Hutson School of Agriculture), and Jami Carroll (Hutson School of Agriculture)

Title: Epidemiological surveillance of bovine viral diarrhea virus in cervids

Abstract:Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) causes respiratory symptoms, abortion and decreased milk production. BVDV costs the beef cattle industry $1.5 to 2.5 billion annually. Wildlife ruminants are also susceptible to BVDV. This study will evaluate the role of cervids as a potential reservoir of BVDV in Kentucky.

Rachel Allenbaugh (Chemistry)

Title: The effects of physical parameters on mechanochemical synthesis

Abstract: Mechanosynthesis (e.g. ball-milling) is a cost-saving, environmentally-friendly alternative to solution synthesis; however, “recipes” modifying solution preparations to mechanosyntheses are not available for broad families of compounds, hampering researchers from transitioning to this green method. The proposed project will examine the effects of structural variation in depth to fill this gap.

Rupkatha Bardhan (Occupational Safety and Health) and Tracy Byrd (Occupational Safety and Health)

Title: Job Stress and associated health risk in Emergency Medical Services

Abstract: The study will investigate whether psychosocial job stress is prevalent in the emergency medical services (EMS) and determine associated risk factors of job stress. Research findings from the study will provide a better understanding about job stress that will likely lead to interventions benefiting both EMS professionals and their patients.

Julie Boyd (Occupational Safety and Health) and Tracy Byrd (Occupational Safety and Health)

Title: Wearable Technology: Investing Ergonomic Injuries in Emergency Medical Services

Abstract: EMS personnel have a higher risk of work-related back injuries. Traditionally subjective techniques have been used to measure at risk angles of the spine which can result in inconsistent data collection. Advances in wearable technology now give the observer the opportunity to measure with more objectivity by providing quantifiable data.

Landon Clark (Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling) and Teresa Clark (Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling)

Title: Developing a Competency-Based Specialization for Cultural Leadership

Abstract: This study will focus on developing a competency-based pilot program for a Cultural Leadership specialization in the Master of Science in Human Development and Leadership program. The feasibility of alternative assessment measures and student performance will be explored in relation to stackable credentials at the graduate level.

Andrea Darracq (Biological Sciences)

Title: Assessing the Effects of Stress on Snake Fungal Disease Dynamics

Abstract: Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emergent threat to snake populations in the United States and has been linked to population declines. Little is known regarding how stress influences SFD dynamics. Thus, my research aims to assess how stress influences susceptibility to and ability to recover from SFD in timber rattlesnakes.

Tracey Garcia McCue (Psychology), Jana Hackathorn (Psychology), and Esther Malm (Psychology)

Title: Risk Behaviors at a Regional Public University: Norming Substance Use and Sex-Behaviors

Abstract: This research seeks to gather baseline data on college protective and risk behaviors (substance use and sex related behaviors) with the goal of understanding student perceptions and behaviors. Findings are expected to inform student-centered intervention/prevention programs on campus, high schools and for stakeholders across the Western Kentucky region.

Loganathan Bommanna (Chemistry and WSI)

Title: Calcium Levels and Zebra Mussels in Kentucky Lake

Abstract: This proposal presents a plan for elucidating a link between calcium levels in Kentucky Lake water and emergence of an invasive species known as zebra mussel. The results from this study will help understand the link and find way(s) to mitigate the notorious biofouling species in our waters.

Azaher Molla (Applied Health Sciences) and Miranda Terry (Applied Health Sciences)

Title: Health-Related Quality-of-Life of the Murray State University Faculties and Staffs

Abstract: As an outcome measure, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) relates to self-reported disease, risk factors, physical inactivity, and behaviors like smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. It includes preventable diseases, injuries, and disabilities. HRQoL will be assessed using the RAND SF-36. The findings are used for workforce planning and health insurance.

