University of Wisconsin - Stout

Journal of Student Research
Sixth Edition, 2007   (Note: viewing links requires free Adobe Reader )

Who Gets Custody? Current perspectives of Social Work Students
Courtney L. Zuber and Kyle J. Adams

Key Words: Non-traditional parents, child custody, attitudes, fathers

Society and the American family are changing, leading to an increasing amount of single parent households. This study investigated the attitudes of social work students regarding non-traditional child placement by surveying 23 participants at a small mid-western university. It was hypothesized that the students would have more of a negative feeling toward the non-traditional child placement versus the traditional child placement (which refers to the child being placed in the custody of the biological mother). Results indicated that there was no significant negative attitude towards the non-traditional child placement situation and that custody is generally viewed as equal. Findings did not support the hypothesis and literature in that more of a negative attitude would be placed on the non-traditional child placement. Implications for practitioners is the need.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Zebrafish Functional Genomics Development at UW-Stout
Tiffany R. Hoage

Keywords: Antisense, brine shrimp, embryo, functional genomics, knockdown, microinjection, model organism, morpholino, tyrosinase, yeast, zebrafish

Since the completion of the human genome sequencing project, morpholino phosphorodiamidate oligonucleotide (MO) knockdown in zebrafish has been increasingly used to elucidate human gene function. As part of the effort to expand the functional genomics screening capacity at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, this project investigated MO microinjection techniques, embryo production, and brine shrimp survival. One- to two-cell embryos injected with the pigment-inhibiting tyrosinase MO were observed at 48 hours post fertilization for pigmentation. Injection efficiency was calculated by dividing the number of zebrafish lacking pigment by the total number of injected zebrafish. To obtain sufficient embryos for MO experiments, the effects of a dry food diet and live (brine shrimp) food diet on embryo production were analyzed. Effects of a yeast diet on brine shrimp survival were also studied to provide zebrafish with healthy brine shrimp. Results included a 92% injection efficiency, greater embryo production with the dry food diet, and increased brine shrimp survival with a yeast diet. This work provided an important foundation in the development of a reverse-genetic screen for future students.

Advised by Dr. Michael Pickart

A Linguistic Study: “Soda” and “Pop” in Wisconsin and Minnesota
Heidi Sleep and Katie Thiel

Keywords: Linguistics, Pop, Soda, Isogloss, Coke

The following linguistic research study was performed to discover language patterns in association with the terms “pop” and “soda.” Research was conducted through guided conversation with the subjects. Findings revealed that much of the research conducted in the past coincides with the findings we have tabulated with this project. Research confirmed that the information in the 2002 isogloss developed by Campbell and Plumb was accurate. There has not been a significant shift in the isogloss since 2002, and findings suggest that there may be relevant data for future studies regarding the use of brand specific names being used in place of the terms “pop” and “soda.”

Advised by Dr. Bruce Maylath

Media Ideals… Unattainable to Most Females
Jennifer Smith and Amber Taylor

Key Words: Mass media, stereotypical representations, perceived body image, idealist representations

The images of females displayed in the media today are thinner than the images of male, thinner than media images of females in the past, than the actual female population, and than the criteria for anorexia (Schooler, Ward, Merriwether, & Caruthers, 2004). This study investigated the stereotypical representations of adult females in mass media. It was hypothesized that exposure to mass media containing idealistic representations of the female body would be associated with less favorable body image evaluation among adult females. Results indicated a strong need for awareness and education regarding media images that carry forth ideas of such gender stereotypes throughout society. All participants reported having a higher level of body image dissatisfaction after viewing the mass media’s ideal, which supported the hypothesis. Implications for practitioners indicate that awareness of media ideals and perceived body image versus the average healthy body needs to be more inclusive throughout a female’s life.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

College Students’ Attitudes towards Eating Disorders in Males
Joy K. VanDeLoo and Christina Strommer

Key Words: Male eating disorders, college males, men’s attitudes

Eating disorders are a prevalent and serious health problem in the United States. Eating disorders are generally associated with young women. However, people are less aware of eating disorders among male; thus, there are fewer studies done on this issue and fewer eating disorder prevention programs for males. This study investigates men’s attitudes regarding awareness and knowledge of eating disorders in males by surveying a sample of 28 male students on campus. It was hypothesized that college males would have little knowledge about male eating disorders and less awareness of it being a problem among males. The findings support the hypothesis that college males do not have a clear understanding of male eating disorders.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Japan’s Recycling: More Efficient than U.S.A
John Olmsted

Recycling plays a major role in global society. Waste is a big issue and countries are struggling with ways to keep the situation under control. Japan is a model country in terms of recycling. Their efforts have surpassed many countries. Japan has recently passed a number of laws that have helped the country’s recycling issues. These laws have produced tremendous results in Japan’s favor. Through enforcement of these laws the country sends only 16% of its solid waste to landfills. The United States sends close t0 70% to landfills. Consumer recycling in Japan is much more advanced than the United States. Waste is separated into categories to maximize the recycling process and to minimize waste sent to landfills. The U.S. should be modeling their recycling efforts toward the Japan recycling model.

