Students Compete for Kapp Honors Day Prize
Oral presentations on education in Mexico, sleep disturbance,
creative writing and water quality were student research projects
selected for recognition at Alma College’s annual Honors Day on
Thursday, April 3.
Will Allen, Melissa Barclay and Elizabeth Podufaly were the recipients of the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Prize, which were awarded to the best Honors Day oral presentations in the humanities, natural science and social science divisions. Each received $500 awards.
A panel of judges from each division selected the prizewinners after assessing the presentations for quality of scholarship as well as how well the material was presented.
From left: Lindsay Cain, Melissa Barclay, Will Allen and Elizabeth Podufaly.
The prize is named for the late Dr. Ronald O. Kapp, Alma biology
professor for 32 years and provost and vice president for academic
affairs from 1969-89. The competition is open to all students and
groups, including Greek organizations, clubs and other campus groups.
In addition, Lindsay Cain was the recipient of the Sigma Xi Prize for best scientific poster presentation at Honors Day.
Will Allen, Unionville junior, presented “Finding a Formula That Works: Issues Surrounding a Proposed All-Girls’ School in Juarez, Mexico.” Allen assessed the community need for a single-sex, college preparatory school for poor minority girls and the feasibility within Mexico’s education system. While demographic data reveal the need for greater educational opportunities in Juarez, rapid urbanization has resulted in a lack of infrastructure that could support the project.
“While this research provides a framework from which the Foundation for the Education of Young Women is developing admissions guidelines and identifying potential local partners, it also highlights the effects of globalization on issues relevant to border studies such as education, labor and discrimination,” says Allen.
Allen’s faculty sponsor was Ed Lorenz, Reid-Knox Professor of History and Professor of Political Science. A graduate of Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Allen is the son of Rev. Michael and Lynda Allen.
Melissa Barclay, Alma senior, presented “Effect of Sleep Loss and Poor Diet on Adiposity.” Her study was designed to test the effects of noise-induced sleep deprivation and high fat/high sugar (HFHS) diets on weight gain and memory in male rates. She tested four experimental conditions: normal diet, normal sleep; HFHS diet, normal sleep; normal diet, disturbed sleep; and HFHS diet, disturbed sleep. The HFHS diet consisted of Oreo cookies, while sleep was disturbed by loud radio broadcasts. She found that both sleep disturbance and HFHS diet caused increased weight gain, with the rats with both HFHS diet and disturbed sleep gaining the most.
“Our study shows that sleep disturbance exacerbates the effects of poor diet on body mass and learning,” she said.
Barclay’s faculty sponsor was Gwyneth Beagley, professor of psychology. A graduate of Alma High School, Barclay is the daughter of Duane Barclay of Alma and Sandra Spencer of St. Louis.
Elizabeth Podufaly, Big Rapids senior, presented “The Inside Room: A Collection of Poetry and Prose.” Composed between 2006 and 2008, Podufaly’s prose reflects a “personal interest and experimentation with internal or psychological realism.” Her stories look at environments, events and relationships “from the inside out,” with emphasis on emotional and mental states as well as character idiosyncrasies.
Similarly, her poetry attempts to communicate feelings and thoughts while being more personal and confessional than the prose. Her oral presentation included a reading of selected works as well as a reflection of the writing process and literary practices guiding her collection.
Podufaly’s faculty sponsor was William Palmer, professor of English. A graduate of Big Rapids High School, Podufaly is the daughter of Walter and Irene Podufaly.
Lindsay Cain, Bridgeport junior, presented “Impacts on Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations in Surface Water by Large Livestock Operations.” Cain measured fluctuations in dissolved oxygen levels weekly, and in particular over 24-hour periods, upstream and downstream of a large livestock facility.
“High oxygen levels are the most importance factor for maintaining a healthy, diverse flora and fauna in streams,” says Cain. “Our results show significantly decreased dissolved oxygen levels downstream of a large livestock facility. In many instances, these levels were below state water quality standards.”
Cain’s faculty sponsors were Murray Borrello, geology and environmental studies instructor, and Mark Oemke, assistant professor of biology. A graduate of Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy, Cain is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Cain.
Posted: Fri, April 4th, 2008 at 12:41AM