2004 McNair Scholars at UW-Superior

2004 McNair Scholars Program Research

Jessica Brandt
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Donald W. Davidson, Natural Sciences Department

ABSTRACT: With current deforestation rates throughout the world, there is a need to lessen the demand on natural forests. They are important in biodiversity, climate regulation, aesthetics, education, and economy of the United States. Half of all timber harvested is used for construction of the new buildings causing forests to diminish every day.

To decrease the demand on forests, alternative building materials can be used in construction to take the place of wood. The focus on Wisconsin is based on the lack of research being done in areas that have climates with varying degrees of temperature, precipitation, and severe weather. With the states rich history of environmental progressivism, it is possible that the state government would support the use of alternative materials viable for the area.

Two materials were evaluated based on cost, viability, and environmental impact and both show promise for increased use. Straw bale constructions as well as a product called RASTRA are equally viable solutions Wisconsin can use to do its part in decreasing the demand on forests of the world.


Trudy Fredericks
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joel M. Sipress, Social Inquiry Department

ABSTRACT: Reconstruction is one of the most contested episodes in American history. As historians throughout the twentieth century altered their presentations of the era, American history textbook authors followed suit by adding many of the new elements the major historians brought to the discussion.

Time progressed and new insights emerged within the interpretations as post-World War II America left behind the "traditional" white supremacist renditions to adopt a more "democratic" interpretation and post-Civil Rights America eventually wrote black agency into the story. As modern day historians bring back to life the discussions of Reconstruction based on economic and class struggle originally proposed in the 1930's, the question remains whether the textbook authors of today will incorporate these discussions into their narratives.

Vivian A. Eichmueller
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steven J. Rosenberg, 
Mathematics and Computer Science Deparment

ABSTRACT: We will start with special relativity and derive the velocity addition formula and the Lorentz Transformation in one spatial dimension, and we show that velocity addition yields a group law. We will then move into higher spatial dimensions and prove that relativistic velocity addition, although not a group operation yields a gyro group.

Jayson Saumer
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chad Scott,
Mathematics and Computer Science Department

ABSTRACT: For the differential equation y' = f(x,y), we find a family of correctors derived from 3-point quadrature. Further, we isolate the effectiveness of these correctors and pinpoint in one specific case which member of the family is the best corrector.


Maja Radulovic
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nancy Minahan, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between normal dietary tryptophan and the behavior in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and possibly other individuals with neurodegenerative disorders. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease and the individuals who care for them may benefit from experiencing less severe symptoms of irritability and depression. It is hypothesized that a negative correlation will exist between tryptophan levels in the diet and disruptive behaviors; high tryptophan is expected to lead to few disruptive behaviors.

Bethany Wilfert
Social Work
Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Twining-Blue and Judy Dwyer, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

ABSTRACT: This study examines the current state of supportive services for youth in post-war Sarajevo. It has been nearly a decade since a violent siege tore through the city of Sarajevo. During wartime, children suffer greatly and are forced to bear the consequences of war for the rest of their lives. This research study was based on face-to-face interviews with workers who deliver supportive services for children, providing insight into the needs of youth in Sarajevo and the services they need.

Kenneth Pearson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Ball, Social Inquiry Department

ABSTRACT: Over the past years American schools have been subject to the most violent acts committed by children in American history. The type of violence and harassment seen at schools has become progressively worse. In this research paper, a theory called "wilding" is tested to see if it can help explain why American schools have become increasingly violent. Interviews with three school district superintendents were conducted to see if local schools of Northwest Wisconsin and Northeastern Minnesota have become more violent over the years, and what procedures and policies were implemented to curb the violence and harassment.