Faculty: John Baesler
Project Title: The American Occupation of Central Hesse, Germany, 1945-1991: The Informal Diplomacy of Citizens and Soldiers
For this research students will interview veterans and their dependents from mid-Michigan who during the Cold War spent time in central Hesse, Germany. The goal of this research is to record and understand their experiences and the impact these experiences had on their subsequent lives and views. I am particularly interested in the ways in which living in Germany shaped the views of GIs and their families on Germany's past, but also their views on their own country.
I plan to mentor students by discussing with them historical background information and key scholarly texts on conducting oral histories. We will then collaboratively develop questions and strategies for interviews with Michigan veterans. During the interview process we will collectively analyze and review the results. After recording and transcribing the interviews, we will collaboratively explore ways to archive the interviews to make them accessible to other researchers and the general public.
I anticipate that the results of this research will support my larger project on gender and sexuality in German-American relations in central Hesse during the Cold War. For that project I am in the process of writing a scholarly article to be submitted in an academic journal. However, since the topics for questions will be broader, I strongly hope that the students who participate in the proposed project will be able to utilize the information as well, for example for papers they can submit at student conferences or as the basis for a writing sample in preparation for graduate school.
Ideally I would like to recruit two students: one junior or senior without significant research experience, and a UGRP mentor with research experience. This way my project will serve one student as an introduction to scholarly research under close faculty guidance, while another student-particularly a student who is considering a career in public history or applying to graduate school-will profit from the additional experience in their chosen career paths.
Faculty: M. Patricia Cavanaugh
Project Title: Finding Better Ways to Improve Students' Attitudes and Abilities toward Writing--A Continuation and Implementation
The faculty member and the SVSU students have been researching ways to help high school students with their writing challenges. ; This continuation proposal would allow both the faculty member and the student-researcher to actually work in a local middle school implementing the research they have discovered. ; They could then analyze their work and the results and prepare for both publication and presentation of their goals, methodology, and results.
Faculty: Jennifer Chaytor
Project Title: Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of Bioactive Cyclic Peptides
Cyclic peptides have been found in many plant and animal species. Many of these cyclic peptides display useful biological activities which are attractive in the health industry as potential therapeutics for common diseases. In the project "Synthesis of Bioactive Cyclic Peptides" carried out in Dr. Jennifer Chaytor's laboratory, bioactive cyclic peptides will be synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis, purified by HPLC, and characterized using spectroscopic techniques (NMR, IR, etc.). Two series of compounds will be examined, Stylissamide X, which prevents migration of cancer cells, and Dianthins G and H, which influence osteoblast proliferation. Following their synthesis and characterization, the reported biological activity of these compounds will be confirmed. Subsequent structure-activity relationship studies will be conducted by systematically replacing selected amino acids with alternate amino acids in an attempt to identify compounds with improved bioactivity.
Faculty: Jennifer Chaytor
Project Title: Preparation of C-Glycosides as Potential Antihyperglycemic Agents for the Treatment of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes mellitus affects millions of people worldwide, and there is an urgent need for novel anti-hyperglycemic drugs to combat this disease. In the project "Preparation of C-Glycosides as Potential Anti-hyperglycemic Agents for the Treatment of Type II Diabetes" carried out in Dr. Jennifer Chaytor's laboratory, aryl-C-glycosides will be synthesized by undergraduate student researchers via standard cross coupling and carbohydrate chemistry. These compounds will then be evaluated in enzymatic assays as potential antihyperglycemic agents. Their structures were designed based upon known antihyperglycemic agents which have therapeutic potential for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. The target compounds have a carbohydrate moiety linked to an aromatic portion via a short linker, and both the carbohydrate and aromatic portions can be varied to provide a small library of compounds.
Faculty: Dennis Gray
Project Title: Identifying the isoprene synthase gene from Abies sp.
The goal of this faculty led undergraduate research project is to provide training for an undergraduate student in molecular biology techniques through the identification of the gene encoding the isoprene synthase enzyme in Fir trees native the Mediterranean region of Europe (genus Abies). Through this project the student will learn to extract RNA, synthesize cDNA, set up PCR and run gel electrophoresis, clone genes into Plasmid vectors, and to express recombinant proteins in E. coli bacterial hosts. The student will receive one-on-one training and mentoring in the lab and learn to work as part of a research team towards a common goal. The project will result in the identification of new gene sequences, provide data students can use in poster presentations, and may lead to a publication.
Faculty: Dennis Gray
Project Title: Investigating the importance of F358 in maintaining the catalytic activity of Methylbutenol synthase
The goal of this faculty led undergraduate research project is to provide training for one undergraduate student in molecular biology & biochemistry techniques through the expression and functional characterization of a newly discovered terpene synthase gene. This undergraduate project is part of a larger project aimed at reconstructing the evolutionary history of hemiterpene emission within the conifers, and discovering structure/function relationships in the terpene synthase enzymes. Through this project students will use the protein expression conditions optimized by prior student researchers to express the target protein in E. coli, extract and purify this protein, and perform basic enzyme characterization analyses to confirm the function of the newly discovered terpene synthase gene. The student will receive one-on-one training and mentoring in the lab and learn to work as part of a research team towards a common goal. The project will result in identifying the catalytic activity of a putative linalool synthase, provide data students can use in poster presentations, and may lead to a publication.