Advised by Dr. Claire K. Sand

Edge Detection and Feature Extraction in Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems
Mike Boldischar and Cha Poa Moua

Key Words: Edge detection, thinning, feature extraction, afis, perceptron, mlp, neural network, laplace

As a means of access control and criminal identification, Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) are widely utilized. In many areas of business, these systems are entrusted to verify identities of personnel before allowing access to restricted information or facilities. In the area of criminal investigation, these same systems are entrusted to find, match, and identify criminals. Obviously, these systems are given critical tasks and are performing them unsupervised most of the time. Although most steps in the process are procedural and can be automated, there are two critical phases that need to be performed intelligently and reliably. These two phases are edge detection and feature extraction. In order to enhance important features accurately in the fingerprint image, methods in edge detection are applied. Once the important features are exposed and artifacts are removed, feature extraction takes place. In this phase, the print is characterized by the extracted features for matching later. This article looks at the theoretical foundations and practical aspects of these two phases to understand their automation.

Advised by Dr. Nasser Hadidi

College Students’ Attitudes on the Causes of Infidelity
Kaisa Lee and Jamie Koss

Key Words: Infidelity, committed relationships, relationship dissatisfaction, sexual attraction

Infidelity is a problem in today’s society associated with instability in relationships and the high divorce rates. The study consisted of 23 male and female students at a Midwestern university. It was hypothesized that males would perceive sexual attraction as a primary cause of infidelity while females would perceive relationship dissatisfaction as a primary cause. Survey data was statistically analyzed using frequencies, cross-tabulations and a reliability analysis. Findings supported the literature and hypothesis in that more males viewed sexual attraction as a primary cause of infidelity and more females viewed relationship dissatisfaction as a primary cause. It is important for practitioners to be aware of the problems infidelity causes in relationships and further researchers could investigate root causes for preventative and proactive actions.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Life, Death, Fate and Eternity
Matthew Banker

Each of us exists in real time. Each moment is a unique experience that cannot be relived, and despite our beliefs, hopes, expectations and knowledge we cannot see the future. We grow slowly and somewhat imperceptibly, but our experience is punctuated with times of joy, sadness, trauma, birth and death. The specific moments that define that passage of time for each person are one of the main inspirations for my work.

I use a variety of materials; both man made and natural. The materials are chosen for symbolic and aesthetic significance.

Each installation changes throughout the time it is displayed. Some changes are dramatic and obvious; some changes are slow and subtle. Anticipation of action is often an important element; also important is the sense of disappointment and loss at having missed a seemingly significant event.

My most recent work deals specifically with death. It questions how we each deal with the idea of our own death, how death affects those who are still living, and how we remember and honor those who have died.

Advised by Lars Jerlach

Separation Eternal
Darren Tesar

The combination of video onto my barely painted canvases urges the viewer to reexamine the concepts of the still in the moving. Archival medical videos projected onto the canvas itself, communicate preservation and sustainment. The graphic and outdated practices are then looped to further stress this confinement. The loop is forced to exist in a state of repetition that results in no beginning or end. I believe this leaves no room for a transcending resolution. Only in the existence of repetition and predictability does the video mirror that of a painting. The video moves endlessly, yet is no more than a single representation juxtaposed against another single image, the painting.

The subject matter in my painting takes on iconic interpretations of nostalgia and control. Imagery of architecture and objects, such as airports and whoopee cushions are stripped of their original context and thinly dry brushed onto a blank canvas. Without the objects’ original context it stands to be reinterpreted with the supplemented video.

I appropriate all my images from the Internet. This use of imagery perpetuates an objective indifference to the subjects’ original context and exploits it for its intellectual significance.

Thematically my goals are existential in nature, and attempt to investigate ontology in a postmodern setting. The narratives that I employ circle closely around the absurd. I use absurd to mean the futility in attempting to construct absolute conclusions and meaning in the images I compose, and in larger meta-narratives of our existence. It is my desire to romanticize this relationship we have with ourselves in the midst of nothingness. These questions concern our humanness, with its temporal existence, which will be outlived by that which we create. My work attempts to address these questions with poignancy and honesty.

Advised by Charles M. Lume

Mug, Three Tiered Tray, Mug, Two Tiered Tray
Joshua Ausman

I create my work in patterns of consideration and intuition. I allow myself to work free of criticism, trusting my sensibilities. Upon reaching a certain point of any work, I then try to judge the work in an attempt to discover what the piece is lacking and how to best remedy its problems. The role of the problem solver is one that I ardently accept.