Feifei Pang (Art and Design)

Title: Improving Murray State University’s Wayfinding System

Abstract: The project plans to update the existing outdated directional signages throughout MSU campus, including campus map, to a combined indoor and outdoor wayfinding system with a contemporary look that reflects school buildings and university brand colors in order to provide efficient assistance to student, faculty, staff, and all campus visitors.

Bikram Subedi (Chemistry)

Title: Estimation of Consumption Rates of New Psychoactive Substances in Communities

Abstract: Several mass poisonings are reported due to the human consumption of new narcotic psychoactive substances (NPS) in “pure” or “preparation” forms that are designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances and loophole the law enforcement efforts. This proposal outlines the determination of NPS in three communities of western Kentucky.

Chris Trzepacz (Biological Sciences)

Title: Identifying novel regulators of animal fertility

Abstract: Using a model organism, we will isolate and identify novel genes that govern fertility. Because the genes that control fertility in all animals are conserved, these experiments will provide insights into the mechanisms that similarly control fertility in humans.

Dena Weinberger (Biological Sciences)

Title: Detection of alternative chemical messengers for nerve-muscle communication

Abstract: Vertebrates use the chemical acetylcholine to stimulate muscle contraction, though muscle also expresses receptors for other signaling chemicals. Can other chemical messengers cause muscle contraction when acetylcholine communication is compromised?

Gary ZeRuth (Biological Sciences)

Title: Evaluation of molecular mechanisms underlying beta cell dysfunction in diabetes

Abstract: Prior to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas undergo a period of dysfunction in which insulin production and secretion are dramatically reduced and blood glucose levels rise. In this proposal, a strategy to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms and genes associated with beta cell dysfunction are described.

Bikram Subedi (Chemistry)

Title: Determination of Select Drugs of Abuse in the Clarks River

Abstract: The occurrence of drugs of abuse in the environment has been recognized as an important ecosystem and public health issue. This proposal outlines the determination of emerging pollutants including cocaine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone derived from non-point sources in the Clarks River.

T. Michael Martin (Art & Design)

Title: Persona: Process Portraiture Curated Exhibition

Abstract: The Director of University Galleries, T. Michael Martin, has been selected as a guest curator for the Brooklyn, NY based Cluster Gallery for April 2018. His exhibition titled Persona: Process Portraiture that features four contemporary women artists working with and expanding the definition of portraiture will be on view for the month.

James Hereford (Institute of Engineering)

Title: Mapping and path finding with a swarm of drones

Abstract: This research will develop, simulate and test algorithms that can be used with a swarm of flying drones. We will develop algorithms to map an environment and find a path through a cluttered environment with drones that do not have position information.

Ho Ryong Park (English and Philosophy)

Title: Learning of language and culture through a reflective project

Abstract: This study investigates English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) preservice teachers’ experiences and learning of content knowledge in language and culture while completing a reflective project including a reflection paper and digital storytelling.

Yousif Abulhassan (Occupational Safety and Health)

Title: Work-rest Cycles: The Effects of Obesity on Fatigue Recovery

Abstract: Prevalence of obesity in the workforce has a significant effect on the development of musculoskeletal disorders. The aim of this research project is to address the impact of obesity on fatigue recovery time from tasks of varying force and repetitions levels.

Rachel Allenbaugh (Chemistry)

Title: Environmentally responsible preparation of antimicrobial agents and catalyst precursors.

Abstract: An alternative to traditional solution chemistry, in mechanochemistry chemicals are ground in a mill to induce reaction with little or no solvent. The proposed project will inexpensively prepare antimicrobial benzimidazolium compounds and thioamides used for catalyst preparation by lower energy, environmentally conscious mechanochemical methods.

Juyoung Song (English and Philosophy)

Title: Neoliberalism, Language Policy, and Ideology: Learning Korean in a multilingual context

Abstract: This is part of a book project that examines multilingualism and learning of Korean in Korean universities in relation to globalization, neoliberalism, and English medium instruction. It illuminates how new linguistic practices that have emerged within the framework of multilingualism reflect and affect the on-going negotiation and construction of new subjectivities.

