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Undergraduate Summer Research Institute

Summer 2015 Projects

GRANT TIETJEN:  DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE PSYCHOPATH AND THE SOCIOPATH  
This research project will examine and attempt to establish substantial differences between the commonly used concepts of sociopathy and psychopathy through a qualitative multiple-case study of a group of (but not limited to) white collar criminals, mass shooters, terrorists, and serial killers (those who perpetrate genocide included). Students will have some latitude in the cases focused on people convicted of crimes/perpetrators of crime that they choose to examine. The outcome of this qualitative research will be to determine if a typology of sociopathic and psychopathic explanations for heinous criminal behavior can be established by student researchers.   

SUSA STONEDAHL: INVESTIGATING THE FLOW OF WATER THROUGH HETEROGENEOUS SEDIMENTS
We investigated how the flow of water through a saturated sediment system is affected by the distribution of the sediments. A physical system was designed such that blue dye and salt solution would flow through grids made up of two sands with very different properties. Time lapse photographs and electrolytic conductivity meter measurements of the physical system were then used to determine the validity of a computer model of the hyporheic system.

SANDY MCKINLEY:  LAW AND LIBERTY:  THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF GEORGE ORWELL  
Through careful evaluation of George Orwell's work, it is clear that Orwell's opinion of socialism evolves from fully supporting the movement to fearing its totalitarian implications. While early works of Orwell suggest he fully supports the working class and the over throw of capitalist policies, by the time his last work, 1984, is published he seems to have changed his stance all together and believes socialism may be the downfall of society. After examining his literature, it seems clear that the turning point for Orwell and his opinion of Socialism occurs during his experience during the Spanish Civil War as documented in his book, Homage to Catalonia.

KATIE TRUJILLO:  IMPACT OF THERAPY DOGS ON PEOPLE'S STRESS LEVELS IN HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM ENVIRONMENTS
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of therapy dogs on the family members of surgical or cardiac patients. We also explored attitudes towards pets among SAU students, faculty, and staff.                  

JOE HEBERT:  LAW AND LIBERTY IN THE LIFE AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS MORE
The Political Science group will present a brief overview of their findings on the life and political philosophy of Sir Thomas More, the Renaissance poet, historian, philosopher, statesman, and martyr. They will also discuss their individual research projects, focusing respectively on More's views on the necessity of liberal education for good citizenship; the influence of Plato on More's treatment of political leadership and institutions; procedural and substantive flaws in the trial that led to More's execution for high treason; and the contributions of Platonic philosophy and Christian theology to More's understanding of the nature of the personal integrity for which he lived and died.  

HUNHUI OH:  OLDER PEOPLE'S LIFE STORIES, WISDOM, AND WELL-BEING IN RURAL SETTINGS  
Our project is a mixed methods study that is examining wisdom in three different aspects (cognitive, compassionate, and reflective). Once we can see who of our participants scores strongly in two of three of these categories, we will examine our qualitative interviews with participants to see what traits seem to be prevalent among those in similar groups.  

JODI PROSISE:  DEVELOPING A SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, NEURAL-CONTROLLED UPPER LIMB PROSTHETIC
This summer continued Dr. Prosise's long-term goal of developing an affordable neurally controlled, upper-limb prosthetic. To do this, electroencephalography (EEG) and hand kinematic data was cleaned, pre-processed, and analyzed to determine if enough correlated information was present to meet this goal. Additionally, an artificial neural network was programmed to classify how a prosthetic should move based on neural data input.  

JOSHUA STRATTON:  MEASURING METAL LEVELS IN VARIOUS PRODUCTS/SOURCES (2 projects)  
Issac Schwantes:  This summer's research has been focused on developing an effective method for the extraction, separation, and quantification of 17-beta estradiol in surface waters using high performance liquid chromatography. Future research aims to expand into a field study and preparing an exposure study using Danio rerio in the laboratory. 
Clarissa Hunzeker:  Analysis of Dentin Calcium and Phosphate Loss due to Abrasive Toothpaste and Acidic Solutions. This research investigated the effects of abrasive and nonabrasive toothpaste on tooth enamel using pig teeth as a proxy for human teeth. Teeth were brushed using Colgate® Whitening and Colgate® regular toothpastes and exposed to synthetic saliva solutions for one week. Tooth enamel was monitored by dissolved calcium and phosphate concentrations measured using atomic absorbance spectroscopy and ion chromatography, respectively. ​