My interest in functional pottery lies with its position in our lives, its familiarity with our touch, its seemingly modest proposal. I choose this language for this connection to life and its various points of accessibility. I am concerned with the possibility of function, its actuality is redundant. I find beauty in the futility of crafting functional art.

I find a particular interest and success in my creations when I am able to maintain a certain level of detachment from my work, in which I can focus on the process, allowing me to push the work to a conclusion that would have been otherwise unobtainable.

The exploration of windows and light greatly interests me. I pattern my surfaces with shapes alluding to windows. I find windows to be a metaphor of elegance, protection, freedom and confinement. It is within these parameters that my work exists.

As Robert Rauschenberg said, "Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)” I believe that ceramics and, even more so, functional pottery cannot help but exist within this space.

Advised by Geoffrey Wheeler

Untitled Seascape
Charlotte Mann

The world of art is full of freedom, creation and imagination, that is why I take part it in. Through art, I can share my unique qualities and visions. Art facilitates my reactions to the world; it is a means of sharing personal reflections.

My artwork is an abstract correlation of blueprints, nature and atmosphere. In this body of work, I view time beyond the length of a lifespan. I look at how environmental changes happen insignificantly each day but massively over time. I depict oceans due to their rapid movements, changes, and how over a long period of time their landscapes are changed dramatically. I use this as a metaphor for human life. I look at the way decisions made, appear to gain importance as time passes. The outcome of any human decision is impossible to predict, much like an ocean.

I like to focus on reactions to events that happen. These events do not have end results that are expected. Although life changes day to day, it’s about looking to the past to see the major transformations. Through blueprints, I encourage the viewer to engage and think about the future, to create their own narratives. These blueprints are only beginnings and others determine whether they are successful.

In my work I use gestural and varied line qualities, muted colors and tones, and different viscosities of textural build-up. The way I use these techniques helps connect my intentions for the overall effect my pieces have. I feel that vibrant colors are not necessary for my subject matter and that muted tonal changes instead, push the viewer to look and consider why I have chosen these qualities. Through these tones, gestures and textural build-ups I show movement, and a sense of history. I show blueprints and oceans that are waiting for a conclusion.

Advised by Charles M. Lume

Effects of Domestic Versus Exotic Animals on Stress Reduction
Amanda Mikl

The use of animals as a therapeutic tool is becoming a more widely studied concept. Researches are finding that animals tend to have positive effects on people. The effect of animal pictures on stress reduction was examined on 65 undergraduate and graduate students. Participants took a timed, stress inducing, mathematical exam and then viewed a short slideshow presentation of animal pictures. Upon completion of the presentation participants filled out a likert-scale State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The slideshow participants viewed entailed one of four conditions: domestic adult animals, domestic juvenile animals, exotic adult animals, and exotic juvenile animals. Results showed that the level of stress was not affected by the independent variables. Overall, the mean level of stress varied a minuscule between each condition.

Advised by Dr. Sarah Wood

High School Counselors’ Influence
Katey O’Donnell and Katie Logan

Key Words: College freshmen, school counselors, high school, adequately prepared

Many college freshmen feel they are inadequately prepared to enter college due to a lack of guidance from their high school counselors. This study investigated comparative attitudes about the influence of school counselors on students by surveying 60 male and female freshmen at a Midwestern university. It was hypothesized that more males than females would feel that they were not adequately prepared for college by their high school counselor. Results supported the hypothesis that more male than females students felt they were not adequately prepared for college by their high school counselor. Implications for practitioners and future researchers are that there is a strong need to inform schools, counselors, and parents that school counselors need to take part in professional development that will better prepare students to enter college.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Potential Pathogens in the School Environment
Zhicong Wang

Key Words: Microbiology, School Health and Sanitation, Bacterial and Non-bacterial Pathogens

Pathogenic microorganisms are potent threats to school health. In this experiment, Colony Forming Unit (a viable bacterial colony count) samplings were taken, in various regions of a school, of microorganisms (Staphylococcus aureus, various aerobic bacteria, and molds) in order to find a pattern of distribution between the colony count and the environment. Fifteen hall passes were sampled from three regions of a school, and then categorized into groups A, B, and C (each of five hall passes). It was hypothesized that regions near entranceways would contain more molds (Group A), regions in the vicinity of lavatories would contain more mold and yeast (Group B), and regions with most students would contain more Staphylococcus aureus and aerobic bacteria (Group C). Data overall supported the hypothesis: Group A registered a large count of mold, and Group B surpassed all other regions in the count of both mold and yeast colonies. Furthermore, Group C showed significantly more Staphylococcus aureus and other aerobic bacterial colonies than Group A or B.