Faculty: Dennis Gray
Project Title: Expression and characterization of a putative linalool synthase from Pinus sp.
The goal of this faculty led undergraduate research project is to provide training for one undergraduate student in molecular biology & biochemistry techniques through the expression and functional characterization of a putative linalool synthase from Pinus sp. This undergraduate project is part of a larger project aimed at reconstructing the evolutionary history of hemiterpene emission within the conifers, and discovering structure/function relationships in the terpene synthase enzymes. Through this project students will use the protein expression conditions optimized by prior student researchers to express the target protein in E. coli, extract and purify this protein, and perform basic enzyme characterization analyses to confirm the function of the newly discovered terpene synthase gene. The student will receive one-on-one training and mentoring in the lab and learn to work as part of a research team towards a common goal. The project will result in identifying the catalytic activity of a putative linalool synthase, provide data students can use in poster presentations, and may lead to a publication.
Faculty: Kaustav Misra
Project Title: The Economic Impact of Family Business Centers on Regional Economies: A Spatial-Analytic Approach
Literature identified the linkage between family businesses to regional and national economic growth, but the contributions of family business centers on regional economies are not well researched yet, which is the primary objective of this project. According to Knowledge-Based View and Institutional Theory, family business centers (FBCs) should have a positive impact on local and regional economies, and in this project we are employing a spatial-analytic approach to provide a systematic assessment of the economic impact of family business centers on local and regional economies. We plan to gather data at the county levels as well as zip code levels for at least three different years: 2000, 2005, and 2010 and utilize two performance-related indicators to measure the effectiveness of FBCs for small- and medium-size family firms in a region. Those indicators are: firm's birth rates, firm's death rates and employment rates. We hope to increase the importance of family business centers and facilitate non-member family business owners' interest to become members. Of course, engaging students in scholarly activity and providing them hands-on research experience as well as helping to maintain the college accreditation are a few other objectives of this project.
Faculty: Elizabeth Pierce, Co-Applicant Kaustav Misra
Project Title: Does Fraud Announcement Affect Market Share Price: Evidence from Public Companies
This project aims to determine the effects of announcement of cyberbreach on the market price of public companies. Over the last few years, these types of breaches have become more frequent and have involved larger volumes of records. Under the guidance of the faculty member, undergraduate research scholar(s) will familiarize themselves with the history cyberbreaches, gather information on market prices for the public companies involved and determine the effects of the announcements of these breaches on market price. Gathered information will be used to publish an article in a peer reviewed national journal and case studies to be used by college professors for accounting information systems and economics courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Finally, the undergraduate research scholar(s) will present their findings at conferences.
Faculty: George Puia
Project Title: An integrative approach to inbound foreign direct investment
The original research on foreign direct investment (FDI) explored the decision process to directly own and manage operations in foreign locations and explored factors relative to economic location advantages and the need for management control of intellectual property. More recent research has flipped the direction of the investment question to explore inbound foreign direct investment, e.g., what criteria must a location meet in order to secure investment from overseas. The latter question has great significance to Michigan and particularly the Great Lakes Bay Region. To date, research on inbound FDI has been divided into two distinct streams: macro-economic factors and micro-behavioral factors. The macro inbound FDI literature explores a region's political and economic context and provides policy recommendations related to regulation. There is a more recent body of work that considers lifestyle and asks the extent to which executives evaluate the living conditions of the location their expatriate executives would face as part of the FDI decision. This paper attempts to integrate these to streams into a single model of inbound FDI. The results will have significant implications for both research and public policy.
Faculty: Adam Warhausen
Project Title: Development of Synthetic Models for Iron-containing Biomolecules Containing Hydroxamate Ligands with an Emphasis on Understanding their Redox Behavior
The project "Development of Synthetic Models for Iron-containing Biomolecules Containing Hydroxamte Ligands with an Emphasis on Understanding their Redox Behavior" will be carried out in assistant professor, Dr. Adam Warhausen's inorganic chemistry research lab. The interactions of nitric oxide (NO) with bioavailable metals are a very well-studied field of chemistry. However, there is much to be learned about organic molecules that have the ability or capability of generating NO in vivo. Promisingly, hydroxamic acids, which are well known organic molecules that have been suspected to be NO donors are a prime example of a system that is ripe for investigation. Hydroxamic acids are unique compounds that are utilized by lower organisms to sequester iron and by humans in a pharmaceutical capacity. If these compounds bind iron and are being utilized as drugs and are present in the body, do they also have the ability to interact with iron containing porteins/enzymes or donate NO in a redox environment. The research carried out by undergraduate students will be directly supervised in order to teach critical laboratory skills and safety. Such skills include air-sensitive synthetic techniques, spectroscopic analysis, reading and reviewing scholarly journals, notebook keeping, scientific writing, and verbal communication by presenting results at a local or national scientific meeting. This work aims to study how hydroxamic acids interact with synthetic models of iron-containing biomolecules and how they respond to oxidative conditions through analysis with cyclic voltammetry.