Indiana University East awarded nine scholarships for the 2018 Summer Research Scholars Program. Graduate and undergraduate students receive $2,000 to conduct a research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
Funding for the competitive program is provided by the Indiana University Office of the Vice Provost for Research and is matched by funds from IU East. All recipients will present their research findings during the ninth annual Student Research Day in spring 2019.
Daniel Arthur, Centerville, Indiana. “The Barn on Manning Road.” English major working with Brian Brodeur, assistant professor of English.
Arthur is working on a collection of poetry to further his education in poetry and to advance his abilities in reading and writing poetry. Brodeur will mentor him throughout the summer as part of the process to develop his first chapbook of poetry.
On campus, Arthur is a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader. His work has been published in Tributaries, a student-produced journal of creative work offering invigorating and multifaceted fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reviews, and visual art.
Sara Baxter, Richmond, Indiana. Attendance to the Kenyon College Annual Writers Workshop, July 7-14, 2018. Masters in English graduate program with Jean Harper, associate professor of English.
Baxter has been accepted to participate in a competitive program for poetry writing at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Each summer the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop selects 10 poets for each of its two summer workshops. The writing-intensive workshop is an opportunity for Baxter to work on her poetry with distinguished poets and professors and to share her work with peers.
At IU East, Baxter is a writing consultant for the Writing Lab. She also is the managing editor of Tributaries. Her poetry has been published in Tributaries and Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets by Z Publishing.
Kiana Cleere, Union City, Indiana. “Developing an Objective Risk Continuity Assessment for Police use of Deadly Force.” Criminal justice major working with Mengie Parker, associate dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of criminal justice.
Cleere will develop and test an Objective Risk Continuity Assessment Scale that examines the degree of actual risk faced by law enforcement officers involved in deadly force situations. The scale is designed to be used by researchers and law enforcement administrators during a post-deadly-force incident review as a part of the investigation process. The scale will be tested for validity and reliability and will utilize a national sample of data from police-involved shootings.
Tiffany Cohee, Richmond, Indiana. “Accounting for the Difference in Photochemistry of TpdA versus dApT.” Biochemistry major working with Yu Kay Law, assistant professor of chemistry.
In her research project, Cohee will look at how to account for the photochemical results by doing simulations on dApT and TpdA to see how the conformational distribution is different between the bases.
It is commonly known that excessive UV light can lead to irreplaceable damage to one’s body, however, not too many know the degree to which that damage is done. Often, these processes occur through UV damage to our DNA. If the damaged DNA, called DNA adducts, is not promptly removed from the cell it can cause mutations which can lead to cancer.
Previous research done on DNA bases deoxyribodinucleoside monophosphate thymidylyl (3′-5′)-2′-deoxyadenosine sodium salt (TpdA) and 2′- deoxyadenylyl (3′-5′)-thymidine (dApT) has shown that damage to TpdA leads to a major photoproduct, or DNA adduct, while damage to this sequence in reverse order, dApT, did not give off a photoproduct. It was concluded that sequence and conformational differences can account for the presence and absence of the DNA adduct.
In her research, Cohee will run computer simulations on both dApT and TpdA using the Karst computing cluster at Indiana University to see how conformational distribution is different between the bases to account for the photochemical results of previous research.
J S Franklin, Cambridge City, Indiana. “Historical Change Over Time: Raku Ceramic Techniques in the United States.” History and fine arts major working with Justin Carroll, assistant professor of history, and Carrie Longley, assistant professor of fine arts.
Franklin will use his research to better understand the process of how and why change occurs in the particular process of Raku ceramics and the overall lesson of change for the historian. Raku is a ceramic process of throwing, glazing, and firing pottery. The Japanese potters who developed it sought to reflect the simplicity and austerity of Zen Buddhism during the late 16th century. American potters, who were intrigued by the process, brought it to the United States after World War II. As a result, it has become an established pillar of ceramic exploration throughout the world.
