1998 - Vol. 3. No. 1
F.W. de Klerk
Dr. Ruth Warner Towne
Around the Quad
Undergraduate Research at Truman State University
The 11th Annual Truman State University Undergraduate Research Symposium
provided the University an opportunity to view scholarship from every
facet of a liberal arts and sciences education.
Held on March 24 in the Student Union, this annual event afforded
students involved in undergraduate research a chance to present the
results of their faculty/student collaborative projects to the University.
Each division on campus was represented this year as students presented
their results through poster displays and oral presentations in front
of a critical audience.
"It's an interdisciplinary opportunity for the whole campus to be
involved," said David Lescynski, undergraduate research committee
chair. "Not only students, but faculty can see what's going on in
included topics such as, "Ethics on the Information Super Highway"
(Division of Business and Accountancy), "HyperStudio: Teaching Building
Classroom Discipline With Multimedia Software" (Division of Education),
and "Harmonic Foreshadowing and Motivic Unity in Schubert's Piano
Sonata in A Major" (Division of Fine Arts).
When it first began in 1988, there were 30 student presentations.
Since then, participation has increased greatly because of the University's
focus on encouraging all undergraduates to participate in appropriate
scholarly activity by the time they graduate. Participation increased
from 152 presentations in 1997 to more than 200 this year, making
the 11th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium the largest yet.
Truman's commitment to undergraduate research is emphasized in its
Master Plan. All majors are encouraged to participate in scholarly
activities, often with Truman faculty as mentors. As a result, intellectual
discovery on all levels is stimulated by teacher-scholars of high
caliber and by intensive study. Students are then encouraged to present
the results of their research at the annual Symposium.
Research activities across the disciplines often result in scholarly
papers, presentations, and other products of student/faculty collaboration
such as literary productions, musical performances and compositions,
and art work.
Involving students in meaningful research has become a hallmark of
The Star-Wars of Today:
Using Technology in Speech-language Therapy
senior communications disorders major
Division of Human Potential and Performance
Games using the Star Wars movie and current videodisk technology
are commonplace at Truman's speech and hearing clinic on campus.
Senior Lisa Odorizzi and two other students worked on this
project during the fall and spring semesters under the direction
of their acting mentor, Melissa Passe (while Dr. Paula Cochran
was on sabbatical). This on-going project created for Truman
speech and hearing clinicians facilitates the correct production
of sounds in words and sentences utilizing a videodisk of
found this project fascinating. It forced me to adapt games
to fit the needs of the client," Odorizzi said of the research.
The group met once each week for almost two hours viewing
the Star Wars tape, deciding which scenes to choose, and then
creating bar coded cards. These cards are then used to view
a particular segment of the movie which the child must explain.
This assists children with either the pronunciation of certain
sounds that are more difficult, such as "s," "r," "sh," "ch,"
"f," or "v;" or with the ability to use past tense verbs and/or
descriptors. Many senior communications disorders students
perform clinicals with actual clients. The Truman student
has one or two clients that are either adults or children
with special speech or hearing needs. Each client is seen
for two 50-minute sessions per week.
Odorizzi has used the Star Wars videodisk technology with
one of her clients this past semester. "He really loves Star
Wars. Using the videodisk and bar coded cards helps to keep
him interested without knowing that he's really even learning
at the same time," said Odorizzi of her 5-year-old client.
Odorizzi will attend Eastern Illinois University in the fall
to pursue a master's degree in speech pathology. She then
hopes to work in a hospital setting.
A Preliminary Study of the
Effects of Colonization in Bolivia's Amazon
-- Brian C. Campbell,
senior Anthropology and English major
Division of Social Science
In the fall of 1996, Brian Campbell, went to Costa Rica to
study at the National University of Costa Rica-Heredia for
the sole purpose of becoming fluent in Spanish, his declared
minor. During his stay, he lived with a family in the mountains
and studied them for a sociology project. Intrigued by their
lifestyle and customs, Campbell was determined to return to
South America for further studies. "The experience of living
with this poor family was the most important moment in my
ultimate decision to declare anthropology my major," Campbell
a dual major (Anthropology and English with International
Studies and Spanish minors), Campbell returned to Truman for
further studies. Campbell researched volunteer work and found
a program at an ecological research station in the Bolivian
Amazon. With the approval of the University and his mentor,
Dr. Michael Davis, Campbell was granted independent study
credit for his experience. He spent two months during the
summer of 1997 working there and living with one of the many
Amazonian colonies originally from the Andes. "I found Bolivia
an intriguing country. The Amazon had predominantly been left
alone other than the industrial capital of Santa Cruz. Outside
of that, as you go further east toward Brazil, it's still
an Amazon jungle," Campbell said.
