The following is a list of the Theory-to-Practice Grants awarded in the 2009-2010 academic year.
Effects of Monosodium Glutamate on Amphetamine-Induced Psychosis in the Rat: Integration of the Dopamine and Glutamate Hypotheses of Schizophrenia
Assistant professor of psychology, Jennifer Yates and psychology and neuroscience student Tayler O’Connell developed a semester-long research project to explore the effect of monosodium glutamate in controlling psychotic behavior in rats. This research supports broader scientific efforts to treat schizophrenia through development of better understandings of the factors that generate psychotic behavior and refined techniques for controlling such potentially dangerous conditions.
Bolivia: Ecology, Poverty, and People
Emeritus professors of zoology, Dennis Radabaugh and Sally Waterhouse joined professor of sociology-anthropology, Mary Howard to develop an interdisciplinary summer course on the interactions of ecological disturbance and social problems in the Bolivian highlands. Five OWU students and an alumnus accompanied the three faculty members to Bolivia during the summer of 2010 to examine the connections between the fragile Bolivian ecosystem and the country’s political and economic history through 5 centuries of colonial and post-colonial rule. The trip included exploration in major urban and rural regions, including La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Buena Vista.
Bringing Molecular Systematic to OWU Through the Investigation of Evolution in Xylopia
Professor of botany-microbiology, David Johnson and botany student Gregory Stull developed a research project during the 2009 Winter Break to examine the evolutionary history of the tropical plant genus Xylopia. The duo learned a new “molecular systematic” methodology at the New York Botanical Garden that supports new insights into pan-tropical plant evolution. Johnson and Stull have applied the molecular systematic methodology to subsequent classroom pedagogy and classroom experiment design.
High-Resolution Conodont Biostratigraphy
Professor of geology-geography, Keith Mann and accounting and geology and geography student Jen Schmitt developed a project to document the fossil record of conodont fauna (an extinct, primitive bony eel-like fish) in the Columbus Limestone and Delaware Limestone rock formations. The project has allowed the researchers to more accurately and precisely determine the age of these limestone formations and their geologic connection to regions in North America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. Learn more.
Sex Differences in Environmental-Dependent Tolerance to Ethanol and Diazepam in Mice
Assistant professor of psychology, Jennifer Yates and psychology and philosophy student Robert Pence developed a project to examine the relationship between gender and chemical sensitivity in the physiological reaction to two commonly used chemicals administered to patients suffering from a class of medical conditions such as anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and seizures. The research involved the administration of both ethanol and diazepam injections into mice to evaluate the physiological response based on sleep levels induced in the subjects.
Natural History of the New River, Lamanai, and Chan Chich, Belize
Professor of zoology, Jed Burtt and zoology students Jack Stenger and Sean Williams developed a project to expose the students to the tropical rainforest ecology, historic Mayan ruins, scientific seminars, and multiple field trips throughout the country of Belize. The research allowed Burtt and his students to catalog the flora and fauna of Belize, with an emphasis on the local bird species as well as native mammalian, reptilian, and amphibian species previously discussed in classroom settings.
Applied Conservation in Borneo: Habitat Restoration and Developing Alternative Sources of Income of Indigenous People
Zoology student Meredith Palmer developed a project that combined biological and social science to study conservation biology and environmental sustainability in the Batu Puteh district of northeastern Borneo (Sabah state, Malaysia). Meredith conducted research with the MESCOT initiative, a local community tourism cooperative organization that seeks to combine wildlife research, habitat restoration, and sustainable eco-tourism economies in the Kinabatangan River valley, where logging and palm-oil production severely threaten endangered orangutan and several other primate habitats.
Species Preference in Bat-House Design: Implications for Bat Conservation and Ecosystem Services
Zoology student and Fulbright Scholar Kristen Lear developed a project to study the behavioral ecology of multiple bat species in order to better sustain native bat populations. Working in San Saba, Texas, Kristen used in-depth biological knowledge of bat ecology to design multiple bat-house structures and then assess species-specific preferences. This research provided new scientific knowledge for conserving and promoting the ecological and economic role of bats.
English, journalism, and French student Diane Bizzarro developed a project to experience French culture, history, and social life through study and volunteerism at several theatrical sites in France. The research granted Diane experiential learning about the development and continuing influence of both ancient and modern theater forms in France. The project also rapidly developed her French language skills in an immersive environment. Learn more.
The American Belief: Faith and the Meaning of Life
Mathematics and physics student Ms. Chen “Chris” Gong developed a project that combined an interest in U.S. religion and faith with a desire to develop qualitative research methodology skills. The project involved the selection of multiple Chicago, Illinois citizens and the development of open-ended ethnographic interviews to explore their views and faith traditions.
Understanding the Egg-Laying Behaviors and Conservation of the Green Turtle in Costa Rica
Zoology student Cailee Smith developed a project to work with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation to learn the scientific techniques for assessing the health and nesting sites of at-risk Green marine turtles. The research helped Cailee develop direct experience with identifying, observing, and protecting female egg-laying turtles and their nest sites. The skills learned relate to broader conservation biology requirements that may be applied to a range of species protection efforts. Learn more.