Oliver Beckers (Biological Sciences)

Title: Evolution of mating song recognition in a local field cricket

Abstract: In communication systems used for reproduction, male mating signals are typically invariable allowing recognition by females. The mating signals of a local cricket species change with seasons and we study how females recognize these variable signals in each season and thus 6.

Brian Bourke (Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling)

Title: A Qualitative Investigation of Social Justice in Student Affairs

Abstract: Through recent scholarship, authors have indicated that social justice is a central component of student affairs. These assertions have come via critical essays, not through empirical studies. The researcher will conduct a qualitative investigation to explore how student affairs professionals view the connections between their work and social justice.

Gary ZeRuth (Biological Sciences)

Title: Evaluation of transgenic cell lines stably expressing transcription factor Glis3

Abstract: Despite being implicated in the development of diabetes mellitus, little is known about the role of Glis3 in the mature pancreatic beta cell. Here we describe the use of a transgenic cell line to gain insight into Glis3 target genes and its role(s) in the maintenance of insulin-secreting cells.

Marie Karlsson (Psychology)

Title: Providing a Trauma-Focused Group Treatment to Incarcerated Women

Abstract: This project will implement and evaluate a trauma-focused group treatment for incarcerated women with sexual abuse histories. This treatment was specifically designed to address the psychological needs of a vulnerable and largely underserved population that shows high rates of sexual victimization and mental illness.

Bassil El Masri (Geosciences), Gary Stinchcomb, (Occupational Safety and Health), Paul Gagnon (Biological Sciences)

Title: Quantifying soil influences on forest ecohydrology in western Kentucky

Abstract: Human induced changes like those to land cover have a major impact on the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. This research will determine the influences of elevation and soil age on forest hydrology and tree composition across land-use and land-cover gradients in the Clarks River valley.

Jeremy North (Management, Marketing, & Business Administration) Yousif Abulhassan (Occupational Safety and Health)

Title: The Seating Assignment Problem for School Bus Accident Evacuation

Abstract: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 1,191 fatal accidents occurred involving school buses in the ten year span from 2005 to 2014. In this work, we examine the evacuation of students from varying school levels involved in a vehicle accident considering pupil flow rates.

Laura Sullivan Beckers (Biological Sciences)

Title: Communication, cannibalism, and the evolution of cognition in wolf spiders

Abstract: In mate attraction, effective communication is critical -- especially when the potential mate is cannibalistic. Wolf spiders use displays to signal their intentions to prospective mates. Here, I investigate the relationship between female aggression and the level of male-female dialogue. Effects on the evolution of cognition will follow.

Kasey Clear (Chemistry)

Title: Synthesis and Study of Fluorescent Receptors for Phosphoinositol Biomolecules

Abstract: The proposed research will study the phosphoinositol recognition and fluorescent response properties of a new series of synthetic receptors for eventual application to imaging of phosphoinositols in living cells.

T. Michael Martin (Art & Design)

Title: Salvador Dali Illustrates Dante’s Divine Comedy

Abstract: The works presented in Salvador Dali Illustrates Dante’s Divine Comedy at Clara M. Eagle Gallery illustrate the 100 cantos of the Divine Comedy by Italian poet Dante. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features writings by Murray State students responding to the works of Dali and the text by Dante.

James Hereford (Institute of Engineering)

Title: Algorithms for swarms of flying drones

Abstract: This research will develop, simulate and test algorithms that can be used with a swarm of flying drones. There are many challenges with flying, as opposed to ground-based, drones but we will apply principles from biological swarms to program the drones to cooperate.

Ben Littlepage (Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling)

Title: Organizational Change in Postsecondary Education as a Result of Free Tuition Legislation

Abstract: The present study explores organizational change that is occurring as a result of the last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program commonly known as Tennessee Promise. The observance of organizational change is framed through the delivery of student support services, and those administrators responsible for the delivery.