Advised by Yvonne M. Nelson

Waiting until after College Graduation to Marry
Amanda Fankhauser and Christopher Emerson

Keywords: Marriage, divorce, education

This study used survey research to capture the attitudes of 25 Midwestern university students on waiting until after college graduation to get married. Results indicate that participants feel that waiting until after college graduation to get married would lead to a more successful marriage. Results also indicated that students believe a higher education can lead to increased employment opportunities and financial stability and that the older a person marries the less likely they will get divorced. It is hoped that this information is utilized to help educate young adults on the benefits of waiting until later in life to get married. This study enhances the knowledge base on the attitudes of young adults and marriage. The next step in research could be to compare the sexes to ascertain any gender differences.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Ultraviolet/Electron Beam Inks Modernize Packaging
Beth Prissel

Key Words: Ultraviolet, E-beam, UV/EB, UV, EB, Ink technology

Ultraviolet/Electron Beam (UV/EB) technology is changing the ink industry rapidly. As the technology continually improves and expands, it will soon overpower traditional ink systems. The cost of UV/EB materials and machinery are coming down because the volume is going up. There is also a reduction in operation costs when switching to this technology. UV/EB inks are better for the environment than most conventional ink systems because they reduce energy and do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They have a quick turnaround rate due to the quick cure and fast press speeds, as well as they improve the overall performance by enhancing mechanical properties and providing a better shelf appeal.

Advised by Dr. Claire K. Sand

Effects of Methamphetamine Use on the Children of Users
Jade Downey

Key Words: Methamphetamine, child abuse, addiction, protective services

Methamphetamine use among users with children is becoming an epidemic in society. This study examined attitudes regarding primary caregiver methamphetamine use and the effects on their children by surveying approximately 20 Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) counselors located in Western Wisconsin. It was hypothesized that AODA counselors would consider methamphetamine use as child abuse and believe families should remain intact while efforts are being made to overcome the addiction. Results indicated that the majority of participants believe that primary caregiver methamphetamine use is considered child abuse and that such occurrences should be reported. Many of those surveyed felt that children and caregivers should remain united or be reunited if children had previously been taken into protective services. Implications for future researchers would be to develop a broader survey instrument and use a larger sample. Practitioner implications include supporting more education and new

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

College Students’ Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals
Tessa M. Johnson and Ashley A. Greeley

Key Words: LGBT, homosexuality, discrimination, college attitudes

Discrimination and oppression of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) community is still very prevalent in society, as well as on college campuses. This study investigated attitudes toward LGBT individuals by surveying 50 university students in five different majors on campus. It was hypothesized that males, in general, would have a more heterosexist attitude toward this community. Results indicated that majors with a higher male population supported the hypothesis and were more heterosexist than other majors overall. The findings from this study can be used to enhance knowledge and societal attitudes in an effort to neutralize any discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Female Students’ Attitudes on Re-entering Abusive Relationships
Sally Welbourn and Jim Zemek

Key Words: Female college students, abuse, re-entering, optimistic bias.

Women re-entering abusive relationships is an increasingly important issue. This study investigated female college students’ attitudes on why women re-enter abusive relationships in hopes to gain a further understanding of possible reasons. It was hypothesized that the given variables: Lack of education, financial independence, abuse history, unrealistic optimism, remorse factor, and emotional attachment, would play a factor in whether or not one would return. Findings supported the hypothesis that the variables utilized were felt to be factors in women re-enter, except for optimistic bias. Implications for practitioners and for future researchers are that awareness needs to be focused more on this optimistic bias, encouraging women more directly by teaching them self awareness.

Advised by Dr. Susan M. Wolfgram

Taking Action to Protect UW-Stout’s Last Remaining Wetland
Maxine Pettis

Key words: Wetland delineation, wetland indicators, hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, wetland hydrology

Wetlands provide many essential ecosystem functions, such as flood control, wildlife habitat, and groundwater recharge. Although wetlands in Wisconsin are protected, not all wetlands are recognized. According to the Wisconsin Public Land Survey records of 1849, a tamarack bog wetland once existed where the University of Wisconsin-Stout is currently located. A 1.01 acre remnant of that original wetland still exists, located within the outdoor classroom area on the south end of the UW-Stout campus, east of the UW-Stout baseball field and north of 18th Street. In order to protect and properly manage this wetland, the wetland boundaries were identified using the protocols established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soils, and wetland hydrology were evaluated to determine the boundary of the UW-Stout wetland. Establishing the wetland boundary is a critical step in protecting and managing this unique remnant wetland. Now that the wetland area has been defined, UW-Stout Biology faculty will have the ability to pursue grant opportunities to continue the wetland restoration efforts.

Advised by Krista James