As part of the project, Franklin will make a video of the process of building a kiln, the throwing process, the bisque firing, and the glazing of the Raku ware. He describes the project as a documentary of discovery, which will allow the viewer to participate in his research. Both the viewer and Franklin will be able to explore the important question of how and why change happens between cultures and will provide a learning opportunity for everyone involved.
Katelyn Groff, Richmond, Indiana. “Researching and Creating Nonfiction Children’s Literature.” Elementary education major and minoring in mild intervention (special education) working with Denice Honaker, assistant professor of education and the coordinator for Early Childhood Education.
Groff will create a picture book biography manuscript on the life and accomplishments of Dr. Ann Preston, who was one of the first female doctors in the United States. The manuscript will include relevant primary resources, such as photos and letters integrated throughout the text, and in a source notes section.
The research project involves reviewing Preston’s biographical information and searching databases for primary documents such as her speeches and personal letters to friends or colleagues. Groff said she hopes to help younger students integrate into their critical thinking the perspectives gained from authentic sources. The integration of these sources into a book can help students to understand that it is important to read relevant and authentic materials when learning about a topic, she said. Once completed, she will submit a finished manuscript for publication.
Groff is a member of the Honors Program and works in the Campus Library.
Abbie Sliger, Rushville, Indiana. “Shakespeare’s Coriolanus: An analysis of Rhetoric, Politics, and Human Condition.” Secondary English education and English literature major working with Eleni Siatra, coordinator of the Writing Center.
Sliger will use her research project to delve deeper into Shakespeare’s Roman tragedy, Coriolanus, to better understand how rhetoric and politics influenced not only the characters within the play, but the plot itself.
Coriolanus is based on the life of Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. In his play, Shakespeare uses dramatic effect to stray slightly from this history. Coriolanus was one of his later plays and the language used within the work creates a bridge between the personal and political problems of Coriolanus and Rome, Sliger said. During her research, she will travel to Stratford, Canada, June 14-17 to attend the Shakespeare Festival. While at the festival, she will see the play to provide a modern interpretation and perspective of the play. Aside from her trip to the Shakespeare Festival, Sliger will apply for access to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., to further her research by gaining access to documents containing some of the original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s work.
Sliger is a writing consultant for the Writing Center, a SI Leader and a member of Sigma Tau Delta at IU East, an international English honors society.
Alicia Thompson, Richmond, Indiana. “The Impact of Nuclear Quantum Effects on Thymine Dinucleotides.” Biology major working with Yu Kay Law, assistant professor of chemistry.
Thompson will examine how nuclear quantum effects impact the conformational distribution of stacked thymine bases using computer simulations.
Genetic material for most organisms contains DNA. While the double helix structure of DNA is well known, understanding the dynamics of the DNA molecule is important in discerning the complexity of organisms.
When DNA is exposed to ultraviolet light, photoproducts are produced, and repair mechanisms are triggered. If damage is left unrepaired, aptopic response and skin cancer may be caused. Thompson is concerned with the photoexcitation that occurs to join the molecular subunits, thymine, to bind to one another. This dimer formation occurs within one trillionth of a second (picosecond) of UV exposure. The 3D shape of the molecule must be aligned appropriately for damage to occur. The molecules switch in and out of these shapes rapidly, making it impossible to identify experimentally. To overcome these boundaries, Thompson will use computer simulations to fully grasp the impact ultraviolet radiation has on DNA.
In order for these simulations to be successful, DNA has to be correctly modelled. Researchers often fix the bond lengths to be constant within DNA to speed up simulations, and typically do not consider the possibility of quantum-mechanical effects of nuclei on the distribution of molecular shapes. These tend to broaden the distribution of bond lengths. In this project, Thompson is exploring how distribution of molecular shapes and possible conformation distribution associated with DNA photodamage depends on the quantum mechanics of nuclei.
Phineas Yoder, Greens Fork, Indiana. “Education Gamified: Strategically Inductive Learning.” Business administration major with a concentration in certified public accounting working with Shari Fowler, lecturer of accounting.
Yoder will engineer a learning environment that leans more heavily into allowing students to learn by action and intuition while minimizing the need for direct verbal and written instruction.
Yoder has worked as an SI Leader and as a tutor.