Kevin Binfield (English and Philosophy)

Title: Literature by Patients at the York Retreat Asylum, 1796-1900

Abstract: From the 1796 opening of The Retreat at York, a Quaker facility for the treatment of the mentally ill, creative activities, such as writing, were encouraged. This study considers the creative writings by patients against staff observations on the patient-writers contained in casebooks held by the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

Vladyslav Krotov (Computer Science and Information Systems)

Title: Removing Barriers to E-Commerce Entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Abstract: This study aims to contribute to the economic, technological and social development of the Commonwealth of Kentucky by: (1) identifying barriers that Kentucky residents face in establishing E-Commerce businesses and (2) devising possible strategies and tactics for removing these barriers.

Dayle Saar (Biological Services)

Title: An Updated Phylogeny of the Genus, Dahlia (Asteraceae)

Abstract: A phylogeny of the plant genus, Dahlia, will be constructed based on analysis of DNA sequences from the nuclear and chloroplast genomes. Two new species will be included, along with existing species, for a comprehensive representation of this important genus.

Katherine Taken Smith (Management, Marketing, & Business Administration), L. Murphy Smith (Accounting)

Title: How Economic Activity Connects to Government Spending and Other Factors

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship of economic activity to government spending, public corruption, crime, and other factors. Knowledge of factors significantly related to economic activity will be helpful to citizens, economic policy makers, and others, who are concerned with facilitating economic progress.

Iin Handayani (Agriculture Science)

Title: Evaluating Soil Degradation Levels in Cultivated Areas of Western Kentucky

Abstract: Soil degradation is a serious problem in Kentucky because it can reduce the ability of soils to produce grain, nationally and globally. This research quantifies the level of soil degradation caused by crop management practices in cultivated areas. This study is important to enhance sustainable agricultural practices in western Kentucky.

Robert Volp (Chemistry)

Title: Metabolism of Phenylethylamines by Glucuronosyltransferase

Abstract: Phenylethylamines are a group of organic compounds to which most people are exposed. Understanding toxicity of these compounds requires studies of their metabolism. The proposed project would investigate metabolism of these compounds by glucuronosyltransferase, an important enzyme for foreign compound metabolism.

Ailam Lim (Breathitt Veterinary Center)

Title: Validation of biomarkers for detection of bovine tuberculosis

Abstract: Bovine tuberculosis is a high impact disease for both animal and human health. Several biomarkers have been previously identified with great potential for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis in cattle; this study will validate performance of these biomarkers for use as the basis for a confirmatory differential bovine tuberculosis diagnostic test.

Chris Trzapacz (Biological Services)

Title: Construction of a Transgenic Strain to Monitor Autophagy

Abstract: Autophagy is the process by which cells recycle old, damaged, or structures. The requested funding will be used to create a transgenic worm that will allow us to monitor the effect mutation of fertility genes has on this process in living cells in real time.

Amelia Dodd/Priscilla Dwelly/Jason Jaggers/Miranda Terry (Applied Health Services)

Title: Active Steps for Healthy Living (ASHL)

Abstract: Active Steps for Healthy Living (ASHL) is an educational and exercise program for adults that are motivated to prevent and/or manage chronic disease through modifying health behaviors. The program is delivered by an interprofessional team and is designed to improve the overall health status of this at-risk population.

John Dressler (Music)

Title: “Sir Granville Bantock: A Guide to Research”

Abstract: This will be a 300-page bio-bibliography on the life and works of British composer, Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946) for publication by the Routledge Press, London, as part of the bio-bibliography series.

Paul Walker (English and Philosophy)

Title: The Rhythmic Refrain of Britain’s Mass Observation Archive

Abstract: This book-length project utilizes Britain’s Mass Observation archive to explore writing, and the writing of history, as a rhetorical assemblage that deterritorializes and reterritorializes normative historical thinking.

Ho Ryong Park (English and Philosophy)

Title: Synthesis and Study of Fluorescent Receptors for Phosphoinositol Biomolecules

Abstract: The proposed research will study the phosphoinositol recognition and fluorescent response properties of a new series of synthetic receptors for eventual application to imaging of phosphoinositols in living cells.

