Minot State professors awarded funding from Small Grants Program

MINOT, N.D. – The Minot State University Office of Sponsored Programs has awarded funding to 11 professors from nine projects to conduct research and further study this summer provided by the Minot State University Small Grants program.

Each year, faculty from a wide range of disciplines apply for funding through Minot State University’s Small Grants program. Each grant application is reviewed by members of the Minot State Faculty Research Committee. Committee members use a scoring rubric to rank the applications and use these rankings in making final funding decisions.

The Committee elected to award grants ranging from $977 to $3,000 to Heidi Super, biology; John McCollum, sociology; Jynette Larshus, sociology-political science; Wenjing Zheng and Holly Pedersen, special education; Bishnu Sedai, math; Ryan Stander, art; Rebecca Daigneault, social work; Mary Huston and Sarah Boyle, communication disorders; and Naomi Winburn, chemistry in 2019-2020.

Super will conduct research, titled, "Teaching Old Cancer Drugs New Tricks: Using Epigenetic Modifying Compounds to Sensitize Leukemia Cells to Respond to a Derivative of Vitamin A.” She will test a relatively old drug, All Trans Retinoic Acid—ATRA, a derivative of vitamin A, in combination with new compounds, in order to sensitize previously ATRA-resistant types of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to respond.

McCollum will conduct an interview project called "Extraction, Class, and Consciousness: An Examination of Unionization in North Dakota's Bakken Oil Shale Region.” He seeks to understand why, in the presence of suitable conditions, oil workers in North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Shale region are not coalescing into strong unions.

Larshus will begin her sabbatical research project in Spring 2020. "Tensions of Transformation in Snowboarding Culture: From Lifestyle Sporting Activity to Legitimate Occupation” will add to a stratified analysis of the transformations of snowboarding culture over the course of 15 years.

Zheng and Pedersen will study the impact of Swivl robotic technology and guided video analysis on teacher candidates' reflective ability and instructional skills during four months of research in their project, "The Effects of Swivl Robotic Technology and Guided Video Analysis on Teacher Candidates' Reflective Ability and Instructional Skills.”

Sedai’s project, titled, "Spectral Shift Function and Trace Formula,” will involve undergraduate students in the research of study spectral shift function and associated trace formula, celebrated topics in both math and physics, for a pair of self-adjoint matrices.

Stander’s project, "Photographic Printmaking Exploration,” will explore variety of ways photography may cross over into the print world, in particular how a photograph may be translated into a woodcut, screen print, aluminum plate lithograph, and polymer plate etching.

Daigneault’s pilot program is in partnership with Turtle Mountain Community High School students, parents, and staff, along with Tami Jollie-Trottier, to improve high school graduation rates and decrease truancy and dropout. The project is titled, "Positive Partnering Program: An Effort to Reduce High School Truancy and Dropout Rates for Turtle Mountain Community High School.”

Huston and Boyle’s study, "Enhancing Student Learning through 3D Printed Anatomical Models,” will build on Boyle’s master’s thesis. The purpose of this project is to develop 3D-printed anatomical structures needed for communication disorders (e.g., larynx, skull, brain structures, etc.) to determine if accuracy of models results in increased learning and retention of anatomical knowledge. In addition, students within the communication disorders program would be encouraged to explore 3D printing to facilitate learning styles.

Winburn’s project, "X-Ray Diffraction of Materials,” includes core research projects, continuing projects, and new research projects that provide hands-on experiences for undergraduate chemistry students. The core project focuses on increasing the accuracy of the Rietveld method, while the continuing research may also address this, but will have some finite end; such as the heaver mineral study and potential the solid solution study. The new research focuses on an aspect of some continuing work (the synthesis of brownmillerite) and on an entirely new area (veterinary medicine).

All small grant recipients are required to present at the annual Minot State Research Poster Session in April in the Student Center Atrium.

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Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 06/21/19   

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