McNair Scholars Alumni 2008

McNair Scholars Alumni 2008

See the posters created by the 2008 McNair Scholars

Joseph Ojanen
Differential Tuition in Higher Education
Faculty Mentor: Mr. Diek Carlson, Department of Business and Economics
ABSTRACT:  In today's society, it's hard to ignore the importance of education, especially higher education.  On average, an individual's earning potential increases as their education level increases.  There are also benefits to society, such as more tax revenue for government programs.  As a result, the provision of higher education should be as efficient as possible in order to ensure as many people as possible receive an education.  However, this is not always possible because of budget shortfalls faced by colleges.  Currently, students are being forced to cope with rising tuition and the declining ability of grants to cover this cost.  Colleges must find a tuition level that enables them to provide a top education while still making it affordable.  One solution to this problem may be through differential pricing of tuition.  Since the make-up of every college is different and because there are many differential tuition plans, there is no one plan that will work for everyone.  Before a college chooses to implement a differential tuition plan, it must consider the effect the changes will have on revenues, enrollment, and financial aid.  However, with the proper research, a differentiated tuition plan is something that could allow colleges to more efficiently provide an education to its students.

Justin Gervais
How The Japanese Protest Movement From 1964 to 1968 Changed The Japan-United States Bilateral Relationship During The Vietnam War
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Obermiller, Department of Social Inquiry
ABSTRACT:   The Japanese people had the power to change, through demonstration and other means, the foreign policy of the decision makers at the top during the Vietnam War.  Historically, these disagreements were not precedent setting during the Vietnam War, but rather, have existed in varying degrees of strength since the Occupation of Japan by the United States commenced in 1945, both in government and in public venues.  The Japanese accomplished their effect upon the policy set in place by the U.S. and it through mass demonstrations and rallies expressing their dissent with both the Japanese and U.S. governments.  The United States, recognizing its need for Japan as a strategic waypoint in East Asia, had no choice but to honor the requests of the Japanese government to limit their demands.  While these changes in policy were by no means drastic, it shows the power that the organized Japanese protest movements had over U.S.-Japan relations.  

Jason T. Schlender
Ojibwe miinawa Bwaanag Wiijigaabawitaadiwinan (Ojibwe and Dakota Relations) A Modern Ojibwe Perspective Through Oral History
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joel Sipress, Department of Social Inquiry
ABSTRACT:  People have tried to write American Indian history as the history of relations between tribes and non-Indians.  What is important is to have the history of the Ojibwe and Dakota relationships conveyed with their own thoughts.  This is important because it shows the vitality of Ojibwe oral history conveyed in their language and expressing their own views.  The stories and recollections offer a different lens to view the world of the Ojibwe.  A place few people have looked at in order to understand the complicated web of relationships that Ojibwe and Dakota have with one another.  "Niibowa bwaanag omaa gii-taawag.  Miish igo gii-maajinizhikawaawaad iwidi mashkodeng.  Mashkodeng gii-izhinaazhikawaad iniw bwaanan, akina.  Miish akina imaa Minisooding gii-nagadamowaad mitigokaag, aanjigoziwaad.  Mii sa naagaj, mii i'iw gaa-izhi-zagaswe'idiwaad ingiw bwaanag, ingiw anishinaabeg igaye.  Gaawiin geyaabi wii-miigaadisiiwag, wiijikiwendiwaad.  A lot of Sioux lived here.  Then they chased them out to the prairies, all of them.  They [were forced] to move and abandon the forests there in Minnesota.  But later on, they had a [pipe] ceremony, the Sioux and Chippewa too.  They didn't fight anymore, [and] made friends (White and Treuer, 243.)"

Jacky Wiggins
History/Art History
Survival of Uyghur Ethnic Identity: A Case of Self Preservation
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marshall Johnson, Department of Social Inquiry
ABSTRACT:  In a world of increasing globalization, ethnic minorities and marginalized societies are in danger of being smothered by the nations that surround them.  The Uyghurs within China are in a position of becoming assimilated into the larger Han culture despite the policies that are in place to protect them.  The survival of the Uyghurs as a distinct ethnic group depends on their ability to secure economic stability within their region by increasing education and job opportunities within their communities in order to take advantage of the economic opportunities that have arisen due to the region's abundant natural resources.  Education and job opportunities within Xinjiang are also dependent on the protection of their language and the ability to stem the migration of young Uyghurs as well as the immigration of Han Chinese.  The ability to protect the cultures within its borders will reflect on China's position on international ethnic disputes. 