Rachel Allenbaugh (Chemistry)

Title: Kinetic analysis of transition metal complex solid-state synthesis

Abstract: Mechanochemical reactions are cost-effective, environmentally-friendly methods of producing products by grinding powders to induce reaction. The proposed kinetic (rate) analysis will allow for reaction times and conditions to be more effectively selected, a necessary step to encourage laboratories and industry to re-tool to this more environmentally responsible methodology.

Juyoung Song (English and Philosophy)

Title: Saudi Female Students’ Negotiation of Gender, Identity, and Language Socialization

Abstract: This study investigates Saudi female students’ language socialization (LS) process through six month ethnographic case studies. The data analysis will focus on how they negotiate their positionality vis-a-vis different cultural and linguistic communities in the LS process and how they become a “fuller” member in the community (Lave & Wenger, 1991).

Oliver Beckers (Biological Sciences)

Titile: Effect of global warming on mating song of a cricket

Abstract: Environmental factors, such as ambient temperature due to global warming, can interfere with animal communication that are used for reproduction. I will test the effect of increased rearing temperature on the mating calls of Gryllus rubens

Gary ZeRuth (Biological Sciences)

Title: Characterization of Gli-similar 3 transactivation function following SUMO modification

Abstract: We have found that Gli-similar 3 (Glis3), a protein implicated in a number of human pathologies including polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer is modified post-translationally by the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO). In this proposal, we will characterize the consequence of SUMOylation on Glis3 transactivation function

Bassil El Masri (Geosciences), Paul Gagnon (Biological Sciences)

Title: Evaluating links between eastern deciduous tree phenology and climate

Abstract: Observations of plant phenology over time will clarify interactions and feedbacks between vegetation and changing climate. In this proposal, national monitoring of tree phenology will be extended to MSU campus, and a long-term phenology dataset will be used to analyze how phenology of multiple tree species responds to changing climate

Michael B. Flinn (Biological Sciences)

Title: Assessing Cypress Tree Habitat Restoration in Kentucky Lake Brief

Abstract: Current efforts to restore critical habitat in Blood River Embayment of Kentucky Lake include extensive Bald Cypress tree plantings. This study will assess those restorations and include quantifying fish, bird and macroinvertebrate samples.

Katy Garth (Nursing), Summer Cross (Nursing)

Title: Provider Density Impact on Access to Care in the Medicare Population

Abstract: This secondary data analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Access to Care 2013 dataset will examine the impact of state healthcare provider density on access to care in the Medicare population. Findings from this study can be used to influence health policy change that increases the availability of healthcare services provided for the aging population.

Kate He (Biological Sciences)

Title: Understanding the mechanisms of sexual reproduction of an invasive plant, Ligustrum sinense

Abstract: The aim of this proposed project is to test the hypothesis that robust sexual reproduction displayed as high seed germination and growth rates under different environmental conditions might be one of the underlying mechanisms of invasion success in Ligustrum sinense.

James Hereford (Institute of Engineering)

Title: Development of flying platform for swarm algorithms

Abstract: This work will develop a flying drone platform to implement swarm robotic algorithms.

Tracie M. Jenkins (Breathitt Veterinary Center)

Title: Mycoplasma bovis qPCR Comparison Study

Abstract: Three peer-reviewed qPCR methods used in the detection of Mycoplasma bovis are being compared to the current conventional nested PCR for both analytical and diagnostic sensitivities and specificities. The outcome is to provide the best method for identifying M. bovis in respiratory and mastitis infections.

Stefan Linnhoff ((Management, Marketing, and Business Administration)

Title: Store Brands and Organic Label - Unlikely Match or Made for Each Other?

Abstract: Parallel to the success of private brands and discounters, organic foods have attracted strong attention in the market place. This situation prompts the question how high image organic produce interacts with store brand and retailers’ brand image? An integrated brand equity framework is utilized to provide in-depth answers.

