Fifteen Baldwin Wallace University students -- the most ever -- have been selected to participate in the 2012 Summer Scholars Program. Research into a range of topics from physics of competitive jump rope to the way our brains interpret sounds as music are among the funde
After receiving a record number of applications, BW’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Studies worked to secure additional funding to support a diverse group of projects, more than doubling the number of participants over the 2011 program.
The Summer Scholars program, now in its ninth year, enables students to pursue a research or creative project of their design under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Scholars will live together on campus from May 21-July 13 and regularly share their varied research within and outside the Summer Scholars community. The program is enriched by seminars and field trips.
"Undergraduate research benefits students in so many ways," says Associate Academic Dean Janet Stocks. "They develop the problem solving and critical thinking skills that are so valued by employers, polish writing and presentation abilities, forge close connections with faculty and get a taste of future careers or research they might do in grad school. It's also a lot of fun!"
Students in the 2012 program will study the impact of recent congressional redistricting, as well as the toxicity of biocides found in everyday products. Others aim to compose a full-length ballet, to improve the efficiency and safety of biodiesel manufacturing, and to develop a theatre education program to improve doctor/patient relationships.
The Complete List of 2012 Summer Scholars:
Laura Crytzer '14, of Butler, PA, Trombone Performance major
Research Topic: The Science of Sonority
Project Summary: To research sounds and how our brains interpret them as music with a focus on Western style.
Collaborating faculty: Beth Hiser, Conservatory of Music
Jennifer Evans '13, of Strongsville, Pre-Physical Therapy and Public Health major
Research Topic: The Physics of Competitive Jump Rope
Project Summary: Explore the physics of motion of both the human and the rope in the sport of competitive jump rope. Understanding the physics could potentially lead to other studies focusing on comparing the biometrics of competitive jump ropers to athletes of other sports in which jumping is common, but less ubiquitous.
Collaborating faculty: Amy Jo Sutterluety, Health and Physical Education
Kara Gawelek '14, of Brunswick, Neuroscience/Biology major
Research Topic: The Toxicity of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds in Daphnia magna
Project Summary: Biocides, compounds that may act to disrupt the bacterial peptidoglycan wall, plasma membrane, metabolic processes, or a nucleic acid structure, are currently being incorporated into a number of products that people use every day. The objective of this project is to investigate the toxicity effects of biocides on non-target organisms, which may be applicable to other species of invertebrates.
Collaborating faculty: Michael Kovach, Biology
Matthew Gesicki '14, of Parma, English major
Research Topic: In the Church of the Earth: A Poetic Dialogue with Pablo Neruda
Project Summary: Unravel the text of each sonnet in Pablo Neruda’s One Hundred Love Sonnets to rebuild Neruda’s themes, but in a different form, using his own metaphors and emphases. The writing of the lyrical essays would be informed by reading major works by Neruda to gain insight into his life and work and researching specific themes from his work.
Collaborating faculty: Sharon Kubasak, English
Brooke Hamilton '13, of Cleveland, English/Philosophy major
Research Topic: Legal Theories of Interpretation through the Literary Lens
Project Summary: Explore the various issues and advantages of the Law and Literature movement and whether it is appropriate to apply literary theory to the field of law.
Collaborating faculty: Michael Dolzani, English
Charles Hayes '14, of Parma, International Studies major
Research Topic: Improving Humanism in Medicine: A Theatrical Approach
Project Summary: Develop a beneficial theatre education program to be utilized by medical professionals to improve the personal relationship doctors have with their patients. This project is also intended to showcase the city of Cleveland. University Hospitals, Case Medical Center and The Cleveland Clinic have agreed to incorporate the created theatre educational pilot program.
Collaborating faculty: Jack Winget, Theatre and Dance
Melissa Hoffbauer, Chemistry major
Research Topic: Manufacture of BioDiesel from BW Waste
Project Summary: The necessity for humans to reduce their waste production and to explore more efficient, less harmful energy sources is overwhelming. Biodiesel is an efficient source of energy that can reduce the amount of waste and partially replace the dependency of oil in America. The goal of this project is to reinstate the manufacture of biodiesel at BW and improve the efficiency and safety of the biodiesel process.
