2010 McNair Scholars at UW-Superior

2010 McNair Scholars Program Research

Maura Zephier
Faculty Mentor: Ms. Gloria Eslinger, Dept. of Visual Arts  

ABSTRACT: During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) a significant theme of painting was the portrayal of beautiful women. These renderings have shown how women were considered inferior to men. The women were only valued for their physical appearance, subordinate actions, and suitable talents. In order to analyze these paintings it is necessary to gain knowledge about the period of time in which they were created.

An examination of the past brings forth the meaning purveyed through symbolism, setting, and figures to realize the full spectrum of a Chinese woman's life displayed on the canvas. The subjugation of women will be identifiable and these paintings will signify additional information on the views of Chinese women. Chinese women in art are an important part of history, aiding in the interpretation of how they were treated as a gender. It is imperative to study Chinese women in all aspects of history to recognize the complete gamut of a Chinese woman's plight in life. 

Christy Wagner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michelle Arnhold, Dept. of Biology

ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia (PE), also known as toxemia, is a disorder that occurs during a woman's pregnancy and postpartum period, and affects approximately 5-7% of pregnancies (Srinivas et al., 2009). It is often characterized by an increase in blood pressure (hypertension), as well as excessive amounts of protein in the urine (proteinuria). Other symptoms of PE include a rapid increase in weight gain, abdominal pain, decrease in urine output, and excessive vomiting and/or nausea (Wang et al., 2009).

In women with preeclampsia, significant hypertension is observed, specifically during the second and third trimesters (Wang et al, 2009). Some women may be at higher risk for PE than others. Risk factors for developing preeclampsia include obesity (Mbah et al., 2010), a history of chronic hypertension and/or PE in past pregnancies (Canti et al., 2010), a history of various diseases or disorders such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, or a pregnancy over the age of 35 years (Wang et al., 2009). Human data suggests preeclamptic mothers have a reduced body and brain weight (Oatridge et al., 2002), as well as their offspring's body weight (Wust et al., 2005).

The present study was designed to investigate these variables using the RUPP model. Furthermore, because renal and adrenal hormones are so tightly linked to blood pressure regulation, we measured kidney and adrenal gland weight. We hypothesized that mean arterial pressure would be increased in RUPP dams, body and brain weight would be reduced, and kidney and adrenal weight would increase. Additionally, we hypothesized that RUPP fetuses would have reduced body and brain weight.

David Udofia
Faculty Mentor: Mr. Brent Notbohm, Dept. of Communicating Arts  

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to investigate the differences and similarities that exist in television advertising in Nigeria and the United States. As a dual national I have been exposed to advertisements in both countries and this research seeks to find comparative themes as a basis of better understanding the two cultures.   

Ryan Bruner
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steve Rosenberg, Dept. of Math and Computer Science

ABSTRACT: We will make strides toward proving the Jacobian Conjecture in two variables when the degrees of the polynomials defining the endomorphism are relatively prime. We will use techniques that are less elementary than are strictly necessary to prove this case in hope of generalizing the proof to the case when these degrees are not relatively prime.

Aaron Bigboy
Faculty Mentor: Mr. Gary Johnson, Dept. of First Nations Studies

ABSTRACT: It is a silent killer, a killer that discriminates against no race, gender, sexuality, or creed. Diabetes afflicts one race more so than any other, this race is Native Americans. Although Native Americans have withstood removal, relocation, and assimilation, diabetes is the fight that Native Americans are losing. The population of Native Americans diagnosed with diabetes is growing by the day. The age of the diagnosed is getting younger and younger every year.

The tribes are fighting, but without the proper education, prevention, and intervention it is a losing effort. The diabetic not only suffers from this disease, but other factors are also involved including physical, mental, and financial burdens. The tribe carries the burden of caring for these people. The financial impact can be felt throughout the tribe as funding is limited and quite often falls back in the lap of the diabetic. Until Native Americans can get the proper health care and funding to maintain that care diabetes will continue to grow. 

Ben Larson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joel Sipress, Dept. of Social Inquiry  

ABSTRACT: Dairy farmers in the age of commercialization faced a number of challenges unique among agricultural producers, the successful solutions to which increasingly came to involve the intervention of the state on the behalf of the dairy industry. The fabrication of this enduring dairy-state compact came of age and flourished in the progressive era of American history, and the tumultuous transformation of thousands of average farmers into specialized, modern "dairymen" is a clear manifestation of many of the key trends emphasized by historians of the era-some seemingly at odds with each other.