Kevin M. Miller (Chemistry)

Title: Thiol-Ene Photochemistry: A novel method for preparing charged polymer networks

Abstract: This project will explore a new photochemical method for the preparation of ion-containing polymer networks. While the use of thiol-ene chemistry has been well documented in the chemical literature, its use in the preparation of charged polymers has not been reported and could be a significant advancement in the field.

Danielle Nielsen (English and Philosophy)

Title: Student Success in Disciplinary-Specific First-Year Writing Classes

Abstract: This project will analyze data collected from disciplinary-specific first-year writing classes, where students have declared the same major, and general-enrollment classes to determine how writing in one’s chosen discipline affects student writing in the first year of college.

Mi-Hwa Park (Early Childhood and Elementary Education), Lynn Patterson (Adolescent, Career and Special Education), Ajay Das (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling), and Echo Wu (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling)

Title: Early Childhood Teachers’ Perceptions about their Social and Emotional Competence

Abstract: As an extension of our previous quantitative study about early childhood teachers’ emotional and emotional competence, this qualitative study focuses on the teachers’ perceptions about their social and emotional competence and its influences on instructional outcomes.

Dayle Saar (Biological Sciences)

Title: Dahlia sherffii: one species or two?

Abstract: Molecular markers will be used to study the history of flowering plant, Dahlia sherffii, which is a species with two chromosome numbers (32 and 64), possibly add a new taxonomic designation (species or subspecies), and determine its phylogenetic relationship to other closely-related species in the genus.

Juyoung Song (English and Philosophy)

Title: After Dawn of Multilingualism in Korea: Foreign Students’ Learning Korean on Campus

Abstract: This project is an ethnographic case study that examines how globalization and neoliberalism influence learning and teaching practices of Korean as Second Language in Korean universities. The multiple interviews with both teachers and students and longitudinal observations of classroom practices will discuss the results in relation to teaching of English as a Second Language in the US.

Timothy Spier (Biological Sciences)

Title: High Resolution Mapping of Changes in Stream Habitat

Abstract: Stream habitats can change due to large floods, and such changes in habitat can have cascading effects throughout the aquatic community. High resolution mapping will allow us to better understand how extreme events influence stream habitats.

Chris Trzepacz, (Biological Sciences)

Title: Examination of lifespan in fertility compromised organisms

Abstract: Infertility in animals is associated with an increased lifespan. Using a model organism, we will directly assess the role of novel fertility genes in affecting lifespan. Because the genes that control fertility in animals are conserved, these experiments will provide insights into the mechanisms that similarly control lifespan in humans.

Amanda Watson, (Psychology)

Title: Inhibitory Control Development in Preschool-Aged Children

Abstract: Inhibitory Control, a type of self-control at the intersection of temperament and cognition, is vital to children’s development. This ability emerges during the first year of life and develops rapidly during the preschool years. The purpose of this research is to determine the factors that contribute to inhibitory control development.

Yuejin Xu (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counselling)

Title: The Relationship between Teacher Professional Development and Schools’ Accountability Performance Brief

Abstract: Using the recent Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) survey data and state assessment data at school-level, this study examines the relationship between teachers’ perception of their participation in professional development and schools’ overall performance score in the state accountability system in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Gary ZeRuth (Biological Sciences)

Title: Generation of transgenic cell lines to evaluate primary cilia function

Abstract: Despite clinical significance, little is known about the function of Glis3 as it pertains to the primary cilium. Here we describe the generation of an innovative model system that will allow for characterization of Glis3 signaling in cells and identification of novel roles for the primary cilium in insulin regulation.

Kelly Kleinhans (Center for Communication Disorders)

Title: Does Technology Alter Eye Contact Durations in Social interactions

Abstract: Smart glasses are eye glasses designed with eye tracking technology which collect data on eye gaze behavior. Mobile technologies have permeated every aspect of our lives and this study was designed to use smart glasses to collect data on how eye contact changes when mobile technology is introduced into a social setting.