Collaborating faculty: Ray Shively, Chemistry
Sean Hussey '14, of Appleton, WI, Music Composition major
Research Topic: Music and Dance: Researching the History of Collaboration between Dance and Music While Composing a Modern Ballet
Project Summary: Compose a full-length ballet in two acts following a self-created story line, which will take place in 20th Century Russia; research will be completed on the Russian Civil War in order to solidify the time period and historical events throughout the ballet. Observe Inlet Dance Theatre rehearsals to better understand movement and how dancers rehearse choreography. Lastly, research the relationship between music and dance throughout history and write a paper summarizing the work.
Collaborating faculty: Dirk Garner, Choral Studies & Sara Whale, Dance
Mitchell Kuntz '14, of Aurora, Sociology/Communications major
Research Topic: Parasuicide: The Accidental Suicide
Project Summary: Compare cases of suicide with accidental deaths to determine if the accidental deaths may be a suicide attempt or a parasuicide, in which the aim is not death but, instead, a cry for help. Understanding this phenomenon may be insightful to the development educational awareness campaigns, intervention, and prevention.
Collaborating faculty: Carol Gregory, Sociology
Michelle Kupiec '14, of Middleburg Heights, Philosophy major
Research Topic: Beauvoir, Levinas, and Pornography
Project Summary: Focus on pornography’s common threads of mass objectification and infantilization of women, encouraging and normalizing sexual violence, fostering dangerous power dynamics in relationships, and rewiring of desire. These issues will be dissected through the opposing views of Simone de Beauvoir and Emmanuel Levinas to show how these practices stand in relation to moral responsibilities.
Collaborating faculty: Amy Story, Philosophy
Bradley Minrovic '14, of Akron, Chemistry major
Research Topic: Increased Side-Chain Hydrophilicity as a Possible Strategy to Reduce Ecotoxicity of Imidazolium Ionic Liquids
Project Summary: An ionic liquid, a salt that is in a liquid state at room temperature, can be toxic to aquatic organisms because they are hypothesized to disrupt the cell membrane of the fish because of their polarity; thus, the objective of this project is to make a structure of an ionic liquid, so that it will be less toxic to aquatic organisms.
Collaborating faculty: Ray Shively, Chemistry
Maximilian Nolin '13, of Kent, Vocal Performance & Music History and Literature major
Research Topic: Editions in Performance
Project Summary: Bring to life a work of Baroque music through the creation of a performance edition derived from research of the era and style from source materials found in the Reimenschneider Bach Institute at BW.
Collaborating faculty: Dirk Garner, Conservatory of Music
Rebecca Shisler '14, of Stow, English & Sociology major
Research Topic: Gender in Adolescent Literature
Project Summary: Examine each winner of Printz Award, given to an exceptional adolescent novel each year, to see how each one portrays gender and also examine any shift of portrayal that has occurred over the years.
Collaborating faculty: Denise Kohn, English
Drew Thomas '13, of Madison, Communication Studies major
Research Topic: The Effect of Emotion on the Perceptions of Communication Competence
Project Summary: Measure the effect of emotion on one’s perceptions of another person’s competency when communicating and understand the dynamics of emotional communication in actual, situated, episodes of interactions. The study will be completed on 120 undergraduate students between the ages of 18-22.
Collaborating faculty: Andy Dohanos, Communication
Sara Villarreal '14, of Willowick, Political Science major
Research Topic: The 2012 Redistricting Cycle: The Process and Politics of Drawing Congressional District Lines
Project Summary: Create an original classification scheme for the process that states used in 2012 to conduct their redistricting. The goal is to contribute to the understanding of the impact of the process and the political context in a state on the outcome.
Collaborating faculty: Barbara Palmer, Political Science