Stephanie Hooker
Environmental Influences on Hunger and Psychological States: Is Autonomous Self-Regulation Protective?
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lara LaCaille (UMD), Department of Psychology
ABSTRACT:  Individuals are regularly exposed to environmental cues that may influence their current internal mental and bodily states.  Some messages in the environment may positively affect individuals, such as health promotion messages, while other messages may be detrimental to one's health, such as the thin ideal.  Not all individuals are impacted by environmental cues in the same way.  One trait, such as dispositional motivational style, may buffer the impact of these environmental cues.  Previous research suggests that individuals who are more self-determined or autonomously self-regulated, as outlined by the self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), may not be as greatly affected by sociocultural pressures to be thin (Pelletier, Dion, & Levesque, 2004).  The current experiment sought to examine the effect of subtle environmental messages about body image or health behavior on current bodily and mental states, such as hunger, mood, self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction, while examining the individual level of autonomy as a moderating factor between these cues and resulting changes.  Participants were given one of three prompts in the form of surveys: a health behavior prompt, a body image prompt, or control (no survey), then asked to complete a number of other surveys assessing these bodily and mental states.  No significant differences between the groups were found on any of the variables measured. Self-determination was not a significant moderator between the cues and the dependent variables, but level of autonomy was significantly related to indicators of greater well-being, such as less negative mood and higher self-esteem.

Nina Lutmer
Impact of Parental Methamphetamine Use On Pre-school Aged Children
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Suzanne Griffith, Department of Counseling Professions
ABSTRACT:  Little research has been published regarding the developmental effects methamphetamine exposure may have on children living in the home environment.  This research attempts to discover some of the developmental effects experienced by children exposed to methamphetamine, and, in particular, those in northeastern Minnesota.  In order to gather information, professionals affiliated with the Head Start program in the region were interviewed regarding their observations and experiences working with families where substance abuse, including methamphetamine, has been an issue.  This researcher looked to see if the developmental effects experienced by children exposed to methamphetamine would be both distinguishable as well as detrimental.

Britney Van Dyke
Social Work
Impact of Social Work Student Research Projects On Community-based Agencies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Monica Roth Day, Department of Human Behavior and Diversity
ABSTRACT:  University of Wisconsin-Superior social work students conduct annual research on behalf of local community-based agencies.  This research is a major assignment in SoW 380 and 480, the social work research courses.  The impact of such research on these agencies has previously been unknown.  Research was conducted dot determine the impact of student research on agencies and discover the relationship between students and agency staff.  This study suggests that social work student research is helpful for the agency and the students completing the research.  Findings can be utilized to evaluate the community-based assignment in SoW 380 and 480.

Michael Sullivan
Giga-wanishinimin ina?  Will We Be Lost?  The Status of the Ojibwe Language at Lac Courte Oreilles
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marshall Johnson, Department of Social Inquiry
ABSTRACT:  The purpose of this research project is to identify the present status of the Ojibwe language at Lac Courte Oreilles.  In order to properly understand the current status of the language, one must first understand the effects of the various social institutions that have affected the Ojibwe language and its people.  It was obvious from the starting point of this research that the continuation of the use of the Ojibwe language is in jeopardy at Lac Courte Oreilles, but I wanted to explore why the language is in its current shape, and what is being done to strengthen the status of the language and preserve it for future generations.  The topic is very personal to me, since I am from Lac Courte Oreilles, and am an avid Ojibwe language student and intermediate speaker.  The difficulty in the task lay in discovering how the present language status is being ignored and how the powers that be at Lac Courte Oreilles appear to be unconcerned with the language's disparity.  A scant few can speak the language or are learning it and supporting its revitalization efforts, while the majority seems unconcerned regarding the future of the language.  The ultimate goal of this research is to identify the status of the language and to motivate the tribe on an individual and national basis to take action and strive to retain the very component that defines the people of Lac Courte Oreilles.