Student-Faculty Research Projects, Spring 2012 Awards

"Language and Transnational Students in Mexico"
Kathleen Tacelosky, chair of the Languages Department and associate professor of Spanish

Magen Rosinski, Spanish and international studies major

Ashley Ferrari, political science, Spanish, and international studies major

Two students will accompany Dr. Tacelosky to Puebla, Mexico, to continue the research she began there last year on a Fulbright grant. The trio will interview transnational students, defined as those who have had one or more years of schooling in the United States and are now in school in Mexico, their teachers, and their families regarding their linguistic needs, progress and patterns.

Tacelosky gathered baseline data last year and will now follow the transnational students for a longitudinal study. The researchers will gain insights into how students’ linguistic needs are changing as they remain in Mexican schools and whether or not those needs are being met. LVC students will participate in every aspect of the project – researching the related literature, carrying out and transcribing interviews, and engaging in linguistic analysis of the transcripts.


“Children’s Book: Creating an Educational Resource on Health, Wellness, and Injury Recovery”
Michael Fink, assistant professor of physical therapy
Jane Yingling, co-chair and associate professor of education
Michael Pittari, chair and associate professor of art
Mathew Samuel, assistant professor of digital communications
Nicole Sabol, physical therapy major
Hillary Forsythe, physical therapy major
Jessica Riley, elementary education major
Brittney Knauss, elementary education major
Ryan Humphries, elementary education major
David Yasenchak, art and art history major
Taylor Saraiva, art and art history major
Stephen Campbell, art and art history major
Digital Communications students TBD

This project is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort among four departments at LVC to create and publish a children’s book for 3-6 year olds on health, wellness, and injury recovery from a physical therapy perspective using a simple storyline with cartoon animal characters. To date, not a single published book exists to educate and entertain this age group on this topic from a physical therapy perspective, although more than 100,000 children see a pediatric physical therapist every year. The vision is that the final product would find its way into pediatric physical therapy clinic’s waiting rooms and be available in an electronic form (e-book) to all.

Read the story here.


“Into Abstraction: Experimentation and Dialogue in the Painting Studio”
Michael Pittari, chair and associate professor of art
Brittany Flood, art and art history major
Julia Hurley, art and art history major
Alena Langan, art and art history and English major
Taylor Saraiva, art and art history major

This project will allow four advanced-level student artists from the Art & Art History program to engage in a serious investigation of abstract painting by working collaboratively with their primary faculty advisor. Students and faculty will work alongside one another on a common theme such as nature or memory, and will discus their work in relation to the history of abstract painting based on readings and a museum trip. At the conclusion of the project the strongest works will be displayed on the LVC campus, and the students will assist in the design of a limited-edition catalog to document the project.

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“Murder in the Schoolhouse: The Amish School Shooting"
Carolyn Hanes, professor of sociology
Adam Gardner, criminal justice major

Dr. Hanes and Gardner, a junior, worked together on their project analyzing the West Nickel Mines Amish School shooting case study as an example of mass murder. The Amish school shooting was compared to a previous elementary school attack. The impact of mass murder on the Amish and “English” communities was explored as were the background and motivation of Charles Carl Roberts IV, the shooter. In addition to the image-oriented presentation, Hanes and Gardner each wrote papers analyzing the incident and the police response to it. The two presented their research at the 2012 national conference of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Read the story here.


“Stopping the Violence: A comparative analysis of gang/youth violence prevention/diversion program in the U.S. and U.K.”
Carolyn Hanes, professor of sociology
Aryeh Halevy, criminal justice major

Halevy conducted research as part of his semester abroad in London, and worked with Dr. Hanes while stateside to write his research paper. This study was a comparison of various violence prevention/diversion programs to get youth to leave gangs or to prevent them from joining gangs at all. The research was accepted to the 2012 national conference of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, where Halevy also served as chair of the "Youth Violence and Bullying" panel.

Read the story here.


“Lessons Learned from Across the Pond: Strengths and Challenges of a National Curriculum”
Jane Yingling, co-chair and associate professor of education
Students TBD

Exploring the strengths, challenges and areas for growth from the perspective of administrators, teachers, students and parents in the UK.

"Structure and Local Equivalence of Stabilizers and States"
David Lyons, professor of mathematical sciences
Scott Walck, chair and professor of physics

Students TBD

Quantum information science is an interdisciplinary field involving mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering, that studies the relationships between quantum mechanics and information processing. The work of faculty members David Lyons and Scott Walck, in collaboration with undergraduate research assistants, focuses on theoretical problems in quantum information related to quantum entanglement and nonlocality.

"Much of our work is concerned with the classification of entangled quantum states into meaningful types," Walck and Lyons said. "In other work, we have studied the problem of when quantum states of composite systems can be reconstructed from their subsystems. The interesting fact that such reconstruction is not always possible is reflected in the overused, nonetheless apt, phrase, 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.' Our work in this area is connected to classical mathematical problems on the spectra of hermitian operators and the important problem of N-representability in quantum chemistry."

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“Mobile Development”
Ken Yarnall, chair and associate professor of mathematical sciences, coordinator of the computer science program
Robert Hosler, computer science and art and art history major
Caitlyn Light, mathematics major

Dr. Yarnall and students will continue research from the past summer on mobile app development. This will include completing the design and implementation of the server that the mobile client relies on for event and location information and research, development, implementation and assessment techniques for location determination based on wi-fi topography. The students and faculty will collaborate in the design, development, and publication of location-based applications for mobile computing devices. The goal of the project is to develop one or more networked applications that will allow mobile devices equipped with location tools to solve interesting problems using those location-based tools. Students will develop an understanding of software development, from initial design to public release and beyond to project evolution and maintenance.

“Organic Photochemistry using Dye Molecules: Development of an International Student Research Exchange with ELTE in Budapest, Hungary”
Tim Peelen, associate professor of chemistry
Tai Nguyen, biochemistry major
Rachel Denny, psychobiology major

In this project, two LVC undergraduate students will join Dr. Peelen in Budapest, Hungary, for a five-week research experience. Peelen and the students will conduct chemistry research in the lab of Zoltán Novák at Eötvös Loránd University, the premiere research university in Hungary. They will study applications of light-absorbing dye molecules in initiating photochemical oxidation or reduction reactions. The project aims to pave the way for a long-term student research exchange between LVC and Eötvös Loránd.

Read the story here.