He studied the interethnic stratification and kept notes
while working in the fields for the ecological station. Upon
his return, he did further research on the topic of social
stratification built upon ethnicity. His presentation at the
Undergraduate Research Symposium was the preliminary step
in discussing his results. While there are numerous consequences
of the colonization, Campbell focused on two: the environmental
degradation caused by the unfamiliarity with the Amazon lowlands
on the part of the highland colonists, and the interethnic
social stratification which emerged due to the sudden combination
of distinct peoples with radically different histories. "The
'civilized' nature of the new Spanish-Bolivian culture, originating
in the Andes, in contrast with the violent tribal past of
the Amazon creates the negative view of native Amazonian peoples,"
Campbell said. This in turn causes a divided society that
is unable to function in cooperation. Therefore, each group
continues to fall behind in terms of development since they
do not choose to share their expertise with the other groups
nor learn new skills from them.
In the future, Campbell hopes to return to the Amazon; "There
exists a significant task in educating the current inhabitants
of the Amazon about sustainable methods of agriculture to
repair the environmental consequences along with the corresponding
A Developmental Study of Pollen
Anther Morphology in the American Lotus
- Sarah Kreunen,
senior Biology major
Division of Science
Nelumbo lutea, commonly known as the American lotus, is a
plant indigenous to North America that has historically been
thought to be related to the Nymphaeales, or water lilies.
However, recent studies have also linked it to the lower eudicots
(a more advanced group of plants that includes the sycamore).
Dedicating over two years conducting a developmental study
of pollen in the American lotus, Sarah Kreunen looks forward
to a publication and an excellent future in graduate school
because of her research experience at Truman.
love for biology was greatly enhanced when she took a microscopy
course from her now mentor, biologist, Dr. Jeffrey Osborn.
His enthusiasm inspired a similar passion within her. Since
1996, Kreunen has dedicated countless hours in the lab studying
how the American lotus develops pollen. This involves studying
the anther of the lotus. The anther is the portion of the
stamen where pollen is produced. Each of the 50 lotus buds
she collected in the summer of 1996 average 1.27 centimeters
The anther is significantly smaller (between 2.5 millimeters
and 38 millimeters in length - about the width of a blade
of grass) and requires the use of a light microscope, a scanning
electron microscope and a transmission electron microscope
to conduct research on this minute specimen.
Painstaking hours were spent documenting pollen development
in an effort to better understand the process and then, ultimately,
coming to the conclusion that the American lotus, historically
having been related to water lilies (believed to be primitive),
instead demonstrates a relation to some lower eudicots. This
conclusion is significant because this new knowledge can be
used to gain a better understanding of the evolution of flowering
plants. Charles Darwin referred to the origin of flowering
plants as an "abominable mystery." Perhaps, through Kreunen's
research, we can better understand the nature of flowering
plants which are the most dominant type of plants on earth
and most critical to humans for medicinal, agronomical and
Kreunen's thirty-one-page thesis, a requirement for departmental
honors, will be submitted for publication. Her final projects
for this summer include fine-tuning her thesis, presenting
at an international conference in London, and writing and
developing protocol for the video imaging archiving system
that will benefit future students enrolled in the microscopy
course. Kreunen will then pursue graduate studies at Arizona
Students Display Research at Capitol
Truman students participated in The Truman Experience: Undergraduate
Scholarship, where they presented their research at the Missouri
State Capitol in Jefferson City. More than 50 students were
at the Capitol April 8 to discuss their undergraduate research
projects with Missouri legislators.
Mike Lybyer listens to
Tracey Mertens as she presents her research at the capitol.
Anita Yeckel with Carrie Auer,
senior economics major.