Yuejin Xu (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling)

Title: Developing Standards-based Biofunctionally Aligned Mathematics Learning Activities: A Pilot

Abstract: Using an innovative educational neuroscience approach, this study examines the effect of standards-based mathematics learning activities aligned with biofunctional theory on users’ levels of task engagement and mental workload.

Kevin Miller (Chemistry)

Title: Charged Polymers for Carbon Dioxide Separation and Capture

Abstract: This proposal will establish a new, innovative platform of charged polymers for the separation and capture of carbon dioxide. Research in this area is essential for advancing a number of areas important to industry such as natural gas sweetening and climate change mitigation.

Gary Stinchcomb (Watershed Studies/Geoscience)

Title: Using Innovative Age Dating to Quantify Hillslope and Fluvial Processes

Abstract: This research applies state-of-the-art optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating methods and soil microscopy on non-traditional sediments to quantify hillslope and fluvial processes in a humid-temperate watershed in northeastern USA. Microscopy will characterize the soil and sedimentary context; while OSL ages will quantify mass transfer rates.

Rachel Allenbaugh (Chemistry)

Project Title: Environmentally friendly synthesis of transition metal complexes by mechano-chemical methods

Kevin Binfield (English and Philosophy)

Project Title: Servant-Poets and Local Contexts in Nineteenth-Century England

Randall Black (Music)

Project Title: Bringing Forgotten Sacred Works to Life

James Bryant (Art and Design)

Project Title: Creative study of Chinese typography in print and web design

David Canning (Biology)

Project Title: Identification of neural stem cell binding proteins

Joe Caudell (Biology)

Project Title: Distinguishing Between Wild Hogs and Feral Swine Using DNA

Pali De Silva (Library)

Project Title: Information needs and use in undergraduate education in science & technology

James Hereford (Engineering and Physics)

Project Title: Swarm Robotics: Investigating whether intelligence results

Jason Jaggers (Applied Health Sciences)

Project Title: Active Steps for Diabetes

Choong-Nam Kang (Political Science and Sociology)

Project Title: Guns of Butter? The Motivations for Large Defense Burdens

Christopher Lavery (Art and Design)

Project Title: Appearance of Monsters

Kevin Miller (Chemistry)

Project Title: Novel Isoxazolium Ionic Liquids for Electrochemical Applications

Suguru Nakamura (Biology)

Project Title: HK-ATPase and tumor metastasis suppressor genes in prostatic hyperplasia rats

Ho Ryong Park (English and Philosophy)

Project Title: Korean Students' Learning Experiences and Identity Shift in the U.S.

Frank Pleban (Applied Health Sciences) and Samir Patel (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling)

Project Title: Assessing Health Behaviors of International College Students - A Cross-Sectional Design

Joshua Ridley (Engineering and Physics)

Project Title: A Search for Pulsars in the Small Magellanic Cloud

Dayle Saar (Biology)

Project Title: Taxonomic Investigations of Dahlia Species

Katherine Smith (Management, Marketing and Business Administration)

Project Title: Mother-Friendly Companies and Work-Life Balance: Is there an Impact on Financial Performance and Risk Level?

Chris Trzepacz (Biology)

Project Title: Construction of Unique Transgenic Reagents

Robert Volp (Chemistry)

Project Title: Measurement of Monoamine Oxidase Metabolism of Phenylethylamines

Siahua Xia (English and Philosophy)

Project Title: Acculturation Strategies and Identity Reconstruction in Study Abroad Programs

Yuejin Xu (Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling)

Project Title: Teachers' Perceptions of Their Teaching Conditions and Schools' Accountability Performance

Terry Derting, Paul Gagnon, Heather Passmore (Biology), Jane Benson (Earth and Environmental Sciences), and James Hardin (Engineering)

Project Title: Ecological Viability of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area as a Potential Reintroduction Site for the Federally Endangered American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus Americanus) 