In particular, the near century-long successful campaign for government intervention against margarine serves as the starkest illustration of the power of progressive agricultural politics in the hands of the dairymen, as a novel rhetoric of public health, pure food and scientific management served discriminatory, private interests in their campaign to enlist the support of the state.

A brief historiographical tour of the historical debate over American progressivism will place the dairymen firmly in the progressive camp, and a history of the commercialization and specialization of dairy farming will demonstrate the specific pressures that have produced the progressive dairyman, and his penchant for state intervention on his behalf. Finally, a history of the dairy industry's campaign against margarine producers, and an evaluation of the key arguments made by dairymen, will demonstrate this campaign as the site par excellence of agricultural progressivism.  

Janice Matthews
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hal Bertilson, Dept. of Human Behavior, Justice & Diversity

ABSTRACT: College campuses provide more than an education to their students; they offer a community for the development of social relationships and personal growth. Relational aggression is a problem of social relationships and can negatively affect a student's life by diminishing the quality of a living learning environment. Moral disengagement increased the likelihood of relational aggression as it has been shown to be the case in children. This is an exploratory study and through interviews shows intervals to test in theoretically designed research.

In an effort to examine the effects of moral disengagement on relationally aggressive behaviors students living in dormitories were interviewed for this study. Participants (n=21) included 5 females and 16 males with a mean age of 18.5 years. Five of the 21 participant's interviews were noteworthy because they reveal details of relational aggression among college age students and will be discussed further. A spectrum of social behaviors and understanding of their impact was found in this research including relational aggression and moral disengagement like dehumanization. When victims are dehumanized they are denied the human right to fair treatment and respect.


Elizabeth Fandry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Suzanne Griffith, Dept. of Educational Leadership  

ABSTRACT: Psychology and American Indian Studies Factors Influencing the Retention of American Indian Students in College Over the past several decades, it has been found that American Indian students have one of the lowest retention rates of any ethnic group in higher education. The purpose of this study is to identify which factors of students' experiences correlate most with success (retention) in college.

A survey was mailed out to American Indian students at two Midwestern universities that included questions on three different areas that have been found to affect retention: Support systems (three questions), Ease of transition to college (three questions), and Academics (three questions), along with questions indicating GPA, institution attended, and where the student was the fall after their first year of college. A large percentage of returning students indicated they had family support and an ease of making friends at college. There were no participants who had dropped out of college.

Suzanne Marcon-Fuller
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Monica Roth-Day,Dept. of Social Work

ABSTRACT: Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. Currently as many as 95% of all child safety seats are installed incorrectly. This study sought to understand if knowledge and use of child safety seats differs among parents with varying socioeconomic statuses and ethnicities in rural areas.

This community needs assessment used anonymous surveys given to parents of children 8-years-old or younger to assess general knowledge of safety seat usage, demographic data, and specific usage details of their child safety seats. The data was conclusive in showing that the two counties surveyed would benefit from additional programs to assist parents in keeping their children safe.



Scott Nelson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marshall Johnson, Dept. of Social Inquiry  

ABSTRACT: In relatively recent times new scientific research has found that humans have very little genetic difference. For several centuries it has been widely accepted that there is a real concept called "race" in which some "races" are superior while others are inferior. This work will examine the reality and construction of "race" and the events surrounding the Duluth Lynchings in 1920.

Shane Verber
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marshall Johnson, Dept. of Social Inquiry  

ABSTRACT: Stigmas are an unfortunate part of everyday life in middle school and high school. The negativity they impart on an individual can have long lasting effects; psychologically, emotionally and socially. This study focuses on the reasons for stigmatizing, theories of how to cope with being stigmatized and the effects of special education.

In addition, we will look at data that focuses on the respondents collective experiences of being stigmatized. Specifically, we will look at the rates of stigmatized students who have delayed entrance to college as a direct result of being stigmatized. We will explore a real life situation of being severely stigmatized and the extreme consequences that can happen. Finally, we will look at two current successful college students and their experiences of being stigmatized.