Building a Bridge Between Ohio Wesleyan and the Penland School of Crafts
Fine arts and English student Martha Park developed a project to attend a two-week workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The project granted Martha the opportunity for hands-on experience alongside master artisans focused on a range of material arts, including books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printing, textiles, and wood. Learn more.
Glare as a Selection Pressure on Bill Color in Temperate and Neo-Tropical Birds
Zoology student Sean Williams developed a project to conduct ornithological research in the Costa Rican cloud forests and rainforests. The research is examining the theorized relationship between sun glare, bill color and foraging behavior for multiple neo-tropical bird species. The final research results contributed to our understanding of the evolution of bird coloration and behavioral ecology of both bird and other animal species. Sean currently is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Michigan State University. Learn more.
OWU Opera Workshop at the Salzburg Music Festival (Austria)
Assistant professor of music, Jason Heister developed a project that introduced eight Music 011 Opera Workshop course students to the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria for ten days. The hosting University of Miami program gave OWU faculty and students an opportunity to experience the rich European opera tradition and stay with a local family in Salzburg – the birthplace of Mozart and a cradle of the European performing arts.
Exploration of the Welfare of ‘Street Children’ in Kolkata, India
Psychology and black world studies student Danielle Bonner; sociology-anthropology student Perrie Bonner; and psychology, neuroscience, and pre-med student Adeline Hemmen developed a project to partner with Good News Christian Educational Mission on a philanthropic trip to Kolkata, India. The students volunteered at an orphanage and helped teach homeless children English language skills. The students supplemented their month-long experience with multiple historical and environmental tours of Kolkata.
Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Post-Conflict Transition: Theoretical Research and its Practical Application
International studies and economics students Alina Ruzmetova and Melissa Tan, and international studies and French student Megan Weaver developed a project to volunteer with the Global Youth Connect Summer 2010 Human Rights Delegation, forge connections with NATO professionals, and conduct independent research for six weeks on the ethnic minority experience of the post-conflict transformation of political, economic, and social conditions in BiH. Learn more.
Researching Pakistani Perspectives on U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan
Economics and politics-government student Anthony Harper, international studies and politics-government student Kyle Herman, and politics-government student Sean-Paul Mauro developed a project with the guidance of OWU alumnus Usman Javaid to conduct political opinion research in Lahore, Pakistan. The students interviewed multiple Pakistani citizens of diverse demographic backgrounds and conducted personalized tours of several government and religious institutions over a two-week period in May 2010.
Exploring the Business and Economic Environment in Nicaragua
Professor of management, Barbara MacLeod developed a project that led a class to Managua, other Nicaraguan cities, and rural northern regions for ten days to explore political, economic, and business practices. The research trip introduced students to recent OWU alumni, U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, Nicaraguan business leaders and government officials, and a private briefing seminar provided by U.S. Embassy officers.
The ShakePoverty Foundation
Economics-management students Hung Nguyen and Farooq Busari developed a project to establish their own non-profit organization called The ShakePoverty Foundation. The Foundation set a mission of raising public awareness about and raising funds to support the Millennium Challenge goals of extreme poverty eradication in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. Both Stanford University and Columbia University have established ShakePoverty chapters in recent years.
Global Issues of Safe Drinking Water
Associate professor of fine arts, Kristina Bogdanov and professor of botany/microbiology and zoology, Laura Tuhela-Reuning developed a cross-disciplinary course titled “Safe drinking water for the world – The intersection of ceramics and microbiology” that explored how new ceramics innovations could facilitate water purification science and benefit the global need for reliable potable water. The course project emerged from a shared focus on “Potters for Peace”, a non-profit movement to promote point-of-use water treatment options to the global poor using ceramic water filters that purify the water.
Social Justice Training for Students
Professor of education, Paula White and Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Terree Stevenson developed a project that sent them and two students to the Social Justice Training Institute (SJC). Involvement with this San Francisco-based organization gave the project members an intensive space for exploring the complicated patterns of social discrimination and oppression in contemporary society. The faculty, staff, and student participants gained valuable real-world skills for fostering positive social conditions both on their campus and in their communities.
Chadian Refugee Book Drive
Spanish and French student Kathryn “Katie” Schlaudt developed this project that spanned the divide between central Ohio and central Africa. Katie spearheaded fundraising efforts to raise both monetary support and book donations in Delaware to provide a reading library for Cameroon-based refugees from the African state of Chad. Following acquisition of the reading materials, Katie traveled to Cameroon to volunteer alongside Chadian refugees in order to establish the reading library.
Immigrantification: Global Immigration and Landscape Changes Among Somali and Latino Immigrants and the Revitalization of Columbus Neighborhoods
Assistant professor of geology-geography, David Walker and geography student Jack Schemenauer developed a project to conduct that informs our broader knowledge of North American political-economic change. The Northland business/residential district in Columbus, OH has been revitalized through an $18 million urban renewal grant and intensive grassroots social and economic development efforts among the Somali and Latino communities. Field research granted David and Jack hands-on research interaction with local immigrant residents in the area. Learn more.