Michael Flinn (Biology) and Robin Zhang (Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Project Title: Application of GIS, bathymetry and long-term hydrological data to identify critical biological requirements of Bald Cypress for habitat improvement in Kentucky Lake

Nicole Hand (Art and Design)

Project Title: Gender and Inequalities in the family: An Autobiographic Perspective 

Melony Shemberger (Journalism and Mass Communications)

Project Title: Dorothy Dix: Her Many Roles in the Courtroom 

Kate He (Biology)

Project Title: An International Collaborative Study on Leaf Traits between Exotic Honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica) and its Native Congener (Lonicera Sempervirens) in Native and Introduced Ranges

Rachel Allenbaugh (CHE)

Project Title: Preparation of room-temperature oriented liquid crystalline films of metallophilic species

Emre Bahadir (IET)

Project Title: Analyzing "cost of sustainability" in metal machining industries

William Brown (CHE)

Project Title: Exploration into a convenient synthesis of benzofuran molecules

Ricky Cox (CHE)

Project Title: The Search for New Inhibitors of Antibiotic Resistance Enzymes

Wafaa Fawzy (CHE)

Project Title: Compuational Study of Interactions between Reactive Species and Nucleotide Bases

Michael Flinn (BIO)

Project Title: Competition between invasive Asian Carp and native fishes of Kentucky Lake

Claire Fuller (BIO)

Project Title: Does genetic variability in tropical termites enhance resistance to disease?

Kate He (BIO)

Project Title: Forecasting the spatial distribution of an invasive plant (Lonicera japonica) in Kentucky

Zackery Heern (HIS)

Project Title: British-Shi'i Relations and the Creation of Iraq

James Hereford (EGPY)

Project Title: Improvements to FlockOpt optimization algorithm

Lara Homsey (EES)

Project Title: Tigre Dorado: a 4.3 million year old saber-tooth cat mystery

Sung-ho Hong (EES)

Project Title: Mapping Rootzone Soil Moisture in western Kentucky using Satellite Imagery

Lloyd Horne (CHE)

Project Title: Interfacial Charge Transport at Electrocatalytic Films Comprised of Small Metal Oxide Nanoparticles and Associated Analytical Chemistry

Daniel Johnson (CHE)

Project Title: Preparing Liquid Crystalline and Nano-particulate Composite Materials from Ionic Liquids

Lin Li (CSIS)

Project Title: A Computer-aided Spectroscopic Approach for Noninvasive Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Dina Byers, Katy Garth, Betty Kuiper and Dana Manley (NUR)

Project Title: The Emergency Nurse's Perception of Incivility the Workplace

Maeve McCarthy (MAT)

Project Title: Developing management and control strategies of Alligatorweed using an integral projection model

Kevin Miller (CHE)

Project Title: Synthesis and Thermal Analyses of Hydroxy-Functionalized Triazolium Ionic Liquids

Mi-Hwa Park (ELE)

Project Title: Early Childhood Teachers' Self-Efficacy and Attitude about STEM Education

Doris Saar (BIO)

Project Title: Assessing the Threat of Hybridization on a Native Plant Species

Katherine and Murphy Smith (MMB/ACC)

Project Title: Social Media's Relationship to Financial Performance of Global Companies

Juyoung Song and Mary Sue Sroda (ENPH)

Project Title: Emergence and development of teachers: Implications for language teacher education

Chris Trzepacz (BIO)

Project Title: Direct Assessment of PAM-1 Aminopeptidase Localization in Autophagosomes

Howard Whitemean (BIO)

Project Title: Ecological Implications of Life History Variation

Yuejin Xu (ELC)

Project Title: Teacher Candidate Dispositions Evaluation: A Meta-Analysis

Charles Yorke (EES)

Project Title: Preparing GIS dataset for modeling flood vulnerability in a Watershed

Robin Zhang (EES)

Project Title: Environmental monitoring of a mixed-use watershed using new